Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Business and Funding

Business and Funding
9 Months Ended
Jul. 31, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Business and Funding



Description of Business


As used herein, “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” or “Anixa” means Anixa Biosciences, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. Our primary operations involve developing therapies and vaccines that are focused on critical unmet needs in oncology and infectious disease. Our therapeutics programs include the development of a chimeric endocrine receptor T-cell technology, a novel form of CAR-T technology, initially focused on treating ovarian cancer, and discovery and ultimately development of anti-viral drug candidates for the treatment of COVID-19 focused on inhibiting certain viral protein functions. Our vaccine program consists of the development of a vaccine against triple negative breast cancer (“TNBC”), the most lethal form of breast cancer.


We hold an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing license to use certain intellectual property owned or controlled by The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (“Cleveland Clinic”) related to certain breast cancer vaccine technology developed at Cleveland Clinic. We are working in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic to develop a method to vaccinate women against contracting breast cancer, focused specifically on TNBC, the most lethal form of the disease. A specific protein, alpha-lactalbumin, has been identified that is only present during lactation in healthy women, but reappears in many forms of breast cancer, especially TNBC. Studies have shown that vaccinating against this protein prevents breast cancer in mice. We are working with researchers at Cleveland Clinic to advance this vaccine toward human clinical testing, and we are in the process of manufacturing the vaccine and upon completion we will be prepared to file an Investigational New Drug (“IND”) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). While we anticipate filing the IND during the third calendar quarter of 2020, we may experience delays in the vaccine manufacturing and characterization process due to the global coronavirus pandemic. We do not currently anticipate any potential delays to significantly alter our expected timeline. The IND application, after review and if approved by the FDA, will enable us to begin testing our vaccine in human subjects.


Our subsidiary, Certainty Therapeutics, Inc. (“Certainty”), is developing immuno-therapy drugs against cancer. Certainty holds an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing license to use certain intellectual property owned or controlled by The Wistar Institute (“Wistar”) relating to Wistar’s CAR-T technology. We have initially focused on the development of a treatment for ovarian cancer, but we may also pursue applications of the technology for the development of treatments for additional solid tumors. The license agreement requires Certainty to make certain cash and equity payments to Wistar. With respect to Certainty’s equity obligations to Wistar, Certainty issued to Wistar shares of its common stock equal to five percent (5%) of the common stock of Certainty.


Certainty, in collaboration with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc. (“Moffitt”), is advancing toward human clinical testing its CAR-T technology for treating ovarian cancer. Clinical grade materials are currently being manufactured and upon completion will undergo extensive testing. Once the materials have been successfully tested, we will be prepared to submit an IND application with the FDA. While we anticipate filing the IND by the end of calendar 2020, we may experience delays in completing the manufacturing and testing of clinical materials due to the global coronavirus pandemic. We do not currently anticipate any potential delays to significantly alter our expected timeline. The IND application, after review and approval by the FDA, will enable us to begin testing our therapy in ovarian cancer patients.


In April 2020, in collaboration with OntoChem GmbH (“OntoChem”), we commenced a project to discover and ultimately develop anti-viral drug candidates against COVID-19. Through this collaboration, we are utilizing advanced computational methods, machine learning, and molecular modeling techniques to perform in silico screening of over 1.2 billion compounds in chemical libraries (including publicly available compounds and OntoChem’s proprietary libraries) to evaluate if any of these compounds could disrupt one of two key enzymes of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.


While the screening process is ongoing and we anticipate discovering additional drug candidates, we have identified four compounds that could disrupt the function of a viral enzyme called an endoribonuclease, known as Non-Structural Protein-15 (“NSP-15”), and 27 compounds that target the main protease (“Mpro”) of the virus. Our in silico molecular modeling indicates that any of the NSP-15 or Mpro inhibitors might disrupt the virus’ ability to replicate in humans. The NSP-15 compounds have been synthesized and are in the process of being tested in biological assays. We are currently evaluating which of the Mpro compounds to synthesize for biological testing. The in vitro biological assays of the NSP-15 compounds are ongoing, and if the biological activity of any of these compounds is verified, they will be tested in animal studies to further evaluate their candidacy as COVID-19 therapeutics.


On July 2, 2020, we implemented a strategic realignment of our business and redirected resources to exclusively focus on the development of therapeutics and vaccines. Accordingly, we suspended operations of our subsidiary, Anixa Diagnostics Corporation, and the development of the Cchek™ artificial intelligence driven platform of non-invasive blood tests for the early detection of cancer.


Over the next several quarters, we expect the development of our breast cancer vaccine, our COVID-19 therapeutic discovery program and Certainty’s CAR-T technology to be the primary focus of the Company. As part of our legacy operations, the Company remains engaged in limited patent licensing activities regarding the Cchek™ liquid biopsy platform, as well as in the area of encrypted audio/video conference calling. We do not expect these activities to be a significant part of the Company’s ongoing operations nor do we expect these activities to require material financial resources or attention of senior management.


Over the past several years, our revenue was derived from technology licensing and the sale of patented technologies, including revenue from the settlement of litigation. We have not generated any revenue to date from our therapeutics or vaccine programs. In addition, while we pursue our therapeutics and vaccine programs, we may also make investments in and form new companies to develop additional emerging technologies.


