0000749647 false FY 0000749647 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 2022-06-30 0000749647 2023-03-28 0000749647 2022-12-31 0000749647 2021-12-31 0000749647 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:PreferredStockMember IMNN:SeriesAandBPreferredStockMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:PreferredStockMember IMNN:SeriesAandBPreferredStockMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:PreferredStockMember IMNN:SeriesAandBPreferredStockMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HisunAgreementMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ us-gaap:NewJerseyDivisionOfTaxationMember 2022-09-19 0000749647 stpr:NJ us-gaap:NewJerseyDivisionOfTaxationMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember us-gaap:NewJerseyDivisionOfTaxationMember 2023-01-10 0000749647 stpr:NJ 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ 2021-01-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ srt:MinimumMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ srt:MaximumMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ srt:MaximumMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ 2022-12-31 0000749647 stpr:NJ 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2018-06-01 2018-06-30 0000749647 IMNN:SVBLoanFacilityMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:AmendmentToHorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2020-08-27 2020-08-28 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2020-08-28 0000749647 IMNN:AmendmentToHorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2020-08-28 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2021-06-30 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember IMNN:SVBLoanFacilityMember 2021-06-30 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember IMNN:SVBLoanFacilityMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember us-gaap:PrimeRateMember IMNN:SVBLoanFacilityMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember us-gaap:OtherCurrentAssetsMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember us-gaap:OtherNoncurrentAssetsMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member IMNN:InprocessRandDMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENIncMember IMNN:IPRAndDDrugTechnologyPlatformsMember us-gaap:InProcessResearchAndDevelopmentMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDDrugTechnologyPlatformsMember us-gaap:InProcessResearchAndDevelopmentMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDDrugTechnologyPlatformsMember us-gaap:InProcessResearchAndDevelopmentMember 2022-10-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDDrugTechnologyPlatformsMember us-gaap:InProcessResearchAndDevelopmentMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENIncMember IMNN:PurchaseAgreementMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENIncMember IMNN:PurchaseAgreementMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENIncMember us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENIncMember us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2021-10-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:IPRAndDMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:GoodwillMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember srt:MinimumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember srt:MaximumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember srt:MinimumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember srt:MaximumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember srt:MinimumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember srt:MaximumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember 2021-06-18 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember 2021-06-17 2021-06-18 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SiliconValleyBankMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember 2018-06-27 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember 2018-06-26 2018-06-27 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember 2020-08-27 2020-08-28 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember 2020-08-28 0000749647 IMNN:InitialHorizonCreditAgreementMember 2018-06-26 2018-06-27 0000749647 IMNN:InitialHorizonCreditAgreementMember 2018-06-27 0000749647 IMNN:InitialHorizonCreditAgreementMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-06-27 0000749647 IMNN:AmendmentToHorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-08-28 0000749647 IMNN:AmendmentToHorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:AmendmentToHorizonCreditAgreementMember IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InitialHorizonCreditAgreementMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InitialHorizonCreditAgreementMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InitialHorizonCreditAgreementAmendmentMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonTechnologyFinanceCorporationMember 2021-06-18 0000749647 IMNN:NJMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:FederalIncomeTaxMember IMNN:NoExpirationMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:USFederalAndStateMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 2011-07-31 0000749647 2011-07-01 2011-07-31 0000749647 2013-02-28 0000749647 2013-02-27 2013-02-28 0000749647 2013-06-30 0000749647 2013-06-29 2013-06-30 0000749647 2015-06-30 0000749647 2015-06-29 2015-06-30 0000749647 2017-02-28 0000749647 2017-02-27 2017-02-28 0000749647 2017-06-30 0000749647 2017-06-29 2017-06-30 0000749647 2017-10-31 0000749647 2017-10-29 2017-10-31 0000749647 2018-08-31 0000749647 2018-08-29 2018-08-31 0000749647 2018-08-31 2018-08-31 0000749647 2020-02-28 0000749647 2021-01-29 2021-01-31 0000749647 2021-01-31 0000749647 2021-01-30 2021-01-31 0000749647 IMNN:NJMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:NJMember srt:MinimumMember us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:NJMember srt:MaximumMember us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:NJMember srt:MaximumMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 2021-03-18 2021-03-19 0000749647 srt:MaximumMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 srt:MinimumMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:MarketOfferingAgreementMember 2022-05-23 2022-05-25 0000749647 IMNN:MarketOfferingAgreementMember 2022-10-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:MarketOfferingAgreementMember srt:ScenarioForecastMember 2023-01-01 2023-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:CapitalOnDemandTMSalesAgreementMember 2018-12-02 2018-12-04 0000749647 IMNN:CapitalOnDemandAgreementMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:JanuaryRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2021-01-21 2021-01-22 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:JanuaryRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2021-01-22 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:JanuaryRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2021-01-01 2021-01-31 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:MarchRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2021-03-30 2021-03-31 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:MarchRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2021-03-31 0000749647 IMNN:SeriesAConvertibleRedeemablePreferredStockMember 2022-01-10 0000749647 IMNN:SeriesBConvertibleRedeemablePreferredStockMember 2022-01-10 0000749647 2022-01-10 0000749647 2022-01-09 2022-01-10 0000749647 IMNN:SeriesAConvertibleRedeemablePreferredStockMember 2022-01-09 2022-01-10 0000749647 2022-03-03 0000749647 IMNN:SeriesAConvertibleRedeemablePreferredStockMember 2022-03-03 0000749647 IMNN:SeriesBConvertibleRedeemablePreferredStockMember 2022-03-03 0000749647 srt:MaximumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:AprilRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2022-04-05 2022-04-06 0000749647 IMNN:SecuritiesPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:AprilRegisteredDirectOfferingMember 2022-04-06 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2018-05-15 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember srt:MinimumMember 2019-05-14 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-05-14 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-06-15 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-06-15 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember srt:MinimumMember 2021-06-10 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember srt:MaximumMember 2021-06-10 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandSevenStockIncentivePlanMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InducementOptionGrantsMember IMNN:FiveNewEmployeesMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InducementOptionGrantsMember IMNN:FiveNewEmployeesMember us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InducementOptionGrantsMember IMNN:FiveNewEmployeesMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EquityStockAwardsMember IMNN:GrantedUnderTwoThousandEighteenPlanAndTwoThousandSevenPlanMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:TwoThousandAndEighteenPlanMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:InducementAwardsMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EmployeeStockOptionAndRestrictedStockAwardsMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EmployeeStockOptionAndRestrictedStockAwardsMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EmployeeStockOptionAndRestrictedStockAwardsMember us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EmployeeStockOptionAndRestrictedStockAwardsMember us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EmployeeStockOptionAndRestrictedStockAwardsMember us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EmployeeStockOptionAndRestrictedStockAwardsMember us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2021-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:ExercisePriceOneMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:ExercisePriceOneMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:ExercisePriceTwoMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:ExercisePriceTwoMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:ExercisePriceThreeMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:ExercisePriceThreeMember 2022-12-31 0000749647 srt:MinimumMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 srt:MinimumMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 srt:MaximumMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:AmendedAssetPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:AchievingMilestoneWithInOneYearMember 2014-06-20 0000749647 IMNN:AmendedAssetPurchaseAgreementMember 2014-06-20 0000749647 IMNN:EGWCMember 2014-06-19 2014-06-20 0000749647 IMNN:AmendedAssetPurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:CertainBusinessDaysOfAchievingMilestoneMember 2019-03-28 0000749647 IMNN:AmendedAssetPurchaseAgreementMember 2019-03-28 0000749647 IMNN:EGWCMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGWCMember IMNN:FairValueEarnoutMilestoneLiabilityMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGWCMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGWCMember IMNN:FairValueEarnoutMilestoneLiabilityMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0000749647 srt:MinimumMember 2021-02-28 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementAmendmentMember 2020-08-31 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementAmendmentMember 2021-09-21 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementAmendmentMember 2020-09-20 2020-09-21 0000749647 IMNN:HorizonCreditAgreementAmendmentMember 2020-09-21 0000749647 2011-01-01 2011-12-31 0000749647 2011-12-31 0000749647 2011-12-31 2011-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:FirstLeaseAmendmentMember IMNN:FirstYearMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:FirstLeaseAmendmentMember IMNN:FinalYearMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:FirstLeaseAmendmentMember 2019-01-08 2019-01-09 0000749647 IMNN:SecondLeaseAmendmentMember IMNN:FirstYearMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:SecondLeaseAmendmentMember IMNN:FinalYearMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENAssetPurchaseAgreementMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HuntsvilleMember 2018-01-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENAssetPurchaseAgreementMember 2018-01-31 0000749647 IMNN:EGENAssetPurchaseAgreementMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HuntsvilleAlabamaMember 2021-06-09 0000749647 IMNN:EGENAssetPurchaseAgreementMember 2021-06-08 2021-06-09 0000749647 IMNN:HuntsvilleMember us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember 2023-01-31 0000749647 IMNN:HuntsvilleMember us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember 2023-01-01 2023-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:OperatingLeasesMember 2022-01-01 2022-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:OperatingLeasesMember 2021-01-01 2021-12-31 0000749647 IMNN:HisunMember 2013-01-17 2013-01-18 0000749647 IMNN:HisunMember 2013-01-18 0000749647 IMNN:ConvertibleNotePurchaseAgreementMember IMNN:TransomicTechnologiesIncMember 2022-11-16 iso4217:USD xbrli:shares iso4217:USD xbrli:shares xbrli:pure utr:sqft

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.

 

or

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from _______ to _______

 

COMMISSION FILE NO.: 001-15911

 

IMUNON, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

delaware   52-1256615
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
     
997 LENOX DRIVE, SUITE 100,
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ
  08648
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (609) 896-9100

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol(s)   Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, Par Value $0.01 Per Share   IMNN   The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large Accelerated Filer   Accelerated Filer
Non-accelerated Filer   Smaller Reporting Company
      Emerging Growth Company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the Registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). Yes ☐ No

 

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐

 

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $13.1 million as of June 30, 2022 (the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) based on the closing sale price of $1.84 for the Registrant’s common stock on that date as reported by The Nasdaq Capital Market (“NASDAQ”). For purposes of this calculation, shares of common stock held by directors, officers and stockholders who own greater than 10% of the Registrant’s outstanding stock at June 30, 2022, were excluded. This determination of executive officers and directors as affiliates is not necessarily a conclusive determination for any other purpose.

 

As of March 28, 2023, 9,089,789 shares of the Registrant’s common stock were issued and outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement to be filed for its 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

   

 

 

IMUNON, INC.

FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I      
       
ITEM 1. BUSINESS   1
  FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS   1
  OVERVIEW   2
  IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY PROGRAM   2
  THERAPLAS Technology Platform   2
  Ovarian Cancer Overview   3
  IMNN-001 Immunotherapy   3
  OVATION I Study   3
  OVATION 2 Study   5
  PLACCINE DNA VACCINE TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM   7
  COVID-19 Vaccine Overview   8
  Our Next Generation Vaccine Initiative   8
  THERMODOX® DIRECTED CHEMOTHERAPY   10
  OPTIMA Study   11
  Investigator-Sponsored Studies with ThermoDox®   11
  BUSINESS STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN   12
  RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURES   12
  GOVERNMENT REGULATION   13
  MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLY   24
  SALES AND MARKETING   24
  PRODUCT LIABILITY AND INSURANCE   25
  COMPETITION   25
  IMNN-001   25
  ThermoDox ®   26
  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY   26
  Patents and Proprietary Rights   26
  EMPLOYEES   27
  COMPANY INFORMATION   27
  AVAILABLE INFORMATION   28
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS   28
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS   43
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES   43
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS   44
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES   45

 

i
 

 

IMUNON, INC.

FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)

 

PART II      
       
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES   45
  Market for Our Common Stock   45
  Record Holders   45
  Dividend Policy   45
  Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities   45
  Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   45
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA   45
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS   46
  Overview   46
  Business Plan   55
  Financing Overview   57
  Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates   60
  Results of Operations   60
  Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources   62
  Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements   63
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK   63
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA   64
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE   64
ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES   64
ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION   65
ITEM 9C. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS   65
       
PART III      
       
ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE   65
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION   65
ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS   65
ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE   65
ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES   66
       
PART IV      
       
ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES   66
  1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS   66
  2. FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES   66
  3. EXHIBITS   67
ITEM 16. FORM 10-K SUMMARY   70

 

ii
 

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

Certain of the statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”) are forward-looking and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements may relate to such matters as anticipated financial performance, business prospects, technological developments, product pipelines, clinical trials and research and development activities, the adequacy of capital reserves and anticipated operating results and cash expenditures, current and potential collaborations, strategic alternatives and other aspects of our present and future business operations and similar matters. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our or our industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among other things, unforeseen changes in the course of research and development activities and in clinical trials; possible changes in cost, timing and progress of development, preclinical studies, clinical trials and regulatory submissions; our collaborators’ ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of any of our drug candidates; possible changes in capital structure, financial condition, future working capital needs and other financial items; changes in approaches to medical treatment; introduction of new products by others; success or failure of our current or future collaboration arrangements, risks and uncertainties associated with possible acquisitions of other technologies, assets or businesses; our ability to obtain additional funds for our operations; our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our technologies and drug candidates and our ability to operate our business without infringing the intellectual property rights of others; our reliance on third parties to conduct preclinical studies or clinical trials; the rate and degree of market acceptance of any approved drug candidates; possible actions by customers, suppliers, strategic partners, potential strategic partners, competitors and regulatory authorities; compliance with listing standards of The Nasdaq Capital Market; and those listed under “Risk Factors” below and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

 

In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “believe,” “could,” “intend,” “predict,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would” and words of similar import regarding the Company’s expectations. Forward-looking statements are only predictions. Actual events or results may differ materially. Although we believe that our expectations are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge of our industry, business and operations, we cannot guarantee that actual results will not differ materially from our expectations. In evaluating such forward-looking statements, you should specifically consider various factors, including the risks outlined under “Risk Factors.” The discussion of risks and uncertainties set forth in this Annual Report is not necessarily a complete or exhaustive list of all risks facing the Company at any particular point in time. We operate in a highly competitive, highly regulated and rapidly changing environment and our business is in a state of evolution. Therefore, it is likely that new risks will emerge, and that the nature and elements of existing risks will change, over time. It is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors or changes therein, or to assess either the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any individual risk factor, combination of factors, or new or altered factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf for any reason, even if new information becomes available in the future. Unless the context requires otherwise or unless otherwise noted, all references in this Annual Report to “Imunon”, “the Company”, “we”, “us”, or “our” are to Imunon, Inc., a Delaware corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries, CLSN Laboratories, Inc., also a Delaware corporation and Celsion GmbH, a Swiss corporation.

 

Trademarks

 

The Imunon brand and product names, including but not limited to Imunon® and ThermoDox®, contained in this document are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Imunon, Inc. or its subsidiary in the United States (the “U.S.”) and certain other countries. This document also contains references to trademarks and service marks of other companies that are the property of their respective owners.

 

1
 

 

OVERVIEW

 

On September 19, 2022, Celsion Corporation announced a corporate name change to Imunon, Inc., reflecting the evolution of the Company’s business focus and its commitment to developing cutting-edge immunotherapies and next-generation vaccines to treat cancer and infectious diseases. The Company’s common stock continues to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the new ticker symbol “IMNN” effective as of the opening of trading on September 21, 2022. The Company filed an amendment to its Articles of Incorporation to effect the new corporate name.

 

Imunon, Inc. (“Imunon” and the “Company”) is a fully integrated, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments that harness the body’s natural mechanisms to generate safe, effective, and durable responses across a broad array of human diseases, constituting a differentiating approach from conventional therapies. Imunon has two platform technologies: Our TheraPlas® platform for the development of immunotherapies and other anti-cancer nucleic acid-based therapies, and our PLACCINE platform for the development of nucleic acid vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer. The Company’s lead clinical program, IMNN-001 (formerly known as GEN-1), is a DNA-based immunotherapy for the localized treatment of advanced ovarian cancer currently in Phase II development. IMNN-001 works by instructing the body to produce safe and durable levels of powerful cancer fighting molecules, such as interleukin-12 and interferon gamma, at the tumor site. Additionally, the Company is conducting preclinical proof-of-concept studies on a nucleic acid vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to validate its PLACCINE platform. Imunon’s platform technologies are based on the delivery of nucleic acids with novel synthetic delivery systems that are independent of viral vectors or devices. We will continue to leverage these platforms and to advance the technological frontier of plasmid DNA to better serve patients with difficult to treat conditions.

 

IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY Program

 

On June 20, 2014, the Company completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of EGEN, Inc., a privately held corporation located in Huntsville, Alabama. Pursuant to the Asset Purchase Agreement, CLSN Laboratories acquired all of EGEN’s right, title and interest in substantially all of the assets of EGEN, including cash and cash equivalents, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights, clinical data, certain contracts, licenses and permits, equipment, furniture, office equipment, furnishings, supplies and other tangible personal property. A key asset acquired from EGEN was the TheraPlas technology platform. The first drug candidate developed from this technology platform is IMNN-001.

 

THERAPLAS Technology Platform

 

TheraPlas is a technology platform for the delivery of DNA and mRNA therapeutics via synthetic non-viral carriers and is capable of providing cell transfection for double-stranded DNA plasmids and large therapeutic RNA segments such as mRNA. There are two components of the TheraPlas system, a plasmid DNA or mRNA payload encoding a therapeutic protein, and a delivery system. The delivery system is designed to protect the DNA/mRNA from degradation and promote trafficking into cells and through intracellular compartments. We designed the delivery system of TheraPlas by chemically modifying the low molecular weight polymer to improve its gene transfer activity without increasing toxicity. We believe that TheraPlas may be a viable alternative to current approaches to gene delivery due to several distinguishing characteristics, including enhanced molecular versatility that allows for complex modifications to potentially improve activity and safety.

 

The design of the TheraPlas delivery system is based on molecular functionalization of polyethyleneimine (“PEI”), a cationic delivery polymer with a distinct ability to escape from the endosomes due to heavy protonation. The transfection activity and toxicity of PEI is tightly coupled to its molecular weight; therefore, the clinical application of PEI is limited. We have used molecular functionalization strategies to improve the activity of low molecular weight PEIs without augmenting their cytotoxicity. In one instance, chemical conjugation of a low molecular weight branched BPEI1800 with cholesterol and polyethylene glycol (“PEG”) to form PEG-PEI-Cholesterol (“PPC”) dramatically improved the transfection activity of BPEI1800 following in vivo delivery. Together, the cholesterol and PEG modifications produced approximately 20-fold enhancement in transfection activity. Biodistribution studies following intraperitoneal or subcutaneous administration of DNA/PPC nanocomplexes showed DNA delivery localized primarily at the injection site with only a small amount escaping into the systemic circulation. PPC is the delivery component of our lead TheraPlas product, IMNN-001, which is in clinical development for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The PPC manufacturing process has been scaled up from bench scale (1-2 g) to 0.6Kg, and several lots produced using current Good Manufacturing Practice (“cGMP”) have been produced with reproducible quality.

 

2
 

 

We believe that TheraPlas has emerged as a viable alternative to current approaches due to several distinguishing characteristics such as strong molecular versatility that may allow for complex modifications to potentially improve activity and safety with little difficulty. The biocompatibility of these polymers reduces the risk of adverse immune response, thus allowing for repeated administration. Compared to naked DNA or cationic lipids, TheraPlas is generally safer, more efficient, and cost effective. We believe that these advantages place Imunon in a position to capitalize on this technology platform.

 

Ovarian Cancer Overview

 

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of gynecological malignancies among women with an overall five-year survival rate of 45%. This poor outcome is due in part to the lack of effective prevention and early detection strategies. There were approximately 20,000 new cases of ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2021 with an estimated 13,000 deaths. Mortality rates for ovarian cancer declined very little in the last forty years due to the unavailability of detection tests and improved treatments. Most women with ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until Stages III or IV, when the disease has spread outside the pelvis to the abdomen and areas beyond causing swelling and pain. The five-year survival rates for Stages III and IV are 39 percent and 17 percent, respectively. First-line chemotherapy regimens are typically platinum-based combination therapies. Although this first line of treatment has an approximate 80 percent response rate, 55 to 75 percent of women will develop recurrent ovarian cancer within two years and ultimately will not respond to platinum therapy. Patients whose cancer recurs or progresses after initially responding to surgery and first-line chemotherapy have been divided into one of the two groups based on the time from completion of platinum therapy to disease recurrence or progression. This time period is referred to as platinum-free interval. The platinum-sensitive group has a platinum-free interval of longer than six months. This group generally responds to additional treatment with platinum-based therapies. The platinum-resistant group has a platinum-free interval of shorter than six months and is resistant to additional platinum-based treatments. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, topotecan, and Avastin are the only approved second-line therapies for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The overall response rate for these therapies is 10 to 20 percent with median overall survival (“OS”) of eleven to twelve months. Immunotherapy is an attractive novel approach for the treatment of ovarian cancer particularly since ovarian cancers are considered immunogenic tumors. IL-12 is one of the most active cytokines for the induction of potent anti-cancer immunity acting through the induction of T-lymphocyte and natural killer cell proliferation. The precedence for a therapeutic role of IL-12 in ovarian cancer is based on epidemiologic and preclinical data.

 

IMNN-001 (formerly GEN-1) Immunotherapy

 

IMNN-001 is a DNA-based immunotherapeutic drug candidate for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer by intraperitoneally administering an Interleukin-12 (“IL-12”) plasmid formulated with our proprietary TheraPlas delivery system. In this DNA-based approach, the immunotherapy is combined with a standard chemotherapy drug, which can potentially achieve better clinical outcomes than with chemotherapy alone. We believe that increases in IL-12 concentrations at tumor sites for several days after a single administration could create a potent immune environment against tumor activity and that a direct killing of the tumor with concomitant use of cytotoxic chemotherapy could result in a more robust and durable antitumor response than chemotherapy alone. We believe the rationale for local therapy with IMNN-001 is based on the following:

 

  Loco-regional production of the potent cytokine IL-12 avoids toxicities and poor pharmacokinetics associated with systemic delivery of recombinant IL-12;
     
  Persistent local delivery of IL-12 lasts up to one week and dosing can be repeated; and
     
  Local therapy is ideal for long-term maintenance therapy.

 

OVATION I Study. In February 2015, we announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) accepted, without objection, the Phase I dose-escalation clinical trial of IMNN-001 in combination with the standard of care in neoadjuvant ovarian cancer (the “OVATION I Study”). On September 30, 2015, we announced enrollment of the first patient in the OVATION I Study. The OVATION I Study was designed to:

 

  (i) identify a safe, tolerable and therapeutically active dose of IMNN-001 by recruiting and maximizing an immune response;

 

3
 

 

  (ii) enroll three to six patients per dose level and evaluate safety and efficacy; and
     
  (iii) attempt to define an optimal dose for a follow-on Phase I/II study.

 

In addition, the OVATION I Study established a unique opportunity to assess how cytokine-based compounds such as IMNN-001, directly affect ovarian cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients. The study was designed to characterize the nature of the immune response triggered by IMNN-001 at various levels of the patients’ immune system, including:

 

  Infiltration of cancer fighting T-cell lymphocytes into primary tumor and tumor microenvironment including peritoneal cavity, which is the primary site of metastasis of ovarian cancer;
     
  Changes in local and systemic levels of immuno-stimulatory and immune-suppressive cytokines associated with tumor suppression and growth, respectively; and
     
  Expression profile of a comprehensive panel of immune related genes in pre-treatment and IMNN-001-treated tumor tissue.

 

We initiated the OVATION I Study at four clinical sites at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Oklahoma University Medical Center, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. During 2016 and 2017, we announced data from the first fourteen patients in the OVATION I Study. On October 3, 2017, we announced final translational research and clinical data from the OVATION I Study.

 

Key translational research findings from all evaluable patients are consistent with the earlier reports from partial analysis of the data and are summarized below:

 

  The intraperitoneal treatment of IMNN-001 in conjunction with NACT resulted in dose dependent increases in IL-12 and Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels that were predominantly in the peritoneal fluid compartment with little to no changes observed in the patients’ systemic circulation. These and other post-treatment changes including decreases in VEGF levels in peritoneal fluid are consistent with an IL-12 based immune mechanism;
     
  Consistent with the previous partial reports, the effects observed in the IHC analysis were pronounced decreases in the density of immunosuppressive T-cell signals (Foxp3, PD-1, PDL-1, IDO-1) and increases in CD8+ cells in the tumor microenvironment;
     
  The ratio of CD8+ cells to immunosuppressive cells was increased in approximately 75% of patients suggesting an overall shift in the tumor microenvironment from immunosuppressive to pro-immune stimulatory following treatment with IMNN-001. An increase in CD8+ to immunosuppressive T-cell populations is a leading indicator and believed to be a good predictor of improved OS; and
     
  Analysis of peritoneal fluid by cell sorting, not reported before, shows a treatment-related decrease in the percentage of immunosuppressive T-cell (Foxp3+), which is consistent with the reduction of Foxp3+ T-cells in the primary tumor tissue, and a shift in tumor naïve CD8+ cell population to more efficient tumor killing memory effector CD8+ cells.

 

The Company also reported encouraging clinical data from the first fourteen patients who completed treatment in the OVATION I Study. IMNN-001 plus standard chemotherapy produced no dose limiting toxicities and positive dose dependent efficacy signals which correlate well with positive surgical outcomes as summarized below:

 

  Of the fourteen patients treated in the entire study, two patients demonstrated a complete response, ten patients demonstrated a partial response and two patients demonstrated stable disease, as measured by RECIST criteria. This translates to a 100% disease control rate and an 86% objective response rate (“ORR”). Of the five patients treated in the highest dose cohort, there was a 100% ORR with one complete response and four partial responses;

 

4
 

 

     
  Fourteen patients had successful resections of their tumors, with nine patients (64%) having a complete tumor resection (“R0”), which indicates a microscopically margin-negative resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed. Seven out of eight (88%) patients in the highest two dose cohorts experienced a R0 surgical resection. All five patients treated at the highest dose cohort experienced a R0 surgical resection; and
     
  All patients experienced a clinically significant decrease in their CA-125 protein levels as of their most recent study visit. CA-125 is used to monitor certain cancers during and after treatment. CA-125 is present in greater concentrations in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells.

 

On March 26, 2020, the Company announced with Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, that examining matched patient data provided by Medidata in a synthetic control arm (“SCA”) with results from the Company’s completed Phase Ib dose-escalating OVATION I Study showed positive results in progression-free survival (“PFS”). The hazard ratio (“HR”) was 0.53 in the ITT group, showing strong signals of efficacy. The Company believes these data may warrant consideration of strategies to accelerate the clinical development program for IMNN-001 in newly diagnosed, advanced ovarian cancer patients by the FDA. In its March 2019 discussion with the Company, the FDA noted that preliminary findings from the Phase Ib OVATION I Study were exciting but lacked a control group to evaluate IMNN-001’s independent impact on impressive tumor response, surgical results and PFS. The FDA encouraged the Company to continue its IMNN-001 development program and consult with FDA with new findings that may have a bearing on designations such as Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy.

