Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  



Nature of Operations


Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (together with our subsidiaries, “we,” “our,” “Abeona” or the “Company”), a Delaware corporation, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing gene and cell therapies for life-threatening rare genetic diseases. Our lead clinical programs consist of: (i) EB-101, an autologous, gene-corrected cell therapy for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (“RDEB”), (ii) ABO-102, an adeno-associated virus (“AAV”)-based gene therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome type A (“MPS IIIA”), and (iii) ABO-101, an AAV-based gene therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome type B (“MPS IIIB”). We continue to develop additional AAV-based gene therapies designed to treat ophthalmic and other diseases and next-generation AAV-based gene therapies using the novel AIM™ capsid platform that we have exclusively licensed from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and internal AAV vector research programs.


A summary of the significant accounting policies applied in the preparation of the accompanying consolidated financial statements follows:


Principles of Consolidation


The consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of Abeona Therapeutics Inc. and our wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.


Uses and Sources of Liquidity


The financial statements have been prepared on the going concern basis, which assumes the Company will have sufficient cash to pay its operating expenses, as and when they become payable, for a period of at least 12 months from the date the financial report was issued.


As of December 31, 2020, we had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $95.0 million and net assets of $102.6 million. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we had cash outflows from operations of $35.0 million. We have not generated significant product revenues and have not achieved profitable operations. There is no assurance that profitable operations will ever be achieved, and, if achieved, could be sustained on a continuing basis. In addition, development activities, clinical and nonclinical testing, and commercialization of our products will require significant additional financing.


We are subject to a number of risks similar to other life science companies, including, but not limited to, risks related to the successful discovery and development of product candidates, obtaining the necessary regulatory approval to market our product candidates, raising additional capital to continue to fund our operations, development of competing drugs and therapies, protection of proprietary technology and market acceptance of our products. As a result of these and other risks and the related uncertainties, there can be no assurance of our future success.


Based upon our current operating plans, we believe that we have sufficient resources to fund operations through at least the next 12 months with our existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. We will need to secure additional funding in the future, to carry out all our planned research and development activities. If we are unable to obtain additional financing or generate license or product revenue, the lack of liquidity and sufficient capital resources could have a material adverse effect on our future prospects.



Use of Estimates


The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reported period. Actual results could differ from these estimates and assumptions.


Cash and Cash Equivalents


We consider all highly liquid investments with a maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. We maintain deposits primarily in financial institutions, which may at times exceed amounts covered by insurance provided by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”). We have not experienced any losses related to amounts in excess of FDIC limits.


Short-term Investments


Short-term investments consist of investments in U.S. government, U.S. agency and U.S. treasury securities. We determine the appropriate classification of the securities at the time they are acquired and evaluate the appropriateness of such classifications at each balance sheet date. We classify our short-term investments as available-for-sale pursuant to Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 320, Investments – Debt and Equity Securities. Investments classified as current have maturities of less than one year. We review our short-term investments for other-than-temporary impairment whenever the fair value of a marketable security is less than the amortized cost and evidence indicates that a short-term investment’s carrying amount is not recoverable within a reasonable period of time.


Property and Equipment


Property and equipment are recorded at cost. Depreciation is provided using the straight-line method over estimated useful lives ranging from three to seven years for equipment and five to ten years for leasehold improvements. Expenditures for major renewals and betterments that extend the useful lives are capitalized. Expenditures for normal maintenance and repairs are expensed as incurred. The cost of assets sold or abandoned, and the related accumulated depreciation are eliminated from the accounts and any gains or losses are recognized in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations of the respective period.





We account for leases in accordance with ASC 842, Leases. Right-of-use lease assets represent our right to use an underlying asset for the lease term and lease liabilities represent our obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. The measurement of lease liabilities is based on the present value of future lease payments over the lease term. As our leases do not provide an implicit rate, we use our incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at the lease commencement date in determining the present value of future lease payments. The right-of-use asset is based on the measurement of the lease liability and includes any lease payments made prior to or on lease commencement and excludes lease incentives and initial direct costs incurred, as applicable. Rent expense for our operating leases is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. We do not have any leases classified as finance leases.


