Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2018
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation


The Company’s unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”). Any reference in these notes to applicable guidance is meant to refer to the authoritative U.S. GAAP as found in the Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) and Accounting Standards Updates (“ASU”) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”). Certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP have been condensed or omitted from this report, as is permitted by such rules and regulations. Accordingly, these financial statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2017 and notes thereto included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 12, 2018. 


The unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as the audited financial statements except as noted below with respect to the adoption of ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (“Topic 606”). In the opinion of the Company’s management, the accompanying unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements contain all adjustments that are necessary to present fairly the Company’s financial position as of June 30, 2018, the results of its operations for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, and cash flows for the six months ended June 30, 2018 and 2017. Such adjustments are of a normal and recurring nature. The results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 are not necessarily indicative of the results for the year ending December 31, 2018, or for any future period.


Principles of Consolidation


The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Syros Securities Corporation, which is a Massachusetts corporation formed by the Company in December 2014 to exclusively engage in buying, selling and holding securities on its own behalf. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation.


Use of Estimates


The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Management considers many factors in selecting appropriate financial accounting policies and in developing the estimates and assumptions that are used in the preparation of the financial statements. Management must apply significant judgment in this process. In addition, other factors may affect estimates, which include, but are not limited to, expected business and operational changes, sensitivity and volatility associated with the assumptions used in developing estimates and whether historical trends are expected to be representative of future trends. Management’s estimation process often may yield a range of potentially reasonable estimates and management must select an amount that falls within that range of reasonable estimates. On an ongoing basis, the Company’s management evaluates its estimates, which include, but are not limited to, estimates related to revenue recognition, stock-based compensation expense, accrued expenses and income taxes. Actual results may differ from those estimates or assumptions.


Segment Information


Operating segments are identified as components of an enterprise about which separate discrete financial information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision maker, or decision making group, in making decisions on how to allocate resources and assess performance. The Company's chief operating decision maker is the Chief Executive Officer. The Company and the chief operating decision maker view the Company's operations and manage its business in one operating segment. The Company operates only in the United States.


Cash and Cash Equivalents


The Company considers all highly liquid instruments that have original maturities of three months or less when acquired to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents, which consist of money market funds that invest in U.S. Treasury obligations, as well as overnight repurchase agreements, are stated at fair value. The Company maintains its bank accounts at one major financial institution.


Fair Value of Financial Instruments


ASC 820, Fair Value Measurement (“ASC 820”), established a fair value hierarchy for instruments measured at fair value that distinguishes between assumptions based on market data (observable inputs) and the Company’s own assumptions (unobservable inputs). Observable inputs are inputs that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability based on market data obtained from sources independent of the Company. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect the Company’s assumption about the inputs that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability, and are developed based on the best information available in the circumstances.


ASC 820 identified fair value as the exchange price, or exit price, representing the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants. As a basis for considering market participant assumptions in fair value measurements, ASC 820 established a three-tier fair value hierarchy that distinguishes between the following:


Level 1—Quoted market prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.


Level 2—Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are either directly or indirectly observable, such as quoted market prices, interest rates and yield curves.


Level 3—Unobservable inputs developed using estimates or assumptions developed by the Company, which reflect those that a market participant would use.


To the extent that the valuation is based on models or inputs that are less observable or unobservable in the market, the determination of fair value requires more judgment. Accordingly, the degree of judgment exercised by the Company in determining fair value is greatest for instruments categorized as Level 3. A financial instrument’s level within the fair value hierarchy is based on the lowest level of any input that is significant to the fair value measurement.


The carrying amounts reflected in the condensed consolidated balance sheets for cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, prepaid expenses, other current assets, accounts payable, accrued expenses and deferred revenue approximate their fair values, due to their short-term nature.


Revenue Recognition


To date the Company’s only revenue has consisted of collaboration and license revenue. The Company has not generated any revenue from product sales and does not expect to generate any revenue from product sales for the foreseeable future. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, the Company generated approximately $0.4 million and $0.7 million of revenue, respectively, all of which was attributable to its target discovery collaboration with Incyte. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, the Company generated $1.1 million of revenue, all of which was attributable to a research agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company that expired in accordance with its terms in March 2017. No revenue was recognized for the three months ended June 30, 2017.


On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted Topic 606 using the modified retrospective method and applied the new standard to contracts that have been not completed as of the January 1, 2018 adoption date. As of the January 1, 2018 adoption date, the Company did not have any contracts that were not yet completed.


Topic 606 applies to all contracts with customers, except for contracts that are within the scope of other standards, such as leases, insurance, collaboration arrangements and financial instruments. Under Topic 606, an entity recognizes revenue when its customer obtains control of promised goods or services, in an amount that reflects the consideration the entity expects to receive in exchange for those goods or services. To determine revenue recognition for arrangements that an entity determines are within the scope of Topic 606, the entity performs the following five steps:



identify the contract(s) with a customer;



identify the performance obligations in the contract;



determine the transaction price;



allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and



recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation.  


