Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Organization and Business Operations

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Organization and Business Operations
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2012
Organization and Business Operations [Abstract]  
Organization and Business Operations [Text Block]

2.  Organization and Business Operations

 

Organization

 

On June 30, 2006, Lixte Biotechnology, Inc., a privately-held Delaware corporation (“Lixte”) incorporated on August 9, 2005, completed a reverse merger transaction with SRKP 7, Inc. (“SRKP”), a non-trading public shell company, whereby Lixte became a wholly-owned subsidiary of SRKP. On December 7, 2006, SRKP amended its Certificate of Incorporation to change its name to Lixte Biotechnology Holdings, Inc. (“Holdings”).

 

For financial reporting purposes, Lixte was considered the accounting acquirer in the merger and the merger was accounted for as a reverse merger. Accordingly, the historical financial statements presented herein are those of Lixte. The stockholders’ equity section of SRKP was retroactively restated for all periods presented to reflect the accounting effect of the reverse merger transaction. All costs associated with the reverse merger transaction were expensed as incurred.

 

The Company is considered a “development stage company” under current accounting standards, as it has not yet commenced any revenue-generating operations, does not have any cash flows from operations, and is dependent on debt and equity funding to finance its operations.

 

The Company’s common stock is presently traded on the OTCQB operated by the OTC Markets under the symbol “LIXT”.

 

Operating Plans

 

The Company’s primary focus is developing new treatments for human cancers for which better therapies are urgently needed. However, the scope of potential applications of the Company’s products has expanded to other common non-malignant diseases, including vascular diseases (heart attacks and stroke, diabetes, and genetic diseases in which errors in normal cellular processing lead to loss of functions important to normal cell function, such as Gaucher’s disease). This has occurred because the targets selected by the Company have multiple functions in the cell, which when altered result in different disorders that may benefit from treatment with the Company’s products. The Company’s drug discovery process is based on discerning clues to potential new targets for disease treatments reported in the increasingly large body of literature characterizing the molecular variants, which characterize human cancers and other non-cancer disorders. In the past decade, there has been an unprecedented expansion in knowledge of biochemical defects in the cancer cell. The Company selects drugs for which there are existing data suggesting that they may affect the altered pathways of the cancer cell and may be given safely to humans. The Company seeks to rapidly arrive at patentable structures through analysis of the literature rather than screening of thousands of structures for activity against a particular biochemical pathway. This approach has led to the development of two classes of drugs, protein phosphatase inhibitors (PTase-i), designated by the Company as the LB-100 series of compounds, and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), designated by the Company as the LB-200 series of compounds, for the treatment of cancer. Compounds of both types also have potential use in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The LB-100 series consists of novel structures, which have the potential to be first in their class, and may be useful in the treatment of not only several types of cancer but also vascular and metabolic diseases. The LB-200 series contains compounds which have the potential to be the most effective in its class and may be useful for the treatment of chronic hereditary diseases, such as Gaucher’s disease, in addition to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

 

On August 16, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “PTO”) awarded a patent to the Company for its lead compound, LB-100, as well as for a number of structurally related compounds. On November 15, 2011, the PTO awarded a patent to the Company for a lead compound in the LB-200 series and a compound in the LB-100 series as neuroprotective agents for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. On March 27, 2012, the PTO awarded a patent to the Company for its lead compound, LB-201, as well as for a number of structurally related compounds. Patent applications on these compounds and their use are pending world-wide.

 

On December 19, 2011, an article in the December 12, 2011 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States reported that the Company’s investigational drug, LB-205, was shown to have therapeutic potential in a laboratory model of the genetic illness Gaucher’s disease. Patent applications are pending on the use of LB-205 for this purpose.

 

The Company has demonstrated that lead compounds of both series of drugs are active against a broad spectrum of human cancers in cell culture and against several types of human cancers in animal models. The research on new drug treatment was initiated in 2006 with the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (“NINDS”), National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) under a continuing Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (“CRADA”). The research at NINDS is being led by Dr. Zhengping Zhuang, an internationally recognized investigator in the molecular pathology of cancer. The initial focus of the CRADA was on the most common and uniformly fatal brain tumor of adults, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The work at NIH was then extended to the most common brain tumor of children, medulloblastoma, and to the most common cancer of children, neuroblastoma. Because the LB-100 compounds have been shown to potentiate the activity of several different types of standard anti-cancer drugs, the scope of potential targets for therapy of cancers with LB-100 and a second drug has been expanded to include breast cancer, melanoma and sarcomas.

 

The second class of drugs under development by the Company, referred to as LB-200, is the histone deacetylase inhibitors. Many pharmaceutical companies are also developing drugs of this type, and at least two companies have an HDACi approved for clinical use, in both cases for the treatment of a type of lymphoma. Despite this significant competition, the Company has demonstrated that its HDACi have broad activity against many cancer types, have neuroprotective activity, and have anti-fungal activity. In addition, these compounds have low toxicity, making them attractive candidates for development. It appears that one type of molecule has diverse effects, affecting biochemical processes that are fundamental to the life of the cell, whether they are cancer cells, nerve cells, or even fungal cells. The neuroprotective activity of the Company’s HDACi has been demonstrated in the test tube in model systems that mimic injury to brain cells, such as occurs in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. This type of protective activity may have potential application to a broad spectrum of other chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

 

The Company’s primary objective has been to bring one lead compound of the LB-100 series to clinical trial. Towards this objective, by early 2012, the Company had completed the pre-clinical studies needed to prepare an IND application to the FDA to conduct a Phase I clinical trial of LB-100, and engaged the contract research organization (“CRO”) responsible for the clinical development of the Company’s lead compound, LB-100, to prepare an IND application for filing with the FDA. This task included preparing the detailed clinical protocol, the "Investigator's Brochure", a document containing a detailed summary of all that is known about LB-100, and development of the formal IND application for submission to the FDA. The CRO also established the procedures for assuring appropriate collection and reporting of data generated during the clinical trial of LB-100 to the FDA.

