10-K
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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, 2023

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 Number 001-39594

Spruce Biosciences, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

Delaware

81-2154263

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

611 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 740

South San Francisco, California

94080

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (415) 655-4168

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 $0.0001 per share

 

SPRB

 

Nasdaq Global Select Market

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. YesNo

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. YesNo

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. YesNo

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). YesNo

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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.

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).

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). YesNo

The aggregate market value of the Registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 30, 2023, the last business day of the Registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $75.0 million, based on the closing price of the Registrant's common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market of $2.15 per share.

The number of shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 14, 2024 was 41,149,160.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 


Table of Contents

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

1

SUMMARY OF RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH OUR BUSINESS

2

 

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

4

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

41

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

98

Item 1C.

Cybersecurity

98

Item 2.

Properties

99

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

99

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

99

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

100

Item 6.

[Reserved]

101

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

102

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

115

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

116

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

141

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

141

Item 9B.

Other Information

142

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

142

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

143

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

143

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

143

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

143

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

143

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibit and Financial Statement Schedules

144

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

146

 

 

 

 

ii


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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Annual Report”) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy, research and development costs; the anticipated timing, costs and conduct of our clinical trials for our only product candidate, tildacerfont; the timing and likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals for tildacerfont; our ability to commercialize tildacerfont, if approved; the pricing and reimbursement of tildacerfont, if approved; the potential benefits of strategic collaborations and our ability to enter into strategic arrangements; the timing and likelihood of success, plans and objectives of management for future operations; future results of anticipated product development efforts; and our expected future financing needs, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report are only predictions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described under the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this Annual Report. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified and some of which are beyond our control, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in our forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties. Except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise. You should, however, review the factors and risks we describe in the reports we will file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) after the date of this Annual Report.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report, and while we believe such information provides a reasonable basis for these statements, such information may be limited or incomplete. Our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and you are cautioned not to unduly rely on these statements.

 

1


Table of Contents

 

SUMMARY OF RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH OUR BUSINESS

We face risks and uncertainties associated with our business, many of which are beyond our control. Some of the material risks associated with our business include the following:

We have a limited operating history, have incurred significant net losses since our inception, and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant net losses for the foreseeable future. We expect these losses to increase as we continue our clinical development of, and seek regulatory approvals for, tildacerfont and any future product candidates.
We will need substantial additional financing to develop tildacerfont and any future product candidates and implement our operating plans. If we fail to obtain additional financing, we may be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development programs or commercialization efforts.
We currently depend entirely on the success of tildacerfont, which is our only product candidate. If we are unable to advance tildacerfont in clinical development, obtain regulatory approval, and ultimately commercialize tildacerfont, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.
Our clinical trials may fail to adequately demonstrate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont, which could prevent or delay regulatory approval and commercialization.
Any delays in the commencement or completion, or termination or suspension, of our clinical trials could result in increased costs to us, delay or limit our ability to generate revenue, and adversely affect our commercial prospects.
Preclinical and clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process with uncertain outcomes, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results. We may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of tildacerfont and any future product candidates.
If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
Unfavorable U.S. and global economic and geopolitical conditions could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Tildacerfont is, and any future product candidates will be, subject to extensive regulation and compliance obligations, which are costly and time-consuming, and such regulation may cause unanticipated delays or prevent the receipt of the required approvals to commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates.
If the market opportunities for tildacerfont and any future product candidates are smaller than we believe they are, our future revenue may be adversely affected, and our business may suffer.
We may not be successful in our efforts to expand our pipeline by identifying additional indications and formulations for which to investigate tildacerfont in the future. We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular indication or formulation for tildacerfont and fail to capitalize on product candidates, indications, or formulations that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.
We currently have no marketing and sales organization and have yet to commercialize a product. If we are unable to establish marketing and sales capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell tildacerfont and any future product candidates, we may not be able to generate product revenues.
We are highly dependent on our key personnel, and if we are not successful in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.
We rely on third parties to conduct our clinical trials. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize tildacerfont.

2


Table of Contents

 

If we are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient intellectual property protection for tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies we develop, or if the scope of the intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize tildacerfont, if approved, and any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies if approved, may be adversely affected.
 

 

3


Table of Contents

 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

Overview

We are a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies for rare endocrine disorders with significant unmet medical need. We are initially developing our wholly-owned product candidate, tildacerfont, as the potential first non-steroidal therapy to offer markedly improved disease control and reduce steroid burden for patients suffering from classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (“CAH”).

Classic CAH is an autosomal recessive disease, driven by a mutation in the gene that encodes an enzyme necessary for the synthesis of key adrenal hormones with no known novel therapies approved in approximately 70 years. In classic CAH patients, the body is not able to produce cortisol, leading to serious health consequences. In the absence of cortisol, patients can face adrenal crisis and death rapidly as a result of any stressing event, such as infection. Physicians administer replacement steroid hormones to reduce the risk of adrenal crises and death; however, replacement alone is not sufficient to address all of the consequences associated with classic CAH. As a result, classic CAH patients suffer from premature puberty, impaired fertility, hirsutism, acne, the development of adrenal rest tumors, and an impaired quality of life, and additionally for females, virilized genitalia and menstrual irregularities. Currently, the only way to downregulate the production of excess androgens in classic CAH patients is to administer even higher doses of glucocorticoids, known as supraphysiologic glucocorticoid dosing. These elevated dose levels present specific side effects, including increased risks of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stunted growth, osteoporosis, thin skin, gastrointestinal disorders, and decreased lifespan.

