Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2023
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation


The financial statements and accompanying notes have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”).


The accompanying unaudited financial statements of the Company as of September 30, 2023, have been prepared in accordance with the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X and, accordingly, they do not include all information and footnote disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”). The Company believes the footnotes and other disclosures made in the financial statements are adequate for a fair presentation of the results of the interim periods presented. The financial statements include all adjustments (solely of a normal recurring nature) which are, in the opinion of management, necessary to make the information presented not misleading. You should read these financial statements and the accompanying notes in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 31, 2023.


Preferred Stock


The Company classifies its Series A-1 Preferred Stock (as defined in Note 10) outside of stockholders’ deficit on the accompanying balance sheets as it is contingently redeemable upon the occurrence of an event that is not solely within the Company’s control. The Company recorded the issuance of Series A-1 Preferred Stock at the residual value from proceeds after the allocation of the fair value of warrants, net of related and allocable issuance costs. As the Series A-1 Preferred Stock is not currently redeemable, and as the Company has determined that it is not probable of becoming redeemable, no subsequent remeasurement is required. Since the Company is obligated to pay cumulative dividends on the Series A-1 preferred stock whether or not declared by the Board of Directors, the Company accrues the paid in-kind dividends as they are earned, based on the stated contractual rate. See Note 10 for information about the Series A-1 Preferred Stock conversion in July 2023.


Warrant Liabilities


In conjunction with the issuance of Series A-1 Preferred Stock (see Note 10), the Company established a warrant liability as of March 3, 2023, representing the fair value of warrants that may be issued, subject to shareholder approval, upon conversion of the Series A-1 Preferred Stock. The Company accounts for these warrants as liabilities (in accordance with ASC 480) on the balance sheets as a result of certain redemption clauses that are not within the control of the Company. The warrant liabilities are initially measured at fair value, resulting in an implied discount on the related preferred stock financing arrangement (recognized as a partial offset to the carrying value of the Series A-1 Preferred Stock), and are remeasured at fair value each reporting period. Changes in the fair value of the warrant liabilities are recognized in earnings during each period. The warrant liabilities are measured using Level 3 fair value inputs. See Note 11 for a description of warrant liabilities and the related valuations.  


Use of Estimates


The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make certain 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 and the reported amounts of expenses during the periods presented. Management believes that these estimates and assumptions are reasonable; however, actual results may differ and could have a material effect on future results of operations and financial position. Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include revenues, stock-based compensation, research contract accruals and prepaid amounts, and the fair value of warrant liabilities. Actual results may materially differ from those estimates.


Segment Information


The Company operates and manages its business as one reportable operating segment. The Company’s Chief Executive Officer, who is the chief operating decision maker, reviews financial information on an aggregate basis for the purposes of allocating resources and evaluating financial performance.


Risks and Uncertainties


The Company operates in a dynamic and highly competitive industry and believes that changes in any of the following areas could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s future financial position, results of operations, or cash flows: ability to obtain future financing; advances and trends in new technologies and industry standards; results of clinical trials; regulatory approval and market acceptance of the Company’s products; development of sales channels; certain strategic relationships; litigation or claims against the Company related to intellectual property, product, regulatory, or other matters; and the Company’s ability to attract and retain employees necessary to support its growth.


The Company’s general business strategy may be adversely affected by any such economic downturns (including the current downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic), volatile business environments and continued unstable or unpredictable economic and market conditions.


Any product candidates developed by the Company will require approvals from the FDA or other international regulatory agencies prior to commercial sales. There can be no assurance that the Company’s current product candidates or any future product candidates will receive the necessary approvals. If the Company is denied approval, approval is delayed or the Company is unable to maintain approval, it could have a materially adverse impact on the Company.


