rytm_Current_Folio_10Q

Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549


FORM 10-Q


 

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

For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018

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 001-38223


RHYTHM PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)


 

 

Delaware

46‑2159271

(State or other jurisdiction of

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

Identification No.)

 

500 Boylston Street

11th Floor

Boston, MA 02116

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

(857) 264‑4280

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Unchanged

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)


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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes   No 

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

 

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

(Do not check if a 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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes   No  .

 

The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock as of May 11, 2018 was 27,530,184.

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

RHYTHM PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.

FORM 10-Q

INDEX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Page No.

PART I 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1. Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (Unaudited)

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

Item 4. Controls and Procedures

 

26

 

 

 

 

PART II 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1. Legal Proceedings

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

 

77

 

 

 

 

 

Item 3. Defaults Upon Senior Securities

 

77

 

 

 

 

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosure

 

77

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5. Other Information

 

77

 

 

 

 

 

Item 6. Exhibits

 

77

 

 

 

SIGNATURES 

 

79

 

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PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1.Financial Statements.

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 

 

 

December 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

43,167

 

$

34,236

Short-term investments

 

 

93,286

 

 

113,846

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

1,961

 

 

2,589

Total current assets

 

 

138,414

 

 

150,671

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

 

779

 

 

840

Restricted cash

 

 

250

 

 

225

Total assets

 

$

139,443

 

$

151,736

Liabilities, convertible preferred stock and stockholders’ equity

 

 

  

 

 

  

Current liabilities:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Accounts payable

 

$

2,456

 

$

2,427

Deferred rent

 

 

85

 

 

83

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

 

 

3,038

 

 

4,210

Total current liabilities

 

 

5,579

 

 

6,720

Long-term liabilities:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Deferred rent

 

 

206

 

 

228

Total liabilities

 

 

5,785

 

 

6,948

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preferred stock:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Convertible Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value: 10,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

Stockholders’ equity:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Common stock, $0.001 par value: 120,000,000 shares authorized; 27,284,140 shares issued and outstanding March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively

 

 

27

 

 

27

Additional paid-in capital

 

 

260,342

 

 

255,013

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(126,711)

 

 

(110,252)

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

133,658

 

 

144,788

Total liabilities, convertible preferred stock and stockholders’ equity

 

$

139,443

 

$

151,736

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements

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Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three months ended March 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

$

12,286

 

$

4,873

Selling, general, and administrative

 

 

4,715

 

 

1,516

Total operating expenses

 

 

17,001

 

 

6,389

Loss from operations

 

 

(17,001)

 

 

(6,389)

Other income (expense):

 

 

  

 

 

  

Interest income, net

 

 

542

 

 

29

Total other income (expense):

 

 

542

 

 

29

Net loss and comprehensive loss

 

$

(16,459)

 

$

(6,360)

Net loss attributable to common stockholders

 

$

(16,459)

 

$

(7,526)

Net loss attributable to common stockholders per common share, basic and diluted

 

$

(0.60)

 

$

(0.74)

Weighted average common shares outstanding, basic and diluted

 

 

27,284,140

 

 

10,196,292

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements

 

 

 

 

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Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three months ended March 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

 

$

(16,459)

 

$

(6,360)

Adjustments to reconcile net loss to cash used in operating activities:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Non-cash research and development license expense

 

 

4,448

 

 

 —

Stock-based compensation expense

 

 

958

 

 

264

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

61

 

 

54

Non-cash rent expense

 

 

(20)

 

 

(18)

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

581

 

 

(305)

Deferred issuance costs

 

 

 —

 

 

(82)

Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities

 

 

(1,220)

 

 

(464)

Due to related parties

 

 

 —

 

 

(105)

Net cash used in operating activities

 

 

(11,651)

 

 

(7,016)

Investing activities

 

 

  

 

 

  

Purchases of short-term investments

 

 

(2,023)

 

 

(12,009)

Maturities of short-term investments

 

 

22,630

 

 

3,990

Purchases of property, plant and equipment

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities

 

 

20,607

 

 

(8,019)

Financing activities

 

 

  

 

 

  

Net proceeds from issuance of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock

 

 

 —

 

 

20,377

Net cash provided by financing activities

 

 

 —

 

 

20,377

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

 

 

8,956

 

 

5,342

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of year

 

 

34,461

 

 

6,765

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of year

 

$

43,417

 

$

12,107

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements

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Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Notes to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(In thousands, except share and per share information)

1. Nature of Business

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the “Company”), is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of peptide therapeutics for the treatment of genetic deficiencies that result in life‑threatening metabolic disorders. The Company's lead product candidate is setmelanotide (“RM‑493”), which is a potent, first‑in‑class, melanocortin‑4, or MC4, receptor, agonist for the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity caused by MC4 pathway deficiencies. The Company is currently evaluating setmelanotide for the treatment of six genetic disorders of obesity: pro‑opiomelanocortin, or POMC, leptin receptor, or LepR, Bardet‑Biedl syndrome, Alström syndrome, POMC heterozygous, and POMC epigenetic disorders.

In March 2018 the Company acquired exclusive, worldwide rights from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) to develop and commercialize T-3525770 (now “RM-853”). RM-853 is a potent, orally available ghrelin o-acyltransferase (“GOAT”) inhibitor currently in preclinical development for Prader-Willi Syndrome (“PWS”). PWS is a rare genetic disorder that results in hyperphagia and early-onset, life-threatening obesity, for which there are no approved therapeutic options.

Corporate Reorganization

The Company is a Delaware corporation organized in February 2013 under the name Rhythm Metabolic, Inc. Prior to the Company's organization and the Corporate Reorganization referred to below, the Company was part of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the “Predecessor Company”), a Delaware corporation which was organized in November 2008 and which commenced active operations in 2010.

In March 2013, the Predecessor Company underwent a corporate reorganization, (the “Corporate Reorganization”), pursuant to which all of the outstanding equity securities of the Predecessor Company were exchanged for units of Rhythm Holding Company, LLC, a newly‑organized limited liability company (the “LLC entity”). After the consummation of this exchange and as part of the Corporate Reorganization, the Predecessor Company contributed setmelanotide and the MC4R agonist program to the Company and distributed to the LLC entity all of the then issued and outstanding shares of the Company's stock. The result of the Corporate Reorganization was that the Company and the Predecessor Company became wholly‑owned subsidiaries of the LLC entity and the two product candidates and related programs that were originally held by the Predecessor Company were separated, with relamorelin and the ghrelin agonist program being retained by the Predecessor Company and setmelanotide and the MC4R agonist program being held by the Company. The Predecessor Company, after consummation of the Corporate Reorganization, is referred to within these Notes to Financial Statements as the Relamorelin Company and/or Motus.

On October 13, 2015, the Relamorelin Company changed its name to Motus Therapeutics, Inc. (“Motus”) and the Company changed its name to Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. On December 15, 2016, Motus was sold to a large pharmaceutical company. On August 21, 2017, the LLC entity distributed to its members all of its shares of the Company (see Note 5 for further discussion).

Liquidity

The Company has incurred operating losses and negative cash flows from operations since inception.  As of March 31, 2018, the Company had an accumulated deficit of $126,711.  The Company has primarily funded these losses through capital contributions received from the LLC entity and the sale of preferred and common stock to outside investors. To date, the Company has no product revenue and management expects operating losses to continue for the foreseeable future. The Company has devoted substantially all of its resources to its drug development efforts, comprising research and development, manufacturing, conducting clinical trials for its product candidates, protecting its intellectual property

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and general and administrative functions relating to these operations. The future success of the Company is dependent on its ability to develop its product candidates and ultimately upon its ability to attain profitable operations. At March 31, 2018, the Company had $136,453 of cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments on hand.  In the future, the Company will be dependent on obtaining funding from third parties, such as proceeds from the issuance of debt, sale of equity, and funded research and development programs, to maintain the Company's operations and meet the Company's obligations. There is no guarantee that additional equity or other financings will be available to the Company on acceptable terms, or at all. If the Company fails to obtain additional funding when needed, the Company would be forced to scale back, terminate its operations or seek to merge with or be acquired by another company. Management believes that the Company's existing cash resources will be sufficient to fund the Company's operating plan into the second half of 2019.

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Presentation

The Company's unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) regarding interim financial reporting. Any reference in these notes to applicable guidance is meant to refer to the authoritative United States generally accepted accounting principles as found in the Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) and Accounting Standards Updates (“ASU”) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”). As permitted under these rules, certain footnotes or other financial information that are normally required by GAAP have been condensed or omitted.

The accompanying interim balance sheet as of March 31, 2018, the statements of operations and comprehensive loss for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, the statement of cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 and the related footnote disclosures are unaudited. In management's opinion, the unaudited interim financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as the audited financial statements and include all adjustments, which include all normal recurring adjustments necessary for the fair presentation of the interim financial statements. The results for the three months ended March 31, 2018 are not necessarily indicative of the results expected for the full fiscal year.

The Company has historically existed and functioned as part of the consolidated businesses of the Predecessor Company. As noted above, the Predecessor Company's setmelanotide and the MC4R agonist program were transferred to the Company as part of the Corporate Reorganization on March 21, 2013. These financial statements include the results of operations of setmelanotide and the MC4R agonist program from its inception.

On September 22, 2017, the Company's board of directors approved a 1-for-9.17 reverse stock split of the Company's issued and outstanding shares of common stock. All share and per share amounts in the financial statements have been retrospectively adjusted for all periods presented to give effect of the reverse stock split.

On October 5, 2017, the Company filed an amended and restated certificate of incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware to increase its authorized number of shares of common stock to 120,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.001 par value per share and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share.

On October 10, 2017 the Company completed its initial public offering (“IPO”) of 8,107,500 shares of common stock at an offering price of $17.00 per share, which included the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 1,057,500 additional shares of common stock. The Company received gross proceeds of approximately $137,828 or net proceeds of $125,658 after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses. In connection with the IPO, the Company’s outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock were automatically converted into 17,406,338 shares of common stock.  

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent liabilities at the date

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of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and other market‑specific or other relevant assumptions that it believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. This process may result in actual results differing materially from those estimated amounts used in the preparation of the financial statements if these results differ from historical experience, or other assumptions do not turn out to be substantially accurate, even if such assumptions are reasonable when made. Significant estimates relied upon in preparing these financial statements include accrued expenses, stock‑based compensation expense, the valuation allowance on the Company's deferred tax assets, and the fair value of the Series A Investor Instrument (see Note 4).

Principles of Consolidation

 

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Off‑Balance Sheet Risk and Concentrations of Credit Risk

Financial instruments, which potentially subject the Company to significant concentration of credit risk, consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments, which are maintained at two federally insured financial institutions. The deposits held at these two institutions are in excess of federally insured limits. The Company has not experienced any losses in such accounts and management believes that the Company is not exposed to significant credit risk due to the financial position of the depository institutions in which those deposits are held. The Company has no off‑balance sheet risk, such as foreign exchange contracts, option contracts, or other foreign hedging arrangements.

Segment Information

Operating segments are defined as components of an entity about which separate discrete information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision maker, or decision‑making group, in deciding how to allocate resources and in assessing performance. The Company views its operations and manages its business in one operating segment operating exclusively in the United States.

2017 Series A Investor Instrument

The Company has classified its 2017 Series A Investor Instrument (See Note 4) as a liability as it is a free‑standing financial instrument. The 2017 Series A Investor Instrument was recorded at fair value upon the issuance of the Company’s series A preferred stock in January 2017, and subsequently remeasured to fair value at each reporting period. Changes in fair value of the financial instrument is recognized as a component of other income (expense), net in the statement of operations and comprehensive loss. The Company estimated the fair value of the 2017 Series A Investor Right/Obligation as the probability‑weighted present value of the expected benefit of the investment.

The Company used the Black‑Scholes option‑pricing model, which incorporates assumptions and estimates, to value the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option and assessed these assumptions and estimates on a quarterly basis as additional information impacting the assumptions was obtained. Estimates and assumptions impacting the fair value measurement include the fair value per share of the underlying series A preferred stock, the expected term of the Series A Investor Call Option, risk‑free interest rate, expected dividend yield and expected volatility of the price of the underlying preferred stock. The Company determined the fair value per share of the underlying preferred stock by taking into consideration the most recent sale of our convertible preferred stock and the investors' right to invest in a subsequent tranche. As the Company was a private company and lacked company‑specific historical and implied volatility information of its stock, it estimated its expected stock volatility based on the historical volatility of publicly traded peer companies for a term comparable to the estimated term of the Series A Investor Call Option. The risk‑free interest rate was determined by reference to the U.S. Treasury yield curve for time periods approximately equal to the estimated term of the Series A Investor Call Option. A dividend yield of zero was assumed.  The fair value of the Series A Investor Instrument is determined to be the sum of the fair values of the 2017 Series A Investor Right/Obligation and the 2017 Investor Call Option.