Tildacerfont is a potent and highly selective, non-steroidal, oral antagonist of the CRF1 receptor, which is the receptor for corticotropin-releasing factor (“CRF”), a hormone that is secreted by the hypothalamus. The CRF1 receptor is abundantly expressed in the pituitary gland where it is the primary regulator of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (“HPA”) axis. By blocking the CRF1 receptor, tildacerfont has the potential to address the uncontrolled cortisol feedback regulatory pathway in CAH, and in turn reduce the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (“ACTH”) in the pituitary, limiting the amount of androgen produced downstream from the adrenal gland. We believe that by controlling excess adrenal androgens through an independent mechanism, tildacerfont could reduce the unwanted clinical symptoms associated with high androgen exposure. Tildacerfont use could also enable treating physicians to lower the supraphysiologic glucocorticoid doses given to classic CAH patients to near physiologic levels, thus reducing or avoiding the long-term and serious side effects associated with the chronic use of high dose glucocorticoids. Tildacerfont has been evaluated in over 300 subjects across ten completed clinical trials in which it has been generally well tolerated. No drug-related serious adverse events (“SAEs”) have been reported related to tildacerfont treatment in completed clinical trials.

Due to the severity of the disease, most developed countries have established newborn screening programs to test for classic CAH at birth. Infants diagnosed with classic CAH are generally initiated on glucocorticoid therapy at the time of diagnosis and lifelong disease management with steroids is required, with pediatric patients generally transitioning into the care of adult endocrinologists between the ages of 18 and 21. Due to the complexity of management of classic CAH, in the United States, patients are generally managed within specialty endocrinology clinics, and in the European Union (“EU”), most countries have a small number of centers of excellence addressing the population. We estimate the total classic CAH populations are approximately 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States and approximately 50,000 people in the EU, and, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the estimated incidence of classic CAH in the United States and Europe is between one in 10,000 and one in 15,000 live births. In addition, we estimate based on industry reports that the global market opportunity in patients with classic CAH is at least approximately $3.0 billion.

We initiated CAHmelia-203, a placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 2b clinical trial in 96 adult patients with classic CAH with highly elevated levels of androstenedione (“A4”) at baseline and reported topline results in March 2024. CAHmelia-203 enrolled 96 subjects with a mean baseline A4 level of 1,151 ng/dL, which is more than five times above the upper limit of normal (“ULN”). The clinical trial did not achieve the primary efficacy endpoint of change in A4 from baseline to week 12. 200mg once daily (“QD”) of tildacerfont demonstrated a placebo-adjusted reduction from baseline in A4 of -2.6% with a non-significant p-value at week 12. Compliance with study medication and glucocorticoid ("GC") was low, with approximately 50% of patients reporting 80% or greater compliance, which we believe resulted in lower-than-expected tildacerfont exposure. Tildacerfont was generally

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safe and well tolerated at all doses, with no treatment-related SAEs. Most adverse events were reported as mild to moderate. As a result of not meeting the primary efficacy endpoint, we have decided to terminate the CAHmelia-203 study.

We also initiated CAHmelia-204, a second Phase 2b clinical trial in 100 adult patients with classic CAH on mean daily dose of supraphysiologic glucocorticoids of 37 mg/day of hydrocortisone equivalents (“HCe”). Patients enrolled with mean A4 level at baseline of 224 ng/dL, which is approximately the ULN; 66% of patients enrolled with androgenic control, which is defined as having A4 values below the ULN at baseline. Although we have terminated the CAHmelia-203 trial, we believe the differentiated patient population between CAHmelia-203 and CAHmelia-204 supports our decision to continue with the CAHmelia-204 trial until topline results are available.

In addition, we are investigating tildacerfont for the treatment of classic CAH in children. We believe there is a significant medical need to provide androgen-lowering and glucocorticoid-sparing therapies to pediatric classic CAH patients to reduce the risk of premature puberty and the adverse effects of glucocorticoids, including growth inhibition and short-stature as adults. We initiated CAHptain, a Phase 2 open-label clinical trial, which utilizes a sequential three cohort design, to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont in children two to 17 years of age with classic CAH. We reported topline results in March 2024. CAHptain-205 enrolled 30 children between two and 17 years of age with a mean baseline GC dose of 14 mg/m2/day and mean baseline A4 level of 372 ng/dL. The study characterized the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of tildacerfont, as well as changes in androgen levels over 12 weeks of treatment, and the ability to reduce daily GC dose upon A4 normalization. 73% of all patients (22 of 30 patients) met the efficacy endpoint of A4 or GC reduction from baseline at 12 weeks of treatment with tildacerfont. 70% of patients with elevated baseline A4 values (16 of 23 patients) demonstrated an A4 reduction at week 4. Tildacerfont was generally well tolerated at all doses with no treatment-related SAEs reported. Although the CAHptain-205 clinical trial met the efficacy endpoints, the activity observed was less consistent than anticipated and without clear dose response. Preliminary pharmacokinetic analysis suggests that tildacerfont is cleared more rapidly in children than in adult CAH patients. It is not uncommon for children to require relatively higher doses than adults to achieve optimal exposures of drugs. While we are encouraged by the activity observed thus far at suboptimal doses in this Phase 2 dose-ranging study, we plan to continue to evaluate the optimal dose, with topline results from additional dosing cohorts anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2024. Assuming positive results from CAHmelia-204 and CAHptain-205, we plan to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to outline the design of a registrational clinical program in adult and pediatric classic CAH.

We own worldwide development and commercialization rights for tildacerfont. We intend to build a highly specialized commercial organization to support the commercialization of tildacerfont, if approved, in the United States. Given a relatively small number of endocrinologists and specialists treat a large proportion of the patients with classic CAH, we believe this market can be effectively addressed with a modest-sized targeted commercial sales force, alongside various high-touch patient initiatives. If tildacerfont is approved for additional indications, we plan to leverage our rare disease commercial infrastructure and expertise to efficiently address those patient populations. We plan to seek strategic collaborations to benefit from the resources of biopharmaceutical companies specialized in either relevant disease areas or geographies in markets outside the United States. In January 2023, we and Kaken Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd (“Kaken”) entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for the development and commercialization of tildacerfont for the treatment of CAH in Japan. Under the terms of the agreement, we will receive an upfront payment of $15.0 million from Kaken and will be eligible to receive additional payments upon the achievement of future development and commercial milestones, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on net sales in Japan. Kaken will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of tildacerfont in Japan, and we will retain all rights to tildacerfont in all other geographies. Kaken will also be responsible for securing and maintaining regulatory approvals necessary to market and sell tildacerfont in Japan.