The Company only applies the five-step model to contracts when it is probable that the entity will collect the consideration it is entitled to in exchange for the goods or services it transfers to the customer.  At contract inception, once the contract is determined to be within the scope of Topic 606, the Company assesses the goods or services promised within each contract and determines those that are performance obligations, and assesses whether each promised good or service is distinct.  The Company then recognizes as revenue the amount of the transaction price that is allocated to the respective performance obligation when (or as) the performance obligation is satisfied.  


The Company from time to time enters into agreements that are within the scope of Topic 606. The terms of these arrangements typically include payment to the Company of one or more of the following: non-refundable, up-front license fees; development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments; and royalties on net sales of licensed products. Each of these payments results in license and collaboration revenues, except for revenues from royalties on net sales of licensed products, which will be classified as royalty revenues.


The Company analyzes its collaboration arrangements to assess whether they are within the scope of ASC 808, Collaborative Arrangements (“ASC 808”), to determine whether such arrangements 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. This assessment is performed throughout the life of the arrangement based on changes in the responsibilities of all parties in the arrangement.  For collaboration arrangements within the scope of ASC 808 that contain multiple elements, the Company first determines which elements of the collaboration are deemed to be within the scope of ASC 808 and those that are more reflective of a vendor-customer relationship and therefore within the scope of Topic 606. For elements of collaboration arrangements that are accounted for pursuant to ASC 808, an appropriate recognition method is determined and applied consistently, generally by analogy to Topic 606.  For those elements of the arrangement that are accounted for pursuant to Topic 606, the Company applies the five-step model described above.


Research and Development


Expenditures relating to research and development are expensed in the period incurred. Research and development expenses consist of both internal and external costs associated with the development of the Company’s gene control platform and product candidates. Research and development costs include salaries and benefits, materials and supplies, external research, preclinical and clinical development expenses, stock-based compensation expense and facilities costs. Facilities costs primarily include the allocation of rent, utilities, depreciation and amortization.


In certain circumstances, the Company is required to make nonrefundable advance payments to vendors for goods or services that will be received in the future for use in research and development activities. In such circumstances, the nonrefundable advance payments are deferred and capitalized, even when there is no alternative future use for the research and development, until related goods or services are provided.


The Company records accruals for estimated ongoing research costs. When evaluating the adequacy of the accrued liabilities, the Company analyzes progress of the work being performed, including the phase or completion of the event, invoices received and costs. Significant judgements and estimates may be made in determining the accrued balances at the end of any reporting period. Actual results could differ from the Company’s estimates.


The Company may in-license the rights to develop and commercialize product candidates. For each in-license transaction the Company evaluates whether it has acquired processes or activities along with inputs that would be sufficient to constitute a “business” as defined under U.S. GAAP. A “business” as defined under U.S. GAAP consists of inputs and processes applied to those inputs that have the ability to create outputs. Although businesses usually have outputs, outputs are not required for an integrated set of activities to qualify as a business. When the Company determines that it has not acquired sufficient processes or activities to constitute a business, any up-front payments, as well as milestone payments, are immediately expensed as acquired research and development in the period in which they are incurred.


Stock-Based Compensation Expense


The Company accounts for its stock-based compensation awards in accordance with ASC 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”). ASC 718 requires all stock-based payments to employees and directors, including grants of restricted stock and stock options, to be recognized as expense in the consolidated statements of operations based on their grant date fair values. Grants of restricted stock and stock options to other service providers, referred to as non-employees, are required to be recognized as expense in the consolidated statements of operations based on their vesting date fair values. The Company estimates the fair value of options granted using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. Prior to June 30, 2016, the Company was a private company and, therefore, lacks Company-specific historical and implied volatility information. As a result, it estimates its expected stock volatility based on the historical volatility of a publicly traded set of peer companies and expects to continue to do so until such time as it has adequate historical data regarding the volatility of its own traded stock price. The expected term of the Company’s stock options has been determined utilizing the “simplified” method for awards that qualify as “plain-vanilla” options. The expected term of stock options granted to non-employees is equal to the contractual term of the option award. The risk-free interest rate is determined by reference to the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant of the award for time periods approximately equal to the expected term of the award. Expected dividend yield is based on the fact that the Company has never paid cash dividends and does not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. The Company uses the value of its common stock to determine the fair value of restricted stock awards.


The amount of stock-based compensation expense recognized during a period is based on the fair value of the portion of the awards that are ultimately expected to vest. The Company accounts for forfeitures as they occur instead of estimating forfeitures at the time of grant. Ultimately, the actual expense recognized over the vesting period will be for only those options that vest.


The Company expenses the fair value of its stock-based awards to employees on a straight-line basis over the associated service period, which is generally the vesting period. For stock-based awards granted to non-employees, stock-based compensation expense is recognized over the period during which services are rendered by such non-employees until completed. At the end of each financial reporting period prior to completion of the service, the fair value of these awards is remeasured using the then-current fair value of such awards.


For stock-based awards that contain performance-based milestones, the Company records stock-based compensation expense in accordance with the accelerated attribution model. Management evaluates when the achievement of a performance-based milestone is probable based on the expected satisfaction of the performance conditions as of the reporting date. For certain of the Company’s performance-based awards, notwithstanding any vesting in accordance with the achievement of performance-based milestones, such awards vest in full on the sixth anniversary of the vesting commencement date.


