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, 2020
Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation  
Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation


1. Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation

Description of Business

Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (the “Company” or “Synthetic Biologics”) is a diversified clinical-stage company developing therapeutics designed to prevent and treat gastrointestinal (GI) diseases in areas of high unmet need. The Company’s lead clinical development candidates are: (1) SYN-004 (ribaxamase) which is designed to degrade certain commonly used intravenous (IV) beta-lactam antibiotics within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to prevent (a) microbiome damage, (b) Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), (c) overgrowth of pathogenic organisms, (d) the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and (e) acute graft-versus-host-disease (aGVHD) in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients, and (2) SYN-020, a recombinant oral formulation of the enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) produced under cGMP conditions and intended to treat both local GI and systemic diseases.

The Company was also developing SYN-010 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). On September 30, 2020, Cedars Sinai Medical Center’s (CSMC) (the Company’s SYN-010 clinical development partner) informed the Company that it agreed to discontinue the ongoing Phase 2b investigator-sponsored clinical study of SYN-010 IBS-C patients. Based on the results of a planned interim futility analysis, it was concluded that although SYN-010 was well tolerated, it was unlikely to meet its primary endpoint by the time enrollment is completed.

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 2019 Form 10‑K. The interim results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 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 August 2020, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2020-06 Debt – Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging – Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (subtopic 815-40): Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity. This ASU amends the guidance on convertible instruments and the derivatives scope exception for contracts in an entity’s own equity and improves and amends the related EPS guidance for both Subtopics. The ASU will be effective for annual reporting periods after December 15, 2023 and interim periods within those annual periods and early adoption is permitted in annual reporting periods ending after December 15, 2020. The Company is currently assessing the impact of ASU 2020-06 on our consolidated financial statements.

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a global health emergency because of a new strain of coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China (the COVID-19 outbreak or “COVID-19”) and the risks to the international community as the virus spreads globally beyond its point of origin. In March 2020, the WHO classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, based on the rapid increase in exposure globally.

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was enacted. The CARES Act is an emergency economic stimulus package that includes spending and tax breaks to strengthen the United States’ economy and fund a nationwide effort to curtail the effect of COVID-19. While the CARES Act provides sweeping tax changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the more significant provisions include removal of certain limitations on utilization of net operating losses, increasing the loss carryback period for certain losses to five years, and increasing the ability to deduct interest expense, as well as amending certain provisions of the previously enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Company has assessed the impact of the CARES Act and, based upon our initial assessment, we do not believe that it will have a significant effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. The Company continues to evaluate its impact as new information becomes available.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

Long-lived assets include property, equipment and right-of-use assets. In accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 360 - Property, Plant and Equipment (“ASC 360”), management reviews the Company’s recorded long-lived assets for impairment annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be fully recoverable. The Company determines the extent to which an asset may be impaired based upon its expectation of the asset’s future usability as well as whether there is reasonable assurance that the future cash flows associated with the asset will be in excess of its carrying amount. If the total of the expected undiscounted future cash flows is less than the carrying amount of the asset, a loss is recognized for the difference between fair value and the carrying value of the asset. During the quarter ending March 31, 2020 the Company identified COVID-19 as a triggering event and performed a qualitative assessment of the fair value of its long-lived assets. The results from this analysis determined that it is still more likely than not that the fair value of its long-lived assets remain higher than the carrying value of these assets. As a result, no impairment charges were recorded during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020.