We have developed and continue to expand our extensive patent portfolio for tildacerfont, covering composition of matter, method of synthesis, formulation, and use. We have also been granted orphan drug designation for tildacerfont for the treatment of CAH both in the United States and the EU. We have assembled a highly experienced team with broad capabilities in drug discovery, development, and commercialization. Javier Szwarcberg, M.D., MPH, our Chief Executive Officer, previously served as Group Vice President and Head of Program and Portfolio Development for BioMarin Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he held positions as Senior Vice President, Head of Program and Portfolio Management at Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical and Vice President of R&D and Business Development at Horizon Pharma. Samir Gharib, our President and Chief Financial Officer, previously

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served as Chief Financial Officer at Stemedica Cell Technologies and prior to that in executive finance roles at Revance Therapeutics, Inc. and Talon Therapeutics, Inc.

Our Development Plan for Tildacerfont

We are investigating tildacerfont in orphan indications where the underlying disease biology supports a need to reduce excess secretion of or hyperresponsiveness to ACTH. We are currently in late-stage clinical development for tildacerfont in adult patients with classic CAH. We initiated the CAHmelia-203 trial in 96 adult patients with classic CAH with highly elevated levels of A4 at baseline and reported topline results in March 2024. We initiated CAHmelia-203, a placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 2b clinical trial in 96 adult patients with classic CAH with highly elevated levels of A4 at baseline and reported topline results in March 2024. CAHmelia-203 enrolled 96 subjects with a mean baseline A4 level of 1,151 ng/dL, which is more than five times above the ULN. The clinical trial did not achieve the primary efficacy endpoint of change in A4 from baseline to week 12. 200mg QD of tildacerfont demonstrated a placebo-adjusted reduction from baseline in A4 of -2.6% with a non-significant p-value at week 12. Compliance with study medication and glucocorticoid was low with approximately 50% of patients reporting 80% or greater compliance, which we believe resulted in lower-than-expected tildacerfont exposure. Tildacerfont was generally safe and well tolerated at all doses, with no treatment-related SAEs. Most adverse events were reported as mild to moderate.

We also initiated CAHmelia-204, a second Phase 2b clinical trial in 100 adult patients with classic CAH on mean daily dose of supraphysiologic glucocorticoids of 37 mg/day of HCe. Patients enrolled with mean A4 level at baseline of 224 ng/dL, which is approximately the ULN; 66% of patients enrolled with androgenic control, which is defined as having A4 values below the ULN at baseline.

We are also investigating tildacerfont for the treatment of classic CAH in children. We believe there is a significant medical need to provide androgen-lowering and glucocorticoid-sparing therapies to pediatric classic CAH patients to reduce the risk of premature puberty and the adverse effects of glucocorticoids, including growth inhibition and short-stature as adults. We initiated CAHptain, a Phase 2 open-label clinical trial, which utilizes a sequential three cohort design, to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont in children two to 17 years of age with classic CAH. We reported topline results in March 2024. CAHptain-205 enrolled 30 children between two and 17 years of age with a mean baseline GC dose of 14 mg/m2/day and mean baseline A4 level of 372 ng/dL. The study characterized the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of tildacerfont, as well as changes in androgen levels over 12 weeks of treatment, and the ability to reduce daily GC dose upon A4 normalization. 73% of all patients (22 of 30 patients) met the efficacy endpoint of A4 or GC reduction from baseline at 12 weeks of treatment with tildacerfont. 70% of patients with elevated baseline A4 values (16 of 23 patients) demonstrated an A4 reduction at week 4. Tildacerfont was generally well tolerated at all doses with no treatment-related SAEs reported. Although the CAHptain-205 clinical trial met the efficacy endpoints, the activity observed was less consistent than anticipated and without clear dose response. Preliminary pharmacokinetic analysis suggests that tildacerfont is cleared more rapidly in children than in adult CAH patients. It is not uncommon for children to require relatively higher doses than adults to achieve optimal exposures of drugs. While we are encouraged by the activity observed thus far at suboptimal doses in this Phase 2 dose-ranging study, we plan to continue to evaluate the optimal dose, with topline results from additional dose ranging cohorts anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2024. Assuming positive results from CAHmelia-204 and CAHptain-205, we plan to meet with the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to outline the design of a registrational clinical program in adult and pediatric classic CAH.

We have also submitted a pediatric investigational plan (“PIP”) to the Pediatric Committee (“PDCO”) of the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) regarding a registrational program in children with classic CAH. PDCO issued an opinion on its agreement with the proposed PIP of tildacerfont for the treatment of CAH which endorsed the clinical program to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of tildacerfont for the treatment of CAH in patients from one year of age to less than 18 years of age. PDCO also granted a waiver for the treatment of CAH in patients less than one year of age.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (“PCOS”) is a hormonal disorder common among females of reproductive age affecting nearly five million females in the United States and approximately 115 million females worldwide. PCOS is characterized by elevated levels of androgens, cysts in the ovaries, and irregular periods. We have identified a subpopulation of patients where elevated levels of adrenal androgens are the cause of disease. We believe that tildacerfont may present a novel mechanism to reduce ACTH and provide a therapeutic option for females with PCOS and elevated adrenal androgens. By leveraging our existing Phase 1 program, which includes safety,

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tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont, we initiated and completed POWER, a Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial. The Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled, dose escalation trial which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont titrated to 200mg QD compared to placebo at 12 weeks of treatment in subjects with PCOS and elevated adrenal androgens as measured by dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (“DHEAS”) levels at baseline. In August 2023, we conducted an analysis of interim data from 20 patients (13 on tildacerfont and 7 on placebo) through the 12-week treatment period for the POWER clinical trial. The study enrolled 27 patients in total. The interim data from the study support target engagement and suggests that DHEAS may be reduced with tildacerfont treatment in women suffering from PCOS. Tildacerfont was well-tolerated, with a safety profile that is consistent with past studies. Most adverse events were classified as mild-moderate, balanced between treatment arms, unrelated to study drug and single event occurrences. No SAEs or dose toxicities were observed, and there was no evidence of adrenal insufficiency. We plan to present the final data from the POWER clinical trial at a future medical conference.

