Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Collaboration and License Agreements

Collaboration and License Agreements
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Organization Consolidation And Presentation Of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Collaboration and License Agreements

5. Collaboration and License Agreements

Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

On December 30, 2016, the Company entered into a license agreement with Kowa. Pursuant to the license agreement, the Company granted to Kowa an exclusive license, and right to sublicense, certain patent rights and technology related to arhalofenate. Kowa will have exclusive rights to, among other things, develop, use, manufacture, sell and otherwise exploit the licensed technology in the United States (including all possessions and territories). At Kowa’s option, the Company may also facilitate the placement of arhalofenate product manufacturing orders under the terms of the Company’s existing contract manufacturing agreements. In addition, the Company will complete specified in-process stability testing and non-clinical development services and will participate on a Joint Advisory Committee (JAC). Finally, the Company will transfer to Kowa certain arhalofenate product on hand.

Under the license agreement, Kowa agreed to pay the Company a non-refundable upfront payment of $5.0 million upon contract execution. Kowa also agreed to pay the Company $5.0 million upon initiation of a study evaluating the pharmacokinetics of arhalofenate in subjects with renal impairment, which occurred during the quarter ended December 31, 2017 and payment was received in January 2018. An additional milestone payment of $5.0 million is due on initiation of a Phase 3 study of arhalofenate, and up to $190.0 million based upon the achievement of other specific development and sales milestones.

The Company concluded that Kowa is a customer, and the contract is not subject to accounting literature on collaborative arrangements. This is because the Company granted to Kowa a license to its intellectual property and provided drug product and research and pre-clinical development services, all of which are outputs of the Company’s ongoing activities, in exchange for consideration. The Company identified the following three material promises under the license agreement: 1) the transfer of a license to intellectual property, inclusive of the related technology know-how conveyance and contract manufacturing rights and privileges (“license and know-how”); 2) the performance of specific ongoing research and non-clinical development services; and 3) the delivery of existing on hand arhalofenate clinical product. The Company’s participation on the JAC is not a performance obligation as the Company’s participation in the JAC is not required and is primarily for the Company’s benefit to obtain updates on the progress of Kowa’s activities. The Company provided to Kowa standard indemnification and protection of licensed intellectual property, which is part of assurance that the license meets the contract’s specifications and is not an obligation to provide goods or services.

The Company concluded that the license and know-how, the research and development services, and delivery of arhalofenate product were separate performance obligations since each was identified as a material promise that was by itself distinct. The Company concluded that Kowa can benefit from the license and know-how on its own by developing and commercializing arhalofenate using its own resources, and has the ability to sublicense and manufacture arhalofenate. The research and non-clinical development services promised will not significantly change the intellectual property underlying the license. Further, the Company believes that Kowa has research and development expertise with compounds similar to those licensed under the agreement. The research and development services and arhalofenate product are not integrated or dependent upon each other and are provided by the Company separately from each other. The licensed intellectual property was considered to be functional as it has significant standalone functionality, and grants Kowa the right to use the Company’s intellectual property as it exists on the effective date of the license. Accordingly, license revenue was recognized upon the substantial completion of the license technology transfer during 2017. The research and non-clinical development services are transferred as the services are performed, with cost used as the measure of progress. The arhalofenate product was transferred when Kowa assumed title and control of the inventory stored at the Company’s contract manufacturer upon entering into a direct contract with such manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2017.

To allocate transaction price among the three performance obligations, the Company estimated its SSP. For the license and know-how, the SSP was estimated using the income approach based on assumptions regarding Kowa’s future revenues from the licensed intellectual property, projected costs of research and development, manufacturing and commercialization expenses, as well as the discount rate, the development timeline, and probabilities of technical and regulatory success. To estimate SSP of research and non-clinical development services and arhalofenate product on hand, the Company used a cost-plus margin approach. The Company believes that a change in the assumptions used to determine its best estimate of selling price for the performance obligations would not have a significant effect on the allocation of consideration received to the performance obligations.