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Net Loss Per Share Attributable to Common Shareholders

Basic net loss per share attributable to common stockholders is calculated by dividing net loss attributable to common stockholders by the weighted average shares outstanding during the period, without consideration for Common Stock equivalents. Net loss attributable to common stockholders is calculated by adjusting the net loss of the Company for cumulative preferred stock dividends. During periods of income, the Company allocates participating securities a proportional share of income determined by dividing total weighted average participating securities by the sum of the total weighted average common shares and participating securities (the “two class method”). The Company's convertible preferred stock participates in any dividends declared by the Company and are therefore considered to be participating securities. Participating securities have the effect of diluting both basic and diluted earnings per share during periods of income. During periods of loss, the Company allocates no loss to participating securities because they have no contractual obligation to share in the losses of the Company. Diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders is calculated by adjusting weighted average shares outstanding for the dilutive effect of Common Stock equivalents outstanding for the period, determined using the treasury‑stock and if‑converted methods. For purposes of the diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders calculation, convertible preferred stock and stock options are considered to be Common Stock equivalents but have been excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, as their effect would be anti‑dilutive for all periods presented. Therefore, basic and diluted net loss per share were the same for all periods presented.

The following table includes the potential common shares, presented based on amounts outstanding at each period end, that were excluded from the computation of diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

March 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

Stock options

 

 

2,427,629

 

 

1,037,131

Series A convertible preferred shares

 

 

 —

 

 

6,594,870

Total

 

 

2,427,629

 

 

7,632,001

 

Basic and diluted earnings per share is calculated as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

March 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

Numerator:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

 

$

(16,459)

 

$

(6,360)

Cumulative dividends on convertible preferred shares

 

 

 —

 

 

(1,166)

Loss attributable to common shares—basic and diluted

 

$

(16,459)

 

$

(7,526)

Denominator:

 

 

  

 

 

  

Weighted-average number of common shares—basic and diluted

 

 

27,284,140

 

 

10,196,292

Loss per common share—basic and diluted

 

$

(0.60)

 

$

(0.74)

 

Subsequent Events

The Company considers events or transactions that occur after the balance sheet date but prior to the issuance of the financial statements to provide additional evidence for certain estimates or to identify matters that require additional disclosure. Subsequent events have been evaluated as required.

 

Application of New or Revised Accounting Standards

From time to time, new accounting pronouncements are issued by the FASB and adopted by the Company as of the specified effective date. Unless otherwise discussed, the Company believes that the impact of recently issued standards that are not yet effective will not have a material impact on its financial position or results of operations upon adoption.

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In April 2012, the Jump‑Start Our Business Startups Act (the “JOBS Act”) was signed into law. The JOBS Act contains provisions that, among other things, reduce certain reporting requirements for an “emerging growth company.” As an emerging growth company, the Company elected to not take advantage of the extended transition period afforded by the JOBS Act for the implementation of new or revised accounting standards, and as a result, will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non‑emerging growth companies.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016‑02, Leases (Topic 842). ASU 2016‑02 requires lessees to recognize lease assets and lease liabilities for those leases classified as operating leases under previous GAAP. A lessee should recognize in the statement of financial position a liability to make lease payments (the lease liability) and a right‑of‑use asset representing its right to use the underlying asset for the lease term. For leases with a term of 12 months or less, a lessee is permitted to make an accounting policy election by class of underlying asset not to recognize lease assets and lease liabilities. The recognition, measurement, and presentation of expenses and cash flows arising from a lease by a lessee have not significantly changed from previous GAAP. There continues to be a differentiation between finance leases and operating leases. ASU 2016‑02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those fiscal years, and early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently in the process of evaluating the impact of adoption of ASU No. 2016‑02 on its financial position and results of operations.

In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016‑18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash (“ASU 2016-18”) that changes the presentation of restricted cash and cash equivalents on the statement of cash flows. Restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents will be included with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling the beginning‑of‑period and end‑of‑period total amounts shown on the statement of cash flows. This amendment is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted, including adoption in an interim period. The adoption of this ASU did not have a material impact on the Company’s statements of cash flows.

In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017‑09, Compensation‑Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting, (“ASU 2017-09”). ASU 2017‑09 provides clarity and reduces both (1) diversity in practice and (2) cost and complexity when applying the guidance in Topic 718, to a change to the terms or conditions of a share‑based payment award. The amendments in ASU 2017‑09 should be applied prospectively to an award modified on or after the adoption date. This ASU is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2017. The adoption of this ASU did not have a material impact on the Company's financial position or results of operations.

3. Accrued Expenses

Accrued expenses consisted of the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 

 

December 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

Research and development costs

 

$

1,426

 

$

2,771

Professional fees

 

 

1,137

 

 

327

Payroll related

 

 

462

 

 

1,094

Other

 

 

13

 

 

18

Accrued expenses

 

$

3,038

 

$

4,210

 

 

4. Fair Value of Financial Assets and Liability

As of March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, the carrying amount of cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments was $136,453 and $148,082, respectively, which approximates fair value. Cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments includes investments in money market funds that invest in U.S. government securities that are valued using quoted market prices. Accordingly, money market funds and government funds are categorized as Level 1 and had a total balance of $51,742 and $34,698 as of March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively.  The financial

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assets valued based on level 2 inputs consist of corporate debt securities and commercial paper, which consist of investments in highly-rated investment-grade corporations.

A financial liability was recognized by the Company during the three months ended March 31, 2017 related to the 2017 Series A Investor Instrument. The liability was valued based on significant inputs not observable in the market, which represents a Level 3 measurement within the fair value hierarchy. Upon the closing of the second tranche of the 2017 Series A preferred financing in August 2017, this liability was settled.

The following tables present information about the Company's financial assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis and indicate the level of the fair value hierarchy utilized to determine such fair values:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fair value Measurements as of

 

 

March 31, 2018 using:

 

    

Level 1

    

Level 2

    

Level 3

    

Total

Assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash Equivalents:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

Corporate Debt Securities and Commercial Paper

 

$

 —

 

$

6,989

 

$

 —

 

$

6,989

Money Market Funds

 

 

36,779

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

36,779

Marketable Securities:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

Corporate Debt Securities and Commercial Paper

 

 

 —

 

 

78,323

 

 

 —

 

 

78,323

U.S. Treasury Securities

 

 

14,963

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

14,963

Total

 

$

51,742

 

$

85,312

 

$

 —

 

$

137,054

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fair value Measurements as of

 

 

December 31, 2017 using:

 

    

Level 1

    

Level 2

    

Level 3

    

Total

Assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash Equivalents:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

Corporate Debt Securities

 

$

 —

 

$

15,104

 

$

 —

 

$

15,104

Money Market Funds

 

 

17,753

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

17,753

Marketable Securities:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

Corporate Debt Securities

 

 

 —

 

 

96,901

 

 

 —

 

 

96,901

U.S. Treasury Securities

 

 

16,945

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

16,945

Total

 

$

34,698

 

$

112,005

 

$

 —

 

$

146,703

 

Marketable Securities

The following tables summarize the Company's marketable securities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Gross

 

Gross

 

 

 

 

 

Amortized

 

Unrealized

 

Unrealized

 

Fair

 

    

Cost

    

Gains

    

Losses

    

Value

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Debt Securities and Commercial Paper (due within 1 year)

 

$

78,528

 

$

 —

 

$

(205)

 

$

78,323

U.S. Treasury Securities (due within 1 year)

 

 

14,979

 

 

 —

 

 

(16)

 

 

14,963

 

 

$

93,507

 

$

 —

 

$

(221)

 

$

93,286

 

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December 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Gross

 

Gross

 

 

 

 

 

Amortized

 

Unrealized

 

Unrealized

 

Fair

 

    

Cost

    

Gains

    

Losses

    

Value

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Debt Securities (due within 1 year)

 

$

97,029

 

$

 —

 

$

(128)

 

$

96,901

U.S. Treasury Securities (due within 1 year)

 

 

16,958

 

 

 —

 

 

(13)

 

 

16,945

 

 

$

113,987

 

$

 —

 

$

(141)

 

$

113,846

 

Below is a roll forward of the fair value of the 2017 Series A Investor Instrument for the three months ended March 31, 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Series A Investor

 

    

Instrument

Fair value at December 31, 2016

 

$

 —

Fair value upon the January 2017 Initial Closing, net

 

 

328

Change in fair value

 

 

 —

Fair value at March 31, 2017

 

$

328

 

The fair value of the Series A Investor Instrument is the sum of the probability‑weighted fair value of the 2017 Investor Right/Obligation and the 2017 Series A Call Option.

The following assumptions and inputs were used in determining the fair value of the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option valued using the Black‑ Scholes option pricing model:

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

March 31, 2017

 

Series A Convertible Preferred Stock Exercise Price

 

$

1.00

 

Series A Convertible Preferred Stock Fair Value

 

$

1.39

 

Expected term

 

 

3.5 months

 

Expected volatility

 

 

82.0

%

Expected interest rate

 

 

0.76

%

Expected dividend yield

 

 

 —

 

 

In August 2017, upon the closing of the second tranche of the series A preferred stock financing, the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option expired unexercised.

The Company estimated the fair value of the 2017 Series A Investor Right/Obligation as the probability‑weighted present value of the expected benefit of the investment. The expected benefit is the difference between the expected future value of shares issued upon the second tranche closing and the investment price for the second tranche closing. The expected future value is estimated as a weighted average of IPO and remain private scenarios, and the future value is converted to a present value assuming a closing date of October 15, 2017 and a nominal, risk‑free discount rate.

5. Preferred and Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Upon the closing of the IPO, the series A convertible preferred stock automatically converted into shares of common stock on a 9.17‑for‑1 basis.

Common Stock

In March 2013, the Company issued 10,196,292 shares of common stock at a purchase price of $0.001 per share. Prior to August, 2017, the LLC entity owned all of these shares.

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On August 21, 2017, the LLC entity exchanged 8,578,646 of its shares of the Company's common stock for 78,666,209 shares of the Company's series A‑1 junior preferred stock and the LLC entity distributed all of its shares of the Company's series A‑1 junior preferred stock to the holders of its preferred units and the remaining 1,617,646 shares of its common stock to the holders of its common units. Following this distribution, the LLC entity no longer owns any of the Company's shares. The series A‑1 junior preferred stock is not redeemable and does not have a stated dividend or liquidation preference. These shares converted to common stock on a 9.17‑to‑1 basis upon the closing of the IPO in October 2017. 

In September 2017, the Company's board of directors approved a 1-for-9.17 reverse stock split of the Company's issued and outstanding shares of common stock. All shares and per share amounts in the financial statements have been retrospectively adjusted for all periods presented to give effect of the reverse stock split.

 

On October 10, 2017 the Company completed its IPO of 8,107,500 shares of common stock at an offering price of $17.00 per share, which included the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 1,057,500 additional shares of common stock. The Company received gross proceeds of approximately $137,828 or net proceeds of $125,658 after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses. In connection with the IPO, the Company’s outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock were automatically converted into 17,406,338 shares of common stock.

On April 3, 2018, in association with the Takeda license agreement, the Company issued 223,544 shares of common stock.  See Note 6 for further discussion.

 

6. Significant Agreements

License Agreements

The Predecessor Company entered into a license agreement on February 26, 2010 with Ipsen Pharma, S.A.S. (“Ipsen”) that granted full worldwide right for two programs that include the clinical candidates setmelanotide, which is in Phase 3 clinical trials, and relamorelin. As a result of the Corporate Reorganization described in Note 1, the Ipsen license was converted to separate license agreements for the setmelanotide program held by the Company and the relamorelin program held by the Relamorelin Company, respectively. Under the terms of the setmelanotide Ipsen license agreement, assuming that setmelanotide is successfully developed, receives regulatory approval and is commercialized, Ipsen may receive aggregate payments of up to $40,000 upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones and royalties on future product sales in the mid‑single digits. Substantially all of such aggregate payments of up to $40,000 are for milestones that may be achieved no earlier than first commercial sale of setmelanotide. In the event that the Company executes a sublicense agreement, it shall make payments to Ipsen, depending on the date of such sublicense agreement, ranging from 10% to 20% of all revenues actually received under such sublicense agreement.