Beyond classic CAH and PCOS, we believe tildacerfont has potential utility in a range of diseases where the underlying biology supports a need to reduce excess secretion of or hyperresponsiveness to ACTH. We are committed to leveraging our deep scientific knowledge of the biology of rare endocrine disorders, the benefits of tildacerfont, and our commercial expertise to dramatically transform the lives of individuals living with these devastating disorders.

The following summarizes our ongoing clinical trials and anticipated upcoming milestones for tildacerfont:

https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_0.jpg 

Our Strategy

Complete clinical development for tildacerfont and seek regulatory approval for the treatment of adults and children with classic CAH. Assuming positive results from CAHmelia-204 and CAHptain-205, we plan to meet with the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to outline the design of a registrational clinical program in adult and pediatric classic CAH.
Maximize the commercial potential of tildacerfont in classic CAH. We intend to build a highly specialized commercial organization to support the commercialization of tildacerfont, if approved, in the United States. Given a relatively small number of endocrinologists and specialists treat a large proportion of the patients with classic CAH, we believe this market can be effectively addressed with a modest-sized targeted commercial sales force, alongside various high-touch patient initiatives. If tildacerfont is approved for additional indications, we plan to leverage our rare disorder commercial infrastructure and expertise to efficiently address those patient populations. We plan to seek strategic collaborations to benefit from the resources of biopharmaceutical companies specialized in either relevant disease areas or geographies in markets outside the United States. In January 2023, we and Kaken entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for the development and commercialization of

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tildacerfont for the treatment of CAH in Japan. Under the terms of the agreement, we will receive an upfront payment of $15.0 million from Kaken and will be eligible to receive additional payments upon the achievement of future development and commercial milestones, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on net sales in Japan. Kaken will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of tildacerfont in Japan, and we will retain all rights to tildacerfont in all other geographies. Kaken will also be responsible for securing and maintaining regulatory approvals necessary to market and sell tildacerfont in Japan.
Explore the potential of tildacerfont to bring therapeutic benefit to patients with other rare endocrine disorders. We believe that tildacerfont has the potential to bring therapeutic benefit to patients suffering from rare endocrine disorders where the underlying disease biology supports a need to reduce excess secretion of or hyperresponsiveness to ACTH. Based on this biological rationale, we believe tildacerfont may have utility in controlling elevated levels of adrenal androgens in females with PCOS. We believe these patients may potentially benefit from treatment with tildacerfont by reducing their ACTH level and related adrenal androgen production. We may continue to explore the utility of tildacerfont in other rare endocrine disorders, such as the severe form of non-classic CAH in which there is a strong scientific and clinical rationale.
Evaluate strategic opportunities to expand our product candidate portfolio. We intend to seek to in-license or acquire development-stage product candidates in rare endocrine disorders that have the potential to complement our existing portfolio. We believe that there are many opportunities to leverage our deep endocrine expertise to develop new treatments for rare endocrine disorders with significant unmet medical needs.

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Role of the Endocrine System and the HPA Axis

The endocrine system regulates most of the body’s physiological activities through the actions of hormones, which are chemical and biochemical messengers secreted from different organs that influence growth, gastrointestinal function, maturation and development, reproduction, stress, metabolism, and nearly all aspects of homeostasis. The endocrine system includes, among other glands and organs, the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, pancreas, adrenal gland, thyroid and parathyroid, ovaries and testes, as well as specialized enteroendocrine cells. Hormonal secretion is complex and the body employs several mechanisms to exert positive and negative feedback control to maintain homeostasis.

The HPA axis is a critical component of the endocrine system and the body’s response to stress. In a functioning HPA axis, CRF is synthesized and secreted from the hypothalamus in the brain. This stimulates the secretion of ACTH, through activation of the CRF1 receptor at the pituitary gland, which in turn stimulates the production of several hormones in the adrenal cortex: corticosteroids, which gauge the body’s response to illness or injury; mineralocorticoids, which regulate salt and water levels; and androgens, which are male sex hormones. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid steroid, exerts a negative feedback response at the hypothalamus and pituitary, which decreases secretion of CRF and ACTH, respectively, to maintain an appropriate balance of all three hormones.

 

https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_1.jpg 

Figure 1. Normal HPA Axis function.

Classic CAH Disease Overview

Classic CAH is a chronic and potentially life-threatening rare disease with no cure. The most common cause of classic CAH, accounting for an estimated 95% of cases, is a genetic mutation leading to the production of dysfunctional 21-hydroxylase, an enzyme necessary for the biosynthesis of both corticosteroids and mineralocorticoids. Patients with classic CAH present with dysregulation across the HPA axis due to this enzymatic deficiency that shuts down the production of corticosteroids and, in approximately 75% of cases, the production of mineralocorticoids.

 

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https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_2.jpg 

Figure 2. The dysregulation of the HPA axis in classic CAH.

The immediate goal of treatment is the prevention of adrenal crises by replacing the missing physiological levels of corticosteroids. However, cortisol levels in the body vary daily, and normally increase during periods of high stress, making adequate control very difficult to achieve for most patients. In response to chronically absent or inadequate cortisol levels, the pituitary gland secretes higher levels of ACTH to further stimulate steroid synthesis in the adrenal gland. This results in hyperplasia of the gland and the shunting of the steroid precursors to androgen synthesis, resulting in excess levels of androgens such as testosterone and A4 with overt symptoms of virilization. Therefore, the long-term symptomatic control in these patients is to reduce ACTH through supraphysiological doses of exogenous glucocorticoids via a negative feedback response.