Our leases do not have significant rent escalation, holidays, concessions, material residual value guarantees, material restrictive covenants or contingent rent provisions. Our leases include both lease (e.g., fixed payments including rent, taxes, and insurance costs) and non-lease components (e.g., common-area or other maintenance costs), which are accounted for as a single lease component as we have elected the practical expedient to group lease and non-lease components for all leases.


Most leases include one or more options to renew. The exercise of lease renewal options is typically at our sole discretion; therefore, the majority of renewals to extend the lease terms are not included in our right-of-use assets and lease liabilities as they are not reasonably certain of exercise. We regularly evaluate the renewal options and when they are reasonably certain of exercise, we include the renewal period in our lease term.


Additional information and disclosures required under ASC 842 are included in Note 12.


Licensed Technology


We have entered into agreements to license the rights to certain technologies. We recorded the purchase price paid for the license, which represents fair value, on our consolidated balance sheet. We maintain licensed technology on our consolidated balance sheet until either the licensed technology agreement underlying it is completed or the asset becomes impaired. When we determine that an asset has become impaired or we abandon a project, we write down the carrying value of the related intangible asset to its fair value and take an impairment charge in the period in which the impairment occurs. Licensed technology is amortized over the life of the patent or the agreement and periodically reviewed for impairment.


We test our intangible assets for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if indicators are present or changes in circumstance suggest that impairment may exist. Events that could result in an impairment, or trigger an interim impairment assessment, include the receipt of additional clinical or nonclinical data regarding our drug candidate or a potentially competitive drug candidate, changes in the clinical development program for a drug candidate or new information regarding potential sales for the drug. In connection with each annual impairment assessment and any interim impairment assessment, we compare the fair value of the asset as of the date of the assessment with the carrying value of the asset on our consolidated balance sheet.


We considered the status of our discussions with REGENXBIO in March 2020 as a potential indicator of impairment in accordance with ASC 360-10-35-21. Our impairment test indicated that the carrying value of the license agreement exceeded its fair value and we recorded a $32.9 million non-cash impairment charge in 2020. We did not recognize any impairment charges to related licensed technology in 2019.




As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, goodwill of $32.5 million was recorded on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. In accordance with ASC 350, Intangibles — Goodwill and Other, goodwill is tested annually for impairment and whenever changes in circumstances occur that would indicate impairment. The Company did not recognize any impairment charges related to goodwill in 2020 or 2019.



Restricted Cash


Restricted cash is recorded within other assets and restricted cash in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and is included as a component of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash on our consolidated statements of cash flows.




The Company operates in a single segment. The Company’s chief operating decision maker, its Chief Executive Officer, manages the Company’s operations on a consolidated basis for the purpose of allocating resources.


Revenue Recognition


We account for contracts with customers in accordance with ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. ASC 606 applies to all contracts with customers, except for contracts that are within the scope of other standards. Under ASC 606, an entity recognizes revenue when its customer obtains control of promised goods or services, in an amount that reflects the consideration that the entity expects to receive in exchange for those goods or services. To determine revenue recognition for arrangements that an entity determines are within the scope of ASC 606, the entity performs the following five steps: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (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.


Additional information and disclosures required under ASC 606 are included in Note 8.


Research and Development Expenses


Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. Research and development expenses include, but are not limited to, payroll and personnel expense, lab supplies, preclinical, development cost, clinical trial expense, manufacturing, and consulting. The cost of materials and equipment or facilities that are acquired for research and development activities and that have alternative future uses are capitalized when acquired.


General and Administrative Expenses


General and administrative expenses primarily consist of personnel, contract personnel, personnel-related expenses to support our administrative and operating activities, facility costs and professional expenses (i.e., legal expenses) and investor relations fees.


