Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Collaboration and Research Arrangements

Collaboration and Research Arrangements
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Collaboration and Research Arrangements

3. Collaboration and Research Arrangements


Agreements with Incyte Corporation


In January 2018, the Company and Incyte entered into a Target Discovery, Research Collaboration and Option Agreement (the “Collaboration Agreement”). Under the Collaboration Agreement, the Company is using its proprietary gene control platform to identify novel therapeutic targets with a focus on myeloproliferative neoplasms, and Incyte has received options to obtain exclusive worldwide rights to intellectual property resulting from the collaboration for the development and commercialization of therapeutic products directed to up to seven validated targets. Incyte will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize any therapies under the collaboration that modulate those validated targets.


In January 2018, the Company also entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with Incyte (the “Stock Purchase Agreement”) whereby, for an aggregate purchase price of $10.0 million, Incyte purchased 793,021 shares of the Company’s common stock at $12.61 per share. Under the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement, the shares were purchased at a 30% premium over the volume-weighted sale price of the shares of the Company’s common stock over the fifteen (15) trading day period immediately preceding the date of the Stock Purchase Agreement.


Collaboration Agreement


Under the terms of the Collaboration Agreement, Incyte paid the Company $10.0 million in up-front consideration, consisting of $2.5 million in cash and $7.5 million in pre-paid research funding (the “Prepaid Research Amount”). The Company’s activities under the Collaboration Agreement are subject to a joint research plan and, subject to certain exceptions, Incyte is responsible for funding the Company’s activities under the research plan, including amounts in excess of the Prepaid Research Amount. Under the Collaboration Agreement, the Company is required to use commercially reasonable efforts to conduct the research services over a period commencing on the effective date of the Collaboration Agreement and ending upon the completion of specified target validation activities (the "Research Term"). 


The Company is eligible to receive target selection milestone payments, which extend the period of time in which the options are exercisable, and option exercise fees of up to an aggregate of $54.0 million if Incyte selects the maximum number of targets for validation and exercises its options to obtain exclusive rights to collaboration intellectual property for therapeutic products directed to all seven validated targets. Should any therapeutic product be developed by Incyte against a target as to which Incyte has exercised its option to obtain exclusive rights to collaboration intellectual property, the Company will be eligible to receive milestone payments and, if approved and commercialized, royalty payments from Incyte. For each of the seven validated targets, the Company would become eligible to receive from Incyte a total of up to $50.0 million in development and regulatory milestone payments. If products arising from the collaboration are approved, the Company would become eligible to receive from Incyte, for each validated target, a total of up to $65.0 million in commercial milestone payments. Upon approval and commercialization of any therapeutic product resulting from the collaboration, the Company would become eligible to receive low single-digit royalties on net sales of such product.


The term of the Collaboration Agreement began on January 8, 2018 and, unless terminated by a party early, will continue until all royalty obligations for products arising from the collaboration expire. The Collaboration Agreement may be terminated by Incyte for convenience on sixty (60) days’ prior written notice to the Company, or by the Company on thirty (30) days’ written notice in the event Incyte or one of its affiliates or sublicensees challenges the validity or enforceability of certain patent rights controlled by the Company. The Collaboration Agreement may also be terminated by either of the parties on thirty (30) days’ prior written notice in the event of an uncured material breach of the Collaboration Agreement by the other party or immediately in the case of certain bankruptcy events. If the Collaboration Agreement is terminated by Incyte for material breach, then the Company shall refund any unexpended Prepaid Research Amount. Incyte’s right to terminate for convenience and each party’s right to terminate for uncured material breach may be exercised either with respect to the Collaboration Agreement in its entirety or, as applicable, in relation to the relevant validated target and associated therapeutic products.


Collaboration Revenue


The Company analyzed the Collaboration Agreement to assess whether it is within the scope of ASC 808. As it was determined that the arrangement did not involve joint operating activities performed by parties that are both active participants in the activities and exposed to significant risks and rewards dependent on the commercial success of such activities, the Company concluded that the Collaboration Agreement was not within the scope of ASC 808. The Company assessed the Collaboration Agreement and concluded that it represents a contract with a customer within the scope of ASC 606.