The consequences of being born with CAH are severe. All patients born with classic CAH have cortisol deficiency, which makes these patients susceptible to adrenal crises in as early as one to four weeks of age. Due to the life-threatening adrenal crisis, screening for classic CAH is a standard part of routine neonatal screening in the United States and many other major geographies around the world. The most common cause of an adrenal crisis is an infection. Adrenal crisis can also be precipitated by other inducers of stress including surgery, dehydration, or trauma, and is characterized by extreme weakness, nausea, and vomiting. To prevent adrenal crises, physiological replacement of glucocorticoids is initiated in the neonatal period. Data from approximately 6.5 million newborn infants screened worldwide show an estimated incidence of approximately one in 15,000 live births.

Even when patients are diagnosed early and treated with steroids, the associated, continued exposure to high levels of androgens results in premature or precocious puberty, with onset sometimes occurring as early as five years of age. Early puberty drives early maturation of the body’s bones, resulting in an adult height that is typically significantly below the height expected based on the parents’ heights. In females, the presence of excess androgens in the body causes virilization, often leading to ambiguous genitalia and masculinizing features apparent at birth. Female adolescents and adults may develop male-pattern alopecia, acne, hirsutism, menstrual irregularities, and impaired fertility. Often commencing in early adolescence, a substantial proportion of males can develop testicular adrenal rest tumors (“TARTs”), benign tumors that can lead to pain and impaired fertility.

Numerous studies have documented diminished quality of life in patients with CAH related both to the disease and its treatment with glucocorticoids. For example, CAH patients commonly experience fatigue, sleep disturbances, concentration problems, and challenges with social interactions.

Patients with classic CAH face increased risk of mortality, with one study documenting an average reduced lifespan of 6.5 years. The causes of death were adrenal crisis (42%), cardiovascular disease (32%), cancer (16%), and suicide (10%).

Consequences of Lack of Cortisol and Aldosterone

A lack of functional 21-hydroxylase enzyme results in the inability to produce sufficient corticosteroids, such as cortisol, and mineralocorticoids, such as aldosterone. Cortisol functions as the body’s main stress hormone. Biochemically, it regulates glucose metabolism, inflammation and blood pressure. On a behavioral level, it controls mood, motivation, fear, and sleep/wake cycles. Aldosterone regulates the electrolyte balance between sodium and potassium in the body. Low levels of aldosterone result in hyponatremia, low blood pressure and volume, dizziness,

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and lightheadedness. Restoration of the function of both cortisol and aldosterone is the primary goal of current therapies for classic CAH.

Consequences of the Accumulation of the Androgen Precursor 17-OHP

A consequence of the absence of 21-hydroxylase is the accumulation of 17-hydroxyprogesterone (“17-OHP”), a precursor molecule to androgens and cortisol. Without 21-hydroxylase to convert 17-OHP into cortisol, increased levels of 17-OHP are shunted to an alternative hormone resulting in increased synthesis of the testosterone precursor, A4, and related increases in the levels of other androgens in the body, resulting in virilization that complicates fertility and sexual maturation in both females and males. The following figure depicts steroid treatment intervention in patients with classic CAH.

 

https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_3.jpg 

Figure 3. Depiction of steroid treatment intervention in patients with classic CAH.

Inadequate Regulation of Steroid Synthesis Leading to Androgen Excess

Cortisol serves as a negative regulator of the HPA axis, regulating its own production. Increasing levels of cortisol downregulate the synthesis of CRF in the hypothalamus and ACTH in the pituitary to ultimately reduce the production of cortisol precursor molecules, such as 17-OHP. In classic CAH patients, deficiencies in cortisol levels stimulate this feedback mechanism and results in excess production of CRF and ACTH. CRF produced in the hypothalamus binds to the CRF1 receptor in the pituitary gland to stimulate the production of ACTH. In turn, ACTH overproduction drives both adrenal hyperplasia, or enlargement of the adrenal glands, and overproduction of steroid molecules such as 17-OHP and A4, leading to increased androgen production. This serves to further exacerbate the excessive levels of androgens in these patients.

Current Treatment Paradigm and its Limitations

The mainstay of classic CAH therapy for approximately 70 years has been lifelong treatment with glucocorticoids such as hydrocortisone, prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, or dexamethasone. These treatments do not cure the disease, but they serve a two-fold purpose in disease management. Firstly, physiologic levels of glucocorticoids replace the missing cortisol in order to prevent adrenal crisis. Secondly, supraphysiologic levels of glucocorticoids reduce excess androgens through the negative feedback loop alleviating additional hyperandrogenic symptoms.

The level of glucocorticoid necessary to achieve therapeutic benefit is specific to each patient, requires adjustment to individual patient circumstances, and may change over the patient’s lifetime, thereby creating multiple challenges for effective treatment. Chronic use of glucocorticoids requires careful management, because of the well-known serious side effects of these drugs, which include growth inhibition in children, high blood pressure, diabetes, psychological effects, skin thinning, and increased risks of infections.

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Clinical management of classic CAH is a difficult balance between supplying sufficient levels of glucocorticoids to compensate for deficiencies in cortisol levels while minimizing side effects resulting in a narrow therapeutic window. In an analysis of classic CAH patients treated in the United States and the United Kingdom (“UK”), only one-third of those dosed with glucocorticoids achieved optimal control of their androgen levels. While treatment with supraphysiologic glucocorticoids can help restore the regulation of CRF and ACTH production leading to reductions in excess 17-OHP and A4 synthesis, in order to restore a more appropriate balance, physicians must identify the desired glucocorticoid dose for each patient. This is challenging, because the amount of cortisol needed to modulate 17-OHP and A4 levels is much higher than that required to functionally replace the missing cortisol.

