Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2021
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Principles of Consolidation

All intercompany transactions and accounts have been eliminated in consolidation.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Such estimates and assumptions impact, among others, the following: the estimated useful lives for property and equipment, fair value of warrants, preferred stock and stock options granted for services or compensation, respectively, and the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets due to continuing and expected future operating losses.

Making estimates requires management to exercise significant judgment. It is at least reasonably possible that the estimate of the effect of a condition, situation or set of consolidated financial statements, which management considered in formulating its estimate could change in the near term due to one or more future confirming events. Accordingly, actual results could differ from those estimates.

Non-controlling Interest

The Company’s non-controlling interest represents the minority stockholder’s ownership interest related to the Company’s subsidiary, SYN Biomics. The Company reports its non-controlling interest in subsidiaries as a separate component of equity in the Consolidated Balance Sheets and reports both net loss attributable to the non-controlling interest and net loss attributable to the Company’s common stockholders on the face of the Consolidated Statements of Operations. On September 5, 2018, the Company entered into an agreement with the minority stockholder for an investigator-sponsored Phase 2 clinical study of SYN-010. Prior to this agreement and IRB approval in December 2018, the Company’s equity interest in SYN Biomics was 88.5% and the non-controlling stockholder’s interest was 11.5%. In consideration of the support, the Company issued additional shares of stock to the minority stockholder, resulting in the Company’s equity interest in SYN Biomics being 83.0% and the non-controlling stockholder’s interest is 17.0%. During 2021, the minority stockholder returned its shares of SYN Bionics to the Company for no consideration. The Company's interest in SYN Biomics is now 100%. This is reflected in the Consolidated Statements of Equity (Deficit).

Risks and Uncertainties

The Company’s operations could be subject to significant risks and uncertainties including financial, operational and regulatory risks and the potential risk of business failure. These conditions may not only limit the Company’s access to capital, but also make it difficult for its customers, its vendors and its ability to accurately forecast and plan future business activities.

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies – (continued)

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents include cash and highly liquid short-term investments with original maturities of three months or less.

Property and Equipment

Property and equipment is recorded at cost and depreciated or amortized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset or the underlying lease term for leasehold improvements, whichever is shorter. The estimated useful life by asset description is noted in the following table.

Asset Description

 

Estimated Useful Life

Office equipment and furniture

 

3 – 5 years

Leasehold improvements and fixtures

 

Lesser of estimated useful life or lease term

Depreciation and amortization expense was approximately $87,000 and $201,000 for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. When assets are disposed of, the cost and accumulated depreciation are removed from the accounts with any gain or loss reported in the consolidated statement of operations. Repairs and maintenance are charged to expense as incurred.

The Company reviews property and equipment for impairment to determine if assets are impaired due to obsolescence. As a result of this review, there was no impairment recognized for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020.

Long-Lived Assets

The Company reviews its long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. If such an event or change in circumstances occurs and potential impairment is indicated because the carrying values exceed the estimated future undiscounted cash flows of the asset, the Company will measure the impairment loss as the amount by which the carrying value of the asset exceeds its fair value.

Loss per Share

Basic net loss per share is computed by dividing net loss attributable to common shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding. Diluted net loss per share is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding including the effect of common share equivalents. Diluted net loss per share assumes the issuance of potential dilutive common shares outstanding for the period and adjusts for any changes in income and the repurchase of common shares that would have occurred from the assumed issuance, unless such effect is anti-dilutive. Net loss attributable to common stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2021 includes the effect of the Series A preferred stock price adjustment of $7.4 million, the accretion of the Series B preferred discount of $1.5 million on converted shares and Series A preferred stock accrued dividends of $0.1 million. Net loss attributable to common stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2020 excludes net loss attributable to non-controlling interest of $0.1 million and includes the accretion of Series B preferred discount of $1.4 million on converted shares, the effect of warrant exercise adjustment of $1.0 million and Series A preferred stock accrued dividends of $0.3 million. The number of shares of common stock underlying Series A Preferred shares convertible to common stock that were excluded from the computation of the net loss per common share for the year ended December 31, 2020 was 678,258. The number of shares of common stock underlying Series B Preferred shares convertible to common stock that was excluded from the computation of net loss per common share and for the year ended December 31, 2020 was 3,454,783. The number of options and warrants for the purchase of common stock that were excluded from the computations of net loss per common share for the year ended December 31, 2021 were 6,255,275 and 6,344,966, respectively, and for the year ended December 31, 2020 were 3,997,418 and 18,000,713, respectively, because their effect is anti-dilutive.