As of January 1, 2018, the transaction price was limited to $10.0 million, consisting of a $5.0 million upfront fee due upon contract initiation and a $5.0 million development milestone payment triggered when Kowa initiated a study evaluating the pharmacokinetics of arhalofenate in subjects with renal impairment. Of these amounts, the Company allocated $9.5 million to the license; $0.4 million to the arhalofenate product; and $0.1 million to the research and pre-clinical development services. As of January 1, 2018, all these performance obligations had been completed and the associated revenue had been recognized.

The Company expensed the incremental costs of obtaining the Kowa contract prior to December 31, 2017, as substantially all costs related to the performance obligations completed by that date.

Revenue recognized during the year ended December 31, 2017 was determined in accordance with the accounting rules applicable prior to the adoption of ASC 606 on January 1, 2018. There was no difference in the revenue recognized under ASC 606 or legacy GAAP for the year ended December 31, 2018.

There were no contract assets or deferred revenues (contract liabilities) recorded during the year ended December 31, 2018. Accounts receivable from the Kowa contract consisted of the following (in thousands):




December 31,









Accounts Receivable










On October 24, 2018, the Company received a notice of Kowa’s intent to terminate the license agreement for the development of arhalofenate. The termination will be effective on January 22, 2019. As a result of the termination, the rights licensed to Kowa through the agreement revert to the Company on the termination date and the Company is no longer eligible to receive additional milestone payments or royalties from Kowa. As of the time of the receipt of Kowa’s notice to terminate, all remaining variable consideration under the license agreement had been fully constrained and all performance obligations had been satisfied.



Janssen Pharmaceutical NV and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In June 2006, the Company entered into an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing license to seladelpar and certain other PPARδ compounds (the PPARδ Products) with Janssen Pharmaceutical NV (Janssen NV), with the right to grant sublicenses to third parties to make, use and sell such PPARδ Products. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company has full control and responsibility over the research, development and registration of any PPARδ Products and is required to use diligent efforts to conduct all such activities. Janssen NV has the sole responsibility for the preparation, filing, prosecution, maintenance of, and defense of the patents with respect to, the PPARδ Products. Janssen NV has a right of first negotiation under the agreement to license PPARδ Products from the Company in the event that the Company elects to seek a third party corporate partner for the research, development, promotion, and/or commercialization of such PPARδ Products. Under the terms of the agreement Janssen NV is entitled to receive up to an 8% royalty on net sales of PPARδ Products. No amounts were incurred or accrued for this agreement as of and for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

In June 2010, the Company entered into two development and license agreements with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen), a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, to further develop and discover undisclosed metabolic disease target agonists for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and other disorders and received a one-time nonrefundable technology access fee related to the agreements. The Company received a termination notice from Janssen, effectively ending these development and licensing agreements in early April 2015. In December 2015, the Company exercised an option pursuant to the terms of one of the original agreements to continue work to research, develop and commercialize compounds with activity against an undisclosed metabolic disease target. Janssen granted the Company an exclusive, worldwide license (with rights to sublicense) under the Janssen know-how and patents to research, develop, make, have made, use, offer for sale and sell such compounds. The Company has full control and responsibility over the research, development and registration of any products developed and/or discovered from the metabolic disease target and is required to use diligent efforts to conduct all such activities.

DiaTex, Inc.

In June 1998, the Company entered into a license agreement with DiaTex, Inc. (DiaTex) relating to products containing halofenate, its enantiomers, derivatives, and analogs (the licensed products). The license agreement provides that DiaTex and the Company are joint owners of all of the patents and patent applications covering the licensed products and methods of producing or using such compounds, as well as certain other know-how (the covered IP). As part of the license agreement, the Company received an exclusive worldwide license, including as to DiaTex, to use the covered IP to develop and commercialize the licensed products. The Company also retained the right to sub-license the covered IP. The license agreement contains a $2,000 per month license fee as well as a requirement to make additional payments for development achievements and royalty payments on any sales of licensed products. DiaTex is entitled to up to $0.8 million for the future development of arhalofenate, as well as royalty payments on commercial sales of products containing arhalofenate. In December 2016, the agreement was amended by the parties to change the timing of a specified development milestone. No development payments were made or due as of and for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 and no royalties have been paid to date.