Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Related Party Transactions

Related Party Transactions
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
Related Party Transactions  
Related Party Transactions

9. Related Party Transactions

On September 5, 2018, the Company entered into an agreement with CSMC for an investigator-sponsored Phase 2b clinical study of SYN‑010 to be co-funded by the Company and CSMC (the “Study”). The Study will provide further evaluation of the efficacy and safety of SYN‑010, the Company’s modified-release reformulation of lovastatin lactone, which is exclusively licensed to the Company by CSMC. SYN‑010 is designed to reduce methane production by certain microorganisms (M. smithii) in the gut to treat an underlying cause of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

In consideration of the support provided by CSMC for the Study, the Company entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with CSMC pursuant to which the Company: (i) issued to CSMC fifty thousand (50,000)  shares of common stock of the Company; and (ii) transferred to CSMC an additional two million four hundred twenty thousand  (2,420,000) shares of common stock of its subsidiary Synthetic Biomics, Inc. (“SYN Biomics”) owned by the Company, such that after such issuance CSMC owns an aggregate of seven million four hundred eighty thousand (7,480,000) shares of common stock of SYN Biomics, representing seventeen percent  (17%) of the issued and outstanding shares of SYN Biomics’ common stock.

The Agreement also provided CSMC with a right, commencing on the six month anniversary of issuance of the stock under certain circumstances in the event that the shares of stock of SYN Biomics are not then freely tradeable, and subject to NYSE American, LLC approval, to exchange its SYN Biomics shares for unregistered shares of the Company’s common stock, with the rate of exchange based upon the relative contribution of the valuation of SYN Biomics to the public market valuation of the Company at the time of each exchange. The Stock Purchase Agreement also provides for tag-along rights in the event of the sale by the Company of its shares of SYN Biomics.

On September 30, 2020, CSMC MAST formally agreed to discontinue the ongoing Phase 2b investigator-sponsored clinical study of SYN-010 following the results of a planned interim futility analysis. Although it was concluded that SYN-010 was well tolerated, SYN-010 was unlikely to meet its primary endpoint by the time enrollment is completed.

On November 9, 2020, the Company and its subsidiary, Synthetic Biomics, Inc. and CSMC mutually agreed to terminate the exclusive license agreement dated December 5, 2013 and all amendments thereto and the clinical trial agreement relating to SYN-010. The determination to terminate the SYN-010 license agreement was agreed following the completion of a planned interim futility analysis of the Phase 2b investigator-sponsored clinical trial of SYN-010. On September 30, 2020, CSMC (the Company’s SYN-010 clinical development partner) informed the Company that it discontinued the ongoing Phase 2b investigator-sponsored clinical study of SYN-010 IBS-C patients.

In December 2013, through the Company’s subsidiary, Synthetic Biomics, Inc., the Company entered into a worldwide exclusive license agreement with CSMC and acquired the rights to develop products for therapeutic and prophylactic treatments of acute and chronic diseases, including the development of SYN-010 to target IBS-C. The Company licensed from CSMC a portfolio of intellectual property comprised of several U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications for various fields of use, including IBS-C, obesity and diabetes. An investigational team led by Mark Pimentel, M.D. at CSMC discovered that these products may reduce the production of methane gas by certain GI microorganisms. During the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, the Company did not owe and did not pay CSMC for milestone payments related to

this license agreement.