 

The Company filed an IND application with the FDA on April 30, 2012, and on July 24, 2012, the FDA notified the Company that it would allow initiation of a Phase I clinical trial of LB-100. The purpose of the clinical trial is to demonstrate that LB-100 can be administered safely to human beings at a dose and at a frequency that achieves the desired pharmacologic effect, in this case, inhibition of a specific enzyme, without being associated with toxicities considered unacceptable. The Phase I clinical trial of LB-100 is designed to determine the maximum tolerable dose of LB-100 given alone and then in combination with a standard widely use anti-cancer drug. As a prelude to determining the therapeutic effectiveness of LB-100 in a subsequent Phase II clinical trial of common cancers, a key goal of the initial portion of the Phase I clinical trial will be to demonstrate that the target enzyme of LB-100, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), can be inhibited in humans with readily tolerable toxicity. As an anti-cancer drug, LB-100 is likely to be used at maximum tolerable doses, but for the potential treatment of non-malignant diseases, such as acute vascular diseases and metabolic diseases, lower doses may achieve therapeutic benefit by inhibition of the target enzyme, PP2A, thus opening up the possibility of a host of therapeutic applications for LB-100 and related proprietary compounds. The Phase I clinical trial of LB-100 will be carried out by a nationally recognized comprehensive cancer center beginning during the fourth quarter of 2012, and is estimated to take from 18 to 30 months and cost approximately $1,500,000.

 

As a compound moves through the FDA approval process, it becomes an increasingly valuable property, but at a cost of additional investment at each stage. The Company’s approach has been to operate with a minimum of overhead, moving compounds forward as efficiently and inexpensively as possible, and to raise funds to support each of these stages as certain milestones are reached. The allowance of the IND application by the FDA to begin a Phase I clinical trial is a milestone in the Company’s goal of developing a successful product platform.

 

Going Concern

 

The Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements have been presented on the basis that it is a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company is in the development stage and has not generated any revenues from operations to date, and does not expect to do so in the foreseeable future. The Company has experienced recurring operating losses and negative operating cash flows since inception, and has financed its working capital requirements during this period primarily through the recurring sale of its equity securities and the exercise of outstanding warrants. As a result, the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, in its report on the Company’s 2011 consolidated financial statements, has raised substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

The Company’s ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon its ability to raise additional capital and to ultimately achieve sustainable revenues and profitable operations. The Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of these uncertainties.

  

At June 30, 2012, the Company had not yet commenced any revenue-generating operations. All activity through June 30, 2012 has been related to the Company’s formation, capital raising efforts, and research and development activities. As such, the Company has yet to generate any cash flows from operations, and is dependent on debt and equity funding from both related and unrelated parties to finance its operations. Prior to June 30, 2006, the Company’s cash requirements were funded by advances from the Company’s founder aggregating $92,717.

 

Because the Company is currently engaged in research at an early stage, it will likely take a significant amount of time to develop any product or intellectual property capable of generating revenues. As such, the Company’s business is unlikely to generate any sustainable revenues in the next several years, and may never do so. Even if the Company is able to generate revenues in the future through licensing its technologies or through product sales, there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to generate a profit.

 

The Company’s major focus in 2012 is to initiate a Phase I clinical trial of its lead phosphatase inhibitor, LB-100. Large animal toxicology testing and documentation of the long-term stability of LB-100 in a formulation suitable for clinical use have been completed. The Company submitted an IND application to the FDA on April 30, 2012, and on July 24, 2012, the FDA notified the Company that it would allow initiation of a Phase I clinical trial of LB-100. The Phase I clinical trial of LB-100 will be carried out by a nationally recognized comprehensive cancer center beginning during the fourth quarter of 2012, and is estimated to take from 18 to 30 months and cost approximately $1,500,000.

 

In May and June 2012, the Company raised $2,468,250 by offering a 25% discount to warrant holders as an inducement to exercise their warrants for cash through June 15, 2012. The Company believes that this amount will be sufficient to meet its operating needs through at least September 30, 2013, and that during this period the Company will be able to initiate its Phase I clinical trial of LB-100, continue the two drug development programs currently in process, and expand its patent portfolio, including the maintenance of its applications for international protection of lead compounds of both the LB-100 and LB-200 series.

 

The amount and timing of future cash requirements will depend on the pace of these programs, particularly the completion of the Phase I clinical trial of LB-100. After completion of the Phase I clinical trial, the next step will be to determine the anti-cancer activity against a particular type of human cancer in Phase II clinical trials. Market conditions present uncertainty as to the Company’s ability to secure additional funds, as well as its ability to reach profitability. There can be no assurances that the Company will be able to secure additional financing, or obtain favorable terms on such financing if it is available, or as to the Company’s ability to achieve positive earnings and cash flows from operations. The Company believes that it currently has sufficient funds to initiate the Phase I clinical trial of LB-100 and to continue to fund its operating plans through at least September 30, 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2013, it is likely that the Company be required to raise additional funds to continue its programs. If cash resources are insufficient to satisfy the Company’s cash requirements at that time, the Company would be required to scale back or discontinue its technology and product development programs, or obtain funds, if available, through strategic alliances that may require the Company to relinquish rights to certain of its technologies products, or to discontinue its operations entirely.