Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation

Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2018
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block]
1. Organization, 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-004 (ribaxamase) 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), overgrowth of pathogenic organisms and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and (2) 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). Our preclinical pursuits include an oral formulation of the enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) to treat both local GI and systemic diseases as well as 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 Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for interim financial information. Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and notes required by Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America (“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 2017 Form 10-K. The interim results for the three months ended March 31, 2018 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 may differ from the original estimates, requiring adjustments to these balances in future periods.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements and Developments 
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 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 consolidated financial statements.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Act) was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The Tax Act changed many aspects of U.S. corporate income taxation and included reduction of the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, implementation of a territorial tax system and imposition of a tax on deemed repatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries. The Company recognized the tax effects of the Tax Act in the year ended December 31, 2017 and recorded $21.6 million in tax expense which relates almost entirely to the remeasurement of deferred tax assets to the 21% tax rate. The Company will continue to assess its provision for income taxes as future guidance is issued but does not currently anticipate significant revisions will be necessary. Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) No. 740, Income taxes, requires the Company to record the effects of a tax law change in the period of enactment. However, shortly after the enactment of the Tax Act, the SEC staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) 118, which allows the Company to record a provisional amount when it does not have the necessary information available, prepared, or analyzed in reasonable detail to complete its accounting for the change in the tax law. The measurement period ends when the Company has obtained, prepared and analyzed the information necessary to finalize its accounting, but cannot extend beyond one year.