In July 2017, the Company made a prepayment on the first milestone event associated with this license agreement. The first milestone relates to the initiation of a Phase 3 study for setmelanotide in a pivotal multi-center human clinical trial in a large number of patients. The prepayment associated with this milestone was $1,000 and was recorded as research and development expenses during the three months ended March 31, 2018 when the milestone criteria was met in full.

In January 2016, the Company entered into a license agreement with Camurus AB, or Camurus, for the use of Camurus’ drug delivery technology. The contract includes a non‑refundable and non‑creditable signing fee of $500, which was paid during January 2016. The Camurus agreement also includes up to $7,750 in one‑time, non‑refundable development milestones achievable upon certain regulatory successes. The Company is also required to pay to Camurus, mid to mid‑high single digit royalties, on a product‑by‑product and country‑by‑country basis of annual net sales, until the later of (i) 10 years after the date of first commercial sale of such product in such country; or (ii) the expiration of the last to expire valid claim of all licensed patent rights in such country covering such product. The Company is also required to pay one‑time, non‑refundable, non‑creditable sales milestones upon the achievement of certain sales levels for such product that cannot be in excess of $57,000.

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In March 2017, the Company achieved the first milestone event associated with this license agreement. The Company completed the first manufactured batch using the Camurus drug delivery technology and filed an investigational new drug application with the FDA. The fee associated with this milestone was $250.

In December 2017, the Company achieved the second milestone event associated with this license agreement. The Company completed the Phase I proof of concept study using the Camurus drug delivery technology. The fee associated with this second milestone was $1,000 and was recorded as research and development expense.

In March 2018, the Company entered into a license agreement with Takeda, for the rights of a program that includes the clinical candidate RM-853, which is a GOAT inhibitor, which is currently in preclinical development for PWS.  Pursuant to the license agreement the Company was required to pay a non‑refundable and non‑creditable signing fee, which the Company settled by issuing on April 3, 2018, 223,544 shares of common stock valued at $4,448.  Under the terms of the license agreement, assuming that RM-853 is successfully developed, receives regulatory approval and is commercialized, the Company is also required to pay up to $70,000 in one‑time, non‑refundable development milestone payments upon the  achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones. The Company is also required to pay up to $70,000 in one‑time, non‑refundable, non‑creditable sales milestone payments upon the achievement of certain sales levels.  The Company is also required to pay to Takeda, mid to mid‑high single digit royalties (subject to certain potential reductions over time), on a product‑by‑product and country‑by‑country basis of annual net sales, of each product in such country, beginning on the first commercial sale of a product in such country, and continuing until the latest of (i) 10 years after the date of first commercial sale of such product in such country; or (ii) the expiration of the last to expire valid claim of a Takeda patents covering the composition or use of such product in such country; or (iii) the expiration of all regulatory exclusivity for such product in such country. The Company recorded the fair value of the common stock to be issued to the licensors as research and development expense, as the license does not have a future alternative use, in accordance with ASC Topic 730, Research and Development.  As the shares were not issued prior to the end of the period, the Company evaluated the forward contract and concluded that it met the criteria for equity classification and such amounts have been recorded within additional paid-in capital as of March 31, 2018.

 

 

7. Related‑Party Transactions

Expenses paid directly to consultants considered to be related parties amounted to $472 and $229 for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Outstanding payments due to these related parties as of March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017 were $102 and $112, respectively, and were included within accounts payable on the balance sheet.

8. Income Taxes

For the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company did not have a current or deferred income tax expense or benefit as the entity has incurred losses since inception and has provided a full valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets.

 

 

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Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. In addition to historical information, this discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including statements regarding our financial performance, including our expectations regarding our existing cash, operating losses, expenses and sources of future financing; statements regarding our ability to hire and retain necessary personnel; statements regarding patient enrollments and the timing thereof; statements regarding the timing of announcements regarding results of clinical trials; statements regarding our ability to protect our intellectual property; statements regarding our ability to negotiate our collaboration agreements, if needed; statements regarding our marketing, commercial sales, and revenue generation; and other statements identified by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “likely,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would,” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms include forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not promises or guarantees of future performance, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. These factors include those set forth in Part II, Item 1A under the heading “Risk Factors” of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors. We discuss factors that we believe could cause or contribute to these differences below and elsewhere in this report, including those set forth in Part II, Item 1A under the heading “Risk Factors” of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. 

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of peptide therapeutics for the treatment of rare genetic deficiencies that result in life‑threatening metabolic disorders. Our lead peptide product candidate is setmelanotide, a potent, first‑in‑class melanocortin-4 receptor, or MC4R, agonist for the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity. We believe setmelanotide, for which we have exclusive worldwide rights, has the potential to serve as replacement therapy for the treatment of melanocortin-4, or MC4, pathway deficiencies. MC4 pathway deficiencies result in the disruption of satiety signals and energy homeostasis in the body, which, in turn, leads to intense feelings of hunger and to obesity.  Our development efforts are initially focused on obesity related to six single gene-related, or monogenic, MC4 pathway deficiencies, pro-opiomelanocortin, or POMC, leptin receptor, or LepR, Bardet‑Biedl syndrome, Alström syndrome, POMC heterozygous and POMC epigenetic disorders for which there are currently no effective or approved treatments. We believe that the MC4 pathway is a compelling target for treating these genetic disorders because of its critical role in regulating appetite and weight by promoting satiety and weight control, and that peptide therapeutics are uniquely suited for activating this target.

We have demonstrated proof of concept in Phase 2 clinical trials in POMC deficiency obesity, LepR deficiency obesity and Bardet‑Biedl syndrome, three genetic disorders of extreme and unrelenting appetite and obesity, in which setmelanotide dramatically reduced both weight and hunger.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, has acknowledged the importance of these results by giving setmelanotide Breakthrough Therapy designation for the treatment of obesity associated with genetic defects upstream of the MC4 receptor in the leptin-melanocortin pathway, which includes both POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity. In May 2018, the FDA has also agreed that Bardet‑Biedl syndrome and Alstrom Syndrome have been included under the existing Breakthrough Therapy designation for setmelanotide.  Setmelanotide is currently in Phase 3 development for POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity. We continue to enroll patients in our POMC deficiency obesity Phase 3 clinical trial and expect to complete enrollment of the ten required patients in the first half of 2018 and to report Phase 3 data in the first half of 2019.  We are currently in an ongoing pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial for setmelanotide in LepR deficiency obesity.  We continue to enroll patients in our LepR deficiency obesity Phase 3 clinical trial, and expect to complete enrollment in 2018. We have demonstrated proof of concept in our Phase 2 clinical trial in Bardet‑Biedl syndrome, and expect to meet with regulatory authorities in early 2018 to plan a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in Bardet‑Biedl syndrome that we anticipate we can initiate in 2018. We have also initiated Phase 2 clinical trials in Alström syndrome, POMC heterozygous deficiency obesity and POMC epigenetic disorders.  We anticipate reporting preliminary results in these additional Phase 2 indications in the first

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half of 2018.  Approximately 300 obese subjects and patients have been treated with setmelanotide in previous and ongoing clinical trials in which setmelanotide demonstrated statistically significant weight loss with good tolerability.

We have leveraged skilled experts, consultants, contract research organizations, or CROs, and contractors to manage our clinical operations under the leadership and direction of our management. We expect to expand our infrastructure to manage our clinical, finance and commercial operations with a higher proportion of full‑time employees. We have twenty-five employees. Of these employees, thirteen are engaged in development activities, four are engaged in commercialization activities and eight are engaged in support administration, including business development and finance. In the near‑term, we expect to significantly expand our clinical, commercial and finance personnel, in particular, and will incur increased expenses as a result.

In March 2018 we acquired exclusive, worldwide rights from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) to develop and commercialize T-3525770 (now “RM-853”). RM-853 is a potent, orally available ghrelin o-acyltransferase (“GOAT”) inhibitor currently in preclinical development for Prader-Willi Syndrome (“PWS”). PWS is a rare genetic disorder that results in hyperphagia and early-onset, life-threatening obesity, for which there are no approved therapeutic options.  We will assume sole responsibility for the global product development and commercialization of RM-853. Takeda received an upfront fee of $4.4 million which we settled in April 2018 with shares of our common stock, and will receive back-end development milestones, and single-digit royalties on future RM-853 sales.

Our operations to date have been limited primarily to conducting research and development activities for setmelanotide. To date, we have not generated any product revenue and have financed our operations primarily through capital contributions from the Predecessor Company, the Relamorelin Company and the LLC entity and the private placement of equity securities to outside investors. On October 10, 2017 we completed our initial public offering, or IPO, of 8,107,500 shares of common stock at an offering price of $17.00 per share, which included the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 1,057,500 additional shares of common stock. We received gross proceeds of approximately $137.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering related transaction costs. In connection with the IPO, our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock were automatically converted into 17,406,338 shares of common stock.  We will not generate revenue from product sales until we successfully complete development and obtain regulatory approval for setmelanotide, which we expect will take a number of years and is subject to significant uncertainty. We expect to continue to fund our operations through the sale of equity, debt financings or other sources. We intend to build our own marketing and commercial sales infrastructure and we may enter into collaborations with other parties for certain markets outside the United States. However, we may be unable to raise additional funds or enter into such other arrangements when needed on favorable terms, or at all. If we fail to raise capital or enter into such other arrangements as, and when, needed, we may have to significantly delay, scale back or discontinue the development or commercialization of setmelanotide.

As of March 31, 2018, we had an accumulated deficit of $126.7 million. Our net losses were $16.5 million and $6.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and increasing operating losses over the foreseeable future. We expect our expenses will increase substantially in connection with our ongoing activities, as we:

·

continue to conduct clinical trials for setmelanotide;

·

engage contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, for the manufacture of setmelanotide for clinical trials;

·

seek regulatory approval for setmelanotide;

·

expand our clinical and financial operations and build a marketing and commercialization infrastructure; and

·

operate as a public company.

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As of March 31, 2018, our existing cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments were approximately $136.5 million. We expect that our existing cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments will enable us to fund our operating expenses into the second half of 2019.

Corporate Background and Distribution

We are a Delaware corporation organized in February 2013 under the name Rhythm Metabolic, Inc., and as of October 2015, under the name Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to our organization and the Corporate Reorganization referred to below, we were part of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Delaware corporation which was organized in November 2008 and which commenced active operations in 2010. We refer to this corporation as the Predecessor Company.

In March 2013, the Predecessor Company underwent a corporate reorganization, which we refer to as the Corporate Reorganization, pursuant to which all of the outstanding equity securities of the Predecessor Company were exchanged for units of Rhythm Holding Company, LLC, a newly‑organized limited liability company, which we refer to as the LLC entity. After the consummation of this exchange and as part of the Corporate Reorganization, the Predecessor Company contributed setmelanotide and the MC4R agonist program to us and distributed to the LLC entity all of the then issued and outstanding shares of our stock. The result of the Corporate Reorganization was that we and the Predecessor Company became wholly‑owned subsidiaries of the LLC entity and the two product candidates and related programs that were originally held by the Predecessor Company were separated, with relamorelin and the ghrelin agonist program being retained by the Predecessor Company and setmelanotide and the MC4R agonist program being held by us. We refer to the Predecessor Company after consummation of the Corporate Reorganization as the Relamorelin Company. The Predecessor Company filed the Investigational New Drug Application, or IND, for setmelanotide in October 2011 and conducted the setmelanotide clinical trials up until the Corporate Reorganization, after which all clinical trials have been conducted by us.

In October 2014, the LLC entity granted to Actavis plc, now owned by Allergan, Inc., or Allergan, an exclusive option to acquire the Relamorelin Company. The transaction was limited to the acquisition of the Relamorelin Company and did not include our company. In October 2016, the option to acquire the Relamorelin Company was exercised and the sale to Allergan closed on December 15, 2016.

