Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Principles of Consolidation

Principles of Consolidation

 

The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements of the Company have been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and include the financial statements of Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lixte. Intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Use of Estimates

Use of Estimates

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. Some of those judgments can be subjective and complex, and therefore, actual results could differ materially from those estimates under different assumptions or conditions. Management bases its estimates on historical experience and on various assumptions that are believed to be reasonable in relation to the financial statements taken as a whole under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Management regularly evaluates the key factors and assumptions used to develop the estimates utilizing currently available information, changes in facts and circumstances, historical experience and reasonable assumptions. After such evaluations, if deemed appropriate, those estimates are adjusted accordingly. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Significant estimates include those related to assumptions used in accruals for potential liabilities, valuing equity instruments issued for services, and the realization of deferred tax assets.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

Cash and cash equivalents include cash and short-term certificates of deposit. The Company maintains its cash balances with financial institutions with high credit ratings and in accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”). The Company may periodically have cash balances in banks in excess of FDIC insurance limits. The Company has not experienced any losses to date resulting from this practice.

Research and Development

Research and Development

 

Research and development costs consist primarily of fees paid to consultants and outside service providers, and other expenses relating to the acquisition, design, development and testing of the Company’s compounds and product candidates.

 

Research and development costs are charged to operations ratably over the life of the underlying contracts, unless the achievement of milestones, the completion of contracted work, or other information indicates that a different expensing schedule is more appropriate.

 

Obligations incurred with respect to mandatory scheduled payments under research agreements without milestone provisions are recognized ratably over the appropriate period, as specified in the agreement, and are recorded as liabilities in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet, with a corresponding charge to research and development costs in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations.

 

Payments made pursuant to research and development contracts are initially recorded as advances on research and development contract services in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet and are then charged to research and development costs in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations as those contract services are performed. Expenses incurred under research and development contracts in excess of amounts advanced are recorded as research and development contract liabilities in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet, with a corresponding charge to research and development costs in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations. The Company reviews the status of its research and development contracts on a quarterly basis.

Patent and Licensing Related Legal and Filing Costs

Patent and Licensing Related Legal and Filing Costs

 

Due to the significant uncertainty associated with the successful development of one or more commercially viable products based on the Company’s research efforts and related patent applications, all patent-related legal and filing fees and licensing-related legal fees are charged to operations as incurred. Patent and licensing-related legal and filing costs were $133,467 and $190,773 for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Patent and licensing related legal and filing costs are included in general and administrative costs in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.

Concentration of Risk

Concentration of Risk

 

The Company periodically contracts with vendors and consultants to provide services related to the Company’s operations. Charges incurred for these services can be for a specific time period (typically one year) or for a specific project or task. Costs and expenses so incurred that represented 10% or more of general and administrative costs or research and development costs for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 is described as follows.

 

General and administrative costs for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 include charges from a legal firm for general licensing and patent prosecution costs relating to the Company’s intellectual properties representing 45.6% and 48.9%, respectively, of total general and administrative costs for those periods.

 

Research and development costs for the three months ended March 31, 2020 include charges from five vendors and consultants representing 31.7%, 20.8%, 14.4%, 12.5% and 11.0%, respectively, of total research and development costs for that period. Research and development costs for the three months ended March 31, 2019 include charges from two vendors and consultants representing 68.2% and 20.7%, respectively, of total research and development costs for that period.

Income Taxes

Income Taxes

 

The Company accounts for income taxes under an asset and liability approach for financial accounting and reporting for income taxes. Accordingly, the Company recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected impact of differences between the financial statements and the tax basis of assets and liabilities.

 

The Company has elected to deduct research and development costs on a current basis for federal income tax purposes. For federal tax purposes, start-up and organization costs were deferred until January 1, 2008, at which time the Company began to amortize such costs over a 180-month period.

 

The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce its deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. In the event the Company was to determine that it would be able to realize its deferred tax assets in the future in excess of its recorded amount, an adjustment to the deferred tax assets would be credited to operations in the period such determination was made. Likewise, should the Company determine that it would not be able to realize all or part of its deferred tax assets in the future, an adjustment to the deferred tax assets would be charged to operations in the period such determination was made.

 

The Company is subject to U.S. federal income taxes and income taxes of various state tax jurisdictions. As the Company’s net operating losses have yet to be utilized, all previous tax years remain open to examination by Federal authorities and other jurisdictions in which the Company currently operates or has operated in the past. The Company had no unrecognized tax benefits as of March 31, 2020 or December 31, 2019 and does not anticipate any material amount of unrecognized tax benefits within the next 12 months.

 

The Company accounts for uncertainties in income tax law under a comprehensive model for the financial statement recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in income tax returns as prescribed by GAAP. The tax effects of a position are recognized only if it is “more-likely-than-not” to be sustained by the taxing authority as of the reporting date. If the tax position is not considered “more-likely-than-not” to be sustained, then no benefits of the position are recognized. As of March 31, 2020, the Company had not recorded any liability for uncertain tax positions. In subsequent periods, any interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions will be recognized as a component of income tax expense.

Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-Based Compensation

 

The Company periodically issues common stock and stock options to officers, directors, Scientific Advisory Committee members and consultants for services rendered. Options vest and expire according to terms established at the issuance date of each grant. Stock grants, which are generally time vested, are measured at the grant date fair value and charged to operations ratably over the vesting period.

 

The Company accounts for stock-based payments to officers, directors, Scientific Advisory Committee members, and to outside consultants by measuring the cost of services received in exchange for equity awards utilizing the grant date fair value of the awards, with the cost recognized as compensation expense on the straight-line basis in the Company’s financial statements over the vesting period of the awards.

 

The fair value of stock options granted as stock-based compensation is determined utilizing the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, and is affected by several variables, the most significant of which are the life of the equity award, the exercise price of the stock option as compared to the fair market value of the common stock on the grant date, and the estimated volatility of the common stock. Estimated volatility is based on the historical volatility of the Company’s common stock, calculated utilizing a one-year look-back period, as the Company believes that such measurement period provides a more accurate and meaningful volatility factor given the changes in the Company’s research and development program and capital requirements over the past several years. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant. The fair market value of the common stock is determined by reference to the quoted market price of the Company’s common stock on the grant date.

 

The Company recognizes the fair value of stock-based compensation awards in general and administrative costs and in research and development costs, as appropriate, in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. The Company issues new shares of common stock to satisfy stock option exercises.

Earnings (Loss) Per Share

Earnings (Loss) Per Share

 

The Company’s computation of earnings (loss) per share (“EPS”) includes basic and diluted EPS. Basic EPS is measured as the income (loss) attributable to common stockholders divided by the weighted average common shares outstanding for the period. Diluted EPS is similar to basic EPS but presents the dilutive effect on a per share basis of potential common shares (e.g., preferred shares, warrants and stock options) as if they had been converted at the beginning of the periods presented, or issuance date, if later. Potential common shares that have an anti-dilutive effect (i.e., those that increase income per share or decrease loss per share) are excluded from the calculation of diluted EPS.

 

Loss per common share is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the respective periods. Basic and diluted loss per common share was the same for all periods presented because all preferred shares, warrants and stock options outstanding were anti-dilutive.

 

At March 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company excluded the outstanding securities summarized below, which entitle the holders thereof to acquire shares of common stock, from its calculation of earnings per share, as their effect would have been anti-dilutive.

 

    March 31,  
    2020     2019  
             
Series A Convertible Preferred Stock     4,375,000       4,375,000  
Common stock warrants     9,000,000       9,000,000  
Common stock options, including options issued in the form of warrants     7,850,000       7,750,000  
Total     21,225,000       21,125,000  

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

 

The authoritative guidance with respect to fair value established a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value into three levels and requires that assets and liabilities carried at fair value be classified and disclosed in one of three categories, as presented below. Disclosure as to transfers in and out of Levels 1 and 2, and activity in Level 3 fair value measurements, is also required.

 

Level 1. Observable inputs such as quoted prices in active markets for an identical asset or liability that the Company has the ability to access as of the measurement date. Financial assets and liabilities utilizing Level 1 inputs include active-exchange traded securities and exchange-based derivatives.

 

Level 2. Inputs, other than quoted prices included within Level 1, which are directly observable for the asset or liability or indirectly observable through corroboration with observable market data. Financial assets and liabilities utilizing Level 2 inputs include fixed income securities, non-exchange-based derivatives, mutual funds, and fair-value hedges.

 

Level 3. Unobservable inputs in which there is little or no market data for the asset or liability which requires the reporting entity to develop its own assumptions. Financial assets and liabilities utilizing Level 3 inputs include infrequently traded non-exchange-based derivatives and commingled investment funds and are measured using present value pricing models.

 

The Company determines the level in the fair value hierarchy within which each fair value measurement falls in its entirety, based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety. In determining the appropriate levels, the Company performs an analysis of the assets and liabilities at each reporting period end.

 

The carrying value of financial instruments (consisting of cash and cash equivalents, and accounts payable and accrued expenses) is considered to be representative of their respective fair values due to the short-term nature of those instruments.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

In December 2019, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes (“ASU 2019-12”). ASU 2019-12 simplifies the accounting for income taxes by removing certain exceptions and enhances and simplifies various aspects of the income tax accounting guidance in ASC 740. ASU 2019-12 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2020. The adoption of ASU 2019-12 is not expected to have any impact on the Company’s financial statement presentation or disclosures subsequent to its adoption.

 

Management does not believe that any other recently issued, but not yet effective, authoritative guidance, if currently adopted, would have a material impact on the Company’s financial statement presentation or disclosures.