Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2017
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America 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 financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. On an ongoing basis, the Company evaluates its estimates, including those related to stock-based compensation and the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets and derivatives. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other market-specific and relevant assumptions that it believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash and term deposits with original maturities of three months or less. The carrying value of these instruments approximate fair value. The balances, at times, may exceed federally insured limits. The Company has not experienced any losses on its cash and cash equivalents.

Trade Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable are unsecured, are recorded at net realizable value, and do not bear interest. The Company makes judgments as to its ability to collect outstanding receivables based upon patterns of collectability, historical experience, and management’s evaluation of specific accounts and will provide an allowance for credit losses when collection becomes doubtful. The Company performs credit evaluations of its customers’ financial condition on an as-needed basis. Payment is generally due 30 days from the invoice date, and accounts past 30 days are individually analyzed for collectability. When all collection efforts have been exhausted, the account is written off against the related allowance.

As of December 31, 2017, the Company had no trade accounts receivables.

Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets

Other current assets represent prepayments, R&D tax credits receivable and deposits made by the Company.

Property and Equipment

Property and equipment is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is computed based upon the estimated useful lives of the respective assets. Leasehold improvements are amortized using the straight-line method over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful life of the assets. Repairs and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred. The cost and accumulated depreciation of property and equipment retired, or otherwise disposed of, are removed from the related accounts, and any residual values are charged to expense. Depreciation expense has been calculated using the following estimated useful lives:

 

Buildings and other improvements

   10–20 years

Leasehold improvements

   Remaining lease period

Office furniture and equipment

   5–7 years

Computer equipment and software

   3–5 years

Leases

Leases are classified as either finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern of expense recognition in the income statement. In September 2017, the Company entered into a financing lease. Refer to Note 11 for more detail.

Long-Lived Assets

The Company reviews its long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. If the impairment tests indicate that the carrying value of the asset, or asset group is greater than the expected undiscounted cash flows to be generated by such asset or asset group, further analysis is performed to determine the fair value of the asset or asset group. To the extent the fair value of the asset or asset group is less than its carrying value, an impairment loss is recognized equal to the amount the carrying value exceeds the fair value of the asset or asset group. Assets to be disposed of are carried at the lower of their carrying value or fair value less costs to sell.

There have been no impairment losses recognized for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 or 2015.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Pursuant to the requirements of Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 820, Fair Value Measurement, the Company’s financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis are classified and disclosed in one of the following three categories:

Level 1—Financial instruments with unadjusted quoted prices listed on active market exchanges.

Level 2—Financial instruments lacking unadjusted, quoted prices from active market exchanges, including over-the-counter traded financial instruments. The prices for the financial instruments are determined using prices for recently traded financial instruments with similar underlying terms, as well as directly or indirectly observable inputs, such as interest rates and yield curves that are observable at commonly quoted intervals.

Level 3—Financial instruments that are not actively traded on a market exchange. This category includes situations in which there is little, if any, market activity for the financial instrument. The prices are determined using significant unobservable inputs or valuation techniques.

The Company has derivative instruments that are classified as Level 2. The Company does not have any financial instruments classified as Level 3, and there were no movements between these categories during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 or 2015.

 

     Fair Value Measurements at December 31, 2017
(expressed in thousands)
 
     Level 1      Level 2      Level 3      Net Balance  

Asset at Fair Value:

           

Forward purchase contracts

     —        $ 3        —        $ 3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Assets at Fair Value

     —        $ 3        —        $ 3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Liabilities at Fair Value

           

Forward purchase contracts

     —        $ 4        —        $ 4  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Liabilities at Fair Value

     —        $ 4        —        $ 4  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

     Fair Value Measurements at December 31, 2016,
(expressed in thousands)
 
     Level 1      Level 2      Level 3      Net Balance  

Asset at Fair Value:

           

Forward purchase contracts

     —        $ 9        —        $ 9  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Assets at Fair Value

     —        $ 9        —        $ 9  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Liabilities at Fair Value

           

Forward purchase contracts

     —        $ 19        —        $ 19  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Liabilities at Fair Value

     —        $ 19        —        $ 19  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

Forward Purchase Contracts and Derivatives

The Company enters into supply agreements for grain and seed production with settlement values based on commodity market futures pricing. The Company accounts for these derivative financial instruments utilizing the authoritative guidance in ASC Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging. Realized gains and losses from derivative contracts are recorded as research and development expenses as a result of breeding contract activity. The fair value for forward purchase contracts is estimated based on exchange-quoted prices.