The Company has identified a single performance obligation which includes a (i) research license that Incyte retains as long as there remains an unexercised option (the “Research License”) and (ii) research and development services provided during the Research Term (the “Research Services”). The Collaboration Agreement includes options to (x) obtain additional time to exercise the license options for certain targets designated as definitive validation targets and (y) obtain license rights to each validated target, both of which were not considered by the Company’s management to be material rights, and therefore not performance obligations, at inception. The Company’s management believes the options do not provide a material right to the customer that it would receive without entering into the contract principally because the option fees are at least equal to the standalone selling price for the underlying goods. The Research License is not considered distinct as Incyte cannot benefit from the Research License without the Research Services that are separately identifiable in the contract. The Research License only allows Incyte to evaluate the targets developed as part of the conduct of the Research Services under the research plan or conduct work allocated to them during the Research Term. Incyte cannot extract any benefit from the Research License without the Research Services, including the provision of data package information, performed by the Company. As such, these two promises are deemed inputs to a combined output (the delivery of data package allowing Incyte to make an option exercise decision) and are bundled into a single performance obligation (the “Research License and Research Service Performance Obligation”).


At inception, the total transaction price was determined to be $12.3 million, which consisted of a $2.5 million upfront non-refundable and non-creditable payment, the $7.5 million Prepaid Research Amount and $2.3 million in premium paid on the equity investment made pursuant the Stock Purchase Agreement. The Collaboration Agreement also provides for development and regulatory milestones that are only payable subsequent to the exercise of an option and were therefore excluded from transaction price at inception. The Company intends to re-evaluate the transaction price at the end of each reporting period and as uncertain events are resolved or other changes in circumstances occur. There were no changes to the transaction price during the year ended December 31, 2018.


ASC 606 requires an entity to recognize revenue only when it satisfies a performance obligation by transferring a promised good or service to a customer. A good or service is considered to be transferred when the customer obtains control. As the Research License and Research Services represent one performance obligation, the Company has determined that it will satisfy its performance obligation over a period of time as services are performed and Incyte receives the benefit of the services, as the overall purpose of the arrangement is for the Company to perform the services. 


The Company is recognizing revenue related to the Research License and Research Services Performance Obligation as the underlying services are performed using an input measure over the period the Company expects to complete the performance obligation. The Company measures proportional performance based on an input method using actual costs incurred relative to the total estimated costs of the Research Services. 


During the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company recognized $2.1 million of deferred revenue under the Collaboration Agreement. As of December 31, 2018, the Company has deferred revenue outstanding under the Collaboration Agreement of approximately $10.2 million, of which $1.9 million and $8.3 million were classified as current and long-term, respectively, on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets.


The following table presents the changes in deferred revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018 (in thousands):


Year ended December 31, 2018


Balance at


of Period









Balance at

End of



Deferred revenue

















Other Research Agreements

In November 2014, the Company entered into a research agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company (the “Counterparty”) for purposes of mapping immune cell super-enhancers (“SE”) and transcriptional targets in autoimmune disease. Under the research agreement, the Company is responsible for the conduct of all activities under separate projects, as defined in the research agreement, associated with generating SE and transcriptional maps of the cell/tissue supplied by the Counterparty. Upon the completion of each project, the Counterparty determined whether to commence the next project under the research agreement upon written notification.

The research agreement was amended in November 2016 to extend the term to March 31, 2017. The research agreement terminated automatically on March 31, 2017 in accordance with its terms.

The Company recognized revenue on a completed performance basis for each project performed under the agreement, as the Company did not have the ability to reasonably estimate the period of performance and the final study report for each project was significant to the overall arrangement. The Company recognized revenue of $1.1 million and $0.3 million during the years ended December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, under the agreement.