Net Loss per Share


Basic net loss per share is calculated by dividing net loss by the weighted average shares outstanding during the period, without consideration for common stock equivalents. Diluted net loss per share is calculated by adjusting the weighted average shares outstanding for the dilutive effect of common stock equivalents outstanding for the period, determined using the treasury-stock method and the if-converted method. For purposes of the dilutive net loss per share calculation, stock options are considered to be common stock equivalents but are excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share, as their effect would be anti-dilutive; therefore, basic and diluted net loss per share were the same for all periods presented as a result of the Company’s net loss.


The following common stock equivalent was excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share for the periods indicated because including them would have had an anti-dilutive effect:










As of June 30, 








Stock options







Income Taxes


In December 2017, the SEC staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin 118 to address the application of U.S. GAAP in situations when a registrant does not have the necessary information available, prepared, or analyzed (including computations) in reasonable detail to complete the accounting for certain income tax effects of H.R.1 (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). The Company has recognized provisional tax impacts related to deemed repatriated earnings and the revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and included these amounts in its consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017. The Company has no foreign operations and, therefore, does not have an associated liability from the repatriation tax on accumulated earnings in H.R.1. The ultimate impact may differ from these provisional amounts, possibly materially, due to, among other things, additional analysis, changes in interpretations and assumptions the Company has made, additional regulatory guidance that may be issued, and actions the Company may take as a result of H.R.1. The Company’s accounting treatment is expected to be complete when the Company’s 2017 U.S. corporate income tax return is filed in the fourth quarter of 2018.


Recent Accounting Pronouncements


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (“ASU 2016-02”), which applies to all leases and will require lessees to record most leases on the balance sheet, but recognize expense in a manner similar to the current standard. ASU 2016-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 and interim periods within those years and, as such, will be effective for the year ended December 31, 2019 for the Company. Entities are required to use a modified retrospective approach of adoption for leases that exist or are entered into after the beginning of the earliest comparative period in the financial statements. Full retrospective application is prohibited. The Company is evaluating the new guidance and the expected effect on the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements. However, the Company anticipates recognition of additional assets and corresponding liabilities related to its operating leases.


Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements


In May 2014, the FASB issued Topic 606, also referred to as ASU 2014-09. ASU 2014-09 amends ASC 605, Revenue Recognition, by outlining a single comprehensive model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers. ASU 2014-09 is effective for the Company for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Entities have the option of using either a full retrospective or a modified retrospective approach to adopt this new guidance. The FASB issued supplemental adoption guidance and clarification to ASU 2014-09 in March 2016, April 2016, May 2016, and December 2016 within ASU 2016-08 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Principal vs. Agent Considerations,” ASU 2016-10 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing,” ASU 2016-12 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients,” and ASU 2016-20 “Technical Corrections and Improvements to Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” respectively. The Company adopted ASU 2014-09 as of January 1, 2018 and has elected to adopt ASU 2014-09 using the modified retrospective approach and applied the standard only to contracts that have not been completed as of the January 1, 2018 adoption date. As of the January 1, 2018 adoption date, the Company did not have any contracts that were not yet completed and will apply the new standard to all future contracts executed. The adoption of ASU 2014-09 did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements and related disclosures. During the six months ended June 30, 2018, the Company entered into a target discovery collaboration with Incyte that is accounted for in accordance with Topic 606, as discussed in Note 3. During the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, the Company recognized $0.4 million and $0.7 million of revenue, respectively, related to the target discovery collaboration, compared to $0.4 million and $0.7 million, respectively, that would have been recognized in accordance with the previous revenue recognition policies of ASC 605.


In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230) (“ASU 2016-15”), which simplifies certain elements of cash flow classification. The new guidance is intended to reduce diversity of practice in how certain transactions are classified in the statement of cash flows and is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017. The Company adopted ASU 2016-15 on January 1, 2018. The adoption of ASU 2016-15 did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated statement of cash flows and related disclosures.


In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-18, Restricted Cash (“ASU 2016-18”). The amendments in ASU 2016-18 require an entity to reconcile and explain the period-over-period change in total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash within its statements of cash flows. ASU 2016-18 is effective for fiscal years (including interim reporting periods within those years) beginning after December 15, 2017. A reporting entity must apply the amendments in ASU 2016-18 using a full retrospective approach. The Company adopted ASU 2016-18 on January 1, 2018 using the full retrospective approach. The adoption of ASU 2016-18 did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated statement of cash flows and related disclosures and did not require the Company to restate prior periods as the Company did not have any changes in restricted cash balances for the periods currently presented except for recasting the beginning and ending balances of cash and cash equivalents on the statement of cash flows, for the six months ended June 30, 2017, to include the restricted cash balances of $0.5 million.


In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-01, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business (“ASU 2017-01”). The amended guidance clarifies the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses. The new accounting guidance is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those periods. The Company adopted ASU 2017-01 on January 1, 2018 and will apply the guidance prospectively. The adoption of ASU 2017-01 did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.