Unrealized gains and losses on all derivative contracts are recorded in other current assets or other current liabilities on the balance sheet at fair value. The gains and losses recorded by the Company are not significant for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 or 2015.

The table below summarizes the carrying value of derivative instruments as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

 

   

Asset Derivatives

    Liability Derivatives  

Derivatives not designated as
hedging instruments under
ASC Topic 815

      Fair Value           Fair Value  
 

Balance Sheet

Location

  December 31,
2017
    December 31,
2016
    Balance Sheet
Location
    December 31,
2017
    December 31,
2016
 
        (expressed in thousands)           (expressed in thousands)  

Forward purchase contracts

  Prepaid expenses & other current assets   $ 3     $ 9       Accrued liabilities—current     $ 4     $ 19  
   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total derivatives

    $ 3     $ 9       $ 4     $ 19  
   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

 

 

Patents

The Company expenses patent costs, including related legal costs, as incurred. Costs to write, maintain, in-license, and defend patents are recorded as selling, general and administrative expenses in the statements of operations. Costs to support the research for filing patents are recorded as research and development expenses in the statements of operations.

Revenue Recognition

The Company enters into R&D agreements that may consist of nonrefundable up-front payments, milestone payments, royalties, and R&D Services. In addition, the Company may license its technology to third parties, which may be part of the R&D agreements.

For agreements that contain multiple elements, each element within a multiple-element arrangement is accounted for as a separate unit of accounting provided the following criteria are met: the delivered products or services have value to the customer on a stand-alone basis and, for an arrangement that includes a general right of return relative to the delivered products or services, delivery, or performance of the undelivered product or service is considered probable and is substantially controlled by the Company. The Company considers a deliverable to have stand-alone value if the product or service is sold separately by the Company or another vendor or could be resold by the customer. Further, the Company’s revenue arrangements do not include a general right of return relative to the delivered products.

Nonrefundable up-front payments are deferred and recognized as revenue over the period of the R&D agreement. If an R&D agreement is terminated before the original term of the agreement is fulfilled, all the remaining deferred revenue is recognized at the date of termination.

Milestone payments represent amounts received from the Company’s R&D partners, the receipt of which is dependent upon the achievement of certain scientific, regulatory, or commercial milestones. The Company recognizes milestone payments when the triggering event has occurred, there are no further contingencies or services to be provided with respect to that event, and the counterparty has no right to refund of the payment. The triggering event may be scientific results achieved by the Company or another party to the arrangement, regulatory approvals, or the marketing of products developed under the arrangement.

Royalty revenue arises from the Company’s contractual entitlement to receive a percentage of product sales revenues achieved by counterparties. Royalty revenue is recognized on an accrual basis in accordance with the terms of the agreement when sales can be determined reliably and there is reasonable assurance that the receivables from outstanding royalties will be collected.

License revenue from licenses that were granted to third parties is recognized ratably over the period of the license agreements. Revenue from R&D services is recognized over the period the R&D services are performed. No new revenue arrangements were entered in the year.

Cost of Revenue

Cost of revenue relates to the performance of services or contract research and consists of direct external expenses relating to projects and internal costs, including overhead allocated on a full-time equivalent basis.

Research and Development

R&D expenses represent costs incurred for the development of various products using licensed gene editing technology, including expenses allocated to the Company by Cellectis. R&D expenses consist primarily of salaries, stock compensation and related costs of the Company’s scientists, in-licensing of technology, consumables, property and equipment depreciation, and fees paid to third-party consultants. All research and development costs are expensed as incurred, totaling $11.6 million, $5.6 million and $2.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

The Company in-licenses certain technology from third-parties that is a component of ongoing research and product development. The Company expenses up-front license fees upon contracting due to the uncertainty of future commercial value, as well as expensing any ongoing annual fees when incurred. Related-party in-licensing expense was $93 thousand, $44 thousand and $86 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Third-party in-licensing expenses were $447 thousand, $539 thousand and $165 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Stock Based Compensation

The Company measures employee and nonemployee stock-based awards at grant-date fair value and records compensation expense using the accelerated attribution method over the vesting period of the award. Stock-based awards issued to nonemployees are remeasured until the award vests. The Company uses the Black-Scholes option pricing model to value its stock option awards. Estimating the fair value of stock option awards requires management to apply judgment and make estimates, including the volatility of the Company’s common stock, the expected term of the Company’s stock options, the expected dividend yield and the fair value of the Company’s common stock on the measurement date. The Company accounts for forfeitures as they occur, rather than estimating expected forfeitures.

The expected term of stock options is estimated using the “simplified method” for employee options as the Company has no historical information to develop reasonable expectations about future exercise patterns and post-vesting employment termination behavior for its stock option grants. The simplified method is based on the average of the vesting tranches and the contractual life of each grant. For options granted to nonemployees, the Company uses the remaining contractual life. For stock price volatility, the Company uses comparable public companies as a basis for its expected volatility to calculate the fair value of option grants. The Company assumes no dividend yield because dividends are not expected to be paid in the near future, which is consistent with the Company’s history of not paying dividends. The risk-free interest rate is based on U.S. Treasury notes with a term approximating the expected life of the option.

Foreign Currency Transactions

Transactions in foreign currencies are remeasured into the Company’s functional currency, U.S. dollars, at the exchange rates effective at the transaction dates. Assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies at the reporting date are remeasured into the functional currency using the exchange rate effective at that date. The resulting exchange gains or losses are recorded in the statements of operations under selling, general, and administrative expenses.

Income Taxes

Current income taxes are recorded based on statutory obligations for the current operating period for the jurisdictions in which the Company has operations.

Deferred taxes are provided on an asset and liability method, whereby deferred tax assets are recognized for deductible temporary differences and deferred tax liabilities are recognized for taxable temporary differences. Temporary differences are the differences between the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and their tax basis. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when the Company believes it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates on the date of enactment.

The tax effects from an uncertain tax position can be recognized in the financial statements only if the position is more likely than not to be sustained on audit, based on the technical merits of the position. The Company recognizes the financial statement benefit of a tax position only after determining that the relevant tax authority would more likely than not sustain the position following an audit. For tax positions meeting the more-likely than-not threshold, the amount recognized in the financial statements is the largest benefit that has a greater than 50% likelihood of being realized upon settlement with the relevant tax authority. The Company is subject to income taxes in U.S. federal and state jurisdictions. With few exceptions, the Company is no longer subject to U.S. federal and state income tax examinations by tax authorities for years ending prior to 2013. In the event of any future tax assessments, the Company’s accounting policy is to record the income taxes and any related interest or penalties as current income tax expense on the statements of operations.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

In November 2015, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2015-17, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes. The amendment simplifies the presentation of deferred income taxes. Instead of separating deferred income tax liabilities and assets into current and non-current amounts in a classified statement of financial position, the amendments in this update require that deferred tax liabilities and assets be classified as non-current in a classified statement of financial position. For public entities, ASU 2015-17 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those annual periods. For non-publicentities, ASU 2015-17 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018. Adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements as all net deferred tax assets are fully reserved.

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting. This ASU eliminates the additional paid-in capital (APIC) pool concept and requires that excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies be recorded in the statement of operations when awards are settled. The ASU also addresses simplifications related to statement of cash flows classification, accounting for forfeitures, and minimum statutory tax withholding requirements. For public entities, ASU 2016-09 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those annual periods. For all other entities, ASU 2016-09 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018. Early adoption is permitted. The Company adopted this standard in the second quarter of 2017, as a result of adoption, the Company recognized an $813 thousand tax benefit as a reduction of income tax expense, however, due to full valuation allowance, the net impact is zero.

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which creates ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in ASC Topic 605, Revenue Recognition. The guidance in ASU 2014-09 and subsequently issued amendments ASU 2016-08, Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Principal versus Agent Considerations (Reporting Revenue Gross versus Net); ASU 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing; and ASU 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients, outlines a comprehensive model for all entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers, as well as required disclosures. Entities have the option of using either a full retrospective or modified approach to adopt the new guidance. For public entities, certain not-for-profit entities, and certain employee benefit plans, the new revenue standard is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within that reporting period. For all other entities, the new revenue standard is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted. The adoption of this standard is not expected to have a material effect on the Company.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The guidance requires that lessees recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by all leases with terms of more than 12 months. The amendment also requires disclosures designed to give financial statement users information on the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. These disclosures include qualitative and quantitative information. For public entities, not-for-profit entities, or employee benefit plans, ASU 2016-02 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those annual periods. For all other entities, ASU 2016-02 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020. Entities are required to use a modified retrospective approach for leases that exist or are entered into after the beginning of the earliest comparative period in the financial statements. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is evaluating the impact of adopting this pronouncement.

In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-09, “Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting”, which clarifies when to account for a change to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award as a modification. Under the new guidance, modification accounting is required only if the fair value, the vesting conditions, or the classification of the award (as equity or liability) changes as a result of the change in terms or conditions. The guidance is effective for annual periods, and interim periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2017. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of adopting this standard on the financial statements and disclosures, but does not expect it to have a significant impact.