Income Taxes


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


We account for uncertain income tax positions in accordance with ASC 740, Income Taxes. Interest costs and penalties related to income taxes are classified as interest expense and general and administrative costs, respectively, in our consolidated financial statements. For 2020 and 2019, we did not recognize any uncertain tax positions, interest or penalty expense related to income taxes. It is not reasonably likely for the amounts of unrecognized tax benefits to significantly increase or decrease within the next 12 months. We file U.S. federal and state income tax returns as necessary. The federal return generally has a three-year statute of limitations and most states have a four-year statute of limitations; however, the taxing authorities are allowed to review the tax year in which the net operating loss was generated when the loss is utilized on a tax return. We currently do not have any open income tax audits.



Loss Per Common Share


We have presented basic and diluted loss per common share on the statement of operations and comprehensive loss. Basic and diluted net loss per share is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted-average number of shares of common stock and shares underlying “pre-funded” warrants outstanding during the period. The “pre-funded” warrants were included in the computation of basic net loss per share as the exercise price was negligible and the warrants were fully vested and exercisable. In October 2020, all of the 9,017,055 “pre-funded” warrants were exercised and converted into shares of common stock.


We do not include the potential impact of dilutive securities in diluted net loss per share, as the impact of these items is anti-dilutive. Potential dilutive securities result from outstanding stock options, restricted stock and “non-pre-funded” warrants. We did not include the following potentially dilutive securities in the computation of diluted net loss per common share during the periods presented:


    For the years ended December 31,  
    2020     2019  
Warrants     -       70,000  
Restricted stock     2,952,499       354,625  
Stock options     5,685,539       6,055,395  
Total     8,638,038       6,480,020  


Stock-Based Compensation


We account for stock-based compensation expense in accordance with ASC 718, Stock Based Compensation. We measure the cost of the employee/director/consultant services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments based on the grant date fair value for the employees and directors and vesting date fair value for consultants of the award. We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the fair value of options on the grant date which includes assumptions for expected volatility, risk-free interest rate, dividend yield and estimated expected term. We use the closing price of our common stock as quoted on the Nasdaq to determine the fair value of restricted stock. We account for forfeitures as they occur, which may result in the reversal of compensation costs in subsequent periods as the forfeitures arise.


The fair value of modifications to share-based awards are determined using Hull White I lattice model which includes assumptions for expected volatility, risk-free interest rate, dividend yield and performance period. If a share-based compensation award is modified after the grant date, incremental compensation expense, if any, is recognized in an amount equal to the excess of the fair value of the modified award over the fair value of the original award immediately before the modification. Incremental compensation expense for vested awards is recognized immediately. For unvested awards, the sum of the incremental compensation expense and the remaining unrecognized compensation expense for the original award on the modification date is recognized over the modified service period.


The following table summarizes stock option-based option compensation for 2020 and 2019, which was allocated as follows:


    For the years ended December 31,  
    2020     2019  
Research and development   $ 3,126,000     $ 3,932,000  
General and administrative     2,727,000       3,406,000  
Stock option-based compensation expense included in operating expense     5,853,000       7,338,000  
Total stock option-based compensation expense     5,853,000       7,338,000  
Tax benefit     -       -  
Stock option-based compensation expense, net of tax   $ 5,853,000     $ 7,338,000  



The following table summarizes restricted stock-based compensation for 2020 and 2019, which was allocated as follows:


    For the years ended December 31,  
    2020     2019  
Research and development   $ 957,000     $ 454,000  
General and administrative     1,377,000       445,000  
Restricted stock-based compensation expense included in operating expense     2,334,000       899,000  
Total restricted stock-based compensation expense     2,334,000       899,000  
Tax benefit     -       -  
Restricted stock-based compensation expense, net of tax   $ 2,334,000     $ 899,000  


Additional information and disclosures required under ASC 718 are included in Note 9.