 

SCAs have the potential to revolutionize clinical trials in certain oncology indications and some other diseases where a randomized control is not ethical or practical. SCAs are formed by carefully selecting control patients from historical clinical trials to match the demographic and disease characteristics of the patients treated with the new investigational product. SCAs have been shown to mimic the results of traditional randomized controls so that the treatment effects of an investigational product can be visible by comparison to the SCA. SCAs can help advance the scientific validity of single arm trials, and in certain indications, reduce time and cost, and expose fewer patients to placebos or existing standard-of-care treatments that might not be effective for them.

 

On July 29, 2021, the Company announced final progression free survival (“PFS”) results from the OVATION I Study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research. Median PFS in patients treated per protocol (n=14) was 21 months and was 18.4 months for the intent-to-treat (“ITT”) population (n=18) for all dose cohorts, including three patients who dropped out of the study after 13 days or less, and two patients who did not receive full NAC and IMNN-001 cycles. Under the current standard of care, in women with Stage III/IV ovarian cancer undergoing NAC, their disease progresses within about 12 months on average. The results from the OVATION I Study support continued evaluation of IMNN-001 based on promising tumor response, as reported in the PFS data, and the ability for surgeons to completely remove visible tumors at interval debulking surgery. IMNN-001 was well tolerated, and no dose-limiting toxicities were detected. Intraperitoneal administration of IMNN-001 was feasible with broad patient acceptance.

 

OVATION 2 Study. The Company held an Advisory Board Meeting on September 27, 2017 with the clinical investigators and scientific experts including those from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical School, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to review and finalize clinical, translational research and safety data from the OVATION I Study to determine the next steps forward for our IMNN-001 immunotherapy program. On November 13, 2017, the Company filed its Phase I/II clinical trial protocol with the FDA for IMNN-001 for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer. The protocol is designed with a single dose escalation phase to 100 mg/m² to identify a safe and tolerable dose of IMNN-001 while maximizing an immune response. The Phase I portion of the study will be followed by a continuation at the selected dose in approximately 110 patients randomized Phase II study.

 

In the OVATION 2 Study, patients in the IMNN-001 treatment arm will receive IMNN-001 plus chemotherapy pre- and post-interval debulking surgery (“IDS”). The OVATION 2 Study will include up to 110 patients with Stage III/IV ovarian cancer, with 12 to 15 patients in the Phase I portion and up to 95 patients in Phase II. The study is powered to show a 33% improvement in the primary endpoint, PFS, when comparing IMNN-001 with neoadjuvant + adjuvant chemotherapy versus neoadjuvant + adjuvant chemotherapy alone. The PFS primary analysis will be conducted after at least 80 events have been observed or after all patients have been followed for at least 16 months, whichever is later.

 

5
 

 

In March 2020, the Company announced encouraging initial clinical data from the first 15 patients enrolled in the Phase I portion of the OVATION 2 Study for patients newly diagnosed with Stage III and IV ovarian cancer. The OVATION 2 Study combines IMNN-001, the Company’s IL-12 gene-mediated immunotherapy, with standard-of-care neoadjuvant chemotherapy (“NACT”). Following NACT, patients undergo interval debulking surgery (IDS), followed by three additional cycles of chemotherapy.

 

IMNN-001 plus standard NACT produced positive dose-dependent efficacy results, with no dose-limiting toxicities, which correlates well with successful surgical outcomes as summarized below:

 

  Of the fifteen patients treated in the Phase I portion of the OVATION 2 Study, nine patients were treated with IMNN-001 at a dose of 100 mg/m² plus NACT and six patients were treated with NACT only. All fifteen patients had successful resections of their tumors, with eight out of nine patients (88%) in the IMNN-001 treatment arm having an R0 resection, which indicates a microscopically margin-negative complete resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed. Only three out of six patients (50%) in the NACT only treatment arm had a R0 resection.

 

 

When combining these results with the surgical resection rates observed in the Company’s OVATION 1 Study, a population of patients with inclusion criteria identical to the OVATION 2 Study, the data reflect the strong dose-dependent efficacy of adding IMNN-001 to the current standard of care NACT:

 

      % of Patients
R0 Resections
 
0, 36, 47 mg/m² of IMNN-001 plus NACT  N =12   42%
61, 79, 100 mg/m² of IMNN-001 plus NACT  N = 17   82%

 

 

The ORR as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (“RECIST”) criteria for the 0, 36, 47 mg/m² dose IMNN-001 patients were comparable, as expected, to the higher (61, 79, 100 mg/m²) dose IMNN-001 patients, with both groups demonstrating an approximate 80% ORR.

 

On March 23, 2020, the Company announced that the European Medicines Agency (the “EMA”) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (“COMP”) has recommended that IMNN-001 be designated as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of ovarian cancer. IMNN-001 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector encased in a non-viral nanoparticle delivery system, which enables cell transfection followed by persistent, local secretion of the IL-12 protein. IMNN-001 previously received orphan designation from the FDA.

 

In February 2021, the Company announced that it has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for IMNN-001, its DNA-mediated IL-12 immunotherapy currently in Phase II development for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer and also provided an update on the OVATION 2 Study. The Company reported that approximately one-third, or 34 patients, of the anticipated 110 patients had been enrolled into the OVATION 2 Study, of which 20 are in the treatment arm and 14 are in the control. Of the 34 patients enrolled in the trial, 27 patients have had their interval debulking surgery with the following results:

 

 

80% of patients treated with IMNN-001 had a R0 resection, which indicates a microscopically margin-negative complete resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed.

     
  58% of patients in the control arm had an R0 resection.
     
 

This interim data represents a 38% improvement in R0 resection rates for IMNN-001 patients compared with control arm patients and is consistent with the reported improvement in resection scores noted in the encouraging Phase I OVATION I Study, the manuscript of which has been submitted for peer review publication.

 

6
 

 

In June 2022, the Company announced that following a pre-planned interim safety review of 87 as treated patients (46 patients in the experimental arm and 41 patients in the control arm) randomized in the OVATION 2 Study, the Data Safety Monitoring Board (“DSMB”) unanimously recommended that the OVATION 2 Study continue treating patients with the dose of 100 mg/m2. The DSMB also determined that safety is satisfactory with an acceptable risk/benefit, and that patients tolerate IMNN-001 during a course of treatment that lasts up to six months. No dose-limiting toxicities were reported. Interim clinical data from patients who have undergone interval debulking surgery showed that the IMNN-001 treatment arm is continuing to show improvement in R0 surgical resection rates and CRS 3 chemotherapy response scores over the control arm. A complete tumor resection (R0) is a microscopically margin-negative resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed. The chemotherapy response score is a three-tier standardized scoring system for histological tumor regression into complete/near complete (CRS 3), partial (CRS 2) and no/minimal (CRS 1) response based on omental examination.

 

In September 2022, the Company announced that its Phase I/II OVATION 2 Study with IMNN-001 in advanced ovarian cancer has completed enrollment with 110 patients. Topline results are expected in the first half of 2024.

 

IMNN-001 in Combination with Avastin. In February 2023, the Company and Break Through Cancer, a public foundation dedicated to supporting translational research in the most difficult-to-treat cancers that partners with top cancer research centers, announce the commencement of patient enrollment in a collaboration to evaluate IMNN-001 in combination with Avastin® (bevacizumab) in patients with advanced ovarian cancer in the frontline, neoadjuvant clinical setting.

 

This Phase 1/2 study, titled “Targeting Ovarian Cancer Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Using Immune and DNA Repair Directed Therapies,” is expected to enroll 50 patients with Stage III/IV advanced ovarian cancer and is being led by principal investigator Amir Jazaeri, M.D., Vice Chair for Clinical Research and Director of the Gynecologic Cancer Immunotherapy Program in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will also be participating in the trial. In addition, The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will provide artificial intelligence services including biomarker and genomic analysis.

 

Patients will be randomized 1:1 in a two-arm trial. The primary endpoint is second look laparoscopy (SLL) and the secondary endpoint is progression-free survival (PFS). Initial SLL data are expected within one year from the completion of enrollment and final PFS data are expected approximately three years from the completion of enrollment.

 

PLACCINE DNA VACCINE TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM

 

In January 2021, the Company announced the filing of a provisional U.S. patent application for a novel DNA-based, investigational vaccine for preventing or treating infections from a broad range of infectious agents including the coronavirus disease using its PLACCINE DNA vaccine technology platform (“PLACCINE”). The provisional patent covers a family of novel composition of multi-cistronic vectors and polymeric nanoparticles that comprise the PLACCINE DNA vaccine platform technology for preventing or treating infectious agents that have the potential for global pandemics, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variations, using the Company’s TheraPlas platform technology.

 

Imunon’s PLACCINE DNA vaccine technology platform is characterized by a single multi-cistronic DNA plasmid vector expressing multiple pathogen antigens delivered with a synthetic delivery system. We believe it is adaptable to creating vaccines for a multitude of pathogens, including emerging pathogens leading to pandemics as well as infectious diseases that have yet to be effectively addressed with current vaccine technologies. This flexible vaccine platform is well supported by an established supply chain to produce any plasmid vector and its assembly into a respective vaccine formulation.

 

The need for new vaccine technologies is urgent. Since 1980 more than 80 pathogenic viruses have been discovered, yet fewer than 4% have a commercially available prophylactic vaccine. We have engaged with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to pursue certain pathogens BARDA has identified as the most urgent and the most important.

 

7
 

 

PLACCINE is an extension of the Company’s synthetic, non-viral TheraPlas delivery technology currently in a Phase II trial for the treatment of late-stage ovarian cancer with IMNN-001. Imunon’s proprietary multifunctional DNA vaccine technology concept is built on the flexible PLACCINE technology platform that is amenable to rapidly responding to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as possible future mutations of SARS-CoV-2, other future pandemics, emerging bioterrorism threats, and novel infectious diseases. Imunon’s extensive experience with TheraPlas suggests that the PLACCINE-based nanoparticles are stable at storage temperatures of 4oC to 25oC, making vaccines developed on this platform easily suitable for broad world-wide distribution.

 

Imunon’s vaccine approach is designed to optimize the quality of the immune response dictating the efficiency of pathogen clearance and patient recovery. Imunon has taken a multivalent approach in an effort to generate an even more robust immune response that not only results in a strong neutralizing antibody response, but also a more robust and durable T-cell response. Delivered with Imunon’s synthetic polymeric system, the proprietary DNA plasmid is protected from degradation and its cellular uptake is facilitated.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Overview

 

Emerging data from the recent literature indicates that the quality of the immune response as opposed to its absolute magnitude is what dictates SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and recovery and that an ineffective or non-neutralizing enhanced antibody response might actually exacerbate disease. The first-generation COVID-19 vaccines were developed for rapid production and deployment and were not optimized for generating cellular responses that result in effective viral clearance. Though early data has indicated some of these vaccines to be over 95% effective, these first-generation vaccines were primarily designed to generate a strong antibody response, and while they have been shown to provide prophylactic protection against disease, the durability of this protection is currently unclear. Most of these vaccines have been specifically developed to target the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein (antigen), though it is known that restricting a vaccine to a sole viral antigen creates selection pressure that can serve to facilitate the emergence of viral resistance. Indeed, even prior to full vaccine rollout, it has been observed that the S protein is a locus for rapid evolutionary and functional change as evidenced by the D614G, Y453F, 501Y.V2, and VUI-202012/01 mutations/deletions. This propensity for mutation of the S protein leads to future risk of efficacy reduction over time as these mutations accumulate.

 

Our Next Generation Vaccine Initiative

 

Imunon’s vaccine candidate comprises a single plasmid vector containing the DNA sequence encoding multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Delivery will be evaluated intramuscularly, intradermally, or subcutaneously with a non-viral synthetic DNA delivery carrier that facilitates vector delivery into the cells of the injected tissue and has potential immune adjuvant properties. Unique designs and formulations of Imunon vaccine candidates may offer several potential key advantages. The synthetic polymeric DNA carrier is an important component of the vaccine composition as it has the potential to facilitate the vaccine immunogenicity by improving vector delivery and, due to potential adjuvant properties, attract professional immune cells to the site of vaccine delivery.

 

Future vaccine technology will need to address viral mutations and the challenges of efficient manufacturing, distribution, and storage. We believe an adaptation of our TheraPlas technology, PLACCINE, has the potential to meet these challenges. Our approach is described in our provisional patent filing and is summarized as a DNA vaccine technology platform characterized by a single plasmid DNA with multiple coding regions. The plasmid vector is designed to express multiple pathogen antigens. It is delivered via a synthetic delivery system and has the potential to be easily modified to create vaccines against a multitude of infectious diseases, addressing:

 

  Viral Mutations: PLACCINE may offer broad-spectrum and mutational resistance (variants) by targeting multiple antigens on a single plasmid vector.
     
  Durable Efficacy: PLACCINE delivers a DNA plasmid-based antigen that could result in durable antigen exposure and a robust vaccine response to viral antigens.

 

8
 

 

  Storage & Distribution: PLACCINE allows for stability that is compatible with manageable vaccine storage and distribution.
     
  Simple Dosing & Administration: PLACCINE is a synthetic delivery system that should require a simple injection that does not require viruses or special equipment to deliver its payload.

 

We are conducting preliminary research associated with our recently announced proprietary DNA vaccine platform provisional patent filing. At the same time, we are redoubling our efforts and R&D resources in our immuno-oncology and next generation vaccine program.

 

On September 2, 2021, the Company announced results from preclinical in vivo studies showing production of antibodies and cytotoxic T-cell response specific to the spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2 when immunizing BALB/c mice with the Company’s next-generation PLACCINE DNA vaccine platform. Moreover, the antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen prevented the infection of cultured cells in a viral neutralization assay. The production of antibodies predicts the ability of PLACCINE to protect against SARS-CoV-2 exposure, and the elicitation of cytotoxic T-cell response shows the vaccine’s potential to eradicate cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. These findings demonstrate the potential immunogenicity of Imunon’s PLACCINE DNA vaccine, which is intended to provide broad-spectrum protection and resistance against variants by incorporating multiple viral antigens, to improve vaccine stability at storage temperatures of 4o C and above, and to facilitate cheaper and easier manufacturing.

 

On January 31, 2022, the Company announced it had engaged BIOQUAL, Inc., a preclinical testing contract research organization, to conduct a non-human primate (NHP) challenge study with Imunon’s DNA-based approach for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The NHP pilot study follows the generation of encouraging mouse data and will evaluate the Company’s lead vaccine formulations for safety, immunogenicity and protection against SARS-CoV-2. In completed preclinical studies, Imunon demonstrated safe and efficient immune responses including IgG response, neutralizing antibodies and T-cell responses that parallel the activity of commercial vaccines following intramuscular (IM) administration of novel vaccine compositions expressing a single viral antigen. In addition, vector development has shown promise of neutralizing activity against a range of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Imunon’s novel DNA-based vaccines have been based on a simple intramuscular injection that does not require viral encapsulation or special equipment for administration.

 

In April 2022, the Company presented its PLACCINE platform technology at the 2022 World Vaccine Congress. In an oral presentation during a Session on Cancer and Immunotherapy, Dr. Khursheed Anwer, the Company’s Chief Science Officer, highlighted the Company’s technology platform in his presentation entitled: “Novel DNA Approaches for Cancer Immunotherapies and Multivalent Infectious Disease Vaccines.” PLACCINE is demonstrating the potential to be a powerful platform that provides for rapid design capability for targeting two or more different variants of a single virus in one vaccine. There is a clear public health need for vaccines today that address more than one strain of viruses, like COVID-19, which have fast evolving variant capability to offer the widest possible protection. Murine model data has thus far been encouraging and suggests that the Company’s approach provides not only flexibility, but also the potential for efficacy comparable to benchmark COVID-19 commercial vaccines with durability to protect for more than 6 months.

 

In September 2022, the Company provided an update on the progress made in the development of a DNA-based vaccine using its PLACCINE platform technology. The Company reported evidence of IgG, neutralizing antibody, and T-cell responses to its SARS-CoV-2 PLACCINE vaccines in normal mice. In this murine model, the Company’s multivalent PLACCINE vaccine targeted against two different variants showed to be immunogenic as determined by the levels of IgG, neutralizing antibodies, and T-cell responses. Additionally, our multivalent vaccine was equally effective against two different variants of the COVID-19 virus while the commercial mRNA vaccine appeared to have lost some activity against the newer variant. The murine model data has thus far been encouraging and suggests that the Company’s approach provides not only flexibility, but also the potential for efficacy comparable to benchmark COVID-19 commercial vaccines with durability to protect expected to be greater than 6 months.

 

9
 

 

Final data from its now completed proof-of-concept mouse challenge study confirmed that a PLACCINE DNA-based vaccine can produce robust levels of IgG, neutralizing antibodies, and T-cell responses. The data demonstrates the ability of the Company’s PLACCINE vaccine to protect a SARS-CoV-2 mouse model in a live viral challenge. In the study, mice were vaccinated with a PLACCINE vaccine expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen from the D614G variant or the Delta variant, or a combination vaccine expressing both the D614G and Delta spike variants. The vaccination was administered by intramuscular injection on Day 0 and Day 14, followed by challenge with live SARS-CoV-2 virus on Day 42. All three vaccines, including the single and dual antigen vaccines, were found to be safe and elicited IgG responses and inhibited the viral load by 90-95%. The dual antigen vaccine was equally effective against both variants of the SARS CoV-2 virus.

 

In October 2022, the Company reported partial results from an ongoing non-human primate study designed to examine the immunogenicity of its proprietary PLACCINE vaccine which supports PLACCINE as a viable alternative to mRNA vaccines. The study examined a single plasmid DNA vector containing the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant spike antigen formulated with a synthetic DNA delivery system and administered by intramuscular injection. In the study, Cynomolgus monkeys were vaccinated with the PLACCINE vaccine or a commercial mRNA vaccine on Day 1, 28 and 84. Analysis of blood samples for IgG and neutralizing antibodies showed evidence of immunogenicity both in PLACCINE and mRNA vaccinated subjects. Analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage for viral load by quantitative PCR showed viral clearance by >90% of the non-vaccinated controls. Viral clearance from nasal swab followed a similar pattern in a majority of vaccinated animals and a similar clearance profile was observed when viral load was analyzed by the tissue culture infectious dose method.

 

In March 2023, the Company announced final results from the non-human primate study involving three vaccine-treated non-human primates. The final data are consistent with the earlier data and show excellent immunological response and viral clearance in non-human primates. More specifically, in this NHP study, we examined PLACCINE activity against more advanced SARS-CoV-2 variants and at a DNA dose that was not previously tested in NHP and demonstrated robust IgG responses, neutralizing antibody responses and complete clearance of virus following the challenge as seen in the previous study.

 

In a recent mouse study, a single dose of PLACCINE vaccine without a booster dose produced longer duration of IgG responses and higher T-cell activation than an mRNA vaccine. A 12-month PLACCINE stability study has now completed 9 months demonstrating continued drug stability at 4oC (standard refrigerated temperature).

 

During 2023, the Company intends to choose the next pathogen target for our PLACCINE modality and plans to hold a pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in advance of beginning human testing of a SARS-CoV-2 seasonal booster vaccine. Of note, the design of that trial will also inform the path for the next pathogen we will study, perhaps in early 2024. Incremental investments to generate novel vaccine designs with optimized antigens will allow Imunon to quickly generate early clinical data against additional pathogen targets that position the company to partner with large vaccine companies who will fund remaining clinical development.

 

THERMODOX® - DIRECTED CHEMOTHERAPY

 

Liposomes are manufactured submicroscopic vesicles consisting of a discrete aqueous central compartment surrounded by a membrane bilayer composed of naturally occurring lipids. Conventional liposomes have been designed and manufactured to carry drugs and increase residence time, thus allowing the drugs to remain in the bloodstream for extended periods of time before they are removed from the body. However, the current existing liposomal formulations of cancer drugs and liposomal cancer drugs under development do not provide for the immediate release of the drug and the direct targeting of organ specific tumors, two important characteristics that are required for improving the efficacy of cancer drugs such as doxorubicin. A team of research scientists at Duke University developed a heat-sensitive liposome that rapidly changes its structure when heated to a threshold minimum temperature of 39.5º to 42º Celsius. Heating creates channels in the liposome bilayer that allow an encapsulated drug to rapidly disperse into the surrounding tissue. This novel, heat-activated liposomal technology is differentiated from other liposomes through its unique low heat-activated release of encapsulated chemotherapeutic agents. We are able to use several available focused-heat technologies, such as radiofrequency ablation (“RFA”), microwave energy and high intensity focused ultrasound (“HIFU”), to activate the release of drugs from our novel heat sensitive liposomes.

 

10
 

 

OPTIMA Study

 

The OPTIMA Study represents an evaluation of ThermoDox® in combination with a first line therapy, RFA, for newly diagnosed, intermediate stage HCC patients. The OPTIMA Study was designed to enroll up to 550 patients globally at approximately 65 clinical sites in the U.S., Canada, European Union (“EU”), China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and will evaluate ThermoDox® in combination with standardized RFA, which will require a minimum of 45 minutes across all investigators and clinical sites for treating lesions three to seven centimeters, versus standardized RFA alone. The primary endpoint for the OPTIMA Study is OS, and the secondary endpoints are progression free survival and safety. The statistical plan calls for two interim efficacy analyses by an independent Data Monitoring Committee (“DMC”).

 

In August 2018, the Company announced that the OPTIMA Study was fully enrolled. On August 5, 2019, the Company announced that the prescribed number of OS events had been reached for the first prespecified interim analysis of the OPTIMA Phase III Study. Following preparation of the data, the first interim analysis was conducted by the DMC. The DMC’s pre-planned interim efficacy review followed 128 patient events, or deaths, which occurred in August 2019. On November 4, 2019, the Company announced that the DMC unanimously recommended the OPTIMA Study continue according to protocol. The recommendation was based on a review of blinded safety and data integrity from 556 patients enrolled in the OPTIMA Study. Data presented demonstrated that PFS and OS data appeared to be tracking with patient data observed at a similar point in the Company’s subgroup of patients followed prospectively in the earlier Phase III HEAT Study, upon which the OPTIMA Study was based. On April 15, 2020, the Company announced that the prescribed minimum number of events of 158 patient deaths had been reached for the second pre-specified interim analysis of the OPTIMA Phase III Study. The hazard ratio for success at 158 deaths is 0.70, which represents a 30% reduction in the risk of death compared with RFA alone. On July 13, 2020, the Company announced that it has received a recommendation from the DMC to consider stopping the global OPTIMA Study. The recommendation was made following the second pre-planned interim safety and efficacy analysis by the DMC on July 9, 2020. The DMC analysis found that the pre-specified boundary for stopping the trial for futility of 0.900 was crossed with an actual value of 0.903. However, the 2-sided p-value of 0.524 for this analysis provided uncertainty, subsequently, the DMC left the final decision of whether or not to stop the OPTIMA Study to the Company. There were no safety concerns noted during the interim analysis. The Company followed the advice of the DMC and considered its options either to stop the study or continue to follow patients after a thorough review of the data, and an evaluation of our probability of success.

 

On August 4, 2020, the Company issued a press release announcing it would continue following patients for OS, noting that the unexpected and marginally crossed futility boundary, suggested by the Kaplan-Meier analysis at the second interim analysis on July 9, 2020, may be associated with a data maturity issue. On October 12, 2020, the Company provided an update on the ongoing data analysis from its Phase III OPTIMA Study with ThermoDox® as well as growing interest among clinical investigators in conducting studies with ThermoDox® as a monotherapy or in combination with other therapies. On February 11, 2021, the Company provided a final update on the Phase III OPTIMA Study and the decision to stop following patients in the Study. Independent analyses conducted by a global biometrics contract research organization and the NIH, did not find any evidence of significance or factors that would justify continuing to follow patients for OS. Therefore, the Company notified all clinical sites to discontinue following patients. The OPTIMA Study database of 556 patients has been frozen at 185 patient deaths. While the analyses did identify certain patient subgroups that appear to have had a clinical benefit, the Company concluded that it would not be in its best interest to pursue these retrospective findings as the regulatory hurdles supporting further discussion will be significant.

 

Investigator-Sponsored Studies with ThermoDox®

 

The Company continues working closely and supporting investigations by others to evaluate the use of ThermoDox for the treatment of various cancers. Following inquiries from the NIH, we renewed our Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (“CRADA”) with the Institute at a nominal cost, one goal of which is to pursue their interest in a study of ThermoDox® to treat patients with bladder cancer. Importantly, the Company is developing a business model to support these investigator-sponsored studies in a manner that will not interfere with its current focus on our IMNN-001 program and vaccine development initiative.

 

11
 

 

BUSINESS STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN

 

We have not generated and do not expect to generate any revenue from product sales in the next several years, if at all. An element of our business strategy has been to pursue, as resources permit, the research and development of a range of drug candidates for a variety of indications. We may also evaluate licensing products from third parties to expand our current product pipeline. This is intended to allow us to diversify the risks associated with our research and development expenditures. To the extent we are unable to maintain a broad range of drug candidates, our dependence on the success of one or a few drug candidates would increase and results such as those announced in relation to the OPTIMA Study in February 2021 will have a more significant impact on our financial prospects, financial condition, and market value. We may also consider and evaluate strategic alternatives, including investment in, or acquisition of, complementary businesses, technologies, or products. As demonstrated by the OPTIMA Study results, drug research and development is an inherently uncertain process and there is a high risk of failure at every stage prior to approval. The timing and the outcome of clinical results are extremely difficult to predict. The success or failure of any preclinical development and clinical trial can have a disproportionately positive or negative impact on our results of operations, financial condition, prospects, and market value.

 

Our current business strategy includes the possibility of entering into collaborative arrangements with third parties to complete the development and commercialization of our drug candidates. In the event that third parties are contracted to manage the clinical trial process for one or more of our drug candidates, the estimated completion date would largely be under the control of that third party rather than us. We cannot forecast with any degree of certainty which proprietary products or indications, if any, will be subject to future collaborative arrangements, in whole or in part, and how such arrangements would affect our development plan or capital requirements. We may also apply for subsidies, grants or government or agency-sponsored studies that could reduce our development costs. However we cannot forecast with any degree of certainty whether we will be selected to receive any subsidy, grant or governmental funding.

 

As of December 31, 2022, the Company had $32.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, and interest receivable to fund its operations. The Company also had $6.0 million in restricted cash to fund its financing activity. This is coupled with $1.6 million of receivable from sale of the Company’s State of New Jersey net operating losses. The Company believes it has sufficient capital resources to fund its operations into 2025.

 

As a result of the risks and uncertainties discussed in this Annual Report, among others, we are unable to estimate the duration and completion costs of our research and development projects or when, if ever, and to what extent we will receive cash inflows from the commercialization and sale of a product if one of our drug candidates receives regulatory approval for marketing, if at all. Our inability to complete any of our research and development activities, preclinical studies or clinical trials in a timely manner or our failure to enter into collaborative agreements when appropriate could significantly increase our capital requirements and could adversely impact our liquidity. While our estimated future capital requirements are uncertain and could increase or decrease as a result of many factors, including the extent to which we choose to advance our research and development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials, or whether we are in a position to pursue manufacturing or commercialization activities, we will need significant additional capital to progress our drug candidates through development and clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals and manufacture and commercialize approved products, if any. We do not know whether we will be able to access additional capital when needed or on terms favorable to us or our stockholders. Our inability to raise additional capital, or to do so on terms reasonably acceptable to us, would jeopardize the future success of our business. See Part II, Item 7 - Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of this Annual Report for additional information regarding the Company’s financial condition, liquidity and capital resources.

