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
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 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 focused on 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) beta-lactam 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). The Company’s 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
On July 28, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Company approved a reverse stock split of the Company’s authorized, issued and outstanding shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, at a ratio of one (1) share of common stock for every thirty-five (35) shares of common stock (the “Reverse Stock Split”). The Company filed a Certificate of Change (the “Certificate of Change”) with the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada on August 8, 2018 to effectuate the Reverse Stock Split. The Reverse Stock Split was effective as of 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on August 10, 2018 (the “Effective Time”) and the Company’s common stock began trading on the NYSE American on a post-split basis when the market opened on August 13, 2018. As a result of the Reverse Stock Split, each thirty-five (35) pre-split shares of common stock outstanding automatically combined into one (1) new share of common stock without any action on the part of the holders, and the number of outstanding shares of common stock was reduced from 132,969,743 shares to 3,799,136 shares
(subject to rounding of fractional shares) and the number of authorized shares of common stock was reduced form 350,000,000 share to 10,000,000 shares. 
Stockholders who otherwise were entitled to receive fractional shares because they held a number of pre-reverse stock split shares of the Company’s common stock not evenly divisible by 35, received, in lieu of a fractional share, that number of shares rounded up to the nearest whole share. The Company issued one whole share of the post-Reverse Stock Split common stock to any stockholder who otherwise would have received a fractional share as a result of the Reverse Stock Split. As a result, no fractional shares were issued in connection with the Reverse Stock Split and no cash or other consideration was paid in connection with any fractional shares that would otherwise have resulted from the Reverse Stock Split. The Reverse Stock Split was effected to meet the per share price requirements of the NYSE American, the Company’s current listing exchange. The Reverse Stock Split did not alter the par value of the Company’s common stock or modify any voting rights or other terms of the common stock. In addition, pursuant to their terms, a proportionate adjustment was made to the per share exercise price and number of shares issuable under all of the Company’s outstanding shares of preferred stock and stock options and warrants to purchase shares of common stock, and the number of shares authorized and reserved for issuance pursuant to the Company’s equity incentive plans was reduced proportionately. After the Reverse Stock Split, the trading symbol for the Company’s common stock continued to be “SYN.”
All share numbers in the condensed consolidated financial statements and footnotes below have been adjusted for the one-for-thirty five reverse stock split effected August 10,2018.
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 and nine months ended September 30, 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.
In June 2018, FASB issued ASU 2018-07,
Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting
, which expands the scope of Topic 718 to include share-based payments issued to nonemployees, and generally aligns the accounting for nonemployee awards with the accounting for employee awards.  The ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those fiscal years.  Early adoption is 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.