The Company has expended and will continue to expend substantial funds to complete the research, development and clinical testing of its product candidates. The Company also will be required to expend additional funds to establish commercial-scale manufacturing arrangements and to provide for the marketing and distribution of products that receive regulatory approval. The Company will require additional funds to commercialize its products. The Company is unable to entirely fund these efforts with its current financial resources. If adequate funds are unavailable on a timely basis from operations or additional sources of financing, the Company may have to delay, reduce the scope of or eliminate one or more of its research or development programs, which would materially and adversely affect its business, financial condition and operations.


The Company is dependent upon the services of its employees, consultants and other third parties.


Property, Plant and Equipment


Property, plant, and equipment are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation. Additions, improvements, and major renewals or replacements that substantially extend the useful life of an asset are capitalized. Repair and maintenance expenditures are expensed as incurred. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets, which range from three to seven years. Leasehold improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the remaining lease term.


Management assesses the carrying value of property and equipment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. If there is an indication of impairment, management prepares an estimate of future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset and its eventual disposition. If these cash flows are less than the carrying amount of the asset, an impairment loss is recognized to write down the asset to its estimated fair value at that time. On September 30, 2023, management determined there were no impairments of the Company’s property and equipment.




The Company determines whether a contract is, or contains, a lease at inception. Right-of-use assets represent the Company’s right to use an underlying asset during the lease term, and lease liabilities represent the Company’s obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. Right-of-use assets and lease liabilities are recognized at lease commencement based upon the estimated present value of unpaid lease payments over the lease term. The Company uses its incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at lease commencement in determining the present value of unpaid lease payments.


Fair Value of Financial Instruments


The Company’s financial instruments include warrants, cash and cash equivalents, prepaid expenses, and accounts payable.


Fair value is defined as the price that would be received for sale of an asset or paid for transfer of a liability, in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. U.S. GAAP establishes a three-tier fair value hierarchy, which prioritizes the inputs used in measuring fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1 measurements) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3 measurements). The Company’s warrants, recorded in the accompanying balance sheets, are categorized based on the inputs to valuation techniques as follows:


  Level 1 — defined as observable inputs based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets;


  Level 2 — defined as inputs other than Level 1 that are either directly or indirectly observable in the marketplace for identical or similar instruments in markets that are not active; and


  Level 3 — defined as unobservable inputs in which little or no market data exists where valuations are derived from techniques in which one or more significant inputs are unobservable.


The fair value of the contingently issuable warrants associated with the Company’s March 2023 private placement transaction, further described in Note 11 – Warrant Liability, was determined as of March 3, 2023, and March 31, 2023, by using a Monte Carlo simulation technique (“MCS”) to value the embedded derivatives associated with the warrants. The MCS methodology calculates the theoretical value of a warrant based on certain parameters, including: (i) the threshold of exercising the warrant, (ii) the price of the underlying security, (iii) the time to expiration, or expected term, (iv) the expected volatility of the underlying security, (v) the risk-free rate, (vi) the number of paths, and (vii) estimated probability assumptions surrounding shareholder approval as well as the achievement by the Company of technical milestones associated with regulatory and commercial progress.


The MCS valuation model was used for the valuations performed as of the transaction inception at March 3, 2023 and at March 31, 2023 due to uncertainty in the timing of shareholder approval and the potential variability in the warrant exercise price. On June 26, 2023, the Company held its annual shareholder meeting, and as a result, shareholder approval for the issuance of common shares upon the conversion of the Series A-1 Preferred Stock was obtained and the exercise price for the warrants became fixed. Therefore, as of September 30, 2023, the fair value of the warrants was determined using a Black Scholes model using parameters including (i) the exercise price of the warrant, (ii) the price of the underlying security, (iii) the time to expiration, or expected term, (iv) the expected volatility of the underlying security, (v) the risk-free rate, and (vi) estimated probability assumptions surrounding the achievement by the Company of technical milestones associated with regulatory and commercial progress.