From birth to adulthood, the aim of glucocorticoid treatment is to identify the right balance based on both the patient’s physical maturation as well as gender. At birth, the aim of treatment is to provide an adequate level of steroids to prevent an adrenal crisis. Throughout childhood, treatment becomes more complex with both a need to maintain adequate steroid levels but also ensure androgen levels are as close to normal to prevent precocious puberty while not stunting growth and to prevent premature closure of bone growth plates as a result of treatment with supraphysiologic steroids. The aim of treatment for adolescents and adults is to provide the body with the ability to maintain a normal energy level, normal growth, and fertility while minimizing clinically overt signs of excess glucocorticoids or excess androgens. In adults, the balancing act may be different between males and females. Females experience more outward signs of excess androgens than males, so females are more attentive to androgen control through supraphysiologic glucocorticoids while males may be more attentive to the adverse outcomes associated with supraphysiologic glucocorticoid replacement.

This makes glucocorticoid therapy challenging, since treatment with high levels of glucocorticoids leads to, among other consequences, obesity, short stature, the loss of bone mineral density, drug-induced Cushing’s disease, which is a condition that occurs from exposure to high cortisol levels for a long period of time, metabolic disorders, increased cardiovascular and infection risk, and early mortality. The following figure depicts the need to balance the negative consequences that result from excess levels of androgen levels with those associated with high levels of glucocorticoids.

 

https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_4.jpg 

Figure 4. The challenge in treating CAH is balancing therapy to provide optimal control of androgens while avoiding excess cortisol levels.

A novel approach to suppress androgen synthesis would be to directly inhibit the ability of CRF to stimulate ACTH synthesis using a CRF1 receptor antagonist. This approach has the potential to dissociate physiologic cortisol replacement with glucocorticoids from cortisol’s regulatory role as a negative-regulator of ACTH to both prevent the hyperplasia of the adrenal gland and reduce the ensuing excess androgen synthesis. In effect, this is an independent mechanism to block excessive ACTH production. We believe that an effective CRF1receptor antagonist will enable physicians to reduce the dose of glucocorticoids administered to patients in a way that will address their cortisol replacement needs and simultaneously avoid excessive androgen production.

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Our Solution, Tildacerfont

Tildacerfont is a potent and highly selective, non-steroidal, oral, small-molecule antagonist of the CRF1 receptor, a regulator of the production of ACTH. The CRF1 receptor binds CRF, a potent mediator of endocrine, autonomic, behavioral, and immune responses to stress. Activation of the CRF1 receptor in the pituitary gland has been shown to increase the secretion of ACTH, which in turn drives the production of cortisol and androgens in the adrenal gland. By blocking the CRF1 receptor, tildacerfont can address the uncontrolled cortisol feedback regulatory pathway in CAH, and in turn reduce the production of ACTH in the pituitary, limiting the amount of androgen produced downstream from the adrenal gland. Tildacerfont has been assessed in over 300 subjects across ten completed clinical trials, in which it has been well tolerated with no drug-related SAEs. In preclinical studies, we showed that blocking the binding of CRF to this receptor decreased ACTH production and the production of hormones and androgens such as 17-OHP and A4 and that tildacerfont was over 1,000-fold selective for the CRF1 receptor versus any other receptor tested. Based on preclinical data, receptor occupancy of at least 90% was predicted to be achieved at a dose of less than 400mg.

 

https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_5.jpg 

Figure 5. Tildacerfont blocks CRF1 receptors at the anterior pituitary gland to decrease secretion of ACTH, hormones, such as 17-OHP, and androgens, such as A4.

Tildacerfont has been investigated in six completed Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy adult volunteers, in single doses up to 800mg as well as in multiple doses ranging from 50mg to 200mg once daily, for 14 days. In all of these clinical trials, tildacerfont was generally well tolerated. Over 200 healthy volunteers have received at least one dose of tildacerfont in completed studies. No drug-related SAEs during tildacerfont treatment were observed in these clinical trials and the most frequent non-procedural adverse events, defined as events experienced by greater than 5% of the healthy volunteer population was headache.

Completed Clinical Trials in Classic CAH Patients

We conducted two Phase 2a clinical trials of tildacerfont in adult patients with classic CAH on stable glucocorticoid therapy. Clinical trial SPR001-201 was an open-label, dose-ranging clinical trial in 24 patients. These patients received a series of doses of tildacerfont for two weeks each in addition to their standard daily glucocorticoid dose. Two patients participated in two cohorts in SPR001-201. Clinical trial SPR001-202 was a 12-week clinical trial of 11 patients treated with a fixed dose of 400mg tildacerfont once daily. Nine of the 11 SPR001-202 patients also participated in SPR001-201. A total of 26 unique classic CAH patients have been treated to date with tildacerfont. The results from the clinical trials to date suggest that tildacerfont may reduce elevated androgens and may also allow for reduction of supraphysiologic glucocorticoid doses.

Previous observations had identified that tildacerfont interacts with CYP3A4, a liver enzyme that is responsible for the metabolism of a number of drugs. When a drug inhibits or induces CYP3A4, it can impact the body’s ability to metabolize other drugs. In SPR001-201, we observed that tildacerfont led to an approximately two-fold increase in the levels of dexamethasone, a glucocorticoid that is primarily metabolized through CYP3A4. In order to eliminate any potentially confounding drug-drug interactions from our clinical trial, we subsequently removed patients who were being treated with dexamethasone from our efficacy analyses. No drug-drug interactions were observed with other glucocorticoids and we made no other modifications.

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https://cdn.kscope.io/a386b063ddf6ebcc05b77c32d69f30b4-img32413246_6.jpg 

Figure 6. Phase 2 SPR001-201.

SPR001-201 Results

SPR001-201 was our first clinical trial in adults with classic CAH and was a proof-of-concept, dose-escalating Phase 2a clinical trial in patients who were on a stable glucocorticoid dosing regimen but still had levels of 17-OHP that were four-fold or greater above the 200 ng/dL upper limit of normal (“ULN”). Patients enrolled in three sequential cohorts, and during the clinical trial, could not change their underlying glucocorticoid regimen to avoid confounding the effect of varying glucocorticoid levels on disease-driving hormones. The clinical trial assessed the safety and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont across a range of doses from 200mg to 1,000mg once daily and 100mg and 200mg twice daily. Pharmacodynamic activity was assessed using ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 overnight with the baseline and key assessment at 8:00 a.m. This overnight period was selected as it represents the time period during which excess production of ACTH and hormones and androgens peak. The goal of this clinical trial was to assess whether tildacerfont could blunt the magnitude of this rise in the hormones.