In January 2017 and August 2017, we sold 20,475,001 shares and 20,474,998 shares, respectively, of our series A convertible preferred stock to certain investors. Following the closing of our series A convertible preferred stock financings, the LLC entity remained our largest stockholder, with the balance of our stock being owned by our series A investors. In August 2017, the LLC entity exchanged 8,578,646 of its shares of our common stock for 78,666,209 newly‑issued shares of our series A‑1 junior preferred stock and the LLC entity distributed all of its shares of our series A‑1 junior preferred stock to the holders of its preferred units and the remaining 1,617,646 shares of our common stock to the holders of its common units. We refer to the exchange and distribution as the Distribution. The series A‑1 junior preferred stock converted into shares of our common stock on a 9.17‑for‑1 basis upon the closing of our IPO. Following the Distribution, the LLC entity did not own any of our common stock.

In connection with our IPO, we effected a 1‑for‑9.17 reverse stock split of our outstanding common stock on September 29, 2017.  All share and per share amounts in the financial statements have been retrospectively adjusted for all periods presented to give effect of the reverse stock split.

Financial Operations Overview

Revenue

To date, we have not generated any revenue from product sales and do not expect to generate any revenue from the sale of setmelanotide for at least several years. We cannot predict if, when, or to what extent we will generate revenues from the commercialization and sale of setmelanotide. Setmelanotide is currently our only product candidate, and we may never succeed in achieving regulatory approval for setmelanotide or any other product candidate that we decide to pursue in the future.

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Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for our research activities, including our drug discovery efforts, and the development of setmelanotide, which include:

·

expenses incurred under agreements with third parties, including CROs that conduct research and development and preclinical activities on our behalf, and the cost of consultants and CMOs that manufacture drug products for use in our preclinical studies and clinical trials;

·

employee‑related expenses including salaries, benefits, and stock‑based compensation expense;

·

the cost of lab supplies and acquiring, developing, and manufacturing preclinical study materials; and

·

facilities, depreciation, and other expenses, which include rent and maintenance of facilities, insurance and other operating costs.

We expense research and development costs to operations as incurred. Nonrefundable advance payments for goods or services to be received in the future for use in research and development activities are recorded as prepaid expenses. The capitalized amounts are expensed as the related goods are delivered or the services are performed.

The following table summarizes our current research and development expenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

March 31, 

Research and Development Summary

    

2018

    

2017

Research and Development Expense

 

$

12,286

 

$

4,873

 

We are unable to predict the duration and costs of the current or future clinical trials of setmelanotide. The duration, costs, and timing of clinical trials and development of setmelanotide will depend on a variety of factors, including:

·

the scope, rate of progress, and expense of our ongoing, as well as any additional, clinical trials and other research and development activities;

·

the rate of enrollment in clinical trials;

·

the safety and efficacy demonstrated by setmelanotide in future clinical trials;

·

changes in regulatory requirements;

·

changes in clinical trial design; and

·

the timing and receipt of any regulatory approvals.

A change in the outcome of any of these variables with respect to the development of setmelanotide would significantly change the costs and timing associated with its development and potential commercialization.

Research and development activities are central to our business model. Product candidates in later stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of later‑stage clinical trials. We expect research and development costs to increase significantly for the foreseeable future as our setmelanotide development program progresses. However, we do not believe that it is possible at this time to accurately project total program‑specific expenses to commercialization and there can be no guarantee that we can meet the funding needs associated with these expenses.

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Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling expenses consist of professional fees related to preparation for the eventual commercialization of setmelanotide, if approved, as well as salaries and related benefits for commercial employees, including stock‑based compensation.  As we accelerate our preparation for commercialization and, if it is approved, start to market setmelanotide and as we explore new collaborations to develop and commercialize setmelanotide, we anticipate that these expenses will materially increase.

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and other related costs, including stock‑based compensation, relating to our full‑time employees.  Other significant costs include rent, legal fees relating to patent and corporate matters and fees for accounting and consulting services.

The following table summarizes our current selling, general and administrative expenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

March 31, 

Selling, general and administrative Summary

    

2018

    

2017

Selling, general and administrative expense

 

$

4,715

 

$

1,516

 

We anticipate that our selling, general and administrative expenses will increase in the future to support continued and expanding development efforts, potential commercialization of setmelanotide and increased costs of operating as a public company. These increases will likely include increased costs related to the hiring of additional personnel and fees to outside consultants, lawyers and accountants, compliance with exchange listing and SEC expenses, insurance and investor relations costs, among other expenses.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our financial statements, which we have prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, as well as the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those described in greater detail below. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

While our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in the notes to our financial statements included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, we believe that the following accounting policies are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our financial condition and results of operations.

Accrued research and development expenses

As part of the process of preparing our financial statements, we are required to estimate the value associated with goods and services received in the period in connection with research and development activities. This process involves reviewing quotations and contracts, identifying services that have been performed on our behalf and estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for the service when we have not yet been invoiced or otherwise notified of the actual cost, or alternatively, the deferral of amounts paid for goods or services to be incurred in the future. The majority of our service providers invoice us monthly in arrears for services performed or when contractual milestones are met. We make estimates of our accrued expenses or prepaid expenses as of each balance sheet date in our financial statements based on facts and circumstances known to us at the time those financial statements are prepared. We periodically confirm the accuracy of our estimates with the service providers and make adjustments if necessary. The significant estimates in our accrued research and development expenses include fees paid to CROs and CMOs in connection with research and development activities.

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We accrue our expenses related to CROs and CMOs based on our estimates of the services received and efforts expended pursuant to quotes and contracts with CROs and CMOs that conduct research and development and manufacturing on our behalf. The financial terms of these agreements are subject to negotiation, vary from contract to contract and may result in uneven payment flows. The allocation of CRO upfront expenses for both clinical trials and preclinical studies generally tracks actual work activity. However, there may be instances in which payments made to our vendors will exceed the level of services provided and result in a prepayment of the research and development expense. In accruing service fees delivered over a period of time, we estimate the time period over which services will be performed and the level of effort to be expended in each period. If the actual timing of the performance of services or the level of effort varies from our estimate, we adjust accrued or prepaid expense accordingly. Although we do not expect our estimates to be materially different from amounts actually incurred, if our estimates of the status and timing of services performed differ from the actual status and timing of services performed, it could result in us reporting amounts that are too high or too low in any particular period. To date, there have been no material differences between our estimates of such expenses and the amounts actually incurred.

2017 Series A Investor Instrument

Pursuant to the 2017 series A preferred stock purchase agreement, by and among us and certain purchasers, and as part of an initial tranche closing, we issued 20,475,001 shares of series A preferred stock at a purchase price of $1.00 per share in January 2017. The series A preferred stock purchase agreement provided for the delayed issuance by us of up to an additional 20,474,998 shares of series A preferred stock as part of a second tranche closing at a purchase price of $1.00 per share. The series A investors had the obligation, upon notification by us, or the 2017 Series A Investor Right/Obligation, to purchase 20,474,998 additional shares of series A preferred stock as part of a second tranche of financing at such time as: (1) our cash, cash equivalents and short‑term investments balance, net of accounts payable and accrued liabilities, falling below $5.0 million and (2) our satisfaction of contractual and customary representations and warranties, or the 2017 Second Tranche Milestone. On August 18, 2017, the series A investors waived the $5.0 million cash balance requirement of the 2017 second tranche milestone and such second tranche financing was consummated. As a result of these two tranches, we issued 40.95 million shares of our series A preferred stock, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of $40.95 million.

We have classified our 2017 Series A Investor Instrument (See Note 4 to our financial statements included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q) as a liability as it is a free‑standing financial instrument. The 2017 Series A Investor Instrument was recorded at fair value upon the issuance of our series A preferred stock in January 2017, and subsequently remeasured to fair value at each reporting period. Changes in fair value of this financial instrument is recognized as a component of other income (expense), net in the statement of operations and comprehensive loss. We estimated the fair value of the 2017 Series A Investor Right/Obligations as the probability‑weighted present value of the expected benefit of the investment.

We used the Black‑Scholes option‑pricing model, which incorporates assumptions and estimates, to value the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option and assessed these assumptions and estimates on a quarterly basis as additional information impacting the assumptions was obtained. Estimates and assumptions impacting the fair value measurement include the fair value per share of the underlying series A preferred stock, the expected term of the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option, risk‑free interest rate, expected dividend yield and expected volatility of the price of the underlying preferred stock. We determined the fair value per share of the underlying preferred stock by taking into consideration the most recent sale of our convertible preferred stock and the investors' right to invest in a subsequent tranche. As we were a private company and lacked company‑specific historical and implied volatility information of our stock, we estimated our expected stock volatility based on the historical volatility of publicly traded peer companies for a term comparable to the estimated term of the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option. The risk‑free interest rate was determined by reference to the U.S. Treasury yield curve for time periods approximately equal to the estimated term of the 2017 Series A Investor Call Option. A dividend yield of zero was assumed.  The fair value of the Series A Investor Instrument is determined to be the sum of the fair values of the 2017 Series A Investor Right/Obligation and the 2017 Investor Call Option.

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Stock-based compensation

In August 2015, our Board of Directors and our stockholders approved and we adopted the 2015 equity incentive plan, as amended and in effect prior to the closing of our IPO, or the 2015 Plan, which we terminated upon consummation of our IPO and replaced with the 2017 equity incentive plan, or the 2017 Plan. The 2017 Plan provides for the grant of incentive and non-qualified stock options and restricted stock and stock grants to employees, consultants, advisors and directors, as determined by the Board of Directors. We have reserved 5,109,904 shares of common stock under the 2017 Plan. The first option grants issued by us under the 2015 Plan were issued in the fourth quarter of 2015. Shares of common stock issued upon exercise of stock options are generally issued from authorized but unissued shares. The 2017 Plan provides that the exercise price of incentive stock options cannot be less than 100% of the fair market value of the common stock on the date of the award for participants who own less than 10% of the total combined voting power of stock, and not less than 110% for participants who own more than 10% of the voting power. Options and restricted stock granted under the 2017 Plan will vest over periods as determined by our Compensation Committee and approved by our Board of Directors.

We estimate the fair value of our stock-based awards to employees and non-employees using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including (a) the expected volatility of our stock, (b) the expected term of the award, (c) the risk-free interest rate, and (d) expected dividends. Previously due to the lack of a public market for the trading of our common stock and a lack of company-specific historical and implied volatility data, we have based our estimate of expected volatility on the historical volatility of a group of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in a similar stage of development as us and that are publicly traded. For these analyses, we have selected companies with comparable characteristics to ours including enterprise value, risk profiles and with historical share price information sufficient to meet the expected life of the stock-based awards. We compute the historical volatility data using the daily closing prices for the selected companies' shares during the equivalent period of the calculated expected term of our stock-based awards. We will continue to apply this process until a sufficient amount of historical information regarding the volatility of our own stock price becomes available. We have estimated the expected life of our employee stock options using the "simplified" method, whereby, the expected life equals the average of the vesting term and the original contractual term of the option. The risk-free interest rates for periods within the expected life of the option are based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect during the period the options were granted. Upon adopting ASU 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share‑Based Payment Accounting (Topic 718) on January 1, 2017, we have elected to account for forfeitures as they occur.

Income taxes

Income taxes have been calculated on a separate tax return basis. Certain of our activities and costs have been included in the tax returns filed by the Relamorelin Company and the LLC entity. Prior to the Corporate Reorganization, our operations were included in the tax returns filed by the Predecessor Company. We have filed tax returns on our own behalf since the Corporate Reorganization.

We account for uncertain tax positions in accordance with the provisions of Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, Topic 740, Accounting for Income Taxes, or ASC 740. When uncertain tax positions exist, we recognize the tax benefit of tax positions to the extent that the benefit will more likely than not be realized. The determination as to whether the tax benefit will more likely than not be realized is based upon the technical merits of the tax position as well as consideration of the available facts and circumstances. As of December 31, 2017, we do not have any uncertain tax positions.

Income taxes are recorded in accordance with ASC 740, which provides for deferred taxes using an asset and liability approach. We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements or tax returns. We determine our deferred tax assets and liabilities based on differences between financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities, which are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws that will be in effect when the differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are provided, if based upon the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.

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As of December 31, 2017, we had net operating loss carryforwards to reduce federal and state incomes taxes of approximately $73.1 million and $3.8 million, respectively. If not utilized, these carryforwards begin to expire in 2033. At December 31, 2017, we also had available research and development tax credits for federal and state income tax purposes of approximately $1.9 million and $0.5 million, respectively. The federal and state credits begin to expire in 2033 and 2028, respectively.  Additionally, as of December 31, 2017, we had a federal orphan drug credits related to qualifying research of $2.3 million.  These tax credit carryforwards begin to expire in 2033 for federal purposes and 2028 for state purposes. 