These valuation techniques involve management’s estimates and judgment based on unobservable inputs and are classified in Level 3. The fair value estimates may not be indicative of the amounts that would be realized in a market exchange. Additionally, there may be inherent uncertainties or changes in the underlying assumptions used, which could significantly affect the current or future fair value estimates. Generally, a significant increase (decrease) in the probabilities of shareholder approval and the achievement of technical milestones would have resulted in a significantly higher (lower) fair value measurement; however, changes in other inputs such as expected term and price of the underlying common stock will have a directionally opposite impact on fair value measurement.


The following table summarizes the fair value hierarchy of financial liabilities measured at fair value as of September 30, 2023 (in thousands).


Prices in
Markets for
    (Level 1)     (Level 2)     (Level 3)     Total  
Warrant liability   $
    $ 11,528     $ 11,528  
Total liabilities at fair value   $
    $ 11,528     $ 11,528  


The following table summarizes the changes in fair value of the derivative liability classified in Level 3. Gains and losses reported in this table include changes in fair value that are attributable to unobservable inputs.


    Nine Months Ended
September 30,
Fair value, January 1, 2023   $
Issuance of Warrants (March 3, 2023)     2,831  
Change in fair value of Warrants     8,697  
Fair value, September 30, 2023   $ 11,528  


The expense relating to the change in fair value of the derivative liability of $8,697,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, is included in other income (expense) in the statements of operations.


ASC 820, Fair Value Measurement and Disclosures requires all entities to disclose the fair value of financial instruments, both assets and liabilities, for which it is practicable to estimate fair value. As of December 31, 2022, and September 30, 2023, the recorded values of cash and cash equivalents, prepaid expenses, and accounts payable approximated fair value due to the short-term nature of the instruments.


Concentration of Credit Risk


Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentration of credit risk consist of cash and cash equivalents. All the Company’s cash was deposited in one account at a financial institution during 2022, and cash balances may at times exceed federally insured limits. Beginning in 2023, the Company’s cash and cash equivalents are distributed across multiple financial institutions. Cash and cash equivalents could be adversely impacted, including the loss of uninsured deposits and other uninsured financial assets, if one or more of the financial institutions in which the Company holds its cash or cash equivalents fails or is subject to other adverse conditions in the financial or credit markets.


Prepaid Expenses


Prepaid expenses represent costs incurred that benefit future periods. These costs are amortized over specific time periods based on the agreements.


Revenue Recognition


The Company has implemented ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. This guidance included the development of new policies based on the five-step model provided in the new revenue standard, ongoing contract review requirements, and gathering of information provided for disclosures. The Company recognizes revenue from product sales or services rendered when control of the promised goods is transferred to a counterparty in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods and services. To achieve this core principle, the Company applies the following five steps: identify the contract with the client, identify the performance obligations in the contract, determine the transaction price, allocate the transaction price to performance obligations in the contract and recognize revenues when or as the Company satisfies a performance obligation.


Research and Development Expenses


Substantially all the Company’s research and development expenses consist of expenses incurred in connection with the development of the Company’s product candidates. These expenses include fees paid to third parties to conduct certain research and development activities on the Company’s behalf, consulting costs, costs for laboratory supplies, product acquisition and license costs, certain payroll and personnel-related expenses, including salaries and bonuses, employee benefit costs and stock-based compensation expenses for the Company’s research and product development employees and allocated overheads, including information technology costs and utilities and expenses for issuance of shares pursuant to the anti-dilution clause in the purchase of IPR&D technology. The Company expenses both internal and external research and development expenses as they are incurred.


General and Administrative Expenses


General and administrative expenses represent personnel costs for employees involved in general corporate functions, including finance, accounting, legal and human resources, among others. Additional costs included in general and administrative expenses consist of professional fees for legal (including patent costs), audit and other consulting services, stock-based compensation and other general corporate overhead expenses as well as costs from a service agreement with a related party (See Note 7).


Patent Costs


The Company expenses all costs as incurred in connection with patent licenses and applications (including direct application fees, and the legal and consulting expenses related to making such applications) and such costs are reflected in general and administrative expenses in the statements of operations.


Stock-Based Compensation


The Company accounts for stock-based compensation for all share-based payments made to employees and non-employees by estimating the fair value on the date of grant and recognizing compensation expense over the requisite service period on a straight-line basis. The Company recognizes forfeitures related to stock-based compensation as they occur. The Company estimates the fair value of stock options using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The Black-Scholes model requires the input of subjective assumptions, including expected common stock volatility, expected dividend yield, expected term, risk-free interest rate, and the estimated fair value (prior to the Company’s initial public offering) or the public market closing price of the Company’s underlying common stock on the date of grant.


Income Taxes


The Company accounts for corporate income taxes in accordance with GAAP as stipulated in ASC, Topic 740, Income Taxes, (“ASC 740”). This standard entails the use of the asset and liability method of computing the provision for income tax expense. Current tax expense results from corporate tax payable at the Federal and California jurisdictions for the Company, which relates to the current accounting period. Deferred tax expense results primarily from temporary differences between financial statement and tax return reporting, which result in additional tax payable in future periods. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the differences between the financial statement basis and tax basis of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates and law. Net future tax benefits are subject to a valuation allowance when management expects that it is more-likely-than-not that some portion or all the deferred tax assets will not be realized.


Current and non-current tax assets and liabilities are based upon an estimate of taxes refundable or payable for each of the jurisdictions in which the Company is subject to tax. In the ordinary course of business there is inherent uncertainty in quantifying income tax positions. The Company assesses income tax positions and records the largest amount of tax benefit with a greater than 50% likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement with a taxing authority that has full knowledge of all relevant information. For those income tax positions where it is not more likely than not that a tax benefit will be sustained, no tax benefit is recognized in the financial statements. The Company’s policy is to recognize interest or penalties related to income tax matters in income tax expense.


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the option to immediately deduct research and development expenditures in the year incurred under Section 174, which became effective January 1, 2022. The Company is monitoring legislation for any further changes to Section 174 and the impact, if any, on the financial statements in 2023.


Comprehensive Loss


Comprehensive loss includes all changes in equity (net assets) during a period from non-owner sources. There were no elements of other comprehensive income (loss) in the periods presented, as a result comprehensive loss is the same as net loss for each period presented.


Net Loss per Share


Basic and diluted net loss per share is presented in conformity with the two-class method required for participating securities. Basic and diluted net loss for common stock and for preferred stock is computed by dividing the sum of distributed earnings and undistributed earnings for each class of stock by the weighted average number of shares outstanding for each class of stock for the period. Diluted net loss per share includes potentially dilutive securities outstanding for the period. As the Company has reported a net loss for all periods presented, a diluted net loss per common share is the same as basic net loss per common share for those periods.


Recent Accounting Pronouncements


From time to time, new accounting pronouncements are issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) or other standard setting bodies and adopted by the Company as of the specified effective date. Unless otherwise discussed, the impact of recently issued standards that are not yet effective are not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s financial position or results of operations upon adoption.


In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-06, Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity, which simplifies the accounting for convertible instruments. ASU 2020-06 eliminates certain models that require separate accounting for embedded conversion features. Additionally, among other changes, the guidance eliminates certain of the conditions for equity classification for contracts in an entity’s own equity. The guidance also requires entities to use the if-converted method for all convertible instruments in the diluted earnings per share calculation and include the effect of share settlement for instruments that may be settled in cash or shares, except for certain liability-classified share-based payment awards. This guidance is effective for the Company beginning in the first quarter of 2022 and must be applied using either a modified or full retrospective approach. Early adoption is permitted, but no earlier than annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020. The Company adopted the standard on January 1, 2022, using a modified retrospective approach, and the adoption did not result in any adjustments to the Company’s financial statements.