 

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURES

 

We are engaged in a limited amount of research and development in our own facilities and have sponsored research programs in partnership with various research institutions, including the NIH, the Wistar Institute and Acuitas Therapeutics. We are currently, with minimal cash expenditures, sponsoring clinical and pre-clinical research at the University of Utrecht and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute. The majority of the spending in research and development is for the funding of IMNN-001 clinical trials and our next generation vaccine initiative. Research and development expenses were approximately $11.7 million and $10.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. See Part II, Item 7 - Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of this Annual Report for additional information regarding expenditures related to our research and development programs.

 

12
 

 

GOVERNMENT REGULATION

 

Government authorities in the U.S., at the federal, state and local level, and in other countries extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, quality control, approval, manufacturing, labeling, post-approval monitoring and reporting, recordkeeping, packaging, promotion, storage, advertising, distribution, marketing and export and import of pharmaceutical products such as those we are developing. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.

 

Regulation in the U.S.

 

In the U.S., the FDA regulates drugs and biological products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “FDCA”), the Public Health Service Act (the “PHSA”) and implementing regulations. Failure to comply with the applicable FDA requirements at any time pre- or post-approval may result in a delay of approval or administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include the FDA’s imposition of a clinical hold on trials, refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, issuance of warning or untitled letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, civil penalties or criminal prosecution.

 

Research and Development

 

The vehicle by which FDA approves a new pharmaceutical product or a biologic product for sale and marketing in the U.S. is a New Drug Application (“NDA”) or a Biologics License Application (“BLA”). A new drug or biological product cannot be marketed in the U.S. without FDA’s approval of an NDA/BLA. The steps ordinarily required before a new drug can be marketed in the U.S. include (a) completion of pre-clinical and clinical studies; (b) submission and FDA acceptance of an Investigational New Drug application (“IND”), which must become effective before human clinical trials may commence; (c) completion of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of the product to support each of its proposed indications; (d) submission and FDA acceptance of an NDA/BLA; (e) completion of an FDA inspection and potential audits of the facilities where the drug or biological product is manufactured to assess compliance with the cGMP and to assure adequate identity, strength, quality, purity, and potency; and (e) FDA review and approval of the NDA/BLA.

 

Pre-clinical tests include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, toxicity, formulation and stability, as well as animal studies, to assess the potential safety and efficacy of the product. Pre-clinical safety tests must be conducted by laboratories that comply with FDA regulations regarding good laboratory practice. The results of pre-clinical tests are submitted to the FDA as part of an IND and are reviewed by the FDA before the commencement of human clinical trials. Submission of an IND will not necessarily result in FDA authorization to commence clinical trials, and the absence of FDA objection to an IND does not necessarily mean that the FDA will ultimately approve an NDA/BLA or that a drug candidate otherwise will come to market.

 

Clinical trials involve the administration of the investigational product to human subjects under the supervision of a qualified principal investigator. Clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with good clinical practices under protocols submitted to the FDA as part of an IND and with patient informed consent. Also, each clinical trial must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) and is subject to ongoing IRB monitoring.

 

Clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases, but the phases may overlap or be combined. Phase I clinical trials may be conducted in patients or healthy volunteers to evaluate the product’s safety, dosage tolerance and pharmacokinetics and, if possible, seek to gain an early indication of its effectiveness. Phase II clinical trials usually involve controlled trials in a larger but still relatively small number of subjects from the relevant patient population to evaluate dosage tolerance and appropriate dosage; identify possible short-term adverse effects and safety risks; and provide a preliminary evaluation of the efficacy of the drug for specific indications. Phase III clinical trials are typically conducted in a significantly larger patient population and are intended to further evaluate safety and efficacy, establish the overall risk-benefit profile of the product, and provide an adequate basis for physician labeling.

 

13
 

 

In limited circumstances when a patient has a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition and certain other conditions apply, a therapeutic drug candidate being studied in clinical trials may be made available for treatment of individual patients. Pursuant to the 21st Century Cures Act, the manufacturer of an investigational product for a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition is required to make available, such as by posting on its website, its policy on evaluating and responding to requests for individual patient access to such investigational product.

 

There can be no assurance that any of our clinical trials will be completed successfully within any specified time period or at all. We may suspend clinical trials at any time, or The FDA or IRB may suspend clinical trials at any time on various grounds, including among other things, if we, the FDA, our independent DMC, or the IRB conclude that clinical subjects are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. The FDA inspects and reviews clinical trial sites, informed consent forms, data from the clinical trial sites (including case report forms and record keeping procedures) and the performance of the protocols by clinical trial personnel to determine compliance with good clinical practices. The conduct of clinical trials is complex and difficult, and there can be no assurance that the design or the performance of the pivotal clinical trial protocols of any of our current or future drug candidates will be successful.

 

U.S. Review and Approval Process

 

The results of pre-clinical studies and clinical trials, if successful, are submitted to FDA in the form of an NDA or BLA. Among other things, the FDA reviews an NDA to determine whether the product is safe and effective for its intended use and reviews a BLA to determine whether the product is safe, pure, and potent, and in each case, whether the drug candidate is being manufactured in accordance with cGMP. The testing, submission, and approval process requires substantial time, effort, and financial resources, including substantial application user fees and annual product and establishment user fees. There can be no assurance that any approval will be granted for any product at any time, according to any schedule, or at all. The FDA may refuse to accept or approve an application if it determines those applicable regulatory criteria are not satisfied. The FDA may also require additional testing for safety and efficacy. Even, if regulatory approval is granted, the approval will be limited to specific indications. There can be no assurance that any of our current drug candidates will receive regulatory approvals for marketing or, if approved, that approval will be for any or all of the indications that we request.

 

The FDA has agreed to certain performance goals in the review of NDAs and BLAs. The FDA has 60 days from its receipt of an NDA or BLA to determine whether the application will be accepted for filing based on the agency’s threshold determination that it is sufficiently complete to permit substantive review. Once the NDA/BLA is accepted for filing, most standard reviews applications are completed within ten months of filing; most priority review applications are reviewed within six months of filing. Priority reviews are applied to a drug candidate that the FDA determines has the potential to treat a serious or life-threatening condition and, if approved, would be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness compared to available therapies. The review process for both standard and priority review may be extended by the FDA for three additional months to consider certain late-submitted information, or information intended to clarify information already provided in the submission.

 

Section 505(b)(2) NDAs

 

As an alternative path to FDA approval for modifications to formulations or uses of drugs previously approved by the FDA, an applicant may submit an NDA under Section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA. Section 505(b)(2) was enacted as part of the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. A Section 505(b)(2) NDA is an application that contains full reports of investigations of safety and effectiveness, but where at least some of the information required for approval comes from studies not conducted by, or for, the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference or use from the person by or for whom the investigations were conducted. This type of application permits reliance for such approvals on literature or on an FDA finding of safety, effectiveness or both for an approved drug product.

 

As such, under Section 505(b)(2), the FDA may rely, for approval of an NDA, on data not developed by the applicant. The FDA may also require companies to perform additional studies or measurements, including clinical trials, to support the change from the approved branded reference drug.

 

14
 

 

FDA Regulations Specific to Gene-Based Products

 

The FDA regulates gene-based products as biological products. Biological products intended for therapeutic use may be regulated by either the Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research (“CBER”) or the Center for Drug Evaluation & Research (“CDER”). Gene-based products are subject to extensive regulation under the FDCA, the PHSA, and their implementing regulations. Each clinical trial of investigational gene therapies must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (“IBC”) for each clinical site if they receive any funding whatsoever from the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”). IBCs were established under NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (“NIH Guidelines”) to provide local review and oversight of nearly all forms of research utilizing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. The IBC assesses biosafety issues, specifically, safety practices and containment procedures, related to the investigational product and clinical study. Compliance with the NIH Guidelines is mandatory for investigators at institutions receiving NIH funds for research involving recombinant DNA, however many companies and other institutions not otherwise subject to the NIH Guidelines voluntarily follow them. Such trials remain subject to FDA and other clinical trial regulations, and only after FDA, IBC, and other relevant approvals are in place can these protocols proceed.

 

Additional Controls for Biological Products

 

To help reduce the increased risk of the introduction of adventitious agents, the PHSA emphasizes the importance of manufacturing controls for products whose attributes cannot be precisely defined. The PHSA also provides authority to the FDA to immediately suspend licenses in situations where there exists a danger to public health, to prepare or procure products in the event of shortages and critical public health needs, and to authorize the creation and enforcement of regulations to prevent the introduction or spread of communicable diseases in the U.S. and between states.

 

After a BLA is approved, the biological product may be subject to official lot release as a condition of approval. As part of the manufacturing process, the manufacturer is required to perform certain tests on each lot of the product before it is released for distribution. If the product is subject to official release by the FDA, the manufacturer submits samples of each lot of products to the FDA together with a release protocol showing a summary of the history of manufacture of the lot and the results of all of the manufacturer’s tests performed on the lot. The FDA may also perform certain confirmatory tests on lots of some products, such as viral vaccines, before releasing the lots for distribution by the manufacturer.

 

In addition, the FDA conducts laboratory research related to the regulatory standards on the safety, purity, potency, and effectiveness of biological products. As with drugs, after approval of biological products, manufacturers must address any safety issues that arise, are subject to recalls or a halt in manufacturing, and are subject to periodic inspection after approval.

 

Expedited Development and Review Programs

 

The FDA has various programs, including Fast Track, priority review, accelerated approval and breakthrough therapy, which are intended to expedite or simplify the process for reviewing drug candidates, or provide for the approval of a drug candidate on the basis of a surrogate endpoint. In January 2021, the FDA granted Fast Track designation for IMNN-001 for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

 

Even if a drug candidate qualifies for one or more of these programs, the FDA may later decide that the drug candidate no longer meets the conditions for qualification or that the time period for FDA review or approval will be lengthened. Generally, drug candidates that are eligible for these programs are those for serious or life-threatening conditions, those with the potential to address unmet medical needs and those that offer meaningful benefits over existing treatments. For example, Fast Track is a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drug candidates to treat serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions and fill unmet medical needs.

 

15
 

 

Although Fast Track and priority review do not affect the standards for approval, the FDA will attempt to facilitate early and frequent meetings with a sponsor of a Fast Track designated drug candidate and expedite review of the application for a drug candidate designated for priority review. Accelerated approval provides for an earlier approval for a new drug candidate that meets the following criteria: is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, generally provides a meaningful advantage over available therapies and demonstrates an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit or on a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than irreversible morbidity or mortality (IMM) that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on IMM or other clinical benefit. A surrogate endpoint is a laboratory measurement or physical sign used as an indirect or substitute measurement representing a clinically meaningful outcome. As a condition of approval, the FDA may require that a sponsor of a drug candidate receiving accelerated approval perform post-marketing clinical trials to verify and describe the predicted effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical endpoint, and the drug may be subject to accelerated withdrawal procedures.

 

A sponsor may seek FDA designation of a drug candidate as a “breakthrough therapy” if the drug candidate is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other therapeutics, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug candidate may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. A request for Breakthrough Therapy designation should be submitted concurrently with, or as an amendment to, an IND, but ideally no later than the end of Phase II. Drugs designated as breakthrough therapies are also eligible for accelerated approval and receive the same benefits as drugs with Fast Track designation. The FDA must take certain actions, such as holding timely meetings and providing advice, intended to expedite the development and review of an application for approval of a breakthrough therapy. Fast Track and breakthrough therapy designations may also be rescinded if the drug candidate does not continue to meet the designation criteria. Fast Track designation, priority review, accelerated approval, and breakthrough therapy designation do not change the standards for approval but may expedite the development or approval process.

 

Disclosure of Clinical Trial Information

 

Sponsors of clinical trials of FDA-regulated products are required to register and disclose certain clinical trial information. Information related to the product, patient population, phase of investigation, trial sites and investigators, and other aspects of the clinical trial is then made public as part of the registration. Sponsors are also obligated to disclose the results of their clinical trials within one year of completion, although disclosure of the results of these trials can be delayed in certain circumstances for up to two additional years. Competitors may use this publicly available information to gain knowledge regarding the progress of development programs.

 

Orphan Drug Designation

 

In 2005, the FDA granted orphan drug designation for IMNN-001 for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review and approval process. However, if a product which has an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means the FDA may not approve any other application to market the same drug for the same indication for a period of seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan exclusivity. Orphan drug designation can also provide opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and FDA user-fee benefits.

 

Hatch-Waxman Exclusivity

 

The FDCA provides a five-year period of non-patent data exclusivity within the U.S. to the first applicant to gain approval of an NDA for a new chemical entity. During the exclusivity period, the FDA generally may not accept for review an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted by another company that references the previously approved drug, except that such applications may be submitted after four years if they contain a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement.

 

16
 

 

Biosimilars

 

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (the “BPCIA”) created an abbreviated approval pathway for biological drug candidates shown to be highly similar to or interchangeable with an FDA licensed reference product. Biosimilarity sufficient to reference a prior FDA-approved product requires that there be no differences in conditions of use, route of administration, dosage form, and strength, and no clinically meaningful differences between the biological drug candidate and the reference product in terms of safety, purity, and potency. Biosimilarity must be shown through analytical trials, animal trials, and a clinical trial or trials, unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services waives a required element. A biosimilar drug candidate may be deemed interchangeable with a prior approved product if it meets the higher hurdle of demonstrating that it can be expected to produce the same clinical results as the reference product and, for products administered multiple times, the biological product and the reference product may be switched after one has been previously administered without increasing safety risks or risks of diminished efficacy relative to exclusive use of the reference product. Complexities associated with the larger, and often more complex, structures of biological products, as well as the process by which such products are manufactured, pose significant hurdles to implementation, which is still being evaluated by the FDA.

 

A reference product is granted 12 years of exclusivity from the time of first licensure of the reference product, and no application for a biosimilar can be submitted for four years from the date of licensure of the reference product. The first biological drug candidate submitted under the abbreviated approval pathway that is determined to be interchangeable with the reference product has exclusivity against a finding of interchangeability for other biological products for the same condition of use for the lesser of (i) one year after first commercial marketing of the first interchangeable biosimilar, (ii) 18 months after the first interchangeable biosimilar is approved if there is no patent challenge, (iii) 18 months after resolution of a lawsuit over the patents of the reference product in favor of the first interchangeable biosimilar applicant, or (iv) 42 months after the first interchangeable biosimilar’s application has been approved if a patent lawsuit is ongoing within the 42-month period.

 

Post-Approval Requirements

 

After FDA approval of a product is obtained, we and our contract manufacturers are required to comply with various post-approval requirements, including establishment registration and product listing, record-keeping requirements, reporting of adverse reactions and production problems to the FDA, providing updated safety and efficacy information for drugs, or safety, purity, and potency for biological products, and complying with requirements concerning advertising and promotional labeling. As a condition of approval of an NDA/BLA, the FDA may require the applicant to conduct additional clinical trials or other post market testing and surveillance to further monitor and assess the drug’s safety and efficacy. The FDA can also impose other post-marketing controls on us as well as our products including, but not limited to, restrictions on sale and use, through the approval process, regulations and otherwise. The FDA also has the authority to require the recall of our products in the event of material deficiencies or defects in manufacture. A governmentally mandated recall, or a voluntary recall by us, could result from a number of events or factors, including component failures, manufacturing errors, instability of product or defects in labeling.

 

In addition, manufacturing establishments in the U.S. and abroad are subject to periodic inspections by the FDA and must comply with cGMP. To maintain compliance with cGMP, manufacturers must expend funds, time and effort in the areas of production and quality control. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the drug candidate and the manufacturer must develop methods for testing the quality, purity and potency of the drug candidate. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested, and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the drug candidate does not undergo unacceptable deterioration over its proposed shelf-life.

 

Foreign Clinical Studies to Support an IND, NDA, or BLA

 

The FDA will accept as support for an IND, NDA, or BLA a well-designed, well-conducted, non-IND foreign clinical trial if it was conducted in accordance with good clinical practice (“GCP”) and the FDA is able to validate the data from the trial through an on-site inspection, if necessary. A sponsor or applicant who wishes to rely on a non-IND foreign clinical trial to support an IND must submit supporting information to the FDA to demonstrate that the trial conformed to GCP.

 

Regulatory applications based solely on foreign clinical data meeting these criteria may be approved if the foreign data are applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice, the trials have been performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence, and the data may be considered valid without the need for an on-site inspection by FDA or, if FDA considers such an inspection to be necessary, FDA is able to validate the data through an on-site inspection or other appropriate means. Failure of an application to meet any of these criteria may result in the application not being approvable based on the foreign data alone.

 

17
 

 

New Legislation and Regulations

 

From time to time, legislation is drafted, introduced, and passed in Congress that could significantly change the statutory provisions governing the testing, approval, manufacturing and marketing of products regulated by the FDA. In addition to new legislation, FDA regulations and policies are often revised or interpreted by the agency in ways that may significantly affect our business and our products. It is impossible to predict whether further legislative changes will be enacted or whether FDA regulations, guidance, policies or interpretations will be changed or what the effect of such changes, if any, may be. Further, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that Congress and FDA may implement new laws, regulations, or policies that may impact our ability to continue development programs as planned.

 

Other regulatory matters

 

Manufacturing, sales, promotion and other activities of drug candidates following product approval, where applicable, or commercialization are also subject to regulation by numerous regulatory authorities in the U.S. in addition to the FDA, which may include the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, other divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local governments and governmental agencies.

 

FDA regulations prohibit the promotion of an investigational product for an unapproved use. The FDA distinguishes impermissible promotion of an investigational product from the permissible exchange of scientific and medical information among healthcare professionals, which may include company-sponsored scientific and educational activities. The FDA has issued Warning Letters and untitled letters to sponsors and clinical investigators who have claimed, directly or indirectly, that an investigational product is safe and effective for its intended use.

 

Other healthcare laws

 

Healthcare providers, physicians, and third-party payors will play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any products for which we obtain marketing approval. Our business operations and any current or future arrangements with third-party payors, healthcare providers and physicians may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we develop, market, sell and distribute any drug candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. In the U.S., these laws include, without limitation, state and federal anti-kickback, false claims, physician transparency, and patient data privacy and security laws and regulations, including but not limited to those described below.

 

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits among other things, persons and entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, paying, receiving or providing any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or certain rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program such as Medicare and Medicaid. A person or entity need not have actual knowledge of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. Violations are subject to significant civil and criminal fines and penalties for each violation, plus up to three times the remuneration involved, imprisonment, and exclusion from government healthcare programs. In addition, the government may assert that a claim that includes items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the civil False Claims Act.
   
 ● The federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the civil False Claims Act, or FCA, prohibit individuals or entities from, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment or approval that are false, fictitious or fraudulent; knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used, a false statement or record material to a false or fraudulent claim or obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the federal government; or knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing an obligation to pay money to the federal government. Manufacturers can be held liable under the FCA even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors if they are deemed to “cause” the submission of false or fraudulent claims. The FCA also permits a private individual acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the FCA and to share in any monetary recovery. When an entity is determined to have violated the federal civil False Claims Act, the government may impose civil fines and penalties for each false claim, plus treble damages, and exclude the entity from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.

 

18
 

 

The federal civil monetary penalties laws, which impose civil fines for, among other things, the offering or transfer or remuneration to a Medicare or state healthcare program beneficiary if the person knows or should know it is likely to influence the beneficiary’s selection of a particular provider, practitioner, or supplier of services reimbursable by Medicare or a state health care program, unless an exception applies.
   
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, imposes criminal and civil liability for knowingly and willfully executing a scheme, or attempting to execute a scheme, to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private payors, knowingly and willfully embezzling or stealing from a healthcare benefit program, willfully obstructing a criminal investigation of a healthcare offense, or falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false statements in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services.

 

HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, and their respective implementing regulations, imposes, among other things, specified requirements on covered entities and their business associates relating to the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information including mandatory contractual terms and required implementation of technical safeguards of such information. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates in some cases, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce the federal HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions.
   
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively, the ACA, imposed new annual reporting requirements for certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics, and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, for certain payments and “transfers of value” provided to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members. In addition, many states also require reporting of payments or other transfers of value, many of which differ from each other in significant ways, are often not pre-empted, and may have a more prohibitive effect than the Sunshine Act, thus further complicating compliance efforts. Effective January 1, 2022, these reporting obligations extend to include transfers of value made in the previous year to certain non-physician providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
   
Federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers.
   
Analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers, and may be broader in scope than their federal equivalents; state and foreign laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government or otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers; state and foreign laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers and restrict marketing practices or require disclosure of marketing expenditures and pricing information; and state and foreign laws that govern the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances. These data privacy and security laws may differ from each other in significant ways and often are not pre-empted by HIPAA, which may complicate compliance efforts.

 

19
 

 

The scope and enforcement of each of these laws is uncertain and subject to rapid change in the current environment of healthcare reform, especially in light of the lack of applicable precedent and regulations. Federal and state enforcement bodies have recently increased their scrutiny of interactions between healthcare companies and healthcare providers, which has led to a number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions and settlements in the healthcare industry. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other related governmental regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, imprisonment, disgorgement, exclusion from government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, reputational harm, additional oversight and reporting obligations if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar settlement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. If any of the physicians or other healthcare providers or entities with whom we expect to do business is found to be not in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to similar actions, penalties and sanctions. Ensuring business arrangements comply with applicable healthcare laws, as well as responding to possible investigations by government authorities, can be time- and resource-consuming, including requiring significant capital allocations, and can divert a company’s attention from its business.

 

In the U.S., the collection and use of personal data is increasingly subject to various federal and state privacy and data security laws and regulations, including oversight by various regulatory and other governmental bodies. Those laws and regulations continue to evolve and are increasingly being enforced vigorously by both governmental and private causes of action. For example, following the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”), which was subsequently amended by the Consumer Privacy Rights Act of 2020, other states have established a broad range of privacy obligations for businesses, including robust notice and the right to opt-out from the selling or sharing of personal information, access, correction, portability, deletion, and related obligations. While many of these statutes specifically exempt protected health information that is subject to HIPAA and clinical trial regulations, these statutes have marked the beginning of a trend towards a more stringent state privacy legislative regime in the U.S., which could increase our potential liability and adversely affect our business both from a financial and reputational perspective.

 

Insurance Coverage and Reimbursement

 

In the U.S. and markets in other countries, patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers performing the prescribed services generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs. Thus, even if a drug candidate is approved, sales of the product will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payors, including government health programs in the U.S. such as Medicare and Medicaid, commercial health insurers and managed care organizations, provide coverage, and establish adequate reimbursement levels for, the product. In the U.S., the principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by CMS, an agency within HHS. CMS decides whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree. No uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug products exists among third-party payors. Therefore, coverage and reimbursement for drug products can differ significantly from payor to payor. The process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the price or reimbursement rate that the payor will pay for the product once coverage is approved. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged, examining the medical necessity, and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical products and services and imposing controls to manage costs. Third-party payors may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list, also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the approved products for a particular indication.

 

In order to secure coverage and reimbursement for any product that might be approved for sale, a company may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of the product, in addition to the costs required to obtain FDA or other comparable regulatory approvals. Additionally, companies may also need to provide discounts to purchasers, private health plans or government healthcare programs. Nonetheless, drug candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost effective. A decision by a third-party payor not to cover a product could reduce physician utilization once the product is approved and have a material adverse effect on sales, our operations and financial condition. Additionally, a third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage and reimbursement for the product, and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor.

 

20
 

 

The containment of healthcare costs has become a priority of federal, state and foreign governments, and the prices of products have been a focus in this effort. Governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit a company’s revenue generated from the sale of any approved products. Coverage policies and third-party payor reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which a company or its collaborators receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

 

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, also called the Medicare Modernization Act, or the MMA, established the Medicare Part D program to provide a voluntary prescription drug and biologic benefit to Medicare beneficiaries. Under Part D, Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in prescription drug plans offered by private entities that provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs and biologics. Unlike Medicare Parts A and B, Part D coverage is not standardized. Part D prescription drug plan sponsors are not required to pay for all covered Part D drugs and biologics, and each drug plan can develop its own formulary that identifies which drugs and biologics it will cover, and at what tier or level. However, Part D prescription drug formularies must include products within each therapeutic category and class of covered Part D drugs, though not necessarily all the drugs and biologics in each category or class. Any formulary used by a Part D prescription drug plan must be developed and reviewed by a pharmacy and therapeutic committee. Government payment for some of the costs of prescription drugs and biologics may increase demand for products for which we obtain marketing approval. Any negotiated prices for any of our products covered by a Part D prescription drug plan will likely be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain. Moreover, while the MMA applies only to drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, private payors often follow Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own payment rates. Any reduction in payment that results from the MMA may result in a similar reduction in payments from non-governmental payors.

 

For a drug or biologic product to receive federal reimbursement under the Medicaid or Medicare Part B programs or to be sold directly to U.S. government agencies, the manufacturer must extend discounts to entities eligible to participate in the 340B drug pricing program. The required 340B discount on a given product is calculated based on the average manufacturer price, or AMP, and Medicaid rebate amounts reported by the manufacturer. As 340B drug pricing is determined based on AMP and Medicaid rebate data, the revisions to the Medicaid rebate formula and AMP definition described above could cause the required 340B discount to increase. Changes to these current laws and state and federal healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding and otherwise affect the prices we may obtain for any drug candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval or the frequency with which any such drug candidate is prescribed or used.

 

These laws, and future state and federal healthcare reform measures may be adopted in the future, any of which may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding and otherwise affect the prices we may obtain for any drug candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval or the frequency with which any such drug candidate is prescribed or used.

 

Outside the U.S., ensuring coverage and adequate payment for a product also involves challenges, as the pricing of biological products is subject to governmental control in many countries. For example, in the European Union, pricing and reimbursement schemes vary widely from country to country. Some countries provide that products may be marketed only after a reimbursement price has been agreed. Some countries may require the completion of additional studies that compare the cost effectiveness of a particular therapy to currently available therapies or so-called health technology assessments, in order to obtain reimbursement or pricing approval. Other countries may allow companies to fix their own prices for products but monitor and control product volumes and issue guidance to physicians to limit prescriptions. Efforts to control prices and utilization of biological products will likely continue as countries attempt to manage healthcare expenditures.

 

21
 

 

Current and future healthcare reform legislation

 

In the U.S. and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been, and likely will continue to be, a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system directed at broadening the availability of healthcare, improving the quality of healthcare, and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. For example, on May 30, 2018, the Right to Try Act was signed into law. The law, among other things, provides a federal framework for certain patients to access certain investigational new drug products that have completed a Phase I clinical trial and that are undergoing investigation for FDA approval. Under certain circumstances, eligible patients can seek treatment without enrolling in clinical trials and without obtaining FDA permission under the FDA expanded access program. There is no obligation for a drug manufacturer to make its drug products available to eligible patients as a result of the Right to Try Act, but the manufacturer must develop an internal policy and respond to patient requests according to that policy.

 

Also, in March 2010, the U.S. Congress enacted the ACA, which, among other things, includes changes to the coverage and payment for products under government health care programs. The ACA includes provisions of importance to our potential drug candidates that:

 

created an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures, or imports specified branded prescription drugs and biologic products, apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs;
   
expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to certain individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability;
   
 ● expanded manufacturers’ rebate liability under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program by increasing the minimum rebate for both branded and generic drugs and revising the definition of “average manufacturer price,” or AMP, for calculating and reporting Medicaid drug rebates on outpatient prescription drug prices;
   
addressed a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted, or injected;
   
expanded the types of entities eligible for the 340B drug discount program;
   
established the Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program by requiring manufacturers to provide point-of-sale-discounts off the negotiated price of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period as a condition for the manufacturers’ outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D; and
   
created a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research.

 

Some of the provisions of the ACA have yet to be implemented, and there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain provisions of the ACA. Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the U.S. since the ACA was enacted.

 

Moreover, payment methodologies may be subject to changes in healthcare legislation and regulatory initiatives. For example, CMS may develop new payment and delivery models, such as bundled payment models. In addition, recently there has been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their commercial products, which has resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted state and federal legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for pharmaceutical products.

 

On November 20, 2020, HHS Office of the Inspector General finalized a regulation with the goal of lowering prescription drug prices and out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs. Specifically, the final rule clarifies and amends the discount safe harbor under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute with the effect that rebates paid from drug manufacturers to Medicare Part D prescription drug plan sponsors, or their pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) are excluded from liability protection under the discount safe harbor. The rule also adds a new safe harbor for point-of-sale reductions in price and another that protects certain fixed-fee service arrangements between PBMs and drug manufacturers.

 

22
 

 

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, and the 2020 Omnibus Bill, and later regulatory actions, the reductions required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 are suspended from May 1, 2020, through March 31, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, it is possible that the government will take additional steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, on April 18, 2020, CMS announced that qualified health plan issuers under the ACA may suspend activities related to the collection and reporting of quality data that would have otherwise been reported between May and June 2020 because of the challenges healthcare providers are facing responding to the COVID-19 virus.

 

Congress has indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare and other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payers. Moreover, at the state level, legislatures are increasingly passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control biopharmaceutical and biologic product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing.

 

Regulation Outside of the U.S.

 

In addition to regulations in the U.S., we will be subject to a variety of regulations of other countries governing, among other things, any clinical trials and commercial sales and distribution of our drug candidates. Whether or not we obtain FDA approval (clinical trial or marketing) for a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in countries outside of the U.S., such as the EU and China, prior to the commencement of clinical trials or marketing of the products in those countries. The approval process and requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary greatly from place to place, and the time may be longer or shorter than that required for FDA approval.

 

In the EU, before starting a clinical trial, a valid request for authorization must be submitted by the sponsor to the competent authority of the EU Member State(s) in which the sponsor plans to conduct the clinical trial, as well as to an independent national Ethics Committee. A clinical trial may commence only once the relevant Ethics Committee(s) has (have) issued a favorable opinion and the competent authority of the EU Member State(s) concerned has (have) not informed the sponsor of any grounds for non-acceptance. Failure to comply with the EU requirements may subject a company to the rejection of the request and the prohibition to start a clinical trial. Clinical trials conducted in the EU (or used for marketing authorization application in the EU) must be conducted in accordance with applicable GCP and Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) rules, ICH guidelines and be consistent with ethical principles. The new EU Clinical Trial Regulation (Regulation 536/2014) came into application on January 31, 2022, seeks to harmonize the submission, assessment, and supervision processes for clinical trials in the EU and will impact the way clinical trials are conducted in the EU.

 

As in the U.S., no medicinal product may be placed on the EU market unless a marketing authorization has been issued. In the EU, medicinal products may be authorized either via the mutual recognition and decentralized procedure, the national procedure or the centralized procedure. The centralized procedure, which is compulsory for medicines produced by biotechnology or those medicines intended to treat AIDS, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders or diabetes and is optional for those medicines that are highly innovative, provides for the grant of a single marketing authorization that is valid for all EU Member States. Marketing authorizations granted via the centralized procedure are valid for all EU Member States. Products submitted for approval via the centralized procedure are assessed by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (the “CHMP”), a committee within the EMA. The CHMP assesses, inter alia, whether a medicine meets the necessary quality, safety and efficacy requirements and whether it has a positive risk-benefit balance. The requirements for an application dossier for a biological product contain different aspects than that of a chemical medicinal product.

 

In the EU, the requirements for pricing, coverage and reimbursement of any drug candidates for which we obtain regulatory approval are provided for by the national laws of EU Member States. Governments influence the price of pharmaceutical products through their pricing and reimbursement rules and control of national health care systems that fund a large part of the cost of those products to consumers.

 

23
 

 

We may seek orphan designations for our drug candidates. In the EU, as we understand it, a medicinal product may be designated as an orphan medicinal product if the sponsor can establish that it is intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition affecting not more than five in 10 thousand persons, or that, for the same purposes, it is unlikely that the marketing of the medicinal product would generate sufficient return; and that there exists no satisfactory method of diagnosis, prevention or treatment of the condition in question that has been authorized in the EU or, if such method exists, that the medicinal product will be of significant benefit to those affected by that condition. Sponsors who obtain orphan designation benefit from a type of scientific advice specific for designated orphan medicinal products and protocol assistance from the EMA. Fee reductions are also available depending on the status of the sponsor and the type of service required. Marketing authorization applications for designated orphan medicinal products must be submitted through the centralized procedure.

 

MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLY

 

We do not currently own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of preclinical, clinical or commercial quantities of any of our drug candidates. We currently contract with third party contract manufacturing organizations (“CMOs”) for our preclinical and clinical trial supplies, and we expect to continue to do so to meet the preclinical and any clinical requirements of our drug candidates. We have agreements for the supply of such drug materials with manufacturers or suppliers that we believe have sufficient capacity to meet our demands. In addition, we believe that adequate alternative sources for such supplies exist. However, there is a risk that, if supplies are interrupted, it would materially harm our business. We typically order raw materials and services on a purchase order basis and do not enter into long-term dedicated capacity or minimum supply arrangements.

 

Manufacturing is subject to extensive regulations that impose various procedural and documentation requirements, which govern record keeping, manufacturing processes and controls, personnel, quality control and quality assurance, among others. Medical product manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drug or biologic products are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and certain state agencies for compliance with cGMP and other laws. cGMP is a regulatory standard for the production of pharmaceuticals that will be used in humans which is recognized by FDA and many foreign regulatory authorities. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money, and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain GMP compliance. We use CMOs which manufacture our drug candidates under cGMP conditions. In addition, changes to the manufacturing process or facility generally require prior FDA approval before being implemented and other types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications and additional labeling claims, are also subject to further FDA review and approval. The FDA has the authority to take a variety of actions to address violations, including suspending the review of a pending application; refusing to approve or withdrawing approval of a marketing application; placing a study on clinical hold; issuing warning or untitled letters; ordering a product recall; seizing product in distribution; seeking an injunction to stop manufacture and distribution of a product; seeking restitution, disgorgement of profits, and fines; and debarring a company and its executives individually from participation in any capacity in the drug approval process. The U.S. Department of Justice has the authority to criminally prosecute companies and company executives for violations of the FD&C Act and the PHS Act.

 

SALES AND MARKETING

 

Our current focus is on the development of our existing portfolio, the completion of clinical trials and, if and where appropriate, the registration of our drug candidates. We currently do not have marketing, sales and distribution capabilities. If we receive marketing and commercialization approval for any of our drug candidates, we intend to market the product either directly or through strategic alliances and distribution agreements with third parties. The ultimate implementation of our strategy for realizing the financial value of our drug candidates is dependent on the results of clinical trials for our drug candidates, the availability of regulatory approvals and the ability to negotiate acceptable commercial terms with third parties.

 

24
 

 

PRODUCT LIABILITY AND INSURANCE

 

Our business exposes us to potential product liability risks that are inherent in the testing, manufacturing, and marketing of human therapeutic products. We presently have product liability insurance limited to $10 million per incident, and if we were to be subject to a claim in excess of this coverage or to a claim not covered by our insurance and the claim succeeded, we would be required to pay the claim out of our own limited resources.

 

COMPETITION

 

Competition in the discovery and development of new methods for treating and preventing disease is intense. We face, and will continue to face, competition from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic and research institutions and government agencies both in the U.S. and abroad. We face significant competition from organizations pursuing the same or similar technologies used by us in our drug discovery efforts and from organizations developing pharmaceuticals that are competitive with our drug candidates.

 

Most of our competitors, either alone or together with their collaborative partners, have substantially greater financial resources and larger research and development staffs than we do. In addition, most of these organizations, either alone or together with their collaborators, have significantly greater experience than we do in developing products, undertaking preclinical testing and clinical trials, obtaining FDA and other regulatory approvals of products, and manufacturing and marketing products. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry may result in even more resources being concentrated among our competitors. These companies, as well as academic institutions, governmental agencies, and private research organizations, also compete with us in recruiting and retaining highly qualified scientific personnel and consultants. Our ability to compete successfully with other companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology field also depends on the status of our collaborations and on the continuing availability of capital to us.

 

IMNN-001 Immunotherapy

 

Studied indications for IMNN-001 currently include stage III/IV ovarian cancer. In evaluating the competitive landscape for this indication, early-stage indications are treated with chemotherapy (docetaxel, doxil and cisplatinum for ovarian cancer), while later stage ovarian cancer is treated with Bevacizumab - Avastin®, an anti-angiogenesis inhibitor. Avastin® is currently also being evaluated for early-stage disease.

 

IMNN-001 is being studied as an adjuvant to both chemotherapy standard of care regimens, as well as anti-angiogenesis compounds. To support these cases, we have conducted clinical studies in combination with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, and preclinical studies in combination with both temozolomide and Bevacizumab-Avastin®.

 

PLACCINE DNA Vaccine Technology Platform

 

We face and will continue to encounter competition with an array of existing or development-stage drug approaches targeting diseases we are pursuing. We are aware of various established enterprises, including major pharmaceutical companies, broadly engaged in vaccine/immunotherapy research and development. These include Janssen Pharmaceuticals (part of J&J), Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Merck, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca. There are also various development-stage biotechnology companies involved in different vaccine and immunotherapy technologies including but not limited to Advaxis, Bavarian Nordic, CureVac, Dynavax, Hookipa, Iovance, Nektar, Translate Bio, Zydus, and Vir Biotechnology. If these companies are successful in developing their technologies, it could materially and adversely affect our business and our future growth prospects.

 

A large number of companies are actively advancing COVID-19 vaccines through the clinic. Pfizer and BioNtech, Moderna Therapeutics, Janssen (J&J), Novavax, Zydus, and AstraZeneca have received conditional or complete approval for their COVID-19 vaccines from either the U.S., WHO, or European regulatory authorities. Additionally, several companies are currently developing vaccine candidates in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials.

 

We also compete more specifically with companies seeking to utilize antigen-encoding DNA delivered with electroporation or other DNA delivery technologies such as viral vectors or lipid vectors to induce in vivo generated antigen production and immune responses to prevent or treat various diseases. These competitive technologies have shown promise, but they each also have their unique obstacles to overcome.

 

25
 

 

If any of our competitors develop products with efficacy or safety profiles significantly better than our drug candidates, we may not be able to commercialize our products, and sales of any of our commercialized products could be harmed. Some of our competitors and potential competitors have substantially greater product development capabilities and financial, scientific, marketing and human resources than we do. Competitors may develop products earlier, obtain FDA approvals for products more rapidly, or develop products that are more effective than those under development by us. We will seek to expand our technological capabilities to remain competitive; however, research and development by others may render our technologies or products obsolete or noncompetitive or result in treatments or cures superior to ours.

 

Our competitive position will be affected by the disease indications addressed by our drug candidates and those of our competitors, the timing of market introduction for these products and the stage of development of other technologies to address these disease indications. For us and our competitors, proprietary technologies, the ability to complete clinical trials on a timely basis and with the desired results, and the ability to obtain timely regulatory approvals to market these drug candidates are likely to be significant competitive factors. Other important competitive factors will include efficacy, safety, ease of use, reliability, availability and price of products and the ability to fund operations during the period between technological conception and commercial sales.

 

The FDA and other regulatory agencies may expand current requirements for public disclosure of DNA-based product development data, which may harm our competitive position with foreign and United States companies developing DNA-based products for similar indications.

 

ThermoDox®

 

Although there are many drugs and devices marketed and under development for the treatment of cancer, the Company is not aware of any other heat activated drug delivery product either being marketed or in human clinical development.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

 

Patents and Proprietary Rights

 

For the ThermoDox® technology, we either exclusively license with Duke University for its temperature-sensitive liposome technology that covers the ThermoDox® formulation or own U.S. and international patents with claims and methods and compositions of matters that cover various aspects of lysolipid thermally sensitive liposomes technology, with expiration dates ranging from 2018 to 2026. Imunon also has issued patents which pertain specifically to methods of storing stabilized, temperature-sensitive liposomal formulations and will assist in the protection of global rights. These patents will extend the overall term of the ThermoDox® patent portfolio to 2026. The patents in this family, include a pending application in the U.S. issued patents in Europe and additional key commercial geographies in Asia. This extended patent runway to 2026 allows for the evaluation of future development activities for ThermoDox® and Imunon’s heat-sensitive liposome technology platform.

 

For the TheraPlas technology, we own three U.S. and international patents and related applications with claims and methods and compositions of matters that cover various aspects of TheraPlas and IMNN-001 technologies, with expiration dates ranging from 2025 to 2028.

 

As mentioned above, the FDA granted orphan drug designation to IMNN-001 for the treatment of ovarian cancer and to ThermoDox® for the treatment of HCC. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review and approval process. However, if a product which has an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means the FDA may not approve any other application to market the same drug for the same indication for a period of seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan exclusivity. Orphan drug designation can also provide opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and FDA user-fee benefits.

 

26
 

 

There can be no assurance that an issued patent will remain valid and enforceable in a court of law through the entire patent term. Should the validity of a patent be challenged, the legal process associated with defending the patent can be costly and time consuming. Issued patents can be subject to oppositions, interferences and other third-party challenges that can result in the revocation of the patent or maintenance of the patent in amended form (and potentially in a form that renders the patent without commercially relevant or broad coverage). Competitors may be able to circumvent our patents. Development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products can be subject to substantial delays and it is possible that at the time of commercialization any patent covering the product has expired or will be in force for only a short period of time following commercialization. We cannot predict with any certainty if any third-party U.S. or foreign patent rights, other proprietary rights, will be deemed infringed by the use of our technology. Nor can we predict with certainty which, if any, of these rights will or may be asserted against us by third parties. Should we need to defend ourselves and our partners against any such claims, substantial costs may be incurred. Furthermore, parties making such claims may be able to obtain injunctive or other equitable relief, which could effectively block our ability to develop or commercialize some or all of our products in the U.S. and abroad and could result in the award of substantial damages. In the event of a claim of infringement, we or our partners may be required to obtain one or more licenses from a third party. There can be no assurance that we can obtain a license on a reasonable basis should we deem it necessary to obtain rights to an alternative technology that meets our needs. The failure to obtain a license may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

In addition to the rights available to us under completed or pending license agreements, we rely on our proprietary know-how and experience in the development and use of heat for medical therapies, which we seek to protect, in part, through proprietary information agreements with employees, consultants and others. There can be no assurance that these proprietary information agreements will not be breached, that we will have adequate remedies for any breach, or that these agreements, even if fully enforced, will be adequate to prevent third-party use of the Company’s proprietary technology. Please refer to Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors of this Annual Report, including, but not limited to, “We rely on trade secret protection and other unpatented proprietary rights for important proprietary technologies, and any loss of such rights could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.” Similarly, we cannot guarantee that technology rights licensed to us by others will not be successfully challenged or circumvented by third parties, or that the rights granted will provide us with adequate protection. Please refer to Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors of this Annual Report, including, but not limited to, “Our business depends on license agreements with third parties to permit us to use patented technologies. The loss of any of our rights under these agreements could impair our ability to develop and market our products.”

 

EMPLOYEES

 

As of March 30, 2023, we employed 31 full-time employees. We also maintain active independent contractor relationships with various individuals, most of whom have month-to-month or annual consulting agreements. None of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and we consider our relationship with our employees to be good.

 

COMPANY INFORMATION

 

On September 19, 2022, Celsion Corporation announced a corporate name change to Imunon, Inc., reflecting the evolution of the Company’s business focus and its commitment to developing cutting-edge immunotherapies and next-generation vaccines to treat cancer and infectious diseases. The Company’s common stock continues to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the new ticker symbol “IMNN” effective as of the opening of trading on September 21, 2022. The Company filed an amendment to its Articles of Incorporation to effect the new corporate name.

 

The Company was founded in 1982 and is a Delaware corporation. Our principal executive offices are located at 997 Lenox Drive, Suite 100, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Our telephone number is (609) 896-9100. The Company’s website is www.Imunon.com. The information contained in, or that can be accessed through, our website is not part of, and is not incorporated in, this Annual Report.

 

27
 

 

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

 

We make available free of charge through our website, www.Imunon.com, our Annual Report, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). In addition, our website includes other items related to corporate governance matters, including, among other things, our corporate governance principles, charters of various committees of the Board of Directors, and our code of business conduct and ethics applicable to all employees, officers and directors. We intend to disclose on our internet website any amendments to or waivers from our code of business conduct and ethics as well as any amendments to its corporate governance principles or the charters of various committees of the Board of Directors. Copies of these documents may be obtained, free of charge, from our website. The SEC also maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file periodic and other reports electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The address of that site is www.sec.gov. The information available on or through our website is not a part of this Annual Report and should not be relied upon.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

We are providing the following cautionary discussion of risk factors and uncertainties that we believe are relevant to our business. These are factors that, individually or in the aggregate, we think could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected or historical results and our forward-looking statements. We note these factors for investors as permitted by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act, and Section 27A of the Securities Act. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Consequently, you should not consider the following to be a complete discussion of all potential risks or uncertainties that may impact our business. Moreover, we operate in a competitive and rapidly changing environment. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible to predict the impact of all of these factors on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

Risk Factors Summary

 

The following is a summary of some of the Company’s most important risks and uncertainties that could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. You should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk factor. Additional discussion of the risks summarized in this Risk Factors Summary, and other risks that we face, can be found below under the heading “Risk Factors” and should be carefully considered, together with other information in this Form 10-K and our other filings with the SEC, before making an investment in our securities.

 

Risk Related to Our Business and Operations

 

  We have a history of significant losses from operations and expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future and we may never achieve or maintain profitability.
  We will need to raise additional capital to fund our planned future operations, and we may be unable to secure such capital without dilutive financing transactions. If we are not able to raise additional capital, we may not be able to complete the development, testing and commercialization of our drug candidates.
  Drug development is an inherently uncertain process with a high risk of failure at every stage of development
  If we do not obtain or maintain FDA and foreign regulatory approvals for our drug candidates on a timely basis, or at all, or if the terms of any approval impose significant restrictions or limitations on use, we will be unable to sell those products and our business, results of operations and financial condition will be negatively affected.
  The outbreak duration and severity of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, pandemic, or other similar health crises could adversely impact our business, including our preclinical studies and clinical trials.
  New gene-based products for therapeutic applications are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA and comparable agencies in other countries. The precise regulatory requirements with which we will have to comply, now and in the future, are uncertain due to the novelty of the gene-based products we are developing.
  If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
  We rely on third parties to conduct all of our clinical trials.
  Because we rely on third party manufacturing and supply partners, our supply of research and development, preclinical and clinical development materials may become limited or interrupted or may not be of satisfactory quantity or quality.
  We have obtained Orphan Drug Designation for GEN-1 ThermoDox® and may seek Orphan Drug Designation for other drug candidates, but we may be unsuccessful or may be unable to maintain the benefits associated with Orphan Drug Designation, including the potential for market exclusivity.

 

28
 

 

  Fast Track designation may not actually lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process.
  Our relationships with healthcare providers and physicians and third-party payors will be subject to applicable false claims act, anti-kickback, transparency, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm and diminished profits and future earnings.
  Ongoing legislative and regulatory changes affecting the healthcare industry could have a material adverse effect on our business.
  We may fail to comply with evolving European and other privacy laws.
  The success of our drug candidates may be harmed if the government, private health insurers and other third-party payers do not provide sufficient coverage or reimbursement.
  The commercial success of any current or future drug candidate will depend upon the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, payors and others in the medical community.
  [Several of our current clinical trials are being conducted outside the U.S., and the FDA may not accept data from trials conducted in foreign locations.]
  We have no internal sales or marketing capability. If we are unable to create sales, marketing and distribution capabilities or enter into alliances with others possessing such capabilities to perform these functions, we will not be able to commercialize our products successfully.
  [We may not be able to hire or retain key officers or employees that we need to implement our business strategy and develop our drug candidates and business, including those purchased in the EGEN asset acquisition.]
  Our success will depend in part on our ability to grow and diversify, which in turn will require that we manage and control our growth effectively.
  We face intense competition and the failure to compete effectively could adversely affect our ability to develop and market our products, if approved.
  We may be subject to significant product liability claims and litigation.
  Our internal computer systems, or those of our CROs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our product development programs.
  Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, collaborators and contract research organizations may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements, which could cause significant liability for us and harm our reputation.

 

Risks Related to Intellectual Property

 

  Our business depends on license agreements with third parties to permit us to use patented technologies. The loss of any of our rights under these agreements could impair our ability to develop and market our products.
  If any of our pending patent applications do not issue, or are deemed invalid following issuance, we may lose valuable intellectual property protection.
  We rely on trade secret protection and other unpatented proprietary rights for important proprietary technologies, and any loss of such rights could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
  We may incur substantial costs as a result of litigation or other proceedings relating to patent and other intellectual property rights

 

Risks Related to Our Securities

 

  The market price of our common stock may be significantly volatile.
  Our common stock may be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market if we fail to comply with continued listing standards.
  Future sales of our common stock in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.
  Our stockholders may experience significant dilution as a result of future equity offerings or issuances and exercise of outstanding options and warrants.
  Our ability to use net operating losses to offset future taxable income are subject to certain limitations.
  We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock and do not anticipate paying dividends in the foreseeable future.

 

29
 

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS

 

We have a history of significant losses from operations and expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future, and we may never achieve or maintain profitability.

 

Since our inception, our expenses have substantially exceeded our revenue, resulting in continuing losses and an accumulated deficit of $369 million at December 31, 2022. For the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, we incurred net losses of $35.9 million and $20.8 million, respectively. We currently have no product revenue and do not expect to generate any product revenue for the foreseeable future. Because we are committed to continuing our product research, development, clinical trial and commercialization programs, we will continue to incur significant operating losses unless and until we complete the development of GEN-1 and other new drug candidates and these drug candidates have been clinically tested, approved by the U.S. FDA and successfully marketed. The amount of future losses is uncertain. Our ability to achieve profitability, if ever, will depend on, among other things, the following, which we cannot guarantee:, us or our collaborators successfully developing drug candidates, obtaining regulatory approvals to market and commercialize drug candidates, manufacturing any approved products on commercially reasonable terms, establishing a sales and marketing organization or suitable third-party alternatives for any approved product, generating sufficient sales revenue from our drug candidates, and raising sufficient funds to finance business activities.

 

We will need to raise additional capital to fund our planned future operations, and we may be unable to secure such capital without dilutive financing transactions. If we are not able to raise additional capital, we may not be able to complete the development, testing and commercialization of our drug candidates.

 

We have not generated significant revenue and have incurred significant net losses in each year since our inception. For the year ended December 31, 2022, we incurred a net loss of $35.9 million. We have incurred approximately $369 million of cumulative net losses. As of December 31, 2022, we had cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, interest receivable, net proceeds on the sale of net operating losses and restricted money market investments of $38.9 million.

 

We have substantial future capital requirements to continue our research and development activities and advance our drug candidates through various development stages. We are unable to estimate the duration and completion costs of our research and development projects or when, if ever, and to what extent we will receive cash inflows from the commercialization and sale of a product. Our inability to complete any of our research and development activities, preclinical studies or clinical trials in a timely manner or our failure to enter into collaborative agreements when appropriate could significantly increase our capital requirements and could adversely impact our liquidity. While our estimated future capital requirements are uncertain and could increase or decrease as a result of many factors, including the extent to which we choose to advance our research, development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials, or if we are in a position to pursue manufacturing or commercialization activities, we will need significant additional capital to develop our drug candidates through development and clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals and manufacture and commercialize approved products, if any. We do not know whether we will be able to access additional capital when needed or on terms favorable to us or our stockholders. Our inability to raise additional capital, or to do so on terms reasonably acceptable to us, would jeopardize the future success of our business.

 

If we do not obtain or maintain FDA and foreign regulatory approvals for our drug candidates on a timely basis, or at all, or if the terms of any approval impose significant restrictions or limitations on use, we will be unable to sell those products and our business, results of operations and financial condition will be negatively affected.

 

To obtain regulatory approvals from the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies, we must conduct clinical trials demonstrating that our drug candidates are safe and effective. We may need to amend ongoing trials, or the FDA and/or foreign regulatory agencies may require us to perform additional trials beyond those we planned. The testing and approval process requires substantial time, effort and resources, and generally takes a number of years to complete. The time to obtain approvals is also uncertain, and the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies have substantial discretion, at any phase of development, to terminate clinical studies, require additional clinical studies or other testing, delay or withhold approval, and mandate product withdrawals, including recalls. In addition, our drug candidates may have undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics that could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restricted label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by regulatory authorities.

 

30
 

 

Even if we receive regulatory approval of a product, the approval may limit the indicated uses for which the drug may be marketed. The failure to obtain timely regulatory approval of drug candidates, the imposition of marketing limitations, or a product withdrawal would negatively impact our business. Even if we receive approval, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and subject us to restrictions, withdrawal from the market, or penalties if we fail to comply with applicable regulatory requirements or if we experience unanticipated problems with our drug candidates, when and if approved. Finally, even if we obtain FDA approval of any of our drug candidates, we may never obtain approval or commercialize such products outside of the U.S., given that we may be subject to additional regulatory burdens in other markets. This could limit our ability to realize their full market potential.

 

Drug development is an inherently uncertain process with a high risk of failure at every stage of development.

 

Securing FDA or comparable foreign regulatory approval requires the submission of extensive preclinical and clinical data and supporting information for each therapeutic indication to establish the drug candidate’s safety and efficacy for its intended use. It takes years to complete the testing of a new drug or biological product and development delays and/or failure can occur at any stage of testing. Any of our present and future clinical trials may be delayed, halted, not authorized, or approval of any of our products may be delayed or may not be obtained due to any of the following:

 

factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including regulators or institutional review boards, or IRBs, or ethics committees may not authorize us or our investigators to commence a clinical trial or conduct a clinical trial at a prospective trial site;
   
any preclinical test or clinical trial may fail to produce safety and efficacy results satisfactory to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities;
   
preclinical and clinical data can be interpreted in different ways, which could delay, limit, or prevent marketing approval;
   
negative or inconclusive results from a preclinical test or clinical trial or adverse events during a clinical trial could cause a preclinical study or clinical trial to be repeated or a development program to be terminated, even if other studies relating to the development program are ongoing or have been completed and were successful;
   
the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities can place a clinical hold on a trial if, among other reasons, it finds that subjects enrolled in the trial are or would be exposed to an unreasonable and significant risk of illness or injury;
   
the facilities that we utilize, or the processes or facilities of third-party vendors, including without limitation the contract manufacturers who will be manufacturing drug substance and drug product for us or any potential collaborators, may not satisfactorily complete inspections by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities; and
   
we may encounter delays or rejections based on changes in FDA policies or the policies of comparable foreign regulatory authorities during the period in which we develop a drug candidate, or the period required for review of any final marketing approval before we are able to market any drug candidate.

 

In addition, information generated during the clinical trial process is susceptible to varying interpretations that could delay, limit, or prevent marketing approval. Moreover, early positive preclinical or clinical trial results may not be replicated in later clinical trials. As more drug candidates within a particular class of drugs proceed through clinical development to regulatory review and approval, the amount and type of clinical data that may be required by regulatory authorities may increase or change. Failure to demonstrate adequately the quality, safety, and efficacy of any of our drug candidates would delay or prevent marketing approval. We cannot assure you that if clinical trials are completed, either we or our potential collaborators will submit applications for required authorizations to manufacture or market potential products or that any such application will be reviewed and approved by appropriate regulatory authorities in a timely manner, if at all.

 

31
 

 

The outbreak, duration and severity of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19 pandemic, or other similar health crises could adversely impact our business, including our preclinical studies and clinical trials.

 

The Company’s ability to raise additional capital may be adversely impacted by potential worsening global economic conditions and the recent disruptions to, and volatility in, financial markets in the U.S. and worldwide resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or similar pandemics, we may experience disruptions that could severely affect our business, including our preclinical studies, the clinical trials process and enrollment of patients. This may delay commercialization efforts. The Company is currently monitoring its operating activities in light of these events and it is reasonably possible that the virus could have a negative effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations. The specific impact is not readily determinable as of the date of this report.

 

The extent to which COVID-19 will continue to impact our business will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and its implications cannot be predicted with confidence. While, as of the date of this report, we have not experienced any material disruptions to the execution of the clinical trials and the research and development activities that we currently have underway, if we or any of the third parties with whom we engage were to experience shutdowns or other business disruptions, our ability to conduct our business in the manner and on the timelines presently planned could be materially and negatively affected, which could have a material adverse impact on our business and our results of operations and financial condition.

 

New gene-based products for therapeutic applications are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA and comparable agencies in other countries. The precise regulatory requirements with which we will have to comply, now and in the future, are uncertain due to the novelty of the gene-based products we are developing.

 

The regulatory approval process for novel drug candidates such as ours can be significantly more expensive and take longer than for other, better known or more extensively studied drug candidates. Limited data exist regarding the safety and efficacy of DNA-based therapeutics compared with conventional therapeutics, and government regulation of DNA-based therapeutics is evolving. Regulatory requirements governing gene and cell therapy products have changed frequently and may continue to change in the future. The FDA has established the Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies within CBER, to consolidate the review of gene therapy and related products, and has established the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee to advise CBER in its review. It is difficult to determine how long it will take or how much it will cost to obtain regulatory approvals for our drug candidates in either the U.S. or the European Union or how long it will take to commercialize our drug candidates.

 

Adverse events or the perception of adverse events in the field of gene therapy generally, or with respect to our drug candidates specifically, may have a particularly negative impact on public perception of gene therapy and result in greater governmental regulation, including future bans or stricter standards imposed on gene-based therapy clinical trials, stricter labeling requirements and other regulatory delays in the testing or approval of our potential products. For example, if we were to engage an NIH-funded institution to conduct a clinical trial, we may be subject to review by the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities’ Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (the RAC). If undertaken, RAC can delay the initiation of a clinical trial, even if the FDA has reviewed the trial design and details and approved its initiation. Conversely, the FDA can put an IND application on a clinical hold even if the RAC has provided a favorable review or an exemption from in-depth, public review. Such committee and advisory group reviews and any new guidelines they promulgate may lengthen the regulatory review process, require us to perform additional studies, increase our development costs, lead to changes in regulatory positions and interpretations, delay or prevent approval and commercialization of our drug candidates or lead to significant post-approval limitations or restrictions. Any increased scrutiny could delay or increase the costs of our product development efforts or clinical trials.

 

Even if our products receive regulatory approval, they may still face future development and regulatory difficulties. Government regulators may impose ongoing requirements for potentially costly post-approval studies. This governmental oversight may be particularly strict with respect to gene-based therapies.

 

32
 

 

If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.

 

We may experience difficulties in patient enrollment in our clinical trials for a variety of reasons. The timely completion of clinical trials in accordance with their protocols depends, among other things, on our ability to enroll a sufficient number of patients who remain in the trial until its conclusion. The enrollment of patients depends on many factors, including:

 

  the patient eligibility and exclusion criteria defined in the protocol;
     
  the size of the patient population required for analysis of the trial’s primary endpoints and the process for identifying patients;
     
  delays in our research programs resulting from factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
     
  the willingness or availability of patients to participate in our trials;
     
  the proximity of patients to trial sites;
     
  the design of the trial;
     
  our ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with the appropriate competencies and experience;
     
  clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages and risks of the drug candidate being studied in relation to other available therapies, including any new products that may be approved for the indications we are investigating;
     
  the availability of competing commercially available therapies and other competing drug candidates’ clinical trials;
     
  our ability to obtain and maintain patient informed consents; and
     
  the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will drop out of the trials before completion.

 

Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials could result in significant delays or may require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our drug candidates, delay or halt the development of and approval processes for our drug candidates and jeopardize our ability to achieve our clinical development timeline and goals, including the dates by which we will commence, complete and receive results from clinical trials. Enrollment delays may also delay or jeopardize our ability to commence sales and generate revenues from our drug candidates. Any of the foregoing could cause the value of our company to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing, if needed.

 

We rely on third parties to conduct all of our clinical trials. If these third parties are unable to carry out their contractual duties in a manner that is consistent with our expectations, comply with budgets and other financial obligations or meet expected deadlines, we may not receive certain development milestone payments or be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize our drug candidates in a timely or cost-effective manner.

 

We do not independently conduct clinical trials for our drug candidates. We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third-party clinical investigators, clinical research organizations (“CROs”), clinical data management organizations and consultants to design, conduct, supervise and monitor our clinical trials.

 

33
 

 

Because we do not conduct our own clinical trials, we must rely on the efforts of others and have reduced control over aspects of these activities, including, the timing of such trials, the costs associated with such trials and the procedures that are followed for such trials. We do not expect to significantly increase our personnel in the foreseeable future and may continue to rely on third parties to conduct all of our future clinical trials. If we cannot contract with acceptable third parties on commercially reasonable terms or at all, if these third parties are unable to carry out their contractual duties or obligations in a manner that is consistent with our expectations or meet expected deadlines, if they do not carry out the trials in accordance with budgeted amounts, if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to their failure to adhere to our clinical protocols or for other reasons, or if they fail to maintain compliance with applicable government regulations and standards, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated or may become significantly more expensive, we may not receive development milestone payments when expected or at all, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or successfully commercialize our drug candidates.

 

Despite our reliance on third parties to conduct our clinical trials, we are ultimately responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trial. Moreover, the FDA requires clinical trials to be conducted in accordance with good clinical practices for conducting, recording and reporting the results of clinical trials and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of clinical trial participants are protected. We also are required to register ongoing clinical trials and post the results of completed clinical trials on a government-sponsored database, ClinicalTrials.gov, within certain timeframes. Failure to do so can result in fines, adverse publicity and civil and criminal sanctions. Our reliance on third parties that we do not control does not relieve us of these responsibilities and requirements. If we or a third party we rely on fails to meet these requirements, we may not be able to obtain, or may be delayed in obtaining, marketing authorizations for our drug candidates and will not be able to, or may be delayed in our efforts to, successfully commercialize our drug candidates. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

Because we rely on third party manufacturing and supply partners, our supply of research and development, preclinical and clinical development materials may become limited or interrupted or may not be of satisfactory quantity or quality.

 

We rely on third party supply and manufacturing partners to supply the materials and components for, and manufacture, our research and development, preclinical and clinical trial drug supplies. We do not own manufacturing facilities or supply sources for such components and materials. There can be no assurance that our supply of research and development, preclinical and clinical development drugs and other materials will not be limited, interrupted, restricted in certain geographic regions or of satisfactory quality or continue to be available at acceptable prices. Suppliers and manufacturers must meet applicable manufacturing requirements and undergo rigorous facility and process validation tests required by FDA and foreign regulatory authorities in order to comply with regulatory standards, such as current cGMP.

 

If we or any of our third-party manufacturers or testing contractors fail to maintain regulatory compliance, this could cause the delay of clinical trials, regulatory submissions, required approvals or commercialization of our drug candidates, cause us to incur higher costs and prevent us from commercializing our products successfully. Furthermore, if our suppliers fail to meet contractual requirements, and we are unable to secure one or more replacement suppliers capable of production at a substantially equivalent cost, our clinical trials may be delayed, or we could lose potential revenue. In the event that any of our suppliers or manufacturers fails to comply with such requirements or to perform its obligations to us in relation to quality, timing or otherwise, or if our supply of components or other materials becomes limited or interrupted for other reasons, we may be forced to manufacture the materials ourselves, for which we currently do not have the capabilities or resources, or enter into an agreement with another third party, which we may not be able to do on reasonable terms, if at all.

 

The regulatory authorities also may, at any time following approval of a product for sale, audit the manufacturing facilities of our third-party manufacturers. If any such inspection or audit identifies a failure to comply with applicable regulations or if a violation of our product specifications or applicable regulations occurs independent of such an inspection or audit, we or the relevant regulatory authority may require remedial measures that may be costly and/or time-consuming for us or our third-party manufacturers to implement and that may include the temporary or permanent suspension of a clinical trial or commercial sales or the temporary or permanent closure of a manufacturing facility. Any such remedial measures imposed upon third parties with whom we contract could materially harm our business.

 

34
 

 

If we fail to enter into and maintain successful strategic alliances for our drug candidates, we may have to reduce or delay our drug candidate development or increase our expenditures. To the extent was are able to enter into strategic transactions, we will be exposed to risks related to those collaborations and alliances.

 

An important element of our strategy for developing, manufacturing and commercializing our drug candidates is entering into strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies, research institutions or other industry participants to advance our programs and enable us to maintain our financial and operational capacity.

 

We face significant competition in seeking appropriate alliances. We may not be able to negotiate alliances on acceptable terms, if at all. In addition, these alliances may be unsuccessful. If we fail to create and maintain suitable alliances, we may have to limit the size or scope of, or delay, one or more of our drug development or research programs. If we elect to fund drug development or research programs on our own, we will have to increase our expenditures and will need to obtain additional funding, which may be unavailable or available only on unfavorable terms.

 

We may not successfully engage in future strategic transactions, which could adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize drug candidates, impact our cash position, increase our expenses and present significant distractions to our management.

 

In the future, we may consider strategic alternatives intended to further the development of our business, which may include acquiring businesses, technologies, or products, out- or in-licensing drug candidates or technologies or entering into a business combination with another company. Any strategic transaction may require us to incur non-recurring or other charges, increase our near- and long-term expenditures and pose significant integration or implementation challenges or disrupt our management or business. These transactions would entail numerous operational and financial risks, including exposure to unknown liabilities, disruption of our business and diversion of our management’s time and attention in order to manage a collaboration or develop acquired products, drug candidates or technologies, incurrence of substantial debt or dilutive issuances of equity securities to pay transaction consideration or costs, higher than expected collaboration, acquisition or integration costs, write-downs of assets or goodwill or impairment charges, increased amortization expenses, difficulty and cost in facilitating the collaboration or combining the operations and personnel of any acquired business, impairment of relationships with key suppliers, manufacturers or customers of any acquired business due to changes in management and ownership and the inability to retain key employees of any acquired business. Accordingly, although there can be no assurance that we will undertake or successfully complete any transactions of the nature described above, any transactions that we do complete may be subject to the foregoing or other risks and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. Conversely, any failure to enter any strategic transaction that would be beneficial to us could delay the development and potential commercialization of our drug candidates and have a negative impact on the competitiveness of any drug candidate that reaches market.

 

We have obtained Orphan Drug Designation for IMNN-001 and may seek Orphan Drug Designation for other drug candidates, but we may be unsuccessful or may be unable to maintain the benefits associated with Orphan Drug Designation, including the potential for market exclusivity.

 

IMNN-001 has been granted orphan drug designation for ovarian cancer in both the U.S. and Europe. Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the U.S. and Europe, may designate drugs or biologics for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a drug or biologic as an orphan drug if the disease or condition for which the drug is intended affects fewer than 200,000 individuals annually in the U.S., or, if the drug is intended for a disease or condition affecting 200,000 or more people in the U.S., there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of research and developing the drug or biologic for the indication can be recovered by sales of the drug in the U.S.

 

Even though we have obtained Orphan Drug Designation for IMNN-001 and may obtain such designation for other drug candidates in specific indications, we may not be the first to obtain marketing approval of these drug candidates for the orphan-designated indication due to the uncertainties associated with developing pharmaceutical products. In addition, exclusive marketing rights in the U.S. may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan-designated indication or may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. Further, even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs with different active moieties can be approved for the same condition. Even after an orphan product is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same drug with the same active moiety for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the later drug is safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. Orphan Drug Designation neither shortens the development time or regulatory review time of a drug nor gives the drug any advantage in the regulatory review or approval process.

 

35
 

 

Fast Track designation may not actually lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process.

 

IMNN-001 has received U.S. FDA Fast Track Designation in 2021. However, we may not experience a faster development process, review, or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures. The FDA may withdraw our Fast Track designation if the FDA believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical or pivotal development program. Our Fast Track designation does not guarantee that we will qualify for or be able to take advantage of the FDA’s expedited review procedures or that any application that we may submit to the FDA for regulatory approval will be accepted for filing or ultimately approved.

 

Our relationships with healthcare providers and physicians and third-party payors will be subject to applicable false claims act, anti-kickback, transparency, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, administrative burdens, reputational harm and diminished profits and future earnings.

 

Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors in the U.S. and elsewhere play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of biopharmaceutical products. Arrangements with third-party payors and customers can expose biopharmaceutical manufacturers to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the federal False Claims Act, which may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which such companies sell, market and distribute biopharmaceutical products. In particular, the research of our drug candidates, as well as the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services, as well as certain business arrangements in the healthcare industry, are subject to extensive laws designed to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, structuring and commission(s), certain customer incentive programs and other business arrangements generally. Activities subject to these laws also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of patient recruitment for clinical trials.

 

The distribution of biopharmaceutical products is subject to additional requirements and regulations, including extensive record-keeping, licensing, storage, and security requirements intended to prevent the unauthorized sale of biopharmaceutical products.

 

The scope and enforcement of each of these laws is uncertain and subject to rapid change in the current environment of healthcare reform, especially in light of the lack of applicable precedent and regulations. Ensuring business arrangements comply with applicable healthcare laws, as well as responding to possible investigations by government authorities, can be time- and resource-consuming and can divert a company’s attention from the business.

 

It is possible that governmental and enforcement authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law interpreting applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, imprisonment, reputational harm, possible exclusion from participation in federal and state funded healthcare programs, contractual damages and the curtailment or restricting of our operations, as well as additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. Further, if any of the physicians or other healthcare providers or entities with whom we expect to do business is found to be not in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to significant criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government funded healthcare programs. Any action for violation of these laws, even if successfully defended, could cause a biopharmaceutical manufacturer to incur significant legal expenses and divert management’s attention from the operation of the business. Prohibitions or restrictions on sales or withdrawal of future marketed products could materially affect business in an adverse way.

 

36
 

 

Ongoing legislative and regulatory changes affecting the healthcare industry could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Political, economic and regulatory influences are subjecting the healthcare industry to potential fundamental changes that could substantially affect our results of operations by requiring, for example: (i) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (ii) additions or modifications to product labeling; (iii) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (iv) additional record-keeping requirements.

 

We cannot predict what healthcare reform initiatives may be adopted in the future. Further, federal and state legislative and regulatory developments are likely, and we expect ongoing initiatives in the U.S. to increase pressure on drug pricing. Such reforms could have an adverse effect on anticipated revenues any drug candidates that we may successfully develop and for which we may obtain regulatory approval and may affect our overall financial condition and ability to develop drug candidates.

 

We may fail to comply with evolving European and other privacy laws.

 

We are subject to varying degrees of governmental regulation in the countries in which we operate operations, and the general trend is toward increasingly stringent regulation and enforcement. We are, for example, subject to costly and complex U.S. and foreign laws governing the collection, use, disclosure, and cross-border transfer of information about patients and other individuals that may materially adversely affect our financial condition and business operations. Since we conduct clinical trials in the European Economic Area (“EEA”), we are subject to additional data protection and clinical trial laws in the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation, (EU) 2016/679 (“GDPR”), for example, governs the processing of personal data, and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing notices to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, alerting data subjects and authorities about data breaches, and taking specific measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EEA, including the U.S., and confers on data subjects the right to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, and seek certain judicial review for violations of the GDPR. In addition, the GDPR includes restrictions on cross-border data transfers. Under the GDPR, competent regulatory authorities have the power to impose fines up to EUR 20 million or 4% of the global annual turnover (whichever is higher), depending on the nature of the violation (see Art. 83, GDPR). Further consequences of non-compliance could be cease and desist claims by certain organizations/competitors, damage claims and reputational damage. Further, Regulation (EU) No 536/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on clinical trials on medicinal products for human use and repealing Directive 2001/20/EC governs how we conduct clinical trials in the European Union together with Good Clinical Practices. As a result of Brexit, moreover, we also have independent obligations, similar to those already imposed on us by GDPR, under the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act, 2018, as amended and replaced from time to time, as well as other local Member State data protection laws, industry-specific requirements, regulations, or applicable codes of conduct. We have established privacy compliance programs and controls, but as with many technology and data-driven initiatives being prioritized across throughout our operations and involving multiple vendors and third parties, there are potential risks of controls imposed on cross border data flows, unauthorized access, and loss of personal data through internal and external threats that could impact our business operations and research activities.

 

The success of our products may be harmed if the government, private health insurers and other third-party payers do not provide sufficient coverage or reimbursement.

 

Our ability to commercialize our new cancer treatment systems successfully will depend in part on the extent to which reimbursement for the costs of such products and related treatments will be available from third-party payors, which include government authorities such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Veterans Administration, managed care providers, private health insurers, and other organizations. Patients who are provided medical treatment for their conditions generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their treatment. Patients are unlikely to use our drug candidates unless coverage is provided, and reimbursement is adequate to cover a significant portion of the cost. We cannot be sure that coverage and reimbursement will be available for, or accurately estimate the potential revenue from, our drug candidates.

 

37
 

 

Our products may not achieve sufficient acceptance by the medical community to sustain our business.

 

The commercial success of our products will depend upon their acceptance by the medical community and third-party payors as clinically useful, cost effective and safe. Any of our drug candidates or similar drug candidates being investigated by our competitors may prove not to be effective in trial or in practice, cause adverse events or other undesirable side effects. Our testing and clinical practice may not confirm the safety and efficacy of our drug candidates or even if further testing and clinical practice produce positive results, the medical community may view these new forms of treatment as effective and desirable or our efforts to market our new products may fail. Market acceptance depends upon physicians and hospitals obtaining adequate reimbursement rates from third-party payors to make our products commercially viable. Any of these factors could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We have no internal sales or marketing capability. If we are unable to create sales, marketing and distribution capabilities or enter into alliances with others possessing such capabilities to perform these functions, we will not be able to commercialize our products successfully.

 

We currently have no sales, marketing, or distribution capabilities. We intend to market our products, if and when such products are approved for commercialization by the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies, either directly or through other strategic alliances and distribution arrangements with third parties. If we decide to market our products directly, we will need to commit significant financial and managerial resources to develop a marketing and sales force with technical expertise and with supporting distribution, administration, and compliance capabilities, including providing adequate training on such topics. If we rely on third parties with such capabilities to market our products, we will need to establish and maintain partnership arrangements, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to enter into third-party marketing or distribution arrangements on acceptable terms or at all. To the extent that we do enter into such arrangements, we will be dependent on our marketing and distribution partners. In entering into third-party marketing or distribution arrangements, we expect to incur significant additional expenses and there can be no assurance that such third parties will establish adequate sales and distribution capabilities or be successful in gaining market acceptance for our products and services.

 

Our success will depend in part on our ability to grow and diversify, which in turn will require that we manage and control our growth effectively.

 

Our business strategy contemplates growth and diversification. Our ability to manage growth effectively will require that we continue to expend funds to improve our operational, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures. In addition, we must effectively expand, train and manage our employees. We will be unable to manage our business effectively if we are unable to alleviate the strain on resources caused by growth in a timely and successful manner. There can be no assurance that we will be able to manage our growth and a failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We face intense competition and the failure to compete effectively could adversely affect our ability to develop and market our products, if approved.

 

There are many companies and other institutions engaged in research and development of various technologies for cancer treatment products that seek treatment outcomes similar to those that we are pursuing. We believe that the level of interest by others in investigating the potential of possible competitive treatments and alternative technologies will continue and may increase. Potential competitors engaged in all areas of cancer treatment research in the U.S. and other countries include, among others, major pharmaceutical, specialized technology companies, and universities and other research institutions. Most of our current and potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical, human and other resources, and may also have far greater experience than do we, both in pre-clinical testing and human clinical trials of new products and in obtaining FDA and other regulatory approvals. One or more of these companies or institutions could succeed in developing products or other technologies that are more effective than the products and technologies that we have been or are developing, or which would render our technology and products obsolete and non-competitive. Furthermore, if we are permitted to commence commercial sales of any of our products, we will also be competing, with respect to manufacturing efficiency and marketing, with companies having substantially greater resources and experience in these areas.

 

38
 

 

We may be subject to significant product liability claims and litigation.

 

Our business exposes us to potential product liability risks inherent in the testing, manufacturing and marketing of human therapeutic products. We presently have product liability insurance limited to $10 million per incident and $10 million annually. If we were to be subject to a claim in excess of this coverage or to a claim not covered by our insurance and the claim succeeded, we would be required to pay the claim with our own limited resources, which could have a severe adverse effect on our business. Whether or not we are ultimately successful in any product liability litigation, such litigation would harm the business by diverting the attention and resources of our management, consuming substantial amounts of our financial resources and by damaging our reputation. Additionally, we may not be able to maintain our product liability insurance at an acceptable cost, if at all.

 

Our internal computer systems, or those of our CROs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our product development programs.

 

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our CROs and other contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses and malicious software that could attack our networks and data centers or those of our service providers; unauthorized parties may attempt to gain access to our systems, networks, or facilities, or those of third parties with whom we do business, through fraud, trickery, or other forms of deceiving our employees or contractors, direct social engineering, phishing, credential stuffing, ransomware, denial or degradation of service attacks and similar types of attacks against any or all of us, our patients and our services providers; inadvertent security breaches or theft, misuse, unauthorized access or other improper actions by our employees, patients, service providers and other business partners; natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. . These extensive information security and cybersecurity threats, which affect companies globally, pose a risk to the security and availability of our systems and networks, and the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our sensitive data. We continually assess these threats and makes investments to increase internal protection, detection, and response capabilities, as well as ensure that our third party providers have required capabilities and controls, to address those risks. Even so ,such events could cause significant interruptions of our operations. For instance, the loss of preclinical data or data from any clinical trial involving our drug candidates could result in delays in our development and regulatory filing efforts and significantly increase our costs. To the extent that any disruption or privacy or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could be subject to reputational harm, monetary fines, civil suits, civil penalties or criminal sanctions and requirements to disclose the breach, and other forms of liability and the development of our drug candidates could be delayed. In addition, such interruptions and cyber security incidents and faults can cause reputational damage.

 

Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, collaborators and contract research organizations may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements, which could cause significant liability for us and harm our reputation.

 

We are exposed to the risk that our employees, independent contractors, consultants, collaborators and contract research organizations may engage in fraudulent conduct or other illegal activity. Misconduct by those parties could include intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct or disclosure of unauthorized activities to us that violates: (1) FDA regulations or similar regulations of comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities, including those laws requiring the reporting of true, complete and accurate information to such authorities, (2) manufacturing standards, (3) federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations and similar laws and regulations established and enforced by comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities, and (4) laws that require the reporting of financial information or data accurately. In particular, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, misconduct, kickbacks, self- dealing, bribery and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. Employee or collaborator misconduct could also involve the improper use of, including trading on, information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. While we have a code of conduct and business ethics, it is not always possible to identify and deter misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws, standards or regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business and results of operations, including the imposition of civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, monetary fines, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, imprisonment, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment of our operations, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

 

39
 

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

 

Our business depends on license agreements with third parties to permit us to use patented technologies. The loss of any of our rights under these agreements could impair our ability to develop and market our products.

 

Our success will depend, in a substantial part, on our ability to maintain our rights under license agreements granting us rights to use patented technologies. For instance, we are party to license agreements with Duke University, under which we have exclusive rights to commercialize medical treatment products and procedures based on Duke’s thermo-sensitive liposome technology. The Duke University license agreement contains a license fee, royalty and/or research support provisions, testing and regulatory milestones, and other performance requirements that we must meet by certain deadlines. If we breach any provisions of the license and research agreements, we may lose our ability to use the subject technology, as well as compensation for our efforts in developing or exploiting the technology. Any such loss of rights and access to technology could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Further, we cannot guarantee that any patent or other technology rights licensed to us by others will not be challenged or circumvented successfully by third parties, or that the rights granted will provide adequate protection. We may be required to alter any of our potential products or processes or enter into a license and pay licensing fees to a third party or cease certain activities. There can be no assurance that we can obtain a license to any technology that we determine we need on reasonable terms, if at all, or that we could develop or otherwise obtain alternate technology. If a license is not available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be significantly harmed, and we may be prevented from developing and commercializing the product. Litigation, which could result in substantial costs, may also be necessary to enforce any patents issued to or licensed by us or to determine the scope and validity of another’s claimed proprietary rights.

 

If any of our pending patent applications do not issue, or are deemed invalid following issuance, we may lose valuable intellectual property protection.

 

The patent positions of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, such as ours, are uncertain and involve complex legal and factual issues. We own various U.S. and international patents and have pending U.S. and international patent applications that cover various aspects of our technologies. There can be no assurance that patents that have issued will be held valid and enforceable in a court of law through the entire patent term. Even for patents that are held valid and enforceable, the legal process associated with obtaining such a judgment is time-consuming and costly. Additionally, issued patents can be subject to opposition, interferences or other proceedings that can result in the revocation of the patent or maintenance of the patent in amended form (and potentially in a form that renders the patent without commercially relevant or broad coverage). Further, our competitors may be able to circumvent and otherwise design around our patents. Even if a patent is issued and enforceable because development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products can be subject to substantial delays, patents may expire early and provide only a short period of protection, if any, following the commercialization of products encompassed by our patents. We may have to participate in interference proceedings declared by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which could result in a loss of the patent and/or substantial cost to us.

 

We have filed patent applications, and plan to file additional patent applications, covering various aspects of our technologies and our proprietary drug candidates. There can be no assurance that the patent applications for which we apply would actually issue as patents or do so with commercially relevant or broad coverage. The coverage claimed in a patent application can be significantly reduced before the patent is issued. The scope of our claim coverage can be critical to our ability to enter into licensing transactions with third parties and our right to receive royalties from our collaboration partnerships. Since publication of discoveries in scientific or patent literature often lags behind the date of such discoveries, we cannot be certain that we were the first inventor of inventions covered by our patents or patent applications. In addition, there is no guarantee that we will be the first to file a patent application directed to an invention.

 

40
 

 

An adverse outcome in any judicial proceeding involving intellectual property, including patents, could subject us to significant liabilities to third parties, require disputed rights to be licensed from or to third parties or require us to cease using the technology in dispute. In those instances where we seek an intellectual property license from another, we may not be able to obtain the license on a commercially reasonable basis, if at all, thereby raising concerns on our ability to freely commercialize our technologies or products.

 

We rely on trade secret protection and other unpatented proprietary rights for important proprietary technologies, and any loss of such rights could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We rely on trade secrets and confidential information that we seek to protect, in part, by confidentiality agreements with our corporate partners, collaborators, employees and consultants. We cannot assure you that these agreements are adequate to protect our trade secrets and confidential information or will not be breached or, if breached, we will have adequate remedies. Furthermore, others may independently develop substantially equivalent confidential and proprietary information or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or disclose such technology. Any loss of trade secret protection or other unpatented proprietary rights could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We may incur substantial costs as a result of litigation or other proceedings relating to patent and other intellectual property rights.

 

Our commercial success depends on our ability to operate without infringing the patents and other proprietary rights of third parties. Although we currently are not involved in any material litigation involving patents, a third-party patent holder may assert a claim of patent infringement against us in the future. Alternatively, we may initiate litigation against the third-party patent holder to request that a court declare that we are not infringing the third party’s patent and/or that the third party’s patent is invalid or unenforceable. Any infringement action asserted against us, even if we are ultimately successful in defending against such action, would likely delay the regulatory approval process of our products, harm our competitive position, be expensive and require the time and attention of our key management and technical personnel. In addition, there is a risk that the court will decide that such patents are not valid and that we do not have the right to stop the other party from using the inventions.

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR SECURITIES

 

The market price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be volatile and fluctuate significantly, which could result in substantial losses for investors and subject us to securities class action litigation.

 

The trading price for our common stock has been, and we expect it to continue to be, volatile. The price at which our common stock trades depends upon a number of factors, some of these factors are beyond our control. Broad market fluctuations may lower the market price of our common stock and affect the volume of trading in our stock, regardless of our financial condition, results of operations, business or prospects. In addition to the factors discussed in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this annual report, these factors include:

 

  disclosure of actual or potential clinical results with respect to drug candidates we are developing;
  regulatory developments in both the United States and abroad;
  developments concerning proprietary rights, including patents and litigation matters;
  public concern about the safety or efficacy of our drug candidates or technology, or related technology, or new technologies generally;
  concern about the safety or efficacy of our drug candidates or technology, or related technology, or new technologies generally;
  public announcements by our competitors or others; and
  general market conditions and comments by securities analysts and investors.

 

41
 

 

Our common stock may be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market if we fail to comply with continued listing standards.

 

Our common stock is currently traded on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “IMNN.” If we fail to comply with Nasdaq’s continued listing standards, we may be delisted and our common stock will trade, if at all, only on the over-the-counter market, such as the OTC Bulletin Board or OTCQX market, and then only if one or more registered broker-dealer market makers comply with quotation requirements. In addition, delisting of our common stock could depress our stock price, substantially limit liquidity of our common stock and materially adversely affect our ability to raise capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Further, delisting of our common stock would likely result in our common stock becoming a “penny stock” under the Exchange Act

 

Future sales of our common stock in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.

 

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. As of March 28, 2023, we had 9,089,789 shares of common stock outstanding, all of which, other than shares held by our directors and certain officers, were eligible for sale in the public market, subject in some cases to compliance with the requirements of Rule 144, including the volume limitations and manner of sale requirements. In addition, all of the shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of warrants will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration upon issuance.

 

Our stockholders may experience significant dilution as a result of future equity offerings or issuances and exercise of outstanding options and warrants.

 

In order to raise additional capital or pursue strategic transactions, we may in the future offer, issue or sell additional shares of our common stock or other securities convertible into or exchangeable for our common stock, including the issuance of common stock in relation to the achievement, if any, of milestones triggering our payment of earn-out consideration in connection with the EGEN acquisition. Our stockholders may experience significant dilution as a result of future equity offerings or issuances. Investors purchasing shares or other securities in the future could have rights superior to existing stockholders. As of March 28, 2023, we have the following number of securities convertible into, or allowing the purchase of, our common stock, including 168,519 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of warrants outstanding, 820,507 options to purchase shares of our common stock and restricted stock awards outstanding, and 388,932 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock incentive plan.

 

Unstable global market and economic conditions may have serious adverse consequences on our business, financial condition and share price.

 

The global economy, including credit and financial markets, has experienced extreme volatility and disruptions, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates, increases in inflation rates and uncertainty about economic stability. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread unemployment, economic slowdown and extreme volatility in the capital markets. Similarly, the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia has created extreme volatility in the global capital markets and is expected to have further global economic consequences, including with respect to global supply chain and energy concerns.

 

Additionally, disruptions to the U.S. banking system may adversely affect our ability to access additional capital when needed on acceptable terms. For example, on March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”) was closed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as receiver. Although the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC stated all depositors of SVB would have access to all of their money after only one business day of closure, including funds held in uninsured deposit accounts, borrowers under credit agreements, letters of credit and certain other financial instruments with SVB, or any other financial institution that is placed into receivership by the FDIC may be impacted by other disruptions to the U.S. banking system caused by the recent developments involving SVB, including potential delays in the ability to transfer funds and in the short-term potential delays in making payments to vendors while new banking relationships are established.

 

42
 

 

Any such volatility may have adverse consequences on us or the third parties on whom we rely. If the equity and credit markets deteriorate, including as a result of political unrest or war, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult to obtain in a timely manner or on favorable terms, more costly or more dilutive.

 

Our ability to use net operating losses to offset future taxable income are subject to certain limitations.

 

On December 22, 2017, the then President of the U.S. signed into law the Tax Reform Act. The Tax Reform Act significantly changes U.S. tax law by, among other things, lowering corporate income tax rates, implementing a quasi-territorial tax system, providing a one-time transition toll charge on foreign earnings, creating a new limitation on the deductibility of interest expenses and modifying the limitation on officer compensation. The Tax Reform Act permanently reduces the U.S. corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 21% rate, effective January 1, 2018. We currently have significant net operating losses (“NOLs”) that may be used to offset future taxable income. In general, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change NOLs to offset future taxable income. During 2022, 2021 and years prior, we performed analyses to determine if there were changes in ownership, as defined by Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code that would limit our ability to utilize certain net operating loss and tax credit carry forwards. We determined we experienced ownership changes, as defined by Section 382, in connection with certain common stock offerings in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021. As a result, the utilization of our federal tax net operating loss carry-forwards generated prior to the ownership changes is limited. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which are outside of our control, could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code, which would significantly limit our ability to utilize NOLs to offset future taxable income. Future changes in tax laws could also impair our corporate tax rate and/or our ability to utilize our NOLs.

 

We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock in the past and do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.

 

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock will be the sole source of gain for the foreseeable future for holders of our common stock.

 

Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could prevent or delay a change in control.

 

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may discourage, delay or prevent a merger or acquisition that a stockholder may consider favorable by authorizing the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock. This preferred stock may be issued by our Board of Directors on such terms as it determines, without further stockholder approval. Therefore, our Board of Directors may issue such preferred stock on terms unfavorable to a potential bidder in the event that our Board of Directors opposes a merger or acquisition. In addition, our staggered Board of Directors may discourage such transactions by increasing the amount of time necessary to obtain majority representation on our Board of Directors. Certain other provisions of our bylaws and of Delaware law may also discourage, delay or prevent a third party from acquiring or merging with us, even if such action were beneficial to some, or even a majority, of our stockholders.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

We own no real property and have no plans to acquire any real property in the future.

 

Lawrenceville, NJ Lease

 

In July 2011, we entered into a lease with Brandywine Operating Partnership, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership for a 10,870 square foot premises located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey in connection with the relocation of our offices from Columbia, Maryland. On February 1, 2019, we amended the current terms of the lease to increase the size of the premises by 2,285 square feet to 9,850 square feet and also extended the lease term by one year to September 1, 2023.

 

43
 

 

Huntsville, AL Lease

 

In connection with the Asset Purchase Agreement with EGEN in June 2014, we assumed the existing lease with another landlord for an 11,500 square foot premises located in Huntsville, Alabama. In January 2018, we entered into a 60-month lease agreement for 9,049 square feet with rent payments of approximately $18,100 per month. On June 9, 2021, the Company and the Huntsville landlord entered into a 22-month lease, as amended on July 2021, for an additional 2,197 square foot premises with rent payments of approximately $5,500 per month. In January 2023, we renewed Huntsville for a 60-month lease agreement for 11,420 square feet with rent payments of approximately $28,550

 

We believe our existing facilities are suitable and adequate to conduct our business.

 

Following is a table of future payments and maturity of our operating lease liabilities as of December 31, 2022:

 

   For the year ending
December 31,
 
2023   238,609 
2024 and thereafter   - 
Subtotal future lease payments   238,609 
Less imputed interest   (7,860)
Total lease liabilities  $230,749 
      
Weighted average remaining life   0.61 years   
      
Weighted average discount rate   9.98%

 

For 2022, operating lease expense was $587,744 and cash paid for operating leases included in operating cash flows was $601,495. For 2021, operating lease expense was $560,513 and cash paid for operating leases included in operating cash flows was $568,269.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

On October 29, 2020, a putative securities class action was filed against the Company and certain of its officers and directors (the “Spar Individual Defendants”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, captioned Spar v. Celsion Corporation, et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-15228. The plaintiff alleges that the Company and Individual Defendants made false and misleading statements regarding one of the Company’s drug candidates, ThermoDox®, and brings claims for damages under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder against all Defendants, and under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act of 1934 against the Individual Defendants. The Company believes that the case is without merit and intends to defend it vigorously. At this stage of the case neither the likelihood that a loss, if any, will be realized, nor an estimate of possible loss or range of loss, if any, can be determined. On February 6, 2023, the U.S. District Court granted a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Company and Spar Individual Defendants and granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint within 30 days. Plaintiff did not file an amended complaint within the 30-day deadline.

 

In February 2021, a derivative shareholder lawsuit was filed against the Company, as the nominal defendant, and certain of its directors and officers as defendants in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, captioned Fidler v. Michael H. Tardugno, et al., Case No. 3:21-cv-02662. The plaintiff alleges breach of fiduciary duty and other claims arising out of alleged statements made by certain of the Company’s directors and/or officers regarding ThermoDox®. The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to these claims and intends to vigorously contest this suit. At this stage of the case neither the likelihood that a loss, if any, will be realized, nor an estimate of possible loss or range of loss, if any, can be determined. On March 10, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued an order that the action is administratively terminated pending the submission, by March 17, 2023, of a joint letter advising as to how the parties wish to proceed in the matter.

 

44
 

 

In August 2021, a complaint regarding a corporate books and records demand was filed against the Company in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, captioned Pacheco v. Celsion Corporation, Case No. 2021-0705. The plaintiff alleges he is entitled to inspect the Company’s books and records concerning the OPTIMA Study and other materials. The Company believes that the scope of the demand is without merit and intends to defend it vigorously. At this stage of the case neither the likelihood that a loss, if any, will be realized, nor an estimate of possible loss or range of loss, if any, can be determined.

 

In October 2021, an arbitration was commenced against the Company before the CPR Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, captioned Curia New Mexico, LLC v. Celsion Corp., Case No. G-22-85-S. The plaintiff alleges that the Company failed to pay invoices for the manufacture of ThermoDox®. The Company believes it has a meritorious defense to these claims and is vigorously contesting this allegation. At this stage of the case neither the likelihood that a loss, if any, will be realized, nor an estimate of possible loss or range of loss, if any, can be determined.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not Applicable.

 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Market for Our Common Stock

 

Our common stock trades on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “IMNN.”

 

Record Holders

 

As of March 30, 2023, there were approximately 28,000 stockholders of record of our common stock. The actual number of stockholders may be greater than this number of record stockholders and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees. This number of stockholders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.

 

Dividend Policy

 

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock. We currently anticipate that we will retain all of our future earnings for use in the operation of our business and to fund future growth and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare cash dividends will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors, subject to applicable law, and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant.

 

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

 

None.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

None.

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Not required.

 

45
 

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following discussions should be read in conjunction with the Financial Statements and related notes thereto included in this Annual Report. The following discussion contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the Company’s beliefs and expectations about future outcomes and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include those described under “Part I, Item 1A - Risk Factors” appearing in this Annual Report and factors described in other cautionary statements, cautionary language and risk factors set forth in other documents that the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Overview

 

On September 19, 2022, Celsion Corporation announced a corporate name change to Imunon, Inc., reflecting the evolution of the Company’s business focus and its commitment to developing cutting-edge immunotherapies and next-generation vaccines to treat cancer and infectious diseases. The Company’s common stock continues to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the new ticker symbol “IMNN” effective as of the opening of trading on September 21, 2022. The Company filed an amendment to its Articles of Incorporation to effect the new corporate name.

 

Imunon, Inc. (“Imunon” and the “Company”) is a fully integrated, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments that harness the body’s natural mechanisms to generate safe, effective, and durable responses across a broad array of human diseases, constituting a differentiating approach from conventional therapies. Imunon has two platform technologies: Our TheraPlas® platform for the development of immunotherapies and other anti-cancer nucleic acid-based therapies, and our PLACCINE platform for the development of nucleic acid vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer. The Company’s lead clinical program, IMNN-001, is a DNA-based immunotherapy for the localized treatment of advanced ovarian cancer currently in Phase II development. IMNN-001 works by instructing the body to produce safe and durable levels of powerful cancer fighting molecules, such as interleukin-12 and interferon gamma, at the tumor site. Additionally, the Company is conducting preclinical proof-of-concept studies on a nucleic acid vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to validate its PLACCINE platform. Imunon’s platform technologies are based on the delivery of nucleic acids with novel synthetic delivery systems that are independent of viral vectors or devices. We will continue to leverage these platforms and to advance the technological frontier of plasmid DNA to better serve patients with difficult to treat conditions.

 

IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY Program

 

On June 20, 2014, the Company completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of EGEN, Inc., a privately held corporation located in Huntsville, Alabama. Pursuant to the Asset Purchase Agreement, CLSN Laboratories acquired all of EGEN’s right, title and interest in substantially all of the assets of EGEN, including cash and cash equivalents, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights, clinical data, certain contracts, licenses and permits, equipment, furniture, office equipment, furnishings, supplies and other tangible personal property. A key asset acquired from EGEN was the TheraPlas technology platform. The first drug candidate developed from this technology platform is IMNN-001.

 

46
 

 

THERAPLAS Technology Platform

 

TheraPlas is a technology platform for the delivery of DNA and mRNA therapeutics via synthetic non-viral carriers and is capable of providing cell transfection for double-stranded DNA plasmids and large therapeutic RNA segments such as mRNA. There are two components of the TheraPlas system, a plasmid DNA or mRNA payload encoding a therapeutic protein, and a delivery system. The delivery system is designed to protect the DNA/mRNA from degradation and promote trafficking into cells and through intracellular compartments. We designed the delivery system of TheraPlas by chemically modifying the low molecular weight polymer to improve its gene transfer activity without increasing toxicity. We believe that TheraPlas may be a viable alternative to current approaches to gene delivery due to several distinguishing characteristics, including enhanced molecular versatility that allows for complex modifications to potentially improve activity and safety.

 

The design of the TheraPlas delivery system is based on molecular functionalization of polyethyleneimine (“PEI”), a cationic delivery polymer with a distinct ability to escape from the endosomes due to heavy protonation. The transfection activity and toxicity of PEI is tightly coupled to its molecular weight; therefore, the clinical application of PEI is limited. We have used molecular functionalization strategies to improve the activity of low molecular weight PEIs without augmenting their cytotoxicity. In one instance, chemical conjugation of a low molecular weight branched BPEI1800 with cholesterol and polyethylene glycol (“PEG”) to form PEG-PEI-Cholesterol (“PPC”) dramatically improved the transfection activity of BPEI1800 following in vivo delivery. Together, the cholesterol and PEG modifications produced approximately 20-fold enhancement in transfection activity. Biodistribution studies following intraperitoneal or subcutaneous administration of DNA/PPC nanocomplexes showed DNA delivery localized primarily at the injection site with only a small amount escaping into the systemic circulation. PPC is the delivery component of our lead TheraPlas product, IMNN-001, which is in clinical development for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The PPC manufacturing process has been scaled up from bench scale (1-2 g) to 0.6Kg, and several current Good Manufacturing Practice (“cGMP”) lots have been produced with reproducible quality.

 

We believe that TheraPlas has emerged as a viable alternative to current approaches due to several distinguishing characteristics such as strong molecular versatility that may allow for complex modifications to potentially improve activity and safety with little difficulty. The biocompatibility of these polymers reduces the risk of adverse immune response, thus allowing for repeated administration. Compared to naked DNA or cationic lipids, TheraPlas is generally safer, more efficient, and cost effective. We believe that these advantages place Imunon in a position to capitalize on this technology platform.

 

IMNN-001 (formerly GEN-1) Immunotherapy

 

IMNN-001 is a DNA-based immunotherapeutic drug candidate for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer by intraperitoneally administering an Interleukin-12 (“IL-12”) plasmid formulated with our proprietary TheraPlas delivery system. In this DNA-based approach, the immunotherapy is combined with a standard chemotherapy drug, which can potentially achieve better clinical outcomes than with chemotherapy alone. We believe that increases in IL-12 concentrations at tumor sites for several days after a single administration could create a potent immune environment against tumor activity and that a direct killing of the tumor with concomitant use of cytotoxic chemotherapy could result in a more robust and durable antitumor response than chemotherapy alone. We believe the rationale for local therapy with IMNN-001 is based on the following:

 

  Loco-regional production of the potent cytokine IL-12 avoids toxicities and poor pharmacokinetics associated with systemic delivery of recombinant IL-12;
     
  Persistent local delivery of IL-12 lasts up to one week and dosing can be repeated; and
     
  Local therapy is ideal for long-term maintenance therapy.

 

OVATION I Study. In February 2015, we announced that the FDA accepted, without objection, the OVATION I Study. On September 30, 2015, we announced enrollment of the first patient in the OVATION I Study. The OVATION I Study was designed to:

 

  (i) identify a safe, tolerable and therapeutically active dose of IMNN-001 by recruiting and maximizing an immune response;
     
  (ii) enroll three to six patients per dose level and evaluate safety and efficacy; and
     
  (iii) attempt to define an optimal dose for a follow-on Phase I/II study.

 

47
 

 

In addition, the OVATION I Study established a unique opportunity to assess how cytokine-based compounds such as IMNN-001, directly affect ovarian cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients. The study was designed to characterize the nature of the immune response triggered by IMNN-001 at various levels of the patients’ immune system, including:

 

  Infiltration of cancer fighting T-cell lymphocytes into primary tumor and tumor microenvironment including peritoneal cavity, which is the primary site of metastasis of ovarian cancer;
     
  Changes in local and systemic levels of immuno-stimulatory and immune-suppressive cytokines associated with tumor suppression and growth, respectively; and
     
  Expression profile of a comprehensive panel of immune related genes in pre-treatment and IMNN-001-treated tumor tissue.

 

We initiated the OVATION I Study at four clinical sites at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Oklahoma University Medical Center, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. During 2016 and 2017, we announced data from the first fourteen patients in the OVATION I Study. On October 3, 2017, we announced final translational research and clinical data from the OVATION I Study.

 

Key translational research findings from all evaluable patients are consistent with the earlier reports from partial analysis of the data and are summarized below:

 

  The intraperitoneal treatment of IMNN-001 in conjunction with NACT resulted in dose dependent increases in IL-12 and Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels that were predominantly in the peritoneal fluid compartment with little to no changes observed in the patients’ systemic circulation. These and other post-treatment changes including decreases in VEGF levels in peritoneal fluid are consistent with an IL-12 based immune mechanism;
     
  Consistent with the previous partial reports, the effects observed in the IHC analysis were pronounced decreases in the density of immunosuppressive T-cell signals (Foxp3, PD-1, PDL-1, IDO-1) and increases in CD8+ cells in the tumor microenvironment;
     
  The ratio of CD8+ cells to immunosuppressive cells was increased in approximately 75% of patients suggesting an overall shift in the tumor microenvironment from immunosuppressive to pro-immune stimulatory following treatment with IMNN-001. An increase in CD8+ to immunosuppressive T-cell populations is a leading indicator and believed to be a good predictor of improved OS; and
     
  Analysis of peritoneal fluid by cell sorting, not reported before, shows a treatment-related decrease in the percentage of immunosuppressive T-cell (Foxp3+), which is consistent with the reduction of Foxp3+ T-cells in the primary tumor tissue, and a shift in tumor naïve CD8+ cell population to more efficient tumor killing memory effector CD8+ cells.

 

The Company also reported encouraging clinical data from the first fourteen patients who completed treatment in the OVATION I Study. IMNN-001 plus standard chemotherapy produced no dose limiting toxicities and positive dose dependent efficacy signals which correlate well with positive surgical outcomes as summarized below:

 

  Of the fourteen patients treated in the entire study, two patients demonstrated a complete response, ten patients demonstrated a partial response and two patients demonstrated stable disease, as measured by RECIST criteria. This translates to a 100% disease control rate and an 86% objective response rate (“ORR”). Of the five patients treated in the highest dose cohort, there was a 100% ORR with one complete response and four partial responses;
     
  Fourteen patients had successful resections of their tumors, with nine patients (64%) having a complete tumor resection (“R0”), which indicates a microscopically margin-negative resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed. Seven out of eight (88%) patients in the highest two dose cohorts experienced a R0 surgical resection. All five patients treated at the highest dose cohort experienced a R0 surgical resection; and

 

48
 

 

  All patients experienced a clinically significant decrease in their CA-125 protein levels as of their most recent study visit. CA-125 is used to monitor certain cancers during and after treatment. CA-125 is present in greater concentrations in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells.

 

On March 26, 2020, the Company announced with Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, that examining matched patient data provided by Medidata in a synthetic control arm (“SCA”) with results from the Company’s completed Phase Ib dose-escalating OVATION I Study showed positive results in progression-free survival (“PFS”). The hazard ratio (“HR”) was 0.53 in the ITT group, showing strong signals of efficacy. The Company believes these data may warrant consideration of strategies to accelerate the clinical development program for IMNN-001 in newly diagnosed, advanced ovarian cancer patients by the FDA. In its March 2019 discussion with the Company, the FDA noted that preliminary findings from the Phase Ib OVATION I Study were exciting but lacked a control group to evaluate IMNN-001’s independent impact on impressive tumor response, surgical results and PFS. The FDA encouraged the Company to continue its IMNN-001 development program and consult with FDA with new findings that may have a bearing on designations such as Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy.

 

SCAs have the potential to revolutionize clinical trials in certain oncology indications and some other diseases where a randomized control is not ethical or practical. SCAs are formed by carefully selecting control patients from historical clinical trials to match the demographic and disease characteristics of the patients treated with the new investigational product. SCAs have been shown to mimic the results of traditional randomized controls so that the treatment effects of an investigational product can be visible by comparison to the SCA. SCAs can help advance the scientific validity of single arm trials, and in certain indications, reduce time and cost, and expose fewer patients to placebos or existing standard-of-care treatments that might not be effective for them.

 

On July 29, 2021, the Company announced final progression free survival (“PFS”) results from the OVATION I Study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research. Median PFS in patients treated per protocol (n=14) was 21 months and was 18.4 months for the intent-to-treat (“ITT”) population (n=18) for all dose cohorts, including three patients who dropped out of the study after 13 days or less, and two patients who did not receive full NAC and IMNN-001 cycles. Under the current standard of care, in women with Stage III/IV ovarian cancer undergoing NAC, their disease progresses within about 12 months on average. The results from the OVATION I Study support continued evaluation of IMNN-001 based on promising tumor response, as reported in the PFS data, and the ability for surgeons to completely remove visible tumor at interval debulking surgery. IMNN-001 was well tolerated, and no dose-limiting toxicities were detected. Intraperitoneal administration of IMNN-001 was feasible with broad patient acceptance.

 

OVATION 2 Study. The Company held an Advisory Board Meeting on September 27, 2017 with the clinical investigators and scientific experts including those from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical School, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to review and finalize clinical, translational research and safety data from the OVATION I Study in order to determine the next steps forward for our IMNN-001 immunotherapy program. On November 13, 2017, the Company filed its Phase I/II clinical trial protocol with the FDA for IMNN-001 for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer. The protocol is designed with a single dose escalation phase to 100 mg/m² to identify a safe and tolerable dose of IMNN-001 while maximizing an immune response. The Phase I portion of the study will be followed by a continuation at the selected dose in approximately 110 patients randomized Phase II study.

 

In the OVATION 2 Study, patients in the IMNN-001 treatment arm will receive IMNN-001 plus chemotherapy pre- and post-interval debulking surgery (“IDS”). The OVATION 2 Study will include up to 110 patients with Stage III/IV ovarian cancer, with 12 to 15 patients in the Phase I portion and up to 95 patients in Phase II. The study is powered to show a 33% improvement in the primary endpoint, PFS, when comparing IMNN-001 with neoadjuvant + adjuvant chemotherapy versus neoadjuvant + adjuvant chemotherapy alone. The PFS primary analysis will be conducted after at least 80 events have been observed or after all patients have been followed for at least 16 months, whichever is later.

 

In March 2020, the Company announced encouraging initial clinical data from the first 15 patients enrolled in the Phase I portion of the OVATION 2 Study for patients newly diagnosed with Stage III and IV ovarian cancer. The OVATION 2 Study combines IMNN-001, the Company’s IL-12 gene-mediated immunotherapy, with standard-of-care neoadjuvant chemotherapy (“NACT”). Following NACT, patients undergo interval debulking surgery (IDS), followed by three additional cycles of chemotherapy.

 

49
 

 

IMNN-001 plus standard NACT produced positive dose-dependent efficacy results, with no dose-limiting toxicities, which correlates well with successful surgical outcomes as summarized below:

 

 

Of the fifteen patients treated in the Phase I portion of the OVATION 2 Study, nine patients were treated with IMNN-001 at a dose of 100 mg/m² plus NACT and six patients were treated with NACT only. All fifteen patients had successful resections of their tumors, with eight out of nine patients (88%) in the IMNN-001 treatment arm having an R0 resection, which indicates a microscopically margin-negative complete resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed. Only three out of six patients (50%) in the NACT only treatment arm had a R0 resection.

     
 

When combining these results with the surgical resection rates observed in the Company’s prior Phase Ib dose-escalation trial (the “OVATION 1 Study”), a population of patients with inclusion criteria identical to the OVATION 2 Study, the data reflect the strong dose-dependent efficacy of adding IMNN-001 to the current standard of care NACT:

 

      % of Patients R0 Resections 
0, 36, 47 mg/m² of IMNN-001 plus NACT  N =12   42%
61, 79, 100 mg/m² of IMNN-001 plus NACT  N = 17   82%

 

 

The ORR as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (“RECIST”) criteria for the 0, 36, 47 mg/m² dose IMNN-001 patients were comparable, as expected, to the higher (61, 79, 100 mg/m²) dose IMNN-001 patients, with both groups demonstrating an approximate 80% ORR.

 

On March 23, 2020, the Company announced that the European Medicines Agency (the “EMA”) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (“COMP”) has recommended that IMNN-001 be designated as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of ovarian cancer. IMNN-001 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector encased in a non-viral nanoparticle delivery system, which enables cell transfection followed by persistent, local secretion of the IL-12 protein. IMNN-001 previously received orphan designation from the FDA.

 

In February 2021, the Company announced that it has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for IMNN-001, its DNA-mediated IL-12 immunotherapy currently in Phase II development for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer and also provided an update on the OVATION 2 Study. The Company reported that approximately one-third, or 34 patients, of the anticipated 110 patients had been enrolled into the OVATION 2 Study, of which 20 are in the treatment arm and 14 are in the control. Of the 34 patients enrolled in the trial, 27 patients have had their interval debulking surgery with the following results:

 

 

80% of patients treated with IMNN-001 had a R0 resection, which indicates a microscopically margin-negative complete resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed.

     
  58% of patients in the control arm had an R0 resection.
     
 

This interim data represents a 38% improvement in R0 resection rates for IMNN-001 patients compared with control arm patients and is consistent with the reported improvement in resection scores noted in the encouraging Phase I OVATION I Study, the manuscript of which has been submitted for peer review publication.

 

50
 

 

In June 2022, the Company announced that following a pre-planned interim safety review of 87 as treated patients (46 patients in the experimental arm and 41 patients in the control arm) randomized in the OVATION 2 Study, the Data Safety Monitoring Board (“DSMB”) unanimously recommended that the OVATION 2 Study continue treating patients with the dose of 100 mg/m2. The DSMB also determined that safety is satisfactory with an acceptable risk/benefit, and that patients tolerate IMNN-001 during a course of treatment that lasts up to six months. No dose-limiting toxicities were reported. Interim clinical data from patients who have undergone interval debulking surgery showed that the IMNN-001 treatment arm is continuing to show improvement in R0 surgical resection rates and CRS 3 chemotherapy response scores over the control arm. A complete tumor resection (R0) is a microscopically margin-negative resection in which no gross or microscopic tumor remains in the tumor bed. The chemotherapy response score is a three-tier standardized scoring system for histological tumor regression into complete/near complete (CRS 3), partial (CRS 2) and no/minimal (CRS 1) response based on omental examination.

 

In September 2022, the Company announced that its Phase I/II OVATION 2 Study with IMNN-001 in advanced ovarian cancer has completed enrollment with 110 patients. Topline results are expected in the first half of 2024.

 

IMNN-001 in Combination with Avastin. In February 2023, the Company and Break Through Cancer, a public foundation dedicated to supporting translational research in the most difficult-to-treat cancers that partners with top cancer research centers, announce the commencement of patient enrollment in a collaboration to evaluate IMNN-001 in combination with Avastin® (bevacizumab) in patients with advanced ovarian cancer in the frontline, neoadjuvant clinical setting.

 

This Phase 1/2 study, titled “Targeting Ovarian Cancer Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) Using Immune and DNA Repair Directed Therapies,” is expected to enroll 50 patients with Stage III/IV advanced ovarian cancer and is being led by principal investigator Amir Jazaeri, M.D., Vice Chair for Clinical Research and Director of the Gynecologic Cancer Immunotherapy Program in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will also be participating in the trial. In addition, The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will provide artificial intelligence services including biomarker and genomic analysis.

 

Patients will be randomized 1:1 in a two-arm trial. The primary endpoint is second look laparoscopy (SLL) and the secondary endpoint is progression-free survival (PFS). Initial SLL data are expected within one year from the completion of enrollment and final PFS data are expected approximately three years from the completion of enrollment.

 

PLACCINE DNA VACCINE TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM

 

In January 2021, the Company announced the filing of a provisional U.S. patent application for a novel DNA-based, investigational vaccine for preventing or treating infections from a broad range of infectious agents including the coronavirus disease using its PLACCINE DNA vaccine technology platform (“PLACCINE”). The provisional patent covers a family of novel composition of multi-cistronic vectors and polymeric nanoparticles that comprise the PLACCINE DNA vaccine platform technology for preventing or treating infectious agents that have the potential for global pandemics, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variations, using the Company’s TheraPlas platform technology.

 

Imunon’s PLACCINE DNA vaccine technology platform is characterized by a single multi-cistronic DNA plasmid vector expressing multiple pathogen antigens delivered with a synthetic delivery system. We believe it is adaptable to creating vaccines for a multitude of pathogens, including emerging pathogens leading to pandemics as well as infectious diseases that have yet to be effectively addressed with current vaccine technologies. This flexible vaccine platform is well supported by an established supply chain to produce any plasmid vector and its assembly into a respective vaccine formulation.

 

The need for new vaccine technologies is urgent. Since 1980 more than 80 pathogenic viruses have been discovered, yet fewer than 4% have a commercially available prophylactic vaccine. We have engaged with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to pursue certain pathogens BARDA has identified as the most urgent and the most important.

 

PLACCINE is an extension of the Company’s synthetic, non-viral TheraPlas delivery technology currently in a Phase II trial for the treatment of late-stage ovarian cancer with IMNN-001. Imunon’s proprietary multifunctional DNA vaccine technology concept is built on the flexible PLACCINE technology platform that is amenable to rapidly responding to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as possible future mutations of SARS-CoV-2, other future pandemics, emerging bioterrorism threats, and novel infectious diseases. Imunon’s extensive experience with TheraPlas suggests that the PLACCINE-based nanoparticles are stable at storage temperatures of 4oC to 25oC, making vaccines developed on this platform easily suitable for broad world-wide distribution.

 

51
 

 

Imunon’s vaccine approach is designed to optimize the quality of the immune response dictating the efficiency of pathogen clearance and patient recovery. Imunon has taken a multivalent approach in an effort to generate an even more robust immune response that not only results in a strong neutralizing antibody response, but also a more robust and durable T-cell response. Delivered with Imunon’s synthetic polymeric system, the proprietary DNA plasmid is protected from degradation and its cellular uptake is facilitated.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Overview

 

Emerging data from the recent literature indicates that the quality of the immune response as opposed to its absolute magnitude is what dictates SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and recovery and that an ineffective or non-neutralizing enhanced antibody response might actually exacerbate disease. The first-generation COVID-19 vaccines were developed for rapid production and deployment and were not optimized for generating cellular responses that result in effective viral clearance. Though early data has indicated some of these vaccines to be over 95% effective, these first-generation vaccines were primarily designed to generate a strong antibody response, and while they have been shown to provide prophylactic protection against disease, the durability of this protection is currently unclear. Most of these vaccines have been specifically developed to target the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein (antigen), though it is known that restricting a vaccine to a sole viral antigen creates selection pressure that can serve to facilitate the emergence of viral resistance. Indeed, even prior to full vaccine rollout, it has been observed that the S protein is a locus for rapid evolutionary and functional change as evidenced by the D614G, Y453F, 501Y.V2, and VUI-202012/01 mutations/deletions. This propensity for mutation of the S protein leads to future risk of efficacy reduction over time as these mutations accumulate.

 

Our Next Generation Vaccine Initiative

 

Imunon’s vaccine candidate comprises a single plasmid vector containing the DNA sequence encoding multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Delivery will be evaluated intramuscularly, intradermally, or subcutaneously with a non-viral synthetic DNA delivery carrier that facilitates vector delivery into the cells of the injected tissue and has potential immune adjuvant properties. Unique designs and formulations of Imunon vaccine candidates may offer several potential key advantages. The synthetic polymeric DNA carrier is an important component of the vaccine composition as it has the potential to facilitate the vaccine immunogenicity by improving vector delivery and, due to potential adjuvant properties, attract professional immune cells to the site of vaccine delivery.

 

Future vaccine technology will need to address viral mutations and the challenges of efficient manufacturing, distribution, and storage. We believe an adaptation of our TheraPlas technology, PLACCINE, has the potential to meet these challenges. Our approach is described in our provisional patent filing and is summarized as a DNA vaccine technology platform characterized by a single plasmid DNA with multiple coding regions. The plasmid vector is designed to express multiple pathogen antigens. It is delivered via a synthetic delivery system and has the potential to be easily modified to create vaccines against a multitude of infectious diseases, addressing:

 

  Viral Mutations: PLACCINE may offer broad-spectrum and mutational resistance (variants) by targeting multiple antigens on a single plasmid vector.
     
  Durable Efficacy: PLACCINE delivers a DNA plasmid-based antigen that could result in durable antigen exposure and a robust vaccine response to viral antigens.
     
  Storage & Distribution: PLACCINE allows for stability that is compatible with manageable vaccine storage and distribution.
     
  Simple Dosing & Administration: PLACCINE is a synthetic delivery system that should require a simple injection that does not require viruses or special equipment to deliver its payload.

 

52
 

 

We are conducting preliminary research associated with our recently announced proprietary DNA vaccine platform provisional patent filing. At the same time, we are redoubling our efforts and R&D resources in our immuno-oncology and next generation vaccine program.

 

On September 2, 2021, the Company announced results from preclinical in vivo studies showing production of antibodies and cytotoxic T-cell response specific to the spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2 when immunizing BALB/c mice with the Company’s next-generation PLACCINE DNA vaccine platform. Moreover, the antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen prevented the infection of cultured cells in a viral neutralization assay. The production of antibodies predicts the ability of PLACCINE to protect against SARS-CoV-2 exposure, and the elicitation of cytotoxic T-cell response shows the vaccine’s potential to eradicate cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. These findings demonstrate the potential immunogenicity of Imunon’s PLACCINE DNA vaccine, which is intended to provide broad-spectrum protection and resistance against variants by incorporating multiple viral antigens, to improve vaccine stability at storage temperatures of 4o C and above, and to facilitate cheaper and easier manufacturing.

 

On January 31, 2022, the Company announced it had engaged BIOQUAL, Inc., a preclinical testing contract research organization, to conduct a non-human primate (NHP) challenge study with Imunon’s DNA-based approach for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The NHP pilot study follows the generation of encouraging mouse data and will evaluate the Company’s lead vaccine formulations for safety, immunogenicity and protection against SARS-CoV-2. In completed preclinical studies, Imunon demonstrated safe and efficient immune responses including IgG response, neutralizing antibodies and T-cell responses that parallel the activity of commercial vaccines following intramuscular (IM) administration of novel vaccine compositions expressing a single viral antigen. In addition, vector development has shown promise of neutralizing activity against a range of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Imunon’s novel DNA-based vaccines have been based on a simple intramuscular injection that does not require viral encapsulation or special equipment for administration.

 

In April 2022, the Company presented its PLACCINE platform technology at the 2022 World Vaccine Congress. In an oral presentation during a Session on Cancer and Immunotherapy, Dr. Khursheed Anwer, the Company’s Chief Science Officer, highlighted the Company’s technology platform in his presentation entitled: “Novel DNA Approaches for Cancer Immunotherapies and Multivalent Infectious Disease Vaccines.” PLACCINE is demonstrating the potential to be a powerful platform that provides for rapid design capability for targeting two or more different variants of a single virus in one vaccine. There is a clear public health need for vaccines today that address more than one strain of viruses, like COVID-19, which have fast evolving variant capability to offer the widest possible protection. Murine model data has thus far been encouraging and suggests that the Company’s approach provides not only flexibility, but also the potential for efficacy comparable to benchmark COVID-19 commercial vaccines with durability to protect for more than 6 months.

 

In September 2022, the Company provided an update on the progress made in the development of a DNA-based vaccine using its PLACCINE platform technology. The Company reported evidence of IgG, neutralizing antibody, and T-cell responses to its SARS-CoV-2 PLACCINE vaccines in normal mice. In this murine model, the Company’s multivalent PLACCINE vaccine targeted against two different variants showed to be immunogenic as determined by the levels of IgG, neutralizing antibodies, and T-cell responses. Additionally, our multivalent vaccine was equally effective against two different variants of the COVID-19 virus while the commercial mRNA vaccine appeared to have lost some activity against the newer variant.

 

Final data from its now completed proof-of-concept mouse challenge study confirmed that a PLACCINE DNA-based vaccine can produce robust levels of IgG, neutralizing antibodies, and T-cell responses. The data demonstrates the ability of the Company’s PLACCINE vaccine to protect a SARS-CoV-2 mouse model in a live viral challenge. In the study, mice were vaccinated with a PLACCINE vaccine expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen from the D614G variant or the Delta variant, or a combination vaccine expressing both the D614G and Delta spike variants. The vaccination was administered by intramuscular injection on Day 0 and Day 14, followed by challenge with live SARS-CoV-2 virus on Day 42. All three vaccines, including the single and dual antigen vaccines, were found to be safe and elicited IgG responses and inhibited the viral load by 90-95%. The dual antigen vaccine was equally effective against both variants of the SARS CoV-2 virus.

 

53
 

 

In October 2022, the Company reported partial results from an ongoing non-human primate study designed to examine the immunogenicity of its proprietary PLACCINE vaccine which supports PLACCINE as a viable alternative to mRNA vaccines. The study examined a single plasmid DNA vector containing the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant spike antigen formulated with a synthetic DNA delivery system and administered by intramuscular injection. In the study, Cynomolgus monkeys were vaccinated with the PLACCINE vaccine or a commercial mRNA vaccine on Day 1, 28 and 84. Analysis of blood samples for IgG and neutralizing antibodies showed evidence of immunogenicity both in PLACCINE and mRNA vaccinated subjects. Analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage for viral load by quantitative PCR showed viral clearance by >90% of the non-vaccinated controls. Viral clearance from nasal swab followed a similar pattern in a majority of vaccinated animals and a similar clearance profile was observed when viral load was analyzed by the tissue culture infectious dose method.

 

In March 2023, the Company announced final results from the non-human primate study involving three vaccine-treated non-human primates. The final data are consistent with the earlier data, and show excellent immunological response and viral clearance. More specifically, in this NHP study, we examined PLACCINE activity against a more advanced SARS-CoV-2 variants and at a DNA dose that was not previously tested in NHP and demonstrated robust IgG responses, neutralizing antibody responses and complete clearance of virus following the challenge as seen in the previous study.

 

In a recent mouse study, a single dose of PLACCINE vaccine without a booster dose produced longer duration of IgG responses and higher T-cell activation than an mRNA vaccine. A 12-month PLACCINE stability study has now completed 9 months demonstrating continued drug stability at 4oC (standard refrigerated temperature).

 

During 2023, the Company intends to choose the next pathogen target for our PLACCINE modality and to hold a pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in advance of beginning human testing of a SARS-CoV-2 seasonal booster vaccine. Of note, the design of that trial will also inform the path for the next pathogen we will study, perhaps in early 2024. Incremental investments to generate novel vaccine designs with optimized antigens will allow Imunon to quickly generate early clinical data against additional pathogen targets that position the company to partner with large vaccine companies who will fund remaining clinical development.

 

THERMODOX® - DIRECTED CHEMOTHERAPY

 

Liposomes are manufactured submicroscopic vesicles consisting of a discrete aqueous central compartment surrounded by a membrane bilayer composed of naturally occurring lipids. Conventional liposomes have been designed and manufactured to carry drugs and increase residence time, thus allowing the drugs to remain in the bloodstream for extended periods of time before they are removed from the body. However, the current existing liposomal formulations of cancer drugs and liposomal cancer drugs under development do not provide for the immediate release of the drug and the direct targeting of organ specific tumors, two important characteristics that are required for improving the efficacy of cancer drugs such as doxorubicin. A team of research scientists at Duke University developed a heat-sensitive liposome that rapidly changes its structure when heated to a threshold minimum temperature of 39.5º to 42º Celsius. Heating creates channels in the liposome bilayer that allow an encapsulated drug to rapidly disperse into the surrounding tissue. This novel, heat-activated liposomal technology is differentiated from other liposomes through its unique low heat-activated release of encapsulated chemotherapeutic agents. We are able to use several available focused-heat technologies, such as radiofrequency ablation (“RFA”), microwave energy and high intensity focused ultrasound (“HIFU”), to activate the release of drugs from our novel heat sensitive liposomes.

 

OPTIMA Study

 

The OPTIMA Study represents an evaluation of ThermoDox® in combination with a first line therapy, RFA, for newly diagnosed, intermediate stage HCC patients. The OPTIMA Study was designed to enroll up to 550 patients globally at approximately 65 clinical sites in the U.S., Canada, European Union (“EU”), China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and will evaluate ThermoDox® in combination with standardized RFA, which will require a minimum of 45 minutes across all investigators and clinical sites for treating lesions three to seven centimeters, versus standardized RFA alone. The primary endpoint for the OPTIMA Study is OS, and the secondary endpoints are progression free survival and safety. The statistical plan calls for two interim efficacy analyses by an independent Data Monitoring Committee (“DMC”).

 

54
 

 

In August 2018, the Company announced that the OPTIMA Study was fully enrolled. On August 5, 2019, the Company announced that the prescribed number of OS events had been reached for the first prespecified interim analysis of the OPTIMA Phase III Study. Following preparation of the data, the first interim analysis was conducted by the DMC. The DMC’s pre-planned interim efficacy review followed 128 patient events, or deaths, which occurred in August 2019. On November 4, 2019, the Company announced that the DMC unanimously recommended the OPTIMA Study continue according to protocol. The recommendation was based on a review of blinded safety and data integrity from 556 patients enrolled in the OPTIMA Study. Data presented demonstrated that PFS and OS data appeared to be tracking with patient data observed at a similar point in the Company’s subgroup of patients followed prospectively in the earlier Phase III HEAT Study, upon which the OPTIMA Study was based. On April 15, 2020, the Company announced that the prescribed minimum number of events of 158 patient deaths had been reached for the second pre-specified interim analysis of the OPTIMA Phase III Study. The hazard ratio for success at 158 deaths is 0.70, which represents a 30% reduction in the risk of death compared with RFA alone. On July 13, 2020, the Company announced that it has received a recommendation from the DMC to consider stopping the global OPTIMA Study. The recommendation was made following the second pre-planned interim safety and efficacy analysis by the DMC on July 9, 2020. The DMC analysis found that the pre-specified boundary for stopping the trial for futility of 0.900 was crossed with an actual value of 0.903. However, the 2-sided p-value of 0.524 for this analysis provides uncertainty, subsequently, the DMC left the final decision of whether or not to stop the OPTIMA Study to the Company. There were no safety concerns noted during the interim analysis. The Company followed the advice of the DMC considered its options either to stop the study or continue to follow patients after a thorough review of the data, and an evaluation of our probability of success.

 

On August 4, 2020, the Company issued a press release announcing it would continue following patients for OS, noting that the unexpected and marginally crossed futility boundary, suggested by the Kaplan-Meier analysis at the second interim analysis on July 9, 2020, may be associated with a data maturity issue. On October 12, 2020, the Company provided an update on the ongoing data analysis from its Phase III OPTIMA Study with ThermoDox® as well as growing interest among clinical investigators in conducting studies with ThermoDox® as a monotherapy or in combination with other therapies. On February 11, 2021, the Company provided a final update on the Phase III OPTIMA Study and the decision to stop following patients in the Study. Independent analyses conducted by a global biometrics contract research organization and the NIH, did not find any evidence of significance or factors that would justify continuing to follow patients for OS. Therefore, the Company notified all clinical sites to discontinue following patients. The OPTIMA Study database of 556 patients is now frozen at 185 patient deaths. While the analyses did identify certain patient subgroups that appear to have had a clinical benefit, the Company concluded that it would not be in its best interest to pursue these retrospective findings as the regulatory hurdles supporting further discussion will be significant.

 

Investigator-Sponsored Studies with ThermoDox®

 

The Company continues working closely and supporting investigations by others to evaluate the use of ThermoDox for the treatment of various cancers. Following inquiries from the NIH, we renewed our Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (“CRADA”) with the Institute at a nominal cost, one goal of which is to pursue their interest in a study of ThermoDox® to treat patients with bladder cancer. Importantly, the Company is developing a business model to support these investigator-sponsored studies in a manner that will not interfere with its current focus on our IMNN-001 program and vaccine development initiative.

 

Business Plan

 

Since inception, the Company has incurred substantial operating losses, principally from expenses associated with the Company’s research and development programs, clinical trials conducted in connection with the Company’s drug candidates, and applications and submissions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Company has not generated significant revenue and has incurred significant net losses in each year since our inception. As of December 31, 2022, the Company has incurred approximately $369 million of cumulative net losses and had approximately $38.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, interest receivable, and restricted cash. We have substantial future capital requirements to continue our research and development activities and advance our drug candidates through various development stages. The Company believes these expenditures are essential for the commercialization of its technologies.

 

55
 

 

The Company expects its operating losses to continue for the foreseeable future as it continues its product development efforts, and when it undertakes marketing and sales activities. The Company’s ability to achieve profitability is dependent upon its ability to obtain governmental approvals, manufacture, and market and sell its new drug candidates. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to commercialize its technology successfully or that profitability will ever be achieved. The operating results of the Company have fluctuated significantly in the past.

 

In January 2020, the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19, to be a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency to aid the U.S. healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. This virus continues to evolve and may have an adverse effect on our operations and drug candidate development timelines. Uncertainty with respect to the economic impacts of the pandemic introduced significant volatility in the financial markets. The Company did not observe significant impacts on its business or results of operations during 2021 or 2020 due to the global emergence of COVID-19. While the extent to which COVID-19 impacts the Company’s future results will depend on future developments, the pandemic and associated economic impacts could result in a material impact to the Company’s future financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

The Company’s ability to raise additional capital may be adversely impacted by potential worsening global economic conditions and the recent disruptions to, and volatility in, financial markets in the U.S. and worldwide resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These disruptions may also disrupt the clinical trials process and enrollment of patients. This may delay commercialization efforts. The Company continues to monitor its operating activities in light of these events, and it is reasonably possible that the virus could have a negative effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations. The specific impact, if any, is not readily determinable as of the date of the Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.

 

The actual amount of funds the Company will need to operate is subject to many factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control. These factors include the following:

 

the progress of research activities;
   
the number and scope of research programs;
   
the progress of preclinical and clinical development activities;
   
the progress of the development efforts of parties with whom the Company has entered into research and development agreements;
   
the costs associated with additional clinical trials of drug candidates;
   
the ability to maintain current research and development licensing arrangements and to establish new research and development and licensing arrangements;
   
the ability to achieve milestones under licensing arrangements;
   
the costs involved in prosecuting and enforcing patent claims and other intellectual property rights; and
   
the costs and timing of regulatory approvals.

 

On July 13, 2020, the Company announced that it has received a recommendation from the independent DMC to consider stopping the global Phase III OPTIMA Study of ThermoDox® in combination with RFA for the treatment of HCC, or primary liver cancer. The recommendation was made following the second pre-planned interim safety and efficacy analysis by the DMC on July 9, 2020. The DMC’s analysis found that the pre-specified boundary for stopping the trial for futility of 0.900 was crossed with an actual value of 0.903. The Company followed the advice of the DMC and considered its options to either stop the study or continue to follow patients after a thorough review of the data, and an evaluation of the probability of success. On February 11, 2021, the Company issued a letter to shareholders stating that the Company was notifying all clinical sites to discontinue following patients in the OPTIMA Study.

 

56
 

 

Since 2018, the Company has annually submitted applications to sell a portion of the Company’s State of New Jersey net operating losses (“NOLs”) as part of the Technology Business Tax Certificate Program (the “NOL Program”) sponsored by The New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Under the program, emerging biotechnology companies with unused NOLs and unused research and development credits are allowed to sell these benefits to other New Jersey-based companies. In 2018 and 2019, the Company sold cumulative NOLs from 2011 to 2018 totaling $13 million and received net proceeds of $12.2 million. As part of the NOL Program, the Company sold $1.6 million and $1.5 million of its New Jersey NOLs in 2022 and 2021, respectively. The sale of these net operating losses resulted in net proceeds to the Company of approximately $1.6 million in 2022 and $1.4 million in 2021. During 2021, the New Jersey State Legislature increased the maximum lifetime benefit per company from $15 million to $20 million, which will allow the Company to participate in this funding program in future years for up to an additional $1.8 million in net operating losses under this maximum lifetime benefit.

 

In June 2018, the Company entered into a Credit Agreement with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (“Horizon”) that provided $10 million in capital (the “Horizon Credit Agreement”). The obligations under the Horizon Credit Agreement are secured by a first-priority security interest in substantially all assets of Imunon other than intellectual property assets. Payments under the loan agreement are interest only (calculated based on one-month LIBOR plus 7.625%) for the first 24 months through July 2020, followed by a 21-month amortization period of principal and interest starting on August 1, 2020 and ending through the scheduled maturity date on April 1, 2023. On August 28, 2020, in connection with an Amendment to the Horizon Credit Agreement, Imunon repaid $5 million of the $10 million loan and $0.2 million in related end of term charges, and the remaining $5 million in obligations were restructured. As more fully discussed in Note 8 to the Financial Statements, in June 2021, the Company entered into a $10 million loan facility (the “SVB Loan Facility”) with Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”). The Company immediately used $6 million from this facility to retire all outstanding indebtedness with Horizon. The funding is in the form of money market secured indebtedness bearing interest at a calculated WSJ Prime-based variable rate (currently 7.75%). Payments under the loan agreement are interest only for the first 24 months after loan closing, followed by a 24-month amortization period of principal and interest through the scheduled maturity date.

 

Financing Overview

 

Equity, Debt and Other Forms of Financing

 

Since 2018, the Company has annually submitted applications to sell a portion of the Company’s State of New Jersey net operating losses as part of the NOL Program sponsored by The New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Under the program, emerging biotechnology companies with unused NOLs and unused research and development credits are allowed to sell these benefits to other New Jersey-based companies. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, the Company sold cumulative NOLs from 2011 to 2019 totaling $15 million and received net proceeds of $14 million. As part of the NOL Program, the Company sold $1.6 million and $1.5 million of its New Jersey NOLs in 2022 and 2021, respectively. The sale of these net operating losses resulted in net proceeds to the Company of approximately $1.6 million in 2022 and $1.4 million in 2021. During 2021, the New Jersey State Legislature increased the maximum lifetime benefit per company from $15 million to $20 million, which will allow the Company to participate in this funding program in future years for up to an additional $1.9 million in net operating losses under this maximum lifetime benefit.

 

As more fully discussed in Note 10 to the Financial Statements, during 2021, the Company raised approximately $6.9 million in gross proceeds from the use of its JonesTrading Capital on DemandTM financing facility, $35 million from a registered direct financing completed in January 2021, $15 million from a registered direct financing completed on April 5, 2021, and $1.5 million from warrant exercises. With $38.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, interest receivable, net proceeds on the sale of NOLs and restricted cash, the Company believes it has sufficient capital resources to fund its operations into 2025.

 

The Company entered into a Credit Agreement with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (“Horizon”) that provided $10 million in capital (the “Horizon Credit Agreement”) in June 2018. The obligations under the Horizon Credit Agreement are secured by a first-priority security interest in substantially all assets of Imunon other than intellectual property assets. Payments under the loan agreement are interest only (calculated based on one-month LIBOR plus 7.625%) for the first 24 months through July 2020, followed by a 21-month amortization period of principal and interest starting on August 1, 2020 and ending through the scheduled maturity date on April 1, 2023. On August 28, 2020, in connection with an Amendment to the Horizon Credit Agreement, Imunon repaid $5 million of the $10 million loan and $0.2 million in related end of term charges, and the remaining $5 million in obligations were restructured.

 

57
 

 

As more fully discussed in Note 8 to the Financial Statements included in this Annual Report, in June 2021, the Company entered into a $10 million loan facility with Silicon Valley Bank. The Company immediately used $6 million from this facility to retire all outstanding indebtedness with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation. The funding is in the form of money market secured indebtedness bearing interest at a calculated WSJ Prime-based variable rate (currently 7.75%). Payments under the loan agreement are interest only for the first 24 months after loan closing, followed by a 24-month amortization period of principal and interest through the scheduled maturity date. On March 10, 2023, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed as receiver for SVB and created the National Bank of Santa Clara to hold the deposits of SVB after SVB was unable to continue their operations. While the National Bank of Santa Clara has publicly assured holders of credit facilities that they intend to honor those facilities, our credit agreement may not be available in all or in part in the near future depending on the resolution of SVB.

 

On March 19, 2021, the Company filed with the SEC a new $100 million shelf registration statement on Form S-3 (the “2021 Registration Statement”) that allows the Company to issue any combination of common stock, preferred stock or warrants to purchase common stock or preferred stock. This shelf registration was declared effective on March 30, 2021.

 

During 2021 and 2022 we issued a total of 4.7 million shares of common stock as discussed below for an aggregate $64.4 million in gross proceeds.

 

  On December 4, 2018, the Company entered into the Capital on Demand Agreement with JonesTrading, pursuant to which the Company may offer and sell, from time to time, through JonesTrading shares of Common Stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $16.0 million. During 2021, the Company has sold 0.5 million shares under the Capital on Demand Agreement, receiving approximately $6.9 million in gross proceeds under the Capital on Demand Agreement. The Capital on Demand Agreement with JonesTrading was terminated in the first quarter of 2021.
     
  On January 22, 2021, the Company entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the “January 2021 Purchase Agreement”) with several institutional investors, pursuant to which the Company agreed to issue and sell, in a registered direct offering (the “January 2021 Offering”), an aggregate of 1,728,395 shares of the Company’s common stock at an offering price of $20.25 per share for gross proceeds of approximately $35 million before the deduction of the January 2021 Placement Agents (as defined below) fee and offering expenses. The closing of the January 2021 Offering occurred on January 26, 2021. In connection with the January 2021 Offering, the Company entered into a placement agent agreement with A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners (“AGP” and together with Brookline Capital Markets, the “January 2021 Placement Agents”) pursuant to which the Company agreed to pay the January 2021 Placement Agents a cash fee equal to 7% of the aggregate gross proceeds raised from the sale of the securities sold in the January 2021 Offering and reimburse the January 2021 Placement Agents for certain of their expenses in an amount not to exceed $82,500.
     
 

On March 31, 2021, the Company entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the “March 2021 Purchase Agreement”) with several institutional investors, pursuant to which the Company agreed to issue and sell, in a registered direct offering (the “March 2021 Offering”), an aggregate of 769,230 shares of the Company’s common stock, at an offering price of $19.50 per share for gross proceeds of approximately $15 million before the deduction of the placement agents fee and offering expenses. The shares were offered by the Company pursuant to the 2021 Registration Statement. The closing of the offering occurred on April 5, 2021.

 

In connection with the March 2021 Offering, the Company entered into a placement agent agreement with AGP, as lead placement agent (together with JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC and Brookline Capital Markets, a division of Arcadia Securities, LLC, serving as co-placement agents, the “March 2021 Placement Agents”), pursuant to which the Company agreed to pay the March 2021 Placement Agents an aggregate cash fee equal to 7% of the aggregate gross proceeds raised from the sale of the securities sold in the offering and reimburse the Placement Agents for certain of their expenses in an amount not to exceed $82,500.

 

58
 

 

 

On January 10, 2022, the Company entered into the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement with several institutional investors, pursuant to which the Company agreed to issue and sell, in the Preferred Offerings, (i) 50,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock, and (ii) 50,000 shares of Series B Preferred Stock, in each case at an offering price of $285 per share, representing a 5% original issue discount to the stated value of $300 per share, for gross proceeds of each Preferred Offering of $14.25 million, or approximately $28.50 million in the aggregate for the Preferred Offerings, before the deduction of the Placement Agent’s (as defined below) fee and offering expenses. The shares of Series A Preferred Stock have a stated value of $300 per share and are convertible, at a conversion price of $13.65 per share, into 1,098,901 shares of common stock (subject in certain circumstances to adjustments). The shares of Series B Preferred Stock have a stated value of $300 per share and are convertible, at a conversion price of $15.00 per share, into 1,000,000 shares of common stock (subject in certain circumstances to adjustments). The closing of the Preferred Offerings occurred on January 13, 2022.

 

The Company held a special meeting of stockholders to consider an amendment (the “Amendment”) to the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation, as amended (the “Charter”), to effect a reverse stock split of the outstanding shares of common stock (“Common Stock”) by a ratio to be determined by the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Reverse Stock Split”), ranging from 7-to-1 to, 10-to-1, 12-to-1 or 15-to-1.

 

In connection with the Preferred Offerings, the Company entered into a placement agent agreement (the “Placement Agent Agreement”) with AGP, as placement agent pursuant to which the Company agreed to pay AGP an aggregate cash fee equal to $1,000,000 and reimburse AGP for certain of their expenses in an amount not to exceed $110,000.

 

On March 3, 2022, the Company redeemed for cash at a price equal to 105% of the $300 stated value per share of all of its 50,000 outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock and its 50,000 outstanding Series B Preferred Stock. As a result, all shares of the Preferred Stock have been retired and are no longer outstanding and Imunon’s only class of outstanding stock is its common stock.

 

 

On April 6, 2022, the Company entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the “April 2022 Purchase Agreement”) with several institutional investors, pursuant to which the Company agreed to issue and sell, in a registered direct offering (the “April 2022 Offering”), an aggregate of 1,328,274 shares of the Company’s common stock at an offering price of $5.27 per share for gross proceeds of $7.0 million before the deduction of the April 2022 Placement Agent (as defined below) fees and offering expenses. The closing of the April 2022 Offering occurred on April 8, 2022.

 

In connection with the April 2022 Offering, the Company entered into a placement agent agreement with A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners (the “April 2022 Placement Agent”) pursuant to which the Company agreed to pay the April 2022 Placement Agent a cash fee equal to 6.5% of the aggregate gross proceeds raised from the sale of the securities sold in the April 2022 Offering and reimburse the April 2022 Placement Agent for certain of their expenses in an amount not to exceed $50,000.

     
  On May 25, 2022, the Company entered into an At the Market Offering Agreement (the “Agreement”) with H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC, as sales agent (“Wainwright”), pursuant to which the Company may offer and sell, from time to time, through Wainwright, shares of the Company’s common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $7,500,000. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, if any, for general corporate purposes, including research and development activities, capital expenditures and working capital. The Company did not sell any shares under the Agreement with Wainwright in the first nine months of 2022. From October 1, 2022 through the date of December 31, 2022, the Company sold 336,075 shares of stock for net proceeds of $503,798. In 2023, the Company has sold 1,653,392 shares of stock for net proceeds of $2,465,656.

 

Please refer to Note 2 to our Financial Statements. Also refer to Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this Annual Report, including, but not limited to, “We will need to raise substantial additional capital to fund our planned future operations, and we may be unable to secure such capital without dilutive financing transactions. If we are not able to raise additional capital, we may not be able to complete the development, testing and commercialization of our drug candidates.”

 

59
 

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

Our financial statements, which appear at Part II, Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Annual Report have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S., which require that we make certain assumptions and estimates and, in connection therewith, adopt certain accounting policies. Our significant accounting policies are set forth in Note 1 to our Financial Statements. Of those policies, we believe that the policies discussed below may involve a higher degree of judgment and may be more critical to an accurate reflection of our financial condition and results of operations.

 

In-Process Research and Development, Other Intangible Assets and Goodwill

 

During 2014, the Company acquired certain assets of EGEN, Inc. As more fully described in Note 6 to our Financial Statements, the acquisition was accounted for under the acquisition method of accounting which required the Company to perform an allocation of the purchase price to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed. Under the acquisition method of accounting, the total purchase price is allocated to net tangible and intangible assets and liabilities based on their estimated fair values as of the acquisition date.

 

We review our financial reporting and disclosure practices and accounting policies on an ongoing basis to ensure that our financial reporting and disclosure system provides accurate and transparent information relative to the current economic and business environment. As part of the process, the Company reviews the selection, application and communication of critical accounting policies and financial disclosures. The preparation of our Financial Statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. requires that our management make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the Financial Statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. We review our estimates and the methods by which they are determined on an ongoing basis. However, actual results could differ from our estimates.

 

Results of Operations

 

Comparison of Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022 and Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, our net loss was $35.9 million compared to a net loss of $20.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. The Company recognized $1.6 million and $1.4 million in tax benefits from the sale of its New Jersey net operating losses under the NOL Program in each of the fourth quarters of 2022 and 2021, respectively. With $38.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, interest receivable, net proceeds on the sale of net operating losses and restricted cash, the Company believes it has sufficient capital resources to fund its operations into 2025.

 

Technology Development and Licensing Revenue

 

In January 2013, we entered into a technology development contract with Hisun, pursuant to which Hisun paid us a non-refundable technology transfer fee of $5.0 million to support our development of ThermoDox® in the China territory. The $5.0 million received as a non-refundable payment from Hisun in the first quarter 2013 has been recorded to deferred revenue and was amortized over the ten-year term of the agreement; therefore, we recognized revenue of $500,000 in each of the years 2022 and 2021. As of December 31, 2022, this contract has been fully amortized and recognized as revenue.

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

Research and development (“R&D”) expenses increased $1.1 million from $10.6 million in 2021 to $11.7 million in 2022. Costs associated with the OVATION 2 Study were $1.5 and $1.3 million in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Costs associated with the OPTIMA Study decreased to $0.5 million in 2022 compared to $1.0 million in 2021. Other clinical and regulatory costs were $2.3 million in 2022 compared to $2.6 million in 2021. R&D costs associated with the development of IMNN-001 to support the OVATION 2 Study as well as development of the PLACCINE DNA vaccine technology platform increased to $6.1 million in 2022 compared to $4.3 million in the same period of 2021. CMC costs decreased to $1.2 million in 2022 compared to $1.5 million in the same period of 2021 due to the discontinuation of the ThermoDox® clinical development program in primary liver cancer.

 

60
 

 

General and Administrative Expenses

 

General and administrative expenses increased to $13.7 million in 2022 compared to $10.9 million in 2021. This increase is primarily attributable to higher professional fees (primarily legal fees) of $1.8 million and an increase in staffing costs, which were partially offset by lower stock compensation costs.

 

Change in Earn-out Milestone Liability

 

The total aggregate purchase price for the acquisition of assets from EGEN included potential future earn-out payments contingent upon achievement of certain milestones. The difference between the aggregate $30.4 million in future earn-out payments and the $13.9 million included in the fair value of the acquisition consideration at June 20, 2014 was based on the Company’s risk-adjusted assessment of each milestone and utilizing a discount rate based on the estimated time to achieve the milestone. The milestone liability is fair valued at the end of each quarter and any change in the value is recognized in our Financial Statements.

 

On March 28, 2019, the Company and EGWU, Inc, entered into an amendment to the Asset Purchase Agreement discussed in Note 13 to our Financial Statements. Pursuant to the Amended Asset Purchase Agreement, payment of the earnout milestone liability related to the Ovarian Cancer Indication of $12.4 million has been modified. The Company has the option to make the payment as follows:

 

  $7.0 million in cash within 10 business days of achieving the milestone; or
  $12.4 million in cash, common stock of the Company, or a combination of either, within one year of achieving the milestone.

 

At December 31, 2022, the Company wrote off the earn-out milestone liability as a result of the requirements not being achieved and recognized a non-cash gain of $5.4 million during 2022 as a result of the change in the fair value of the earn-out milestone liability. At December 31, 2021, the Company fair valued the earn-out milestone liability at $5.4 million and recognized a non-cash gain of $1.6 million during 2021 as a result of the change in the fair value of the earn-out milestone liability of $7.0 million at December 31, 2020. In assessing the fair value of the earnout milestone liability at December 31, 2021, the Company considered each of the settlement provisions per the Amended Asset Purchase Agreement and equally weighted the probability of a cash or cash and common stock payment.

 

Impairment of Goodwill and IPR&D

 

IPR&D and Goodwill are reviewed for impairment at least annually by assessing if any events or changes in circumstances have occurred which indicate that the carrying value of the assets might not be recoverable.

 

As of December 31, 2022, the Company assessed whether there were indicators of impairment for the Company’s IPR&D and determined that the IPR&D asset was impaired during that period. Due to the continuing deterioration of public capital markets in the biotech industry in 2022 and 2021 and its impact on market capitalization rates in this sector, IPR&D was reviewed for impairment. Having conducted a quantitative analysis of the company’s IPR&D assets, the Company concluded the IPR&D asset was impaired during the fourth quarter of 2022. As of December 31, 2022, the Company wrote off the $13.4 million carrying value of this asset, thereby recognizing a non-cash charge of $13.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. The Company conducted a valuation analysis of its IPR&D for the ovarian cancer indication as of December 31, 2021. Based on this valuation analysis, the Company has concluded that it is not more likely than not that the asset is impaired as of December 31, 2021. As such, no impairment charges for IPR&D related to the ovarian cancer indication were recorded during 2021.

 

Due to the continuing deterioration of public capital markets in the biotech industry in 2021 and its impact on market capitalization rates in this sector, Goodwill was reviewed for impairment as of December 31, 2021. Based on this assessment, the Company concluded that Goodwill was impaired during the fourth quarter of 2021. As of December 31, 2021, the Company wrote off the $2.0 million carrying value of this asset, thereby recognizing a non-cash charge of $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2021.

 

61
 

 

Investment income and interest expense

 

The Company recognized interest expense of $5.0 million in 2022 compared to $0.6 million in 2021. As more fully discussed in Note 9 to the Financial Statements, in June 2021, the Company entered into a $10 million loan facility with Silicon Valley Bank. The Company immediately used $6 million from this facility to retire all outstanding indebtedness with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation.

 

  In connection with the SVB and Horizon loan facilities, the Company incurred $0.5 million in interest expense in 2022 compared to $0.6 million in 2021. In connection with the termination of the Horizon loan facility in the second quarter of 2021, the Company paid early termination and end of term charges to Horizon and recognized $0.2 million as a loss on debt extinguishment.
     
  As more fully discussed in Note 10 to the Financial Statements, in the first quarter of 2022, the Company incurred interest expense totaling $4.6 million attributed to the Series A and Series B Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock Offering.

 

Investment income from the Company’s short-term investments was $0.5 million in 2022. Investment income was insignificant in 2021.

 

Income Tax Benefit

 

Annually, the State of New Jersey enables approved technology and biotechnology businesses with New Jersey net operating tax losses the opportunity to sell these losses through the NOL Program, thereby providing cash to companies to help fund their research and development and business operations. During 2021, the New Jersey State Legislature increased the maximum lifetime benefit per company from $15 million to $20 million, which will allow the Company to participate in this innovative funding program in future years. After the cumulative net operating loss sales through 2022, the Company has approximately $1.9 million remaining under the NOL Program.

 

During the fourth quarter of 2022, the Company entered into an agreement to sell the approved portion of the New Jersey NOLs applied for in 2022 for $1.6 million. At December 31, 2022, the Company evaluated the valuation reserve for its tax net operating losses associated with its New Jersey NOLs and reduced the valuation reserve and recognized $1.6 million as a deferred tax asset and an income tax benefit. The Company completed the sale of these net operating losses in January of 2023.

 

During the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company entered into an agreement to sell the approved portion of the New Jersey NOLs applied for in 2021 for $1.4 million. At December 31, 2021, the Company evaluated the valuation reserve for its tax net operating losses associated with its New Jersey NOLs and reduced the valuation reserve and recognized $1.4 million as a deferred tax asset and an income tax benefit. The Company completed the sale of these net operating losses in February of 2022.

 

During the first quarter of 2021, the Company entered into an agreement to sell the approved portion of the New Jersey NOLs applied for in 2020 for approximately $1.9 million. At December 31, 2020, the Company evaluated the valuation reserve for its tax net operating losses associated with its New Jersey NOLs and reduced the valuation reserve and recognized approximately $1.9 million as a deferred income tax asset and an income tax benefit. The Company completed the sale of these net operating losses in May of 2021.

 

Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Since inception we have incurred significant losses and negative cash flows from operations. We have financed our operations primarily through the net proceeds from the sales of equity, credit facilities and amounts received under our product licensing agreement with Yakult and our technology development agreement with Hisun. The process of developing ThermoDox®, IMNN-001 and other drug candidates and technologies requires significant research and development work and clinical trial studies, as well as significant manufacturing and process development efforts. We expect these activities, together with our general and administrative expenses to result in significant operating losses for the foreseeable future. Our expenses have significantly and regularly exceeded our revenue, and we had an accumulated deficit of $369 million at December 31, 2022.

 

62
 

 

At December 31, 2022 we had total current assets of $37.2 million and current liabilities of $10.1 million, resulting in net working capital of $27.1 million. At December 31, 2022, we had cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, interest receivable on short-term investments, net proceeds on the sale of net operating losses and money market investments ($6.0 million of which is restricted cash included in other assets) of $40.4 million. At December 31, 2021 we had total current assets of $51.9 million and current liabilities of $6.8 million, resulting in net working capital of $45.1 million. We have substantial future capital requirements to continue our research and development activities and advance our drug candidates through various development stages. The Company believes these expenditures are essential for the commercialization of its technologies. The Company believes it has sufficient capital resources to fund its operations into 2025.

 

Net cash used in operating activities for 2022 was $23.1 million. Our net loss of $35.9 million for 2022 included the following non-cash transactions: (i) $2.7 million in non-cash stock-based compensation expense, (ii) $13.4 million non-cash charge from the write-off of IPR&D, and (iii) $0.2 million in non-cash interest expense. The $23.1 million net cash used in operating activities was funded from cash and cash equivalents, short term investments, and cash proceeds received in equity financings during 2022. At December 31, 2022, we had cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, interest receivable on short term investments, receivable from the sale of New Jersey operating losses and money market investments ($6.0 million of which is restricted cash included in other assets) of $40.4 million. The Company believes it has sufficient capital resources to fund its operations into 2025. See Financing Overview.

 

The Company may seek additional capital through further public or private equity offerings, debt financing, additional strategic alliance and licensing arrangements, collaborative arrangements, or some combination of these financing alternatives. If we raise additional funds through the issuance of equity securities, the percentage ownership of our stockholders could be significantly diluted, and the newly issued equity securities may have rights, preferences, or privileges senior to those of the holders of our common stock. If we raise funds through the issuance of debt securities, those securities may have rights, preferences, and privileges senior to those of our common stock. If we seek strategic alliances, licenses, or other alternative arrangements, such as arrangements with collaborative partners or others, we may need to relinquish rights to certain of our existing or future technologies, drug candidates, or products we would otherwise seek to develop or commercialize on our own, or to license the rights to our technologies, drug candidates, or products on terms that are not favorable to us. The overall status of the economic climate could also result in the terms of any equity offering, debt financing, or alliance, license, or other arrangement being even less favorable to us and our stockholders than if the overall economic climate were stronger. We also will continue to look for government sponsored research collaborations and grants to help offset future anticipated losses from operations and, to a lesser extent, interest income.

 

If adequate funds are not available through either the capital markets, strategic alliances, or collaborators, we may be required to delay or, reduce the scope of, or terminate our research, development, clinical programs, manufacturing, or commercialization efforts, or effect additional changes to our facilities or personnel, or obtain funds through other arrangements that may require us to relinquish some of our assets or rights to certain of our existing or future technologies, drug candidates, or products on terms not favorable to us.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We do not utilize off-balance sheet financing arrangements as a source of liquidity or financing.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

The primary objective of our cash investment activities is to preserve principal while at the same time maximizing the income we receive from our investments without significantly increasing risk. Some of the securities that we invest in may be subject to market risk. This means that a change in prevailing interest rates may cause the principal amount of the investment to fluctuate. For example, if we hold a security that was issued with a fixed interest rate at the then-prevailing rate and the interest rate later rises, the principal amount of our investment will probably decline. A hypothetical 50 basis point increase in interest rates reduces the fair value of our available-for-sale securities at December 31, 2022 by an immaterial amount. To minimize this risk in the future, we intend to maintain our portfolio of cash equivalents and marketable securities in a variety of securities, including commercial paper, government, and non-government debt securities and/or money market funds that invest in such securities. We have no holdings of derivative financial or commodity instruments. As of December 31, 2022, our investments consisted of investments in government backed notes and obligations or in money market accounts and checking funds with variable market rates of interest. We believe our credit risk is immaterial.

 

63
 

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

The Financial Statements, supplementary data and report of independent registered public accounting firm are filed as part of this report on pages F-1 through F-32 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

(a) Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

We have conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) under the supervision, and with the participation, of our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer. Based on that evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that as of December 31, 2022, which is the end of the period covered by this Annual Report, our disclosure controls and procedures are effective.

 

(b) Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed by, or under the supervision of, our chief executive officer and chief financial officer, or persons performing similar functions, and effected by our Board of Directors, management and other personnel, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. of America (GAAP). Our internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that: (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and disposition of the assets of the Company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with GAAP and that receipts and expenditures of the Company are being made only in accordance with authorization of management and directors of the Company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the Company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

 

Management assessed the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in the 2013 Internal Control-Integrated Framework. Based on its evaluation, management has concluded that the Company’s internal control over financial reporting is effective as of December 31, 2022.

 

Pursuant to Regulation S-K Item 308(b), this Annual Report does not include an attestation report of our company’s registered public accounting firm regarding internal control over financial reporting.

 

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated can provide only reasonable, but not absolute, assurance that the control system’s objectives will be met. The design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their cost.

 

64
 

 

(c) Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

There have been no changes in our internal control over financial reporting in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, which were identified in connection with our management’s evaluation required by paragraph (d) of rules 13a-15 and 15d-15 under the Exchange Act, that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

None.

 

ITEM 9C. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS

 

Not applicable.

 

PART III

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

The information required by this Item 10 is herein incorporated by reference to the definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

 

Our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is applicable to all employees, including the principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. The Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is posted on our website at www.imunon.com.

 

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

The information required by this Item 11 is herein incorporated by reference to the definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

 

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

The information required by this Item 12 is herein incorporated by reference to the definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

 

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

The information required by this Item 13 is herein incorporated by reference to the definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

 

65
 

 

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

Withum, Brown + Smith PC (“Withum”) has served as our independent accountants since 2017 and has advised us that neither Withum nor any of its members has, or has had in the past three years, any financial interest in the Company or any relation to the Company other than as auditors and accountants.

 

The information required by this Item 14 is herein incorporated by reference to the definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

 

PART IV

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

(a) The following documents are filed as part of this Annual Report:

 

1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

The following is a list of the consolidated financial statements of Imunon, Inc. filed with this Annual Report, together with the reports of our independent registered public accountants and Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.

 

  Page
REPORTS  
Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms F-1
   
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS  
Consolidated Balance Sheets F-3
Consolidated Statements of Operations F-5
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss F-6
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows F-7
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity F-9
   
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS F-11

 

2. FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

All financial statement schedules are omitted because the information is inapplicable or presented in the notes to the consolidated Financial Statements.

 

66
 

 

3. EXHIBITS

 

The following documents are included as exhibits to this report:

 

EXHIBIT NO.   DESCRIPTION
     
2.1*   Asset Purchase Agreement dated as of June 6, 2014, by and between Imunon, Inc. and EGEN, Inc., incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 2.1 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q of the Company for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
2.2   Amendment to Asset Purchase Agreement between Celsion Corporation and EGWU, Inc., dated March 28, 2019 incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company filed on April 1, 2019 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
3.1   Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Imunon, dated March 24, 2023, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company filed on March 24, 2023 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
3.2   Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company, effective on September 19, 2022, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.3 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on September 19, 2022 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
4.1   Form of Representative’s Common Stock Purchase Warrant, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.2 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on October 31, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
4.2   Form of Placement Agent Common Stock Purchase Warrant incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.4 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on July 11, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
4.3   Form of Amended and Restated Warrant (issued under First Amendment of Venture Loan and Security Agreement, dated as of August 1, 2020, by and among Imunon, Inc., Horizon Funding I, LLC, Horizon Funding Trust 2019-1, and Horizon Technology Finance Corporation, as Collateral Agent), incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on September 4, 2020 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
4.4   Form of Exchange Warrant, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on March 13, 2020 (SEC File No. 001-15911).1
     
4.5   Warrant to purchase Shares of Common Stock of Celsion Corporation between Celsion Corporation and EGWU, Inc., dated March 28, 2019, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q of the Company for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
4.6   Description of Securities of the Registrant, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.5 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of the Company for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
     
10.1***   Imunon, Inc. 2007 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on May 16, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
10.2   Form Inducement Offer to Exercise Common Stock Purchase Warrants, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q of the Company for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
10.3***   Imunon, Inc. 2018 Stock Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company filed May 15, 2018 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
10.4***   First Amendment to the Imunon, Inc. 2018 Stock Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on May 15, 2019 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
10.5***   Second Amendment to the Imunon, Inc. 2018 Stock Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Company, filed on June 16, 2020 (SEC File No. 001-15911).
     
10.6***   Third Amendment to the Celsion Corporation 2018 Stock Incentive Plan, incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K of the Com