Utilization of the net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards may be subject to a substantial annual limitation due to ownership change limitations that have occurred previously or that could occur in the future, as provided by Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, or Section 382, as well as similar state provisions and other provisions of the Code. Ownership changes may limit the amount of net operating losses and tax credit carryforwards that can be utilized annually to offset future taxable income and tax, respectively. In general, an ownership change, as defined by Section 382, results from transactions that increase the ownership of 5.0% stockholders in the stock of a corporation by more than 50% in the aggregate over a three-year period.

Results of Operations

Comparison of three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, together with the changes in those items in dollars and as a percentage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 

 

Change

 

 

    

2018

    

2017

    

$

    

%

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Expenses:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

  

 

Research and development

 

$

12,286

 

$

4,873

 

$

7,413

 

152

%

Selling, general, and administrative

 

 

4,715

 

 

1,516

 

 

3,199

 

211

%

Total operating expenses

 

 

17,001

 

 

6,389

 

 

10,612

 

166

%

Loss from operations

 

 

(17,001)

 

 

(6,389)

 

 

(10,612)

 

166

%

Other (expense) income, net

 

 

542

 

 

29

 

 

513

 

NM

%

Net loss and comprehensive loss

 

$

(16,459)

 

$

(6,360)

 

$

(10,099)

 

159

%

 

Research and development expense. Research and development expense increased by $7.4 million to $12.3 million in 2018 from $4.9 million in 2017, an increase of 152%. The increase was primarily due to the non-cash expense related to the license acquired from Takeda for RM-853, a $1.0 million milestone expense associated with the license agreement with Ipsen and the hiring of additional clinical and development personnel during the second half of 2017.

Selling, general and administrative expense. Selling, general and administrative expense increased by $3.2 million to $4.7 million in 2018 from $1.5 million in 2017, an increase of 211%. The increase was primarily due to increased headcount, the development and building of our commercial organization to drive patient identification, as well as increased professional and consultings fees associated with being a public company. 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2018, our existing cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments were approximately $136.5 million.

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Cash flows

The following table provides information regarding our cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended March 31, 

 

    

2018

    

2017

 

 

(in thousands)

Net cash provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

$

(11,651)

 

$

(7,016)

Investing activities

 

 

20,607

 

 

(8,019)

Financing activities

 

 

 —

 

 

20,377

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

 

$

8,956

 

 

5,342

 

Net cash used in operating activities

The use of cash in all periods resulted primarily from our net losses adjusted for non‑cash charges and changes in components of working capital.

Net cash used in operating activities was $11.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and consisted primarily of a net loss of $11.0 million adjusted for non‑cash items, which consisted of the non-cash research and development license expense for RM-853, stock‑based compensation, depreciation and amortization and deferred rent expense.  The change in operating assets and liabilities reflected a total use of cash of approximately $0.7 million mainly for a decrease in accrued expenses and prepaid expenses.

Net cash used in operating activities was $7.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, and consisted primarily of a net loss of $6.1 million adjusted for non‑cash items, which consisted of stock‑based compensation, depreciation and amortization and deferred rent expense. The significant items in the change in operating assets and liabilities include a decrease in accounts payable of $0.5 million and an increase in prepaid clinical trial expenses of approximately $0.3 million.

Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities

Net cash provided by investing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2018 relates to the net maturities of short‑term investments of $20.6 million.

Net cash used in investing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2017 relates to the net purchases of short‑term investments of $8.0 million.

Net cash provided by financing activities

Net cash provided by financing activities was $20.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, which represents the net proceeds from the first tranche of our issuance of series A preferred stock in January 2017.

Funding requirements

We expect our expenses to increase in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we continue the clinical development of and seek marketing approval for setmelanotide. In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for setmelanotide, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution to the extent that such sales, marketing and distribution are not the responsibility of potential collaborators. We also expect to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company.

We expect that our existing cash and cash equivalents will enable us to fund our operating expenses into the second half of 2019. We may need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our research and

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development activities and any continuing operations thereafter. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on favorable terms, we would be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs or future commercialization efforts.

Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

·

the scope, progress, results and costs of clinical trials for our setmelanotide program;

·

the costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of our setmelanotide program;

·

the obligations owed to Ipsen Pharma S.A.S., or Ipsen, Camurus AB, or Camurus, and Takeda, pursuant to our license agreements;

·

the extent to which we acquire or in‑license other product candidates and technologies;

·

the costs of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights and defending intellectual property‑related claims; and

·

our ability to establish and maintain additional collaborations on favorable terms, if at all.

Developing our setmelanotide program is a time‑consuming, expensive and uncertain process that may take years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain marketing approval and achieve product sales. In addition, setmelanotide, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of setmelanotide that we do not expect to be commercially available for several years, if at all. Accordingly, we will need to continue to rely on additional financing to achieve our business objectives. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenues, we expect to finance our cash needs through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, strategic alliances and licensing arrangements. In August 2015, December 2015, January 2017 and August 2017, respectively, we issued 25,000,000, 15,000,000, 20,475,001 and 20,474,998, shares of series A preferred stock, respectively, at a price of $1.00 per share, resulting in gross proceeds of $81.0 million. In October 2017 we completed our IPO in which we received net proceeds of $125.7 million.

To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, the ownership interest of our stockholders will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect the rights of our common stockholders. Debt financing, if available, involves agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends.

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

Contractual obligations

We enter into agreements in the normal course of business with CROs and CMOs for clinical trials and clinical supply manufacturing and with vendors for clinical research studies and other services and products for operating purposes. We do not classify these as contractual obligations where the contracts are cancelable at any time by us, generally upon 30 days' prior written notice to the vendor.

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Milestone and royalty payments associated with our license agreements with Ipsen, Camurus and Takeda, have not been included as contractual obligations as we cannot reasonably estimate if or when they will occur. Under the terms of the Ipsen license agreement, assuming that setmelanotide is successfully developed, receives regulatory approval and is commercialized, Ipsen may receive aggregate payments of up to $40.0 million upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones under the license agreement and royalties on future product sales. The majority of the aggregate payments under the Ipsen license agreement are for milestones that may be achieved no earlier than first commercial sale of setmelanotide. In the event that we enter into a sublicense agreement, we will make payments to Ipsen, depending on the date of the sublicense agreement, ranging from 10% to 20% of all revenues actually received under the sublicense agreement. Under the terms of the Camurus license agreement, assuming that setmelanotide is successfully developed, receives regulatory approval and is commercialized, Camurus may receive aggregate payments of up to $64.75 million upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones under the license agreement and royalties on future product sales. The majority of the aggregate payments under the Camurus license agreement are for milestones that may be achieved no earlier than first commercial sale of this formulation of setmelanotide.  Under the terms of the Takeda license agreement, assuming that RM-853, is successfully developed, receives regulatory approval and is commercialized, Takeda may receive aggregate payments of up to $140.0 million upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones under the license agreement and royalties on future product sales. The majority of the aggregate payments under the Takeda license agreement are for milestones that may be achieved no earlier than first commercial sale of the RM-853.

In November 2015, we entered into a Lease Agreement for an office facility at 500 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts. The lease term commenced in May 2016 and has a term of five years with a five-year renewal option to extend the lease.

Future minimum payments under the Lease Agreement as of March 31 2018, are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

    

Operating Lease

2018

 

$

224

2019

 

 

305

2020

 

 

311

2021

 

 

131

Total

 

$

971

 

Off‑balance Sheet Arrangements

We did not have, during the periods presented, and we do not currently have, any off‑balance sheet arrangements, as defined under applicable SEC rules.

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

We are exposed to market risk related to changes in interest rates. Our primary exposure to market risk is interest rate sensitivity, which is affected by changes in the general level of U.S. interest rates, particularly because our investments, including cash equivalents, are in the form, or may be in the form of, money market funds or marketable securities and are or may be invested in U.S. Treasury and U.S. government agency obligations. Due to the short‑term maturities and low risk profiles of our investments, an immediate 100 basis point change in interest rates would not have a material effect on the fair market value of our investments.

We are not materially exposed to market risk related to changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

JOBS Act

In April 2012, the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act of 2012, or JOBS Act, was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company,” or EGC, can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Thus, an EGC can delay the adoption of certain newly implemented accounting standards

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until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this extended transition period and, as a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for other public companies.

We are in the process of evaluating the benefits of relying on other exemptions and reduced reporting requirements under the JOBS Act. Subject to certain conditions, as an EGC, we intend to rely on certain of these exemptions, including without limitation, (i) providing an auditor's attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act and (ii) complying with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor's report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements, known as the auditor discussion and analysis. We will remain an EGC until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our IPO, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non‑affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior December 31st, and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non‑convertible debt securities during the prior three‑year period.

Item 4. Controls and Procedures.

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

Disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, are controls and other procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified by the rules and forms promulgated by the SEC. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that such information is accumulated and communicated to management, including the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

In connection with the preparation of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, we completed an evaluation, as of March 31, 2018, under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as to the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act).

It should be noted that any system of controls, however well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, and not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the system will be met. In addition, the design of any control system is based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events. Based upon the evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that, as of March 31, 2018, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at a reasonable assurance level.

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d‑15(f) under the Exchange Act) that occurred during the period covered by this report that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

PART II - OTHER INFORMATION

Item 1. Legal Proceedings.

We are not currently a party to any material legal proceedings.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Our operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described below, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and the trading price of our common stock. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial also may impair our business operations. You should carefully consider the risks described below and the other information in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including our unaudited consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Capital

We are a clinical‑stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and have not generated any revenue from product sales. We have incurred significant operating losses since our inception, anticipate that we will incur continued losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve profitability.

We are a clinical‑stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history on which to base your investment decision. Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk. We were incorporated in February 2013 in connection with the Corporate Reorganization. Our operations to date have been limited primarily to acquiring rights to intellectual property, business planning, raising capital, developing our technology, identifying potential product candidates, undertaking preclinical studies and conducting research and development activities, including clinical trials, for setmelanotide. We have never generated any revenue from product sales. We have not obtained any regulatory approvals for setmelanotide.

Since our inception, we have focused substantially all of our efforts and financial resources on the research and development of setmelanotide, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for two indications, POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity, and in various phases of development for other indications. We have funded our operations to date primarily through capital contributions from the Predecessor Company, the Relamorelin Company and the LLC entity and proceeds from sales of preferred stock and have incurred losses in each year since our inception.  See “Part I, Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Corporate Background and Distribution.

Our net loss and comprehensive losses were $16.5 million and $6.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. As of March 31, 2018, we had an accumulated deficit of $126.7 million.  Substantially all of our operating losses have resulted from costs incurred in connection with our development program and from general and administrative costs associated with our operations. Our prior losses, combined with expected future losses, have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ deficit and working capital. We expect our research and development expenses to significantly increase in connection with our additional clinical trials of setmelanotide and development of any other product candidates we may choose to pursue. In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for setmelanotide, we will incur significant sales, marketing and outsourced manufacturing expenses. We also will incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company. As a result, we expect to continue to incur significant and increasing operating losses for the foreseeable future. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with developing pharmaceutical products, we are unable to predict the extent of any future losses or when we will become profitable, if at all. Even if we do become profitable, we may not be able to sustain or increase our profitability on a quarterly or annual basis.

Our ability to become profitable depends upon our ability to generate revenue. To date, we have not generated any revenue from setmelanotide, and we do not know when, or if, we will generate any revenue. We do not expect to generate significant revenue unless and until we obtain marketing approval for, and begin to sell, setmelanotide. Our ability to generate revenue depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to:

·

initiate and successfully complete later‑stage clinical trials that meet their clinical endpoints;

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·

initiate and successfully complete all safety studies required to obtain U.S. and foreign marketing approval for setmelanotide as a treatment for obesity caused by genetic deficiencies affecting the MC4 pathway;

·

successfully manufacture or contract with others to manufacture setmelanotide;

·

commercialize setmelanotide, if approved, by building an internal sales force or entering into collaborations with third parties; and

·

achieve market acceptance of setmelanotide in the medical community and with third‑party payors.

Absent our entering into collaboration or partnership agreements, we expect to incur significant sales and marketing costs as we prepare to commercialize setmelanotide. Even if we initiate and successfully complete our pivotal clinical trials and setmelanotide is approved for commercial sale, and we incur the costs associated with these activities, setmelanotide may not be a commercially successful drug. We may not achieve profitability soon after generating product sales, if ever. If we are unable to generate product revenue, we will not become profitable and will be unable to continue operations without continued funding.

We will need to raise additional funding, which may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development efforts or other operations.

We are currently advancing setmelanotide through clinical development. Developing peptide therapeutic products is expensive, and we expect our research and development expenses to increase substantially in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we advance setmelanotide in clinical trials. We intend to use the proceeds from our IPO primarily for the clinical development and regulatory approval of setmelanotide. Depending on the status of regulatory approval and, if approved, commercialization of setmelanotide, as well as the progress we make in the sale of setmelanotide, we may still require significant additional capital to fund the continued development of setmelanotide and our operating needs thereafter. We may also need to raise additional funds if we choose to pursue additional indications and/or geographies for setmelanotide or otherwise expand more rapidly than we presently anticipate.

Through August 2015, we received capital contributions from the Predecessor Company, the Relamorelin Company and the LLC entity. In August 2015, December 2015, January 2017 and August 2017, we raised aggregate gross proceeds of $25.0 million, $15.0 million, $20.5 million and $20.5 million, respectively, through our issuance of series A preferred stock. In October 2017 we completed our initial public offering, or IPO of 8,107,500 shares of common stock at an offering price of $17.00 per share, which included the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 1,057,500 additional shares of common stock. We received gross proceeds of approximately $137.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering related transaction costs.  As of March 31, 2018, our cash and cash equivalents and short‑term investments were approximately $136.5 million. We expect our existing cash and cash equivalents will enable us to fund our operating expenses into the second half of 2019.  However, our operating plan may change as a result of many factors currently unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned, through public or private equity or debt financings, government or other third‑party funding, marketing and distribution arrangements and other collaborations, strategic alliances and licensing arrangements, or a combination of these approaches. We will also require additional capital to obtain regulatory approval for, and to commercialize, setmelanotide. Raising funds in the current economic environment may present additional challenges. Even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans, we may seek additional capital if market conditions are favorable or if we have specific strategic considerations.

Any additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from their day‑to‑day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize setmelanotide. In addition, we cannot guarantee that future financing will be available in sufficient amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Moreover, the terms of any financing may adversely affect the holdings or the rights of our stockholders and the issuance of additional securities, whether equity or debt, by us, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our shares to decline. The sale of additional equity or convertible securities would dilute all of our stockholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed payment obligations and we may be required to agree to certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations

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on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire, sell or license intellectual property rights, and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. We could also be required to seek funds through arrangements with collaborative partners or other third parties at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable and we may be required to relinquish rights to setmelanotide or technologies or otherwise agree to terms unfavorable to us, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and prospects.

If we are unable to obtain funding on a timely basis, we may be required to significantly curtail, delay or discontinue one or more of our research or development programs or the commercialization of setmelanotide or be unable to expand our operations or otherwise capitalize on our business opportunities, as desired, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our very limited operating history may make it difficult for you to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.

We are an early‑stage company. The Predecessor Company commenced active operations in February 2010, and we were incorporated as a separate company in February 2013. Our operations to date have been limited primarily to acquiring rights to intellectual property, business planning, raising capital, developing our technology, identifying potential product candidates, undertaking preclinical studies and, beginning in November 2010, conducting clinical trials. We have not yet demonstrated our ability to successfully complete a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, obtain marketing approvals, manufacture at commercial scale, or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf or conduct sales, marketing and distribution activities necessary for successful product commercialization. Consequently, any predictions made about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history.

In addition, as a new business, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known and unknown factors. We will need to transition at some point from a company with a research and development focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities and we may not be successful in such a transition.

We expect our financial condition and operating results to continue to fluctuate significantly from quarter‑to‑quarter and year‑to‑year due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the results of any quarterly or annual periods as indications of future operating performance.

Our historical financial information is not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as an independent company, and may not be a reliable indicator of our future results.

The historical financial information we have included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q may not reflect what our results of operations, financial position and cash flows would have been had we been an independent company during the periods presented. This is primarily because:

·

our historical financial information reflects allocations for services historically provided to us by the Predecessor Company and the Relamorelin Company, which allocations may not reflect the costs we now and in the future will incur for similar services as an independent company; and

·

our historical financial information does not reflect changes that we have incurred and expect to continue to incur as a result of operating as an independent company and from reduced economies of scale, including changes in cost structure, personnel needs, financing and operations of our business.

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Risks Related to the Development of Setmelanotide

Positive results from early clinical trials of setmelanotide may not be predictive of the results of later clinical trials of setmelanotide. If we cannot generate positive results in our later clinical trials of setmelanotide, we may be unable to successfully develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and commercialize setmelanotide.

Positive results from any of our Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of setmelanotide may not be predictive of the results of later clinical trials. The duration of effect of setmelanotide tested in our Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials was often for shorter periods than that underway in our current pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials. The duration of effect of setmelanotide has only been studied in long‑term durations for a small number of patients in our Phase 2 clinical trials and safety or efficacy issues may arise when more patients are studied in longer trials. It is possible that the effects seen in short‑term clinical trials will not be replicated in long‑term or larger clinical trials. In addition, not all of our trials demonstrated statistically significant weight loss and there can be no guarantee that future trials will do so.

Positive results for one indication are not necessarily predictive of positive results for other indications. We have demonstrated proof of concept in Phase 2 clinical trials in POMC deficiency obesity, LepR deficiency obesity, and Bardet‑Biedl syndrome, three genetic disorders of extreme and unrelenting appetite and obesity, in which setmelanotide dramatically reduced both weight and hunger. We hypothesize that patients with other upstream genetic defects in the MC4 pathway may also respond with reductions in weight and hunger after treatment with setmelanotide, however patients with other upstream genetic defects may not have a similar response to setmelanotide, and until we obtain more clinical data in other genetic defects, we will not be sure that we can achieve proof of concept in such indications. In addition, while we believe that proof of concept in Bardet‑Biedl syndrome has been demonstrated by improvements in hunger and weight reduction, supporting that this is a setmelanotide‑responsive, MC4 pathway disorder, the results of this trial are still at a preliminary stage.

We have and will continue to have multiple clinical trials of setmelanotide ongoing, which are designed to include multiple genetically and clinically defined populations under one investigational protocol, although each population is enrolled and analyzed separately. A “basket” trial design could potentially decrease the time to study new populations by decreasing administrative burden, however, these trials may not provide opportunities for acceleration, and do not overcome limitations to extrapolating data from the experience in one disease to other diseases, because safety and efficacy results in each indication are analyzed separately. Accordingly, clinical success in a basket trial, or any trial in one indication, may not predict success in another indication. In contrast, in the event of an adverse safety issue, clinical hold, or other adverse finding in one or more indications being tested, such event could adversely affect our trials in the other indications and may delay or prevent completion of the clinical trials.

Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in later stage clinical trials after achieving positive results in early stage development, and we cannot be certain that we will not face similar setbacks. These setbacks have been caused by, among other things, pre-clinical findings made while clinical trials were underway. However, we have completed the key toxicology studies that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, will require for our first approval, and which we believe the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, will require for approval, which include, among others, chronic toxicity studies, reproductive and developmental toxicity studies, and juvenile toxicology studies. Based on the totality of animal testing results to date, including the lack of any observed genotoxicity or tissue proliferative activity of setmelanotide in chronic toxicity studies, the FDA has agreed to permit us to defer carcinogenicity studies until after approval of a new drug application, or NDA, for setmelanotide. Accordingly, we believe that we will be able to defer all carcinogenicity studies until after we receive regulatory approval to market setmelanotide in the U.S. While we believe this also to be true for the EMA, the EMA has not yet provided firm guidance on the need for carcinogenicity studies and accordingly, there can be no guarantee that we will be able to achieve this deferral which could impact the timing of any potential EU approval.

In addition to the foregoing issue, the FDA has requested that in our chronic rat and monkey studies we re-assess certain cells in brain, renal and liver tissues for the presence of vacuoles, which are common membrane‑bound compartments. The recommendation was based on the FDA’s review of a summary of a monkey study that noted the presence of macrophage aggregates, which are groupings of specific white blood cells, in the choroid plexus, a network of blood vessels and epithelial tissue in the membrane lining outside the brain and spinal cord. The FDA noted that the

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existence of macrophage aggregates appears to be related to the polyethylene glycol, or PEG, vehicle in the product, rather than setmelanotide itself. A similar question was raised by the competent authorities in France, in connection with the use of PEG in products for younger pediatric indications in discussion of our Pediatric Investigational Plan, or PIP. Based on this, we performed this re-assessment, which confirmed that no additional findings were present in any monkey tissues, but which did find a very small number of rats with vacuolated epithelial cells, or brain surface lining cells, in the choroid plexus of minimal severity that also appeared to be related to the PEG vehicle. We do not believe these findings raise any important safety concerns, in part because of the minimal severity, the localization of these aggregates, the lack of any adverse histopathological changes, and the lack of findings in other tissues. However, neither the FDA nor European regulatory agencies, has indicated that they agree with our position. It is possible the FDA may require us to reflect these findings in the toxicological portion of the product labeling, and this may delay study in the youngest pediatric patients in some European countries, such as France.

Additionally, setbacks may be caused by new safety or efficacy observations made in clinical trials, including previously unreported adverse events. 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 trials nonetheless failed to obtain FDA approval or European Commission authorization. If we fail to obtain positive results in our Phase 3 clinical trials of setmelanotide, the development timeline and regulatory approval and commercialization prospects for setmelanotide and, correspondingly, our business and financial prospects would be materially adversely affected.

The number of patients suffering from each of the MC4 pathway deficiencies we are targeting is small and has not been established with precision. If the actual number of patients is smaller than we estimate, our revenue and ability to achieve profitability may be materially adversely affected.

Due to the rarity of our target indications, there is no comprehensive patient registry or other method of establishing with precision the actual number of patients with MC4 pathway deficiencies. As a result, we have had to rely on other available sources to derive prevalence estimates for our target indications. Since the published epidemiology studies for these genetic deficiencies are based on relatively small population samples, and are not amenable to robust statistical analyses, it is possible that these projections may significantly exceed the addressable population, particularly given the need to genotype patients to definitively confirm a diagnosis.

We have estimated the potential addressable patient populations with these MC4 pathway deficiencies based on the following sources and assumptions:

·

POMC Deficiency Obesity. There are approximately 50 patients with POMC deficiency obesity noted in a series of published case reports, each mostly reporting a single or small number of patients. However, we believe our addressable patient population for this deficiency may be approximately 100 to 500 patients in the United States, and a comparable addressable patient population in Europe, as most of the reported cases are from a small number of academic research centers, and because genetic testing for POMC deficiency is often unavailable and currently is rarely performed. Based on discussions with experts in rare diseases, we also believe the number of diagnosed cases could increase several‑fold with increased awareness of this deficiency and the availability of new treatments.

·

LepR Deficiency Obesity and POMC Heterozygous Deficiency Obesity. Our addressable patient population estimate for LepR deficiency obesity is approximately 500 to 2,000 patients in the United States, and for POMC heterozygous deficiency obesity is approximately 4,000 patients in the United States, with a comparable addressable patient population for both indications in Europe. Our estimates are based on:

·

epidemiology studies on LepR deficiency and POMC heterozygous deficiency in small cohorts of patients comprised of children with severe obesity and adults with severe obesity who have a history of early onset obesity;

·

U.S. Census Bureau figures for adults and children, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, prevalence numbers for severe adult obese patients (body mass index, or BMI, greater than

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40 kg/ m2) and for severe early onset obese children (99th percentile at ages two to 17 years old); and

·

with wider availability of genetic testing expected for LepR deficiency and POMC heterozygous deficiency and increased awareness of new treatments, our belief that up to 40% of patients with these disorders may eventually be diagnosed.

Using these sources and assumptions, we calculated our estimates for addressable populations by multiplying (x) our estimate of the number of patients comprised of children with severe obesity and our estimate of a projected number of adults with severe obesity who have a history of early onset obesity, (y) the estimated prevalence from epidemiology studies of approximately 1% for LepR deficiency and 2% for POMC heterozygous, and (z) our estimated diagnosis rate of up to 40%.

·

Bardet‑Biedl Syndrome. Our addressable patient population estimate for Bardet‑Biedl syndrome is approximately 1,500 to 2,500 patients in the United States based on:

·

Published prevalence estimates of one in 100,000 in North America, which projects to approximately 3,250 people in the United States. We believe the majority of these patients are addressable patients; and

·

We believe that with wider availability of genetic testing expected for Bardet‑Biedl syndrome and increased awareness of new treatments, the number of patients diagnosed with this disorder will increase.

·

Alström Syndrome. Our addressable patient population estimate for Alström syndrome is approximately 500 to 1,000 patients worldwide. This estimate is based on:

·

Published prevalence estimates of one in 1,000,000 in North America, which projects to approximately 325 people in the United States. We believe the majority of these patients are addressable patients; and

·

We believe that with wider availability of genetic testing expected for Alström syndrome and increased awareness of new treatments, the number of patients diagnosed with this disorder will increase.

·

POMC Epigenetic Disorders. There is currently no epidemiology data that defines the prevalence of POMC epigenetic disorders.

We believe that the patient populations in the European Union are at least as large as those in the United States. However, we do not have comparable epidemiological data from the European Union and these estimates are therefore based solely on applying relative population percentages to the Company‑derived estimates described above.

We are conducting additional clinical epidemiology studies to strengthen these prevalence projections. In parallel, we have developed a patient registry for diagnosed patients with POMC deficiency and LepR deficiency (and other genetic disorders of obesity) which will further inform prevalence projections for these rare genetic orders.

Another method to estimate the size of these ultra‑rare populations by genetic epidemiology is using newly available large genomic databases, containing full genome sequencing or exome sequencing. Ultra‑rare orphan diseases are generally categorized as those that affect fewer than 20 patients per million. We have begun some substantial efforts with a series of such databases and/or collaborators. Much of our preliminary work has been with a database of approximately 140,000 genomes, which is representative of the U.S. population. These efforts generally are based on the prevalence of heterozygous mutations, as true null mutations are ultra‑rare, and then standard scientific methods such as the Hardy‑Weinberg equilibrium calculations, are applied to estimate the prevalence in the U.S. population. These methods

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make assumptions that may not be sufficiently robust for ultra‑rare genetic disorders, and have the inherent variability of estimates for rare events. In addition, the databases currently available only provide limited clinical data, such as, age, weight and BMI, that would be needed to associate genetic defects with severe obesity. Our continued investigations support that the genetic epidemiological estimates are larger than the clinical epidemiological estimates, but we will likely need to reconcile the scientific definition of mutations with the regulatory definition.  However, until these data are confirmed, we must continue to base our patient population estimates on clinical epidemiological information.

In addition, if any approval that we obtain is based on a narrower definition of these patient populations than we had anticipated, then the potential market for setmelanotide for these indications will be smaller than we originally believed. In either case, a smaller patient population in our target indications would have a materially adverse effect on our ability to achieve commercialization and generate revenues.

If the actual number of patients suffering from each of the MC4 pathway deficiencies we are targeting is smaller than we estimate or if any approval that we obtain is based on a narrower definition of these patient populations, including pediatric populations, our ability to recruit patients to our trials may be materially adversely affected.

If the actual number of patients with any of the MC4 pathway deficiencies we are targeting is lower than we believe, it may be difficult to recruit patients, and this may affect the timelines for the completion of clinical trials. If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could also be delayed or prevented.

The pediatric population is an important patient population for setmelanotide and our addressable patient population estimates include pediatric populations. However, it may be more challenging to conduct studies in this population, and to locate and enroll pediatric patients. Additionally, it may be challenging to ensure that pediatric or adolescent patients adhere to clinical trial protocols.

We currently are treating patients 12 years of age and older in our trials, but we aim to gain regulatory approval and labeling for patients six years of age and older. We have received permission from the FDA and other equivalent competent authorities in the EU member states to enroll these younger patients, aged six to 11, in our pivotal trials. However, there may be issues that preclude the ultimate approval and labeling including, but not limited to, potential disagreement on dose titration, or delivery methods for small doses, or the suitability of patient reported outcomes in younger patients, as well as avoiding over‑suppression of normal appetite in adolescents. In addition, the competent authorities in the EU member states may consider the polyethylene glycol vehicle in the product to carry additional risks in pediatric patients, and may look to new formulations, such as our once-weekly formulation, as being more suitable to younger pediatric patients. We also may not have one-year clinical data in six to 11 year old patients at the time of the POMC NDA filing, if we begin recruiting six to 11 year old patients into our pivotal trials, though we can provide one-year clinical data when it becomes available. We cannot predict if the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in the EU member states will approve setmelanotide in younger pediatric patients, nor provide an estimate for the timing for approval, if any, for the use of setmelanotide for such patients. Furthermore, if the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in the EU member states do not approve the use of setmelanotide in this population, the product candidate will not be labeled for promotion for these patients, even if they approve an NDA for setmelanotide for patients 12 and older.

While we have no knowledge of competitors developing product candidates intended to treat MC4 pathway deficiencies, other than Prader-Willi-Syndrome, competitors may emerge. If that were to occur and competitors initiated clinical trials for product candidates that treat the same indications as setmelanotide, patients who would otherwise be eligible for our clinical trials may instead enroll in the clinical trials of our competitors’ product candidates, and could impact our commercial success.

Patient enrollment is also affected by other factors including:

·

the severity of the disease under investigation;

·

the eligibility criteria for the clinical trial in question;

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·

the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study;

·

the success of efforts to facilitate timely enrollment in clinical trials;

·

the patient referral practices of physicians;

·

the ability to monitor patients adequately during and after treatment; and

·

the proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective patients.

Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials would result in significant delays, could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether and could delay or prevent our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for setmelanotide, which would cause the value of our company to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing.

Failures or delays in the commencement or completion of our planned clinical trials of setmelanotide could result in increased costs to us and could delay, prevent or limit our ability to generate revenue and continue our business.

We completed Phase 2 clinical trials for setmelanotide in 2016 for POMC deficiency obesity and are currently advancing an ongoing pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial for setmelanotide for POMC deficiency obesity. We completed Phase 2 clinical trials for setmelanotide for LepR deficiency obesity, and are currently advancing an ongoing pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial for setmelanotide in LepR deficiency obesity. These trials are overlapping in timing and duration and it is possible that a combined NDA may be discussed with the FDA and other regulatory agencies, which would have an impact on NDA timing and complexity.

We have demonstrated proof of concept in Bardet-Biedl syndrome and expect to meet with the FDA in early 2018 to plan a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in Bardet-Biedl syndrome that we anticipate we can initiate in 2018. We believe that the Bardet-Biedl syndrome Phase 3 pivotal trial may be somewhat different in design that those for POMC and LepR deficiency obesity, respectively, most likely due to the larger available patient population for inclusion in a clinical study.

We have also initiated Phase 2 clinical trials for Alström syndrome, POMC heterozygous deficiency obesity, and POMC epigenetic disorders. Successful completion of such Phase 3 clinical trials is a prerequisite to submitting an NDA to the FDA, a marketing authorization application to the EMA, and other applications for marketing authorization to equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions, and consequently, the ultimate approval and commercial marketing of setmelanotide. While we believe that a transition from proof of concept to pivotal trials may be more straight-forward for Alström syndrome, it is likely that Phase 2 clinical trials will be longer and more complex for POMC heterozygous deficiency obesity and POMC epigenetic disorders, due to the greater variety of clinical presentation in those conditions.

We do not know whether our planned additional Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials will begin or whether any of our clinical trials will be completed on schedule, if at all, as the commencement and successful completion of clinical trials can be delayed or prevented for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

·

the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions may deny permission to proceed with our planned Phase 3 clinical trials or any other clinical trials we may initiate, or may place a clinical trial on hold;

·

delays in filing or receiving approvals or additional IND that may be required;

·

negative results from our ongoing and planned preclinical studies, or the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions requiring additional preclinical studies;

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·

delays in commencing additional necessary preclinical studies, including carcinogenicity and juvenile toxicology studies;

·

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

·

since many already diagnosed patients are at academic sites, delays in conducting clinical trials at academic sites due to the particular challenges and delays typically associated with those sites, as well as the lack of alternatives to these sites which have already-diagnosed patients;

·

inadequate quantity or quality of setmelanotide or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials, including delays in the manufacturing of sufficient supply of finished drug product;

·

difficulties in obtaining Institutional Review Board, or IRB, and/or ethics committee approval to conduct a clinical trial at a prospective site or sites;

·

challenges in recruiting and enrolling patients to participate in clinical trials, including the size and nature of the patient population, the proximity of patients to clinical trial sites, eligibility criteria for the clinical trial, the nature of the clinical trial protocol, the availability of approved effective treatments for the relevant disease and competition from other clinical trial programs for similar indications;

·

severe or unexpected drug‑related side effects experienced by patients in a clinical trial, including side effects previously identified in our completed clinical trials;

·

delays in identifying and recruiting patients with any of the genetic causes of obesity in indications that we are targeting;

·

disagreement by the FDA, other regulatory agencies or the equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions with our clinical trial designs, which may in turn cause delays in initiating our clinical trials, or may lead to rejection of our interpretation of data from clinical trials or to changes in the requirements for approval even after it has reviewed and commented on the design for our clinical trials;

·

the requirement to have a placebo controlled study even though the FDA and EMA did not impose one for POMC deficiency obesity, as we cannot be certain that this will be true for other indications or that the FDA or EMA, an advisory committee or the equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions will not change its guidance, as it has done so in the past for other open control trials;

·

uncertainty related to the length of placebo‑controlled intervals in clinical trials;

·

the need to perform non‑inferiority trials, which can be larger, longer and more costly, if treatment is approved for similar indications;

·

potential delays in the enrollment for our clinical trials of LepR deficiency obesity due to the fact that we have not yet had discussions with the FDA regarding clinical trials for LepR deficiency obesity and, accordingly, do not know if the FDA will disagree with our clinical trial design;

·

POMC heterozygous deficiency may have additional challenges, including that the FDA the EMA, or the equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions may require that we show that setmelanotide works better in these patients than in the genetically normal population; other challenges associated with these patients may include additional delays in initiating clinical trials for this indication due to uncertainty about the subset of these patients who will respond effectively to setmelanotide and the lack of discussion for this indication with the FDA;

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·

reports from preclinical or clinical testing of other weight loss therapies may raise safety or efficacy concerns; and

·

difficulties retaining patients who have enrolled in a clinical trial but may be prone to withdraw due to rigors of the clinical trial, lack of efficacy, side‑effects, personal issues or loss of interest.

Clinical trials may also be delayed or terminated as a result of ambiguous or negative interim results. In addition, a clinical trial may be suspended or terminated by us, the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions, the IRBs or ethics committees at the sites where the IRBs or the ethics committees are overseeing a clinical trial, a data and safety monitoring board, or DSMB, or Safety Monitoring Committee, or SMC, overseeing the clinical trial at issue or other equivalent competent authorities due to a number of factors, including, among others:

·

failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical trial protocols;

·

inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial sites by the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities that reveals deficiencies or violations that require us to undertake corrective action, including the imposition of a clinical hold;

·

unforeseen safety issues, adverse side effects or lack of effectiveness;

·

changes in government regulations or administrative actions;

·

problems with clinical trial supply materials; and

·

lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial.

Changes in regulatory requirements, FDA or EMA guidance or unanticipated events during our clinical trials of setmelanotide may occur, which may result in changes to clinical trial protocols, changes to instruments for measuring subjective systems or additional clinical trial requirements, which could result in increased costs to us and could delay our development timeline.

Changes in regulatory requirements, FDA guidance, guidance published by the EMA or the other competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions, or unanticipated events during our clinical trials may force us to amend clinical trial protocols or the FDA, or the other competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions may impose additional clinical trial requirements. For instance, the FDA issued draft guidance on developing products for weight management in February 2007. In March 2012, the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee met to discuss possible changes to how the FDA evaluates the cardiovascular safety of weight‑management drugs, and the FDA may require additional studies to support registration. In addition, the FDA is considering broader applicability of requirements for cardiovascular outcomes trials, or CVOTs, presenting the possibility of cardiovascular risk pre‑approval, including for obesity products. While our Phase 3 discussions with the FDA have not resulted in a requirement for any of these activities, any future requirement for these activities could result in additional clinical requirements for setmelanotide, increase our costs and delay approval of setmelanotide.

Amendments to our clinical trial protocols would require resubmission to the FDA and IRBs or other competent authorities and ethics committees in foreign jurisdictions for review and approval, which may adversely impact the cost, timing or successful completion of a clinical trial. If we experience delays completing, or if we terminate, any of our clinical trials, or if we are required to conduct additional clinical trials, the commercial prospects for setmelanotide may be harmed and our ability to generate product revenue will be delayed.

In addition, as part of commencing our Phase 3 clinical trial for setmelanotide in POMC deficiency obesity, we sought FDA concurrence with, and received substantial input on, the use of Patient Reported Outcome, or PRO, and Observer Reported Outcome, or ORO questionnaires for measuring subjective endpoints for changes in hunger and/or food‑seeking behavior and compulsions. We believe we can apply the same guidance to our future pivotal trials in other

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indications. A PRO is a measurement based on a report that comes from the patient about the status of a patient’s health condition, without amendment or interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else. An ORO is a measurement based on an observation by someone other than the patient or a health professional, such as a parent, spouse or other non‑clinical caregiver who is in a position to regularly observe and report on a specific aspect of the patient’s health. In our Phase 3 clinical trials for setmelanotide, based on the FDA feedback, we plan to measure the ability of setmelanotide to mitigate hunger and/or hyperphagia, the overriding physiological drive to eat, through PRO and ORO questionnaires. The questionnaires are designed to elicit feedback from patients on how well setmelanotide decreases their hunger, and from their family members or caregivers on the effect of setmelanotide on the patients’ food seeking behavior.

To our knowledge, no sponsor of an approved drug has yet used PRO or ORO questionnaires to generate data on hyperphagia or hunger mitigating endpoints. Because we may be relying on clinical endpoints that have not previously been the subject of prior FDA approvals, there is a risk that the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions may not consider the endpoints to provide evidence of clinically meaningful results or that results may be difficult for the FDA to interpret, in particular for the pediatric age group. If we experience delays in our ongoing validation of our PRO or ORO questionnaires, or do not receive agreement with those proposed questionnaires based on the conceptual framework, content reliability, other measures of validity, or their ability to detect changes in hyperphagia or hunger, or we experience difficulties in the methods of statistical analysis for hunger and hyperphagia, we may experience delays in our trials or in product approval as well as be unable to reference data on hyperphagia or hunger in our product labeling. Finally, our Phase 3 clinical trials will be assessing hunger using multiple methods, some of which were previously used in Phase 2, but some of which were initiated in Phase 3 trials and for which little data is available. Hence it is possible that the effects on hunger seen in Phase 2 trials may differ with some of the new methodologies for assessing hunger being used in Phase 3 trials, or may not support language in the proposed product labeling.

Setmelanotide may cause undesirable side effects that could delay or prevent regulatory approval, limit the commercial profile of an approved labeling, or result in significant negative consequences following marketing approval, if any.

First generation MC4R agonists were predominantly small molecules that failed in clinical trials due to significant safety issues, particularly increases in blood pressure, and had limited efficacy. Undesirable side effects caused by setmelanotide could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive labeling or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions.

Setmelanotide is an MC4R agonist. Potential side effects of MC4R agonism, which have been noted either with setmelanotide or with other MC4R agonists in clinical trials and preclinical studies, may include:

·

adverse effects on cardiovascular parameters, such as increases in heart rate and blood pressure;

·

erections in males and similar effects in women, such as sexual arousal, clitoral swelling and hypersensitivity;

·

nausea and vomiting;

·

reduced appetite;

·

effects on mood, depression, anxiety and other psychiatric manifestations; and

·

other effects, specifically back pain, headaches, fatigue, diarrhea and joint pain, that have been seen numerically more frequently in setmelanotide‑treated patients as compared with placebo patients.

Injection site reactions have been seen in subcutaneous, or SC injections with setmelanotide. In addition, setmelanotide has likely off‑target effects on the closely‑related MC1 receptor, which mediates tanning in response to sun exposure. Other MC1 mediated effects include darkening of skin blemishes, such as freckles and moles, and hair color change in one subject. These effects have generally been reversible in clinical trials, but it is still unknown if they will be reversible with long‑term exposure. The MC1 mediated effects may also carry risks. The long‑term impact of MC1

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activation has not been tested in clinical trials, and could potentially include increases in skin cancer, excess biopsy procedures and cosmetic blemishes. These skin changes may also result in unblinding, which could make interpretation of clinical trial results more complex and possibly subject to bias.

The safety data we have disclosed to date represents our interpretation of the data at the time of disclosure and they are subject to our further review and analysis. The only serious adverse event possibly attributed to setmelanotide in our clinical trials was one report of atypical chest pain seen in our Phase 2 clinical trial with once daily SC injection, although there was no evidence of any serious respiratory or cardiac cause on careful examination. Overall, there have been six other serious adverse events in the overall clinical development program in addition to the serious adverse event described above: three others during treatment on setmelanotide, left arm numbness, influenza immunization reaction and pancreatitis secondary to pre-existing gallstones.  There were also three serious adverse events during treatment with placebo, including biliary dyskinesia, severe groin strain and pelvic inflammatory disease. None of these serious adverse events was considered related to setmelanotide.

We are also initiating trials of setmelanotide in potential new indications that include patients who might have more serious underlying conditions, such as Alström syndrome and lipodystrophy. It is possible that the underlying conditions in these patients, such as congestive heart failure, pancreatitis, and potentially other conditions may confound the understanding of the safety profile of setmelanotide.

In addition, our interpretation of the safety data from our clinical trials is contingent upon the review and ultimate approval of the FDA, other regulatory authorities or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions. The FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions may not agree with our methods of analysis or our interpretation of the results. In addition, the long‑term effects of setmelanotide have only been tested in a limited number of patients.

Further, if setmelanotide receives marketing approval and we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by the product, or any other similar product, before or after the approval, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

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regulatory authorities may request that we withdraw the product from the market or may limit their approval of the product through labeling or other means;

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regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a “boxed” warning or a contraindication;

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the FDA and other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions may require the addition of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, or other specific obligations as a condition for marketing authorization due to the need to limit treatment to rare patient populations, or to safety concerns;

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we may be required to change the way the product is distributed or administered, conduct additional clinical trials or change the labeling of the product;

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we may decide to remove the product from the marketplace;

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we could be sued and held liable for injury caused to individuals exposed to or taking the product; and

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our reputation may suffer.

Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of setmelanotide and could substantially increase the costs of commercializing setmelanotide and significantly impact our ability to successfully commercialize setmelanotide and generate revenues.

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Although we have been granted orphan drug designation for setmelanotide in treating POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity, we may be unable to obtain orphan drug designation for other uses or to obtain exclusivity in any use. Even with exclusivity, competitors may obtain approval for different drugs that treat the same indications as setmelanotide.

The FDA may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, or the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a product candidate as an orphan drug if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is defined under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, as having a patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States where there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug will be recovered from sales in the United States.

Generally, if a product candidate with an orphan drug designation receives the first marketing approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to a period of seven years of marketing exclusivity, which precludes the FDA from approving another marketing application for a product that constitutes the same drug treating the same indication for that marketing exclusivity period, except in limited circumstances.

The exclusivity period in the United States can be extended by six months if the NDA sponsor submits pediatric data that fairly respond to a written request from the FDA for such data. Even under these circumstances, we may not be granted pediatric approval from the FDA for these indications. Orphan drug exclusivity may be revoked if the FDA determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantity of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. Other potential benefits of orphan drug designation and/or approval of a designated drug include eligibility for: exemption from certain prescription drug user fees, tax credits for certain qualified clinical testing expenses, and waivers from the pediatric assessment requirements of the Pediatric Research Equity Act, or PREA.

Although we have been granted orphan drug designation for setmelanotide in treating POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity, if we request orphan drug designation for setmelanotide for other uses, there can be no assurance that the FDA will grant such designation. For example, if the population of patients who would be appropriate candidates for a drug is 200,000 or more individuals, the drug may not qualify for orphan drug designation, even if the population for which the sponsor seeks approval is lower than 200,000. Additionally, the designation of setmelanotide as an orphan drug does not guarantee that the FDA will accelerate regulatory review of, or ultimately approve, setmelanotide.

Even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for setmelanotide, that exclusivity may not effectively protect setmelanotide from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition. In the United States, even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA may subsequently approve another drug for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the latter drug is not the same drug or is clinically superior in that it is shown to be safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care.

On August 3, 2017, Congress passed the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, or the FDARA. FDARA, among other things, codified the FDA’s pre‑existing regulatory interpretation, to require that a drug sponsor demonstrate the clinical superiority of an orphan drug that is otherwise the same as a previously approved drug for the same rare disease in order to receive orphan drug exclusivity. The new legislation reverses prior precedent holding that the Orphan Drug Act unambiguously requires that the FDA recognize the orphan exclusivity period regardless of a showing of clinical superiority. The FDA may further reevaluate the Orphan Drug Act and its regulations and policies. We do not know if, when, or how the FDA may change the orphan drug regulations and policies in the future, and it is uncertain how any changes might affect our business. Depending on what changes the FDA may make to its orphan drug regulations and policies, our business could be adversely impacted.

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Although we have obtained Breakthrough Therapy designation for setmelanotide for the treatment of obesity associated with genetic defects upstream of the MC4 receptor in the leptin‑melanocortin pathway, which includes both POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity, the FDA may rescind the breakthrough designation and we may be unable to obtain Breakthrough Therapy designation for other uses. In addition, Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA may not lead to a faster development, regulatory review or approval process, and it does not increase the likelihood that setmelanotide will receive marketing approval in the United States.

Under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, or FDASIA, the FDA is authorized to give certain products “Breakthrough Therapy designation.” Breakthrough Therapy product candidate is defined as a product candidate that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs, to treat a serious or life‑threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that such product candidate may demonstrate substantial improvement on one or more clinically significant endpoints over existing therapies. The FDA will seek to ensure the sponsor of Breakthrough Therapy product candidate receives intensive guidance on an efficient drug development program, intensive involvement of senior managers and experienced staff on a proactive, collaborative and cross‑disciplinary review and a rolling review process whereby the FDA may consider reviewing portions of an NDA before the sponsor submits the complete application. Product candidates designated as breakthrough therapies by the FDA may be eligible for other expedited programs, such as priority review, if supported by clinical data.

Designation as Breakthrough Therapy is within the discretion of the FDA. Accordingly, even if we believe setmelanotide meets the criteria for designation as Breakthrough Therapy for other uses, the FDA may disagree. In any event, the receipt of Breakthrough Therapy designation for a product candidate, or acceptance for one or more of the FDA’s other expedited programs, may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to products considered for approval under conventional FDA procedures and does not guarantee ultimate approval by the FDA. Additionally, the FDA may later decide that the product candidate no longer meets the conditions for designation and may withdraw designation at any time or decide that the time period for FDA review or approval will not be shortened.

We may not be able to translate the current formulations of setmelanotide for methods of delivery that would be acceptable to the FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions or commercially successful.

Setmelanotide is currently administered by SC injection using small insulin‑type needles. SC injection is generally less well‑received by patients than other methods of administration, such as oral administration. Considerable additional resources and efforts, including potential studies, may be necessary in order to translate the current formulations of setmelanotide into forms that will be well‑received by patients.

We have entered into a license agreement with Camurus AB, or Camurus, for the use of Camurus’ drug delivery technology, FluidCrystal, to formulate setmelanotide. This formulation, if successfully developed for setmelanotide, will be delivered subcutaneously, similar to our current formulation, except that we anticipate it will be injected once weekly. The initial Phase 1 pharmacokinetic data from healthy obese volunteers supports once-weekly dosing, but has only been administered for short durations. It is possible that the tolerability profile and/or pharmacokinetics in patients will not be similar to that of healthy obese volunteers, making development of this product more complex. In addition, we have not consulted with regulatory agencies about the path for approval of the once-weekly formulation, and, accordingly, we cannot estimate the time, cost, and probability of success for approval. The Camurus formulations have also not been approved for any product at this time, which further complicates our understanding for the path to approval.

While we plan to utilize the current formulation, or to develop new and useful formulations and delivery technology for setmelanotide, we cannot estimate the probability of success, nor the resources and time needed to succeed. If we are unable to utilize this formulation, or to develop new formulations, setmelanotide may not achieve significant market acceptance and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially harmed.

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Our approach to treating patients with MC4 pathway deficiencies requires the identification of patients with unique genetic subtypes, for example, POMC genetic deficiency. The FDA or other equivalent competent authorities in foreign jurisdictions could require the approval or CE mark of an in vitro companion diagnostic device to ensure appropriate selection of patients as a condition of approving setmelanotide. The development and approval or CE mark of an in vitro companion diagnostic device would require substan