Funding and Management’s Plans


Based on currently available information as of September 8, 2020, we believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and expected cash flows will be sufficient to fund our activities for the next twelve months. We have implemented a business model that conserves funds by collaborating with third parties to develop our technologies. However, our projections of future cash needs and cash flows may differ from actual results. If current cash on hand, cash equivalents, short-term investments and cash that may be generated from our business operations are insufficient to continue to operate our business, or if we elect to invest in or acquire a company or companies or new technology or technologies that are synergistic with or complementary to our technologies, we may be required to obtain more working capital. During the nine months ended July 31, 2020, we raised an aggregate of approximately $7,866,000, net of expenses, through the sale of 3,261,282 shares of common stock in our at-the-market equity offerings. This included approximately $427,000, net of expenses, through the sale of 112,238 shares of common stock in an at-the market equity offering which expired in November 2019 and approximately $7,439,000, net of expenses, through the sale of 3,149,044 shares of common stock in an at-the-market equity offering under which we may issue up to $50 million of common stock. Under our current at-the-market equity program which is currently effective and may remain available for us to use in the future, we may sell an additional approximately $42,260,000 of common stock. We may seek to obtain working capital during our fiscal year 2020 or thereafter through sales of our equity securities or through bank credit facilities or public or private debt from various financial institutions where possible. We cannot be certain that additional funding will be available on acceptable terms, or at all. If we do identify sources for additional funding, the sale of additional equity securities or convertible debt could result in dilution to our stockholders. We can give no assurance that we will generate sufficient cash flows in the future to satisfy our liquidity requirements or sustain future operations, or that other sources of funding, such as sales of equity or debt, would be available or would be approved by our security holders, if needed, on favorable terms or at all. If we fail to obtain additional working capital as and when needed, such failure could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, such lack of funds may inhibit our ability to respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated capital needs, or may force us to reduce operating expenses, which would significantly harm the business and development of operations.


Basis of Presentation


The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“US GAAP”) for interim financial information and with the instructions to Form 10-Q and Rule 8-03 of Regulation S-X. Accordingly, certain information and disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles in annual financial statements have been omitted or condensed. These interim condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and related disclosures included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2019. The accompanying October 31, 2019 condensed consolidated balance sheet data was derived from the audited financial statements but does not include all disclosures required by US GAAP. The condensed consolidated financial statements include all adjustments of a normal recurring nature which, in the opinion of management, are necessary for a fair statement of our financial position as of July 31, 2020, and results of operations and cash flows for the interim periods represented. The results of operations for the nine months ended July 31, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the entire year.


Noncontrolling Interest


Noncontrolling interest represents Wistar’s equity ownership in Certainty and is presented as a component of equity. The following table sets forth the changes in noncontrolling interest for the nine months ended July 31, 2020:


Balance, October 31, 2019   $ (422,975 )
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest     (57,032 )
Balance, July 31, 2020   $ (480,007 )


Revenue Recognition


Since fiscal 2016 our revenue has been derived solely from technology licensing and the sale of patented technologies. Revenue is recognized upon transfer of control of intellectual property rights and satisfaction of other contractual performance obligations to licensees in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to receive.


On November 1, 2018 we adopted Accounting Standards Update 2014-09 (“ASU 2014-09”), Revenue from Contracts with Customers using the modified retrospective method. Upon adoption of ASU 2014-09 we were required to make certain judgments and estimates in connection with the accounting for revenue. Such areas may include determining the existence of a contract and identifying each party’s rights and obligations to transfer goods and services, identifying the performance obligations in the contract, determining the transaction price and allocating the transaction price to separate performance obligations, estimating the timing of satisfaction of performance obligations, determining whether a promise to grant a license is distinct from other promised goods or services and evaluating whether a license transfers to a customer at a point in time or over time.


Our revenue arrangements provide for the payment of contractually determined, one-time, paid-up license fees in settlement of litigation and in consideration for the grant of certain intellectual property rights for patented technologies owned or controlled by the Company. These arrangements typically include some combination of the following: (i) the grant of a non-exclusive, retroactive and future license to manufacture and/or sell products covered by patented technologies owned or controlled by the Company, (ii) a covenant-not-to-sue, (iii) the release of the licensee from certain claims, and (iv) the dismissal of any pending litigation. In such instances, the intellectual property rights granted have been perpetual in nature, extending until the expiration of the related patents. Pursuant to the terms of these agreements, we have no further obligations with respect to the granted intellectual property rights, including no obligation to maintain or upgrade the technology, or provide future support or services. Licensees obtained control of the intellectual property rights they have acquired upon execution of the agreement. Accordingly, the performance obligations from these agreements were satisfied and 100% of the revenue was recognized upon the execution of the agreements. The adoption of ASU 2014-09 had no impact on revenue recognized.


Cost of Revenues


Cost of revenues include the costs and expenses incurred in connection with our patent licensing and enforcement activities, including inventor royalties paid to original patent owners, contingent legal fees paid to external counsel, other patent-related legal expenses paid to external counsel, licensing and enforcement related research, consulting and other expenses paid to third-parties and the amortization of patent-related investment costs. These costs are included under the caption “Operating costs and expenses” in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations.


Research and Development Expenses


Research and development expenses, consisting primarily of employee compensation, payments to third parties for research and development activities and other direct costs associated with developing a platform for non-invasive blood tests for early detection of cancer, developing immuno-therapy drugs against cancer, development of our breast cancer vaccine and development of anti-viral drugs candidates for COVID-19, are expensed in the consolidated financial statements in the period incurred.