Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Organization and Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation

v3.7.0.1
Organization and Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2017
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block]
1. Organization and Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation
 
Description of Business
 
Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (the “Company” or “Synthetic Biologics”) is a late-stage clinical company developing therapeutics designed to preserve the microbiome to protect and restore the health of patients. The Company’s lead candidates poised for Phase 3 development are: (1) SYN-010 which is intended to reduce the impact of methane-producing organisms in the gut microbiome to treat an underlying cause of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), and (2) SYN-004 which is designed to protect the gut microbiome (gastrointestinal (GI) microflora) from the effects of certain commonly used intravenous (IV) antibiotics for the prevention of C. difficile infection (CDI) and antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). In collaboration with Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), the Company is also developing preclinical stage monoclonal antibody therapies for the prevention and treatment of pertussis, and novel discovery stage biotherapeutics for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU).
 
Basis of Presentation
 
The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC for interim financial information. Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and notes required by U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”) for complete financial statements. The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include all adjustments, comprised of normal recurring adjustments, considered necessary by management to fairly state the Company’s results of operations, financial position and cash flows. The operating results for the interim periods are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for any other interim period or for the full year. These condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company’s 2016 Form 10-K. The interim results for the three months ended March 31, 2017, are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year.
 
The condensed consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP, which requires the use of estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect the amounts of assets and liabilities at the reporting date and the amounts of revenue and expenses in the periods presented. The Company believes that the accounting estimates employed are appropriate and the resulting balances are reasonable; however, due to the inherent uncertainties in making estimates, actual results could differ from the original estimates, requiring adjustments to these balances in future periods.
 
Recent Accounting Pronouncements and Developments
 
In August 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230), Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments, to clarify whether the following items should be categorized as operating, investing or financing in the statement of cash flows: (i) debt prepayments and extinguishment costs, (ii) settlement of zero-coupon debt, (iii) settlement of contingent consideration, (iv) insurance proceeds, (v) settlement of corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) and bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) policies, (vi) distributions from equity method investees, (vii) beneficial interests in securitization transactions, and (viii) receipts and payments with aspects of more than one class of cash flows. Accordingly, ASU No. 2016-015 is effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, with early adoption permitted. The Company does not anticipate any impact in the adoption of this standard on its condensed consolidated financial statements.
 
In March 2016, the FASB, issued ASU, No. 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718), which is part of the FASB’s Simplification Initiative. The updated guidance simplifies the accounting for share-based payment transactions. The amended guidance is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2016, with early adoption permitted. The Company has adopted this standard beginning January 1, 2017. The adoption did not result in significant changes to the recognition and disclosure of stock based compensation.
 
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), which establishes a new lease accounting model for lessees. The updated guidance requires an entity to recognize assets and liabilities arising from a lease for both financing and operating leases, along with additional qualitative and quantitative disclosures. The amended guidance is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of this standard on its condensed consolidated financial statements.
 
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), to provide guidance on revenue recognition. ASU No. 2014-09 requires a company to recognize revenue when it transfers promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the company expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. In doing so, companies will need to use more judgment and make more estimates than under today’s guidance. These may include identifying performance obligations in the contract, estimating the amount of variable consideration to include in the transaction price and allocating the transaction price to each separate performance obligation.  
 
In August 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Deferral of the Effective Date, which provided for the adoption of the new standard for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017. Accordingly, ASU No. 2014-09 is effective for the Company in the first quarter of 2018. Early adoption up to the first quarter of 2017 is permitted. Upon adoption, ASU No. 2014-09 can be applied retrospectively to all periods presented or only to the most current period presented with the cumulative effect of changes reflected in the opening balance of retained earnings in the most current period presented. The FASB has also issued the following standards which clarify ASU No. 2014-09 and have the same effective date as the original standard:
 
 
ASU No. 2016-10, Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing (Topic 606);
 
 
ASU No. 2016-11, Revenue Recognition (Topic 605) and Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Rescission of SEC Guidance Because of Accounting Standards Updates 2014-09 and 2014-16 Pursuant to Staff Announcements at the March 3, 2016 EITF Meeting;
 
 
ASU No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients;
 
 
ASU No. 2016-20, Technical Correction and Improvements and
 
 
ASU No. 2016-20, Technical correction and improvements to Topic 606, Revenue form Contracts with Customers.
 
 
The adoption of ASU 2014-09 may have a material effect on the recognition of future revenues. ASU 2014-09 differs from the current accounting standard in many respects, such as in the accounting for variable consideration, including milestone payments.  Accordingly, we expect that our evaluation of the accounting for collaboration agreements under the new revenue standard could identify material changes from the current accounting treatment. The new accounting standard will require entities to determine an appropriate attribution method using either output or input methods and does not include a presumption that entities would default to a ratable attribution approach for upfront non-refundable fees.  These factors could materially impact the amount and timing of our revenue recognition from our license and collaboration agreements under the new revenue standard. The Company will need to evaluate the impact of adoption ASU No. 2014-09 on its results of operations, cash flows and financial position.