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies – (continued)

Research and Development Costs

The Company expenses research and development costs associated with developmental products not yet approved by the FDA to research and development expense as incurred. Research and development costs consist primarily of license fees (including upfront payments), milestone payments, manufacturing costs, salaries, stock-based compensation and related employee costs, fees paid to consultants and outside service providers for laboratory development, legal expenses resulting from intellectual property prosecution and other expenses relating to the design, development, testing and enhancement of our product candidates. Research and development expenses include external contract research organization (“CRO”) services. The Company makes payments to the CROs based on agreed upon terms and may include payments in advance of study services. The Company reviews and accrues CRO expenses based on services performed and relies on estimates of those costs applicable to the stage of completion of a study as provided by the CRO. Accrued CRO costs are subject to revisions as such studies progress to completion. At December 31, 2021 and 2020, the Company has accrued CRO expenses of $0.7 million, that are included in accrued expenses. The Company has prepaid CRO costs at December 31, 2021 and 2020 of $0.5 million that are included in prepaid expenses.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 820, Fair Value Measurement, defines fair value as the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants. As such, fair value is determined based upon assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability. Fair value measurements are classified on a three-tier hierarchy as follows:

Level 1 inputs: Quoted prices (unadjusted) for identical assets or liabilities in active markets;
Level 2 inputs: Inputs, other than quoted prices, that are observable either directly or indirectly; and
Level 3 inputs: Unobservable inputs for which there is little or no market data, which require the reporting entity to develop its own assumptions.

In many cases, a valuation technique used to measure fair value includes inputs from multiple levels of the fair value hierarchy described above. The lowest level of significant input determines the placement of the entire fair value measurement in the hierarchy.

The carrying amounts of the Company’s short-term financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts payable and accrued liabilities, approximate fair value due to the relatively short period to maturity for these instruments.

Cash and cash equivalents include money market accounts of $193,000 and $114,000 as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, that are measured using Level 1 inputs.

The Company uses Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the fair value of the warrants. In using this model, the fair value is determined by applying Level 3 inputs for which there is little or no observable market data, requiring the Company to develop its own assumptions. The assumptions used in calculating the estimated fair value of the warrants represent the Company’s best estimates; however, these estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. As a result, if factors change and different assumptions are used, the warrant liability and the change in estimated fair value could be materially different. In 2021 and 2020, the Monte Carlo simulations were not used as the value of the warrants was deemed to be minimal based on the historical fair value of the warrants and the Company’s current stock price.

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies – (continued)

Stock-Based Payment Arrangements

Generally, all forms of stock-based payments, including stock option grants, warrants, restricted stock grants and stock appreciation rights are measured at their fair value on the awards’ grant date typically using the Black-Scholes option pricing model, based on the estimated number of awards that are ultimately expected to vest. Stock-based compensation awards issued to non-employees for services rendered are recorded at either the fair value of the services rendered or the fair value of the stock-based payment, whichever is more readily determinable. The expense resulting from stock-based payments is recorded in research and development expense or general and administrative expense in the Consolidated Statements of Operations, depending on the nature of the services provided.

Derivative Instruments

The warrants issued in conjunction with the public offering of the Company’s securities in November 2016 include a provision that if the Company were to enter into a certain transaction, as defined in the warrant agreement, the warrants would be purchased from the holder for cash. The provisions of these warrants preclude equity accounting treatment under ASC 815, Derivatives and Hedging. Accordingly, the Company is required to record the warrants as liabilities at their fair value upon issuance and re-measure the fair value at each period end with the change in fair value recorded in the Consolidated Statement of Operations. When the warrants are exercised or cancelled, they are reclassified to equity. The Company uses Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the fair value of the warrants. In November 2020, all liability-classified warrants expired. In 2019, the Monte Carlo simulations were not used as the value of the warrants was deemed to be minimal based on the historical fair value of the warrants and the Company’s current stock price.

Income Taxes

The Company recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities based on the differences between the financial statement carrying amounts and the tax bases of assets and liabilities, using enacted tax rates in effect in the years the differences are expected to reverse. Deferred income tax benefit (expense) results from the change in net deferred tax assets or deferred tax liabilities. A valuation allowance is recorded when it is more likely than not that some or all deferred tax assets will not be realized.

Management assesses the need to accrue or disclose uncertain tax positions for proposed potential adjustments from various federal and state authorities who regularly audit the Company in the normal course of business. In making these assessments, management must often analyze complex tax laws of multiple jurisdictions. The Company records the related interest expense and penalties, if any, as tax expense in the tax provision. At December 31, 2021 and 2020, the Company did not record any liabilities for uncertain tax positions.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements and Developments

In August 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 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 earnings per share 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 its consolidated financial statements.

In October 2021, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2021-08 that address the accounting for Contract Assets and Liabilities from Contracts with Customers in a business combination (“ASU 2021-08”), with an effective date for SYN of January 1,2 2024 (earlier adoption permitted). ASU 2021-08 provides that existing contract assets and liabilities (including deferred costs to obtain and deferred revenue) are measured in a business combination under the measurement and recognition requirements of ASC 606. ASU 2021-08 should generally “result in an acquirer recognizing and measuring the acquired contract assets and liabilities consistent with how they were recognized and measured in the acquiree’s financial statements.” The Company is currently assessing the impact of ASU 2021-08 on its consolidated financial statements.