Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Nature of Business and Basis of Presentation (Policies)

Nature of Business and Basis of Presentation (Policies)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2018
Basis Of Presentation Policies  
Nature of Business - About Us

MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with a fully human antibody discovery platform focused on the rapid translation into clinical development of products to address unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer and pancreatitis. We discovered a pipeline of human monoclonal antibody product candidates based on the protective immune responses generated by patients who have been vaccinated against targeted cancers. Our therapeutic vaccine product candidates under development were discovered at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (“MSK”) and are exclusively licensed to us as well as exclusive rights to blood samples from patients who were vaccinated with the same licensed vaccines. We operate in only one business segment.


Our lead development product, MVT-5873, is a fully human IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) that targets sialyl Lewis A (sLea), an epitope on CA19-9.  MVT-5873 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials as a therapeutic agent for patients with pancreatic cancer and other CA19-9 positive tumors. CA19-9 is expressed in over 90% of pancreatic cancers and in other diseases including pancreatitis. CA19-9 plays an important role in tumor adhesion and metastasis and is a marker of an aggressive cancer phenotype. CA19-9 also has an important role in the biological pathways that can result in pancreatitis. CA19-9 serum levels are considered a valuable adjunct in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment monitoring of pancreatic cancer and now pancreatitis. With our collaborators including MSK, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Honor Health and Imaging Endpoints, we have treated more than 56 patients with either our therapeutic antibody designated as MVT-5873 or our PET imaging diagnostic product designated as MVT-2163 in Phase 1 clinical studies, and demonstrated early safety, specificity for the target and a potential efficacy signal. The Company also has a radioimmunotherapy product, designated as MVT-1075, that is also in Phase 1 clinical development.  For additional information, please visit the Company's website, www.mabvax.com. Information on the Company’s website is not incorporated herein.


Studies conducted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories have demonstrated that antibodies capable of binding to CA19-9 and blocking the downstream biological pathways of pancreatitis have a positive effect on ameliorating the disease. Combining the preclinical science supporting the use of the CA19-9 blocking antibodies in the treatment of pancreatitis with the clinically validated data and supplies of MVT-5873 already available gives MabVax the opportunity, assuming adequate funding, to move quickly into the clinic in a mid-stage proof of concept clinical trial in the near-term.


The Company completed a preclinical asset sale and license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (“Boehringer Ingelheim”) in July 2018, and a license agreement for a cancer vaccine to Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Inc. in June 2018.  The Company received nearly $5 million in upfront payments from these two transactions to begin the third quarter, with an additional $7.6 million in downstream milestones the Company may receive based either on reaching an anniversary date of entering the agreement, provided the agreement is not canceled before a milestone has been earned or due, or upon reaching a milestone. 


We have incurred net losses since inception and expect to incur substantial losses for the foreseeable future as we continue our research, development and clinical activities. To date, we have funded operations primarily through revenues earned from asset sale and license agreements, proceeds from the sale of common and preferred stock, government grants, the issuance of debt, the issuance of common stock in lieu of cash for services, payments from collaborators, and interest income. The process of developing products will require significant additional research and development, preclinical testing and clinical trials, as well as regulatory approvals. We expect these activities, together with general and administrative expenses, to result in substantial operating losses for the foreseeable future. We will not receive substantial revenue unless we or our collaborative partners complete clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals and successfully commercialize one or more product candidates; or we license our technology after achieving one or more milestones of interest to a potential partner.


Reverse Stock Splits

On August 16, 2016, we filed a certificate of amendment to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware to effectuate a reverse stock split of our issued and outstanding common stock on a 1-for-7.4 basis, effective on August 16, 2016 (the “2016 Reverse Stock Split”). On February 14, 2018, we filed a certificate of amendment to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware to effectuate another reverse stock split of our issued and outstanding common stock on a 1-for-3 basis, effective on February 16, 2018 (the “2018 Reverse Stock Split”; collectively with the 2016 Reverse Stock Split, the “Reverse Stock Splits”). All share and per share amounts, and number of shares of common stock into which each share of preferred stock will convert, in the financial statements and notes thereto have been retroactively adjusted for all periods presented to give effect to the Reverse Stock Splits, including rounding for fractional shares and reclassifying any amount equal to the reduction in par value of common stock to additional paid-in capital.