The enrollment screening criteria for SPR001-201 ensured that 17-OHP was elevated in all but one patient at baseline (8:00 a.m. on day one) enrolled in this clinical trial; however, the levels of ACTH and A4 were more variable. In a post-hoc analysis, we identified two homogenous patient groups using ACTH and A4 and classified these patients as either those with highly elevated adrenal hormones at baseline or on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline. In our clinical trial, patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline had highly elevated ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 levels, generally greater than twice the ULN and, more commonly, greater than four times the ULN. Patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline were on a stable mean daily supraphysiologic dose of approximately 25mg of hydrocortisone, or a dose of another glucocorticoid equivalent to 25mg of hydrocortisone. Patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline had elevated 17-OHP levels but had ACTH and A4 generally less than twice the ULN and more commonly, within the normal bounds for ACTH and A4. These patients were on doses equivalent to a mean daily supraphysiologic dose 36mg of hydrocortisone, which was a 44% higher total daily dose than patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline. These findings suggest that patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline may have been receiving inadequate glucocorticoid doses to provide adequate control of their disease, possibly due to an inability to tolerate higher doses of glucocorticoids or unwillingness to accept the adverse outcomes attributed to chronic dosing of supraphysiologic glucocorticoids. Given the clear differences in baseline hormone profiles and glucocorticoid dosing, we decided to analyze the effect of tildacerfont on hormones in these two groups independently. We believe that by identifying these two homogeneous patient groups, and designing our development program around the two groups, we are uniquely positioned to address the two major areas of unmet medical need for these patients.

Table 1 summarizes the key demographic and baseline characteristics across the two patient groups. The demographics across both patient groups were similar. The age distribution trended to older subjects with an average age of 44 years, as compared to an age range of 19 years to 67 years, with an average body mass index (“BMI”) of

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approximately 31, signifying an obese population on average. The daily glucocorticoid dose and baseline hormones were different between the two patient groups.

 

 

 

Supraphysiologic Glucocorticoids
(N=6)

 

Highly Elevated
Adrenal Hormones
(N=11)

Demographics

 

 

 

 

Age (yrs), mean (SD)

 

44 (16.6)

 

45 (17.0)

Sex, Female, n (%)

 

5 (83%)

 

6 (55%)

Race, White n (%)

 

6 (100%)

 

10 (91%)

BMI (kg/m2), mean (SD)

 

31.3 (5.77)

 

30.0 (5.9)

Baseline Glucocorticoid Dose

 

 

 

 

Dose (mg) in Hydrocortisone equivalents

 

36.3 (8.02)

 

24.5 (8.6)

Baseline Hormones (8:00 a.m.)

 

 

 

 

ACTH (ng/mL), geometric mean (CV%)

 

30.9 (273.1%)

 

397.0 (88.5%)

17-OHP (ng/dL), geometric mean (CV%)

 

1,531.6 (489%)

 

6,688.6 (113%)

A4 (pg/dL), geometric mean (CV%)

 

97.6 (338%)

 

333.1 (171%)

Table 1. Demographics and baseline hormones in non-dexamethasone patients (SPR001-201).

While the exposure levels, as a function of dose, generally demonstrated dose linearity, no clear dose-response was observed in ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 reductions. The lowest evaluated dose of 200mg once daily resulted in hormone changes that were comparable to those observed at higher doses (Figures 7-9). Also, overall dosing twice daily did not result in greater hormone reductions compared to once daily dosing. This finding corresponds with the initial predicted receptor occupancy data based on preclinical experiments demonstrating at least 90% receptor occupancy at doses of tildacerfont up to 400mg.

Figures 7-9 below summarize the changes in hormones across the overnight period. We conducted a post-hoc analysis which divided the subjects in this study into two groups, based on patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline and patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline. Of the patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline, there were 11 patients at doses equal to 200mg, six of whom received 200mg once per day in Cohort A and five of whom received 100mg twice per day in Cohort C, and 12 patients at doses greater than 200mg, six of whom received 600mg once per day and the same six of whom received 1,000mg once per day. There were six patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline, one patient at 200mg once per day in Cohort A and five patients at doses greater than 200mg, each receiving 200mg twice per day in Cohort B.

Patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline had baseline levels of ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 that were substantially above the target goal for these hormones (ACTH target of 63.3 pg/mL, 17-OHP target of 1200 ng/dL and A4 target of 152 ng/dL for males and 262 ng/dL for females). Subsequent to receiving tildacerfont for 14 days, the mean levels of all three hormones were generally reduced throughout the overnight period from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. These reductions were observed despite no changes in glucocorticoid dosing. We believe that the reductions in patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline demonstrated proof-of-concept and supported further studies to assess the ability of tildacerfont to reduce hormones.

Patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline had mean baseline levels of ACTH and A4 that were already below the target goal for these hormones. Treatment with tildacerfont did not lead to clinically meaningful reduction of these levels, suggesting that administering tildacerfont in these patients have a low risk of excessive adrenal suppression. We believe the observed changes in these hormones are reflective of typical day-to-day variation in these patients. Treatment of these patients who had elevated levels of 17-OHP led to a modest decrease in 17-OHP.

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Figure 7. Change from baseline in ACTH (pg/mL) in patients during the overnight period (SPR001-201).

 

 

 

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Figure 8. Change from baseline in 17-OHP (ng/dL) in patients during the overnight period (SPR001-201).

 

 

 

 

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Figure 9. Change from baseline in A4 (ng/dL) (SPR001-201).

