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, 2022
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 in areas of high unmet need. Prior to the Acquisition of VCN, the Company’s focus was on developing therapeutics designed to treat gastrointestinal (GI) diseases in areas which included our lead clinical development candidates: (1) SYN-004 (ribaxamase) which is designed to degrade certain commonly used intravenous (IV) beta-lactam antibiotics within the GI tract to prevent microbiome damage, Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), overgrowth of pathogenic organisms, the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and 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. Upon consummation of the Acquisition of VCN, described in more detail below, the Company is transitioning its strategic focus to oncology through the development of VCN’s new oncolytic adenovirus platform designed for intravenous and intravitreal delivery to trigger tumor cell death, improve access of co-administered cancer therapies to the tumor, and promote a robust and sustained anti-tumor response by the patient’s immune system.

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 2021 Form 10-K. The interim results for the three months ended March 31, 2022 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. As of March 31, 2022 the Company has one operating segment (which includes the legacy Company business and the VCN business) and therefore one reporting segment.

Business Combination

The Company accounts for acquisitions using the acquisition method of accounting, which requires that all identifiable assets acquired, and liabilities assumed be recorded at their estimated fair values. The excess of the fair value of purchase consideration over the fair values of identifiable assets and liabilities is recorded as goodwill. When determining the fair values of assets acquired and liabilities assumed, management makes significant estimates and assumptions. Critical estimates in valuing certain intangible assets include but are not limited to future expected cash flows from acquired patented technology. Management’s estimates of fair value are based upon assumptions believed to be reasonable, but are inherently uncertain and unpredictable and, as a result, actual results may differ from estimates.

1. Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation – (continued)

As a result of the acquisition of VCN (see Note 2), the Company has two intangible assets, in-process research and development (“IPR&D”) and goodwill. The IPR&D and goodwill are deemed to have indefinite lives and therefore not amortized.


IPR&D assets represent the fair value assigned to technologies that the Company acquires, which at the time of acquisition have not reached technological feasibility and have no alternative future use. IPR&D assets are considered to have indefinite-lives until the completion or abandonment of the associated research and development projects. If and when development is complete, which generally occurs upon regulatory approval and the ability to commercialize products associated with the IPR&D assets, these assets are then deemed to have definite lives and are amortized based on their estimated useful lives at that point in time. If development is terminated or abandoned, the Company may have a full or partial impairment charge related to the IPR&D assets, calculated as the excess of carrying value of the IPR&D assets over fair value.

During the period that the assets are considered indefinite-lived, they are tested for impairment on an annual basis on October 1, or more frequently if the Company becomes aware of any events occurring or changes in circumstances that could indicate an impairment. The impairment test consists of a comparison of the estimated fair value of the IPR&D with its carrying amount. If the carrying amount exceeds the fair value, an impairment charge is recognized in an amount equal to that excess. No impairment of the IPR&D asset was identified during the March 2022 period after the acquisition.


The Company tests the carrying amounts of goodwill for recoverability on an annual basis on October 31 or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired.  The Company performs a one-step test in its evaluation of the carrying value of goodwill if qualitative factors determine it is necessary to complete a goodwill impairment test. In the evaluation, the fair value of the relevant reporting unit is determined and compared to its carrying value. If the fair value is greater than the carrying value, then the carrying value is deemed to be recoverable, and no further action is required. If the fair value estimate is less than the carrying value, goodwill is considered impaired for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value, and a charge is reported in impairment of goodwill in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. As of March 31, 2022, the Company has determined that it has one reporting unit.  The Company has not identified any events or changes in circumstances that indicate the existence of potential impairment of goodwill during the three months ended March 31, 2022.

Contingent Consideration

Consideration paid in a business combination may include potential future payments that are contingent upon the acquired business achieving certain milestones in the future (“contingent consideration”). Contingent consideration liabilities are measured at their estimated fair value as of the date of acquisition, with subsequent changes in fair value recorded in the consolidated statements of operations. The Company estimates the fair value of the contingent consideration as of the acquisition date using the estimated future cash outflows based on the probability of meeting future milestones. The milestone payments will be made upon the achievement of clinical and commercialization milestones as well as single low digit royalty payments and payments upon receipt of sublicensing income. Subsequent to the date of acquisition, the Company reassesses the actual consideration earned and the probability-weighted future earn-out payments at each balance sheet date. Any adjustment to the contingent consideration liability will be recorded in the consolidated statements of operations. Contingent consideration liabilities expected to be settled within 12 months after the balance sheet date are presented in current liabilities, with the non-current portion recorded under long term liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets.

1. Organization, Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation – (continued)

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.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

Long-lived assets include property, equipment and right-of-use assets. In accordance with ASC 360, Property, Plant and Equipment (“ASC 360”), management reviews the Company’s 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 the fair value and the carrying value of the asset. As a result, no impairment charges were recorded during the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021.