Delaware Order Granting Petition for Relief

On September 20, 2018, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (the “Court”) entered an order validating (i) issuances of common stock upon conversions of the Company’s preferred stock occurring between June 30, 2014 and February 12, 2018, and (ii) stockholder approval of corporate actions presented to the Company’s stockholders from June 30, 2014 to February 12, 2018. In so doing, the Court granted the Company’s Verified Petition for Relief Under 8 Del. C. § 205 (the “Delaware Petition”) captioned In re: MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc., filed on July 27, 2018, in order to rectify the uncertainty regarding whether shares of our common stock were validly issued upon conversion of our preferred stock from June 30, 2014 to February 12, 2018. The Delaware Petition and the Court’s order granting the Delaware Petition are discussed further in the Section below titled, “Court Validation of Previously Issued Shares of Common Stock upon Conversion of Preferred Stock.”

Basis of Presentation

The balance sheet data at December 31, 2017, was derived from audited financial statements at that date. It does not include, however, all the information and notes required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) for complete financial statements.


The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements were prepared using GAAP for interim financial information and the instructions to Regulation S-X. While these statements reflect all normal recurring adjustments, which are, in the opinion of management, necessary for a fair presentation of the results of the interim period, they do not include all information or notes required by GAAP for annual financial statements and should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements of MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2017, included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 2, 2018 and amended on Form 10-K/A as filed with the SEC on October 15, 2018. These quarterly results are not necessarily indicative of future results.


The preparation of condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. Management believes that these estimates are reasonable; however, actual results may differ from these estimates.


Use of Estimates

The preparation of condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. Management believes that these estimates are reasonable; however, actual results may differ from these estimates.

Fair Value Measurements

The Company had no assets or liabilities that were measured using quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities or significant unobservable inputs (Level 2 and Level 3 assets and liabilities, respectively) as of September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017. The carrying value of cash held in money market funds of $864,110 and $1,196 as of September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively, is included in cash and cash equivalents and approximates market values based on quoted market prices (Level 1 inputs).


Concentration of Credit Risk

Credit risk represents the risk that the Company would incur a loss if counterparties failed to perform pursuant to the terms of their agreements. Financial instruments that potentially expose the Company to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents consist of money market funds with major financial institutions in the United States. These funds may be redeemed upon demand and, therefore, bear minimal risk. The Company does not anticipate any losses on such balances.


Consideration of Impairment and Goodwill

The Company maintains a goodwill balance of $6,826,003 on its balance sheet as of September 30, 3018 and December 31, 2017, and tests for impairment at least annually and whenever there has been a material change in the Company by applying GAAP principles related to ASC 350 Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (ASC 350). Based on a qualitative analysis of the Company’s products in the pipeline as of September 30, 2018, the $4.0 million in revenue earned during the quarter, and a potential new indication for the Company’s lead antibody program, MVT-5873, for the treatment of pancreatitis, the Company concluded there was no goodwill impairment as of September 30, 2018. The goodwill was established in connection with the merger of MabVax Therapeutics, Inc. a Delaware corporation, with a subsidiary of the Company on July 8, 2014, pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated May 12, 2014, by and among the Company, a subsidiary of the Company and MabVax Therapeutics, Inc. as amended June 30, 2014 and July 7, 2014 (the “Merger”), whereby MabVax Therapeutics, Inc. is the surviving company in the Merger, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company.


Revenue Recognition

Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), using the full retrospective transition method. Under this method, the Company would have been required to revise its financial statements, if applicable, for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, and applicable interim periods within those years, as if Topic 606 had been effective for those periods. However, Topic 606 did not have any impact on the Company’s revenue recognition upon adoption. This standard applies to all contracts with customers, except for contracts that are within the scope of other standards, such as leases, insurance, collaboration arrangements and financial instruments. Under Topic 606, an entity recognizes revenue when its customer obtains control of promised goods or services in an amount that reflects the consideration which the entity expects to receive in exchange for those goods and services. To determine revenue recognition for arrangements that an entity determines are within the scope of Topic 606, the entity performs the following five steps: (i) identify the contract(s) with the customer(s); (ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. The Company only applies the five-step model to contracts when it is probable that the entity will collect the consideration it is entitled to in exchange for the goods and services it transfers to the customer. At contract inception, the Company assesses the goods or services promised within each contract that falls under the scope of Topic 606, determines those that are performance obligations and assesses whether each promised good or service is distinct. The Company then recognizes as revenue the amount of the transaction price that is allocated to the respective performance obligation when (or as) the performance obligation is satisfied.


License and Other Revenues


The Company enters into licensing agreements which are within the scope of Topic 606, under which it licenses certain of its product candidates’ rights to third parties. The terms of these arrangements typically include payment of one or more of the following: non-refundable, up-front license fees; development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments; and royalties on Gross Profit of the licensed product, which will be classified as royalty revenues, if and when earned.


In determining the appropriate amount of revenue to be recognized as it fulfills its obligation under each of its agreements, the Company performs the five steps described above. As part of the accounting for these arrangements, the Company must develop assumptions that require judgment to determine the stand-alone selling price, which may include forecasted revenues, development timelines, reimbursement of personnel costs, discount rates and probabilities of technical and regulatory success.


Licensing of Intellectual Property If the license to the Company’s intellectual property is determined to be distinct from the other performance obligations identified in the arrangement, the Company recognizes revenue from non-refundable, up-front fees allocated to the license when the license is transferred to the licensee and the licensee is able to use and benefit from the license. For licenses that are bundled with other performance obligations, the Company utilizes judgment to assess the nature of the combined performance obligation to determine whether the combined performance obligation is satisfied over time or at a point in time and, if over time, the appropriate method of measuring progress for purposes of recognizing revenue from non-refundable, up-front fees. The Company evaluates the measure of progress each reporting period, and, if necessary, adjusts the measure of performance and related revenue recognition.


Milestone Payments At the inception of each arrangement that includes development milestone payments, the Company evaluates whether the milestones are considered probable of being reached and estimates the amount to be included in the transaction price using the most likely amount method. If it is probable that a significant revenue reversal will not occur, the associated milestone value is included in the transaction price. Milestone payments that are not within the control of the Company or the licensee, such as regulatory approvals, are not considered probable of being achieved until those approvals are received. The transaction price is then allocated to each performance obligation on a relative stand-alone selling price basis, for which the Company recognizes revenue as or when the performance obligations under the contract are satisfied. At the end of each subsequent reporting period, the Company re-evaluates the probability of achievement of such development milestones and any related constraint and, if necessary, adjusts its estimate of the overall transaction price. Any such adjustments are recorded on a cumulative catch-up basis, which would affect license, collaboration and other revenues and earnings in their period of adjustment. To date, the Company has not recognized any milestone payments, because the milestones are not within the control of the Company and the technology is at an early stage of development, or the licensee has the ability to terminate the agreement before the milestone payment is due.


Royalties – For arrangements that include sales-based royalties, including milestone payments based on the level of sales, and for which the license is deemed to be the predominant item to which royalties relate, the Company recognizes revenue at the later of (i) when the related sales occur or (ii) when the performance obligation to which some or all of the royalty has been allocated has been satisfied (or partially satisfied). To date, the Company has not recognized any royalty revenue from its license agreements.

Accrued Liabilities

The Company is required to estimate accrued liabilities as part of the process of preparing its financial statements. The estimation of accrued liabilities involves identifying services that have been performed on the Company’s behalf, and then estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for such services as of each balance sheet date. Accrued liabilities include professional service fees, such as for lawyers and accountants, contract service fees, such as those under contracts with clinical monitors, data management organizations and investigators in conjunction with clinical trials, and fees to contract manufacturers in conjunction with the production of clinical materials. Pursuant to the Company’s assessment of the services that have been performed, the Company recognizes these expenses as the services are provided. Such assessments include: (i) an evaluation by the project manager of the work that has been completed during the period; (ii) measurement of progress prepared internally and/or provided by the third-party service provider; (iii) analyses of data that justify the progress; and (iv) the Company’s judgment.

Research and Development Costs

Except for payments made in advance of services, research and development costs are expensed as incurred. For payments made in advance, the Company recognizes research and development expense as the services are rendered. Research and development costs primarily consist of salaries and related expenses for personnel, laboratory supplies and raw materials, and sponsored research, Other research and development expenses include fees paid to consultants and outside service providers including clinical research organizations and clinical manufacturing organizations.


Recently Issued Accounting Standards

Adopted Accounting Standards


In May 2014, the FASB issued Topic 606 which amends the guidance for accounting for revenue from contracts with customers. This ASU supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in ASC Topic 605, Revenue Recognition, and creates a new Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The Company did not have any revenue generating contracts in 2017, therefore, the adoption of this standard had no effect on the financial statement line items that could have been affected by the transition. For further discussion on the adoption of this standard, see “Revenue Recognition” above and Note 10, “Contracts and Agreements.”


In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-01, Business Combinations (Topic 805), Clarifying the Definition of a Business. The guidance changes the definition of a business to assist entities with evaluating when a set of transferred assets and activities is a business. The new guidance requires an entity to evaluate if substantially all of the fair value of the gross assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or a group of similar identifiable assets; if so, the set of transferred assets and activities is not a business. The Company adopted this ASU as of January 1, 2018. The adoption of this ASU had no impact on the Company’s financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018.


In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-09, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718), Scope of Modification Accounting, which clarifies when a change to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award must be accounted for as a modification. The new guidance requires modification accounting if the fair value, vesting conditions or classification of the award is not the same immediately before and after a change to the terms and conditions of the award.  The Company adopted this ASU on a prospective basis as of January 1, 2018. The adoption of this ASU had no impact on the Company’s financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018.


In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15 (“ASU 2016-15”), “Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments.” The standard provides guidance on eight (8) cash flow issues: (1) debt prepayment or debt extinguishment costs; (2) settlement of zero-coupon bonds; (3) contingent consideration payments after a business combination; (4) proceeds from the settlement of insurance claims; (5) proceeds from the settlement of corporate-owned life insurance policies; (6) distributions received from equity method investees; (7) beneficial interests in securitization transactions; and (8) separately identifiable cash flows and application of the predominance principle. ASU 2016-15 addresses how certain cash receipts and cash payments are presented and classified in the statement of cash flows. The Company adopted this ASU effective January 1, 2018. The adoption of this new standard did not have a material impact on our condensed consolidated financial statements.


Accounting Standards Not Yet Adopted


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), which supersedes existing guidance on accounting for leases in Leases (Topic 840) and generally requires all leases, including operating leases, to be recognized in the statement of financial position as right-of-use assets and lease liabilities by lessees. The provisions of ASU 2016-02 are to be applied using a modified retrospective approach and are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018; early adoption is permitted. The Company plans to elect the transition option provided under ASU 2018-11, which will not require adjustments to comparative periods nor require modified disclosures in those comparative periods. Upon adoption, the Company expects to elect the transition package of practical expedients permitted within the new standard, which among other things, allows the carryforward of the historical lease classification. Based on its anticipated election of practical expedients, the Company anticipates the recognition of right of use assets and related lease liabilities on its balance sheets related to its leases.  The Company intends on engaging a professional services firm to assist in the implementation of ASC 842, and to analyze the impact of adopting ASC 842 on the Company’s statements of income and balance sheets.


In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Nonemployee Share-based Payment Accounting, to simplify the accounting for share-based payments to nonemployees by aligning it with the accounting for share-based payments to employees, with certain exceptions. The provisions of ASU 2018-07 are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within that fiscal year; early adoption is permitted, but no earlier than a company’s adoption date of Topic 606. Upon transition, the Company will be required to measure these nonemployee awards at fair value as of the adoption date.  The Company had not early adopted this ASU as of September 30, 2018, but plans on adopting this ASU for its reporting period beginning January 1, 2019. The Company is currently evaluating the effect that this ASU will have on its financial statements.


In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, “Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.” This ASU requires instruments measured at amortized cost to be presented at the net amount expected to be collected. Entities are also required to record allowances for available-for-sale debt securities rather than reduce the carrying amount. This ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. We expect the adoption of this new standard will not have a material impact on our condensed consolidated financial statements.


In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, “Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment.” This ASU eliminates Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. Instead, an entity should recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value, not to exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit. This ASU is effective for annual or any interim goodwill impairment tests in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. We expect the adoption of this new standard will not have a material impact on our condensed consolidated financial statements. 


With the exception of the new standards discussed above, there have been no new accounting pronouncements that have significance, or potential significance, to the Company’s financial statements.