Of note, one classic CAH patient enrolled in this clinical trial, who had a pre-existing testicular mass classified as TART, saw a 25% decrease in the size of his tumor following six weeks of dosing with tildacerfont through two dose escalations in Cohort A. TARTs are directly driven by excess ACTH and the empiric standard of care to reduce TARTs is high dose dexamethasone. This tumor shrinkage is consistent with the mechanism of action of tildacerfont, reduction of excess ACTH, and provides the first known evidence of a non-steroidal, non-surgical reduction in a TART.

Tildacerfont was well tolerated in SPR001-201 at doses up to 1,000mg once daily. No drug-related SAEs were reported. The most common adverse event was headache (n=3). The majority of events were grade one in nature. A female subject (age 48; 200mg twice daily) experienced a grade three hot flush that resolved on its own within 30 minutes in the first week of treatment. One event of special interest was observed at the highest dose of 1,000mg once daily. After 14 days of treatment at 1,000mg once daily, this patient experienced a grade one liver-related adverse event, as determined by the investigator. This patient had elevated levels of alanine transaminase (“ALT”) between five and nine times ULN, elevations in aspartate aminotransferase (“AST”) less than five times ULN, and no increases in bilirubin. The event resolved on its own without additional medical intervention. No cases of liver enzyme elevations above three times the ULN were observed in any patient receiving total daily doses of 600mg, which is approximately three times the proposed therapeutic dose, and below.

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Figure 10. Phase 2 SPR001-202.

SPR001-202 Results

SPR001-202, our open-label, 12-week Phase 2a clinical trial, assessed the ability of a daily dose of 400mg of tildacerfont to lower disease-driving hormones such as ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 over a 12-week dosing period. SPR001-202 was an extension clinical trial of SPR001-201, where the enrollment criteria was either prior participation in SPR001-201 or treatment-naïve patients meeting the 17-OHP criterion in SPR001-201. Disease-driving hormones were assessed at approximately 8:00 a.m. on each day corresponding to the peak excess hormone production. This clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the safety and tolerability of long-term treatment with tildacerfont and to assess the magnitude of hormone reductions after 12 weeks of treatment.

As with SPR001-201, dexamethasone subjects (n=3) were excluded from pharmacodynamic activity summaries but included in safety summaries. The table below summarizes the key demographic and baseline hormones in the non-dexamethasone patients.

 

 

 

Supraphysiologic Glucocorticoids
(N=3)

 

Highly Elevated
Adrenal Hormones
(N=5)

Demographics

 

 

 

 

Age (yrs), mean (SD)

 

48.0 (17.69)

 

42.4 (15.63)

Sex, Female, n (%)

 

3 (100%)

 

2 (40%)

Race, White n (%)

 

3 (100%)

 

4 (80%)

BMI (kg/m2), mean (SD)

 

35.5 (6.10)

 

27.8 (5.56)

Baseline Glucocorticoid Dose

 

 

 

 

Dose (mg) in Hydrocortisone equivalents

 

36.7 (11.6)

 

24.5 (11.5)

Baseline Hormones

 

 

 

 

ACTH (ng/mL), geometric mean (CV%)

 

12.2 (584.1%)

 

536.6 (108.5%)

17-OHP (ng/dL), geometric mean (CV%)

 

314.1 (1068.6%)

 

15,323.3 (46.9%)

A4 (pg/dL), geometric mean (CV%)

 

28.8 (216.1%)

 

1001.1 (48.4%)

Table 2. Demographics and baseline hormones (SPR001-202).

Like with the SPR001-201 clinical trial, in the SPR001-202 clinical trial, we conducted a post-hoc analysis which divided the subjects in this study into patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline and patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of adrenal hormones at baseline. We observed that tildacerfont-treated patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline had mean maximum reductions in ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 of approximately 80% compared to baseline at 8:00 a.m., bringing the levels of these key hormones to near normal levels that are used as targets for standard glucocorticoid therapy. In addition, 60% of patients achieved normalization of ACTH levels, one subject at week two prior to discontinuation from the clinical trial and two subjects during month three, and 40% achieved normalization of A4 levels during month three. We are not aware of normalization of these highly elevated hormones in classic CAH patients with any other investigational product candidate without increases to daily steroid doses.

As reflected in the figures below, we observed reductions in these hormones as early as the two-week time point and the reductions increased throughout the 12-week dosing period of the clinical trial. Last observation carried forward is applied for patients missing assessments during the 12-week period in the time course figures.

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Figure 11. Change from baseline in ACTH (pg/mL) (SPR001-202).

 

 

 

 

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Figure 12. Change from baseline in 17-OHP (ng/dL) (SPR001-202).

 

 

 

 

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Figure 13. Change from baseline in A4 (ng/dL) (SPR001-202).

Upon completion of tildacerfont dosing at week 12, in patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline, levels of these disease-driving hormones increased, approaching their pre-trial baseline levels at follow-up, week 16. The results from this clinical trial are consistent with the ability of tildacerfont to inhibit CRF signaling, leading to reduction of adrenal stimulation by ACTH and the production of androgen precursors. Treatment with tildacerfont in this clinical trial led to this adrenal hormone and androgen reduction without requiring any change in the dose of glucocorticoids.

Of the patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline, the best response for each patient in the non-dexamethasone group in month three is summarized below. The majority of patients achieved robust reductions. One patient discontinued prior to month three and is not included in this figure. This patient had reductions of 99%, 82% and 68% for ACTH, 17-OHP and A4, respectively, prior to discontinuation.

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Figure 14. Change from baseline in hormones in patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline in month three (SPR001-202) at the individual patient level for subjects completing 12 weeks of treatment.

Patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline upon entry to SPR001-202 had mean levels of ACTH, 17-OHP and A4 that were well below the target goal. Administration of tildacerfont to these patients did not lead to significant changes in these levels. We believe that this finding is important because it supports that there may be a limit as to how much tildacerfont can suppress adrenal function, which could reduce the risk that excess dosing with tildacerfont could lead to excessive levels of suppression. This is consistent with the results we observed in SPR001-201.

Tildacerfont was well tolerated in SPR001-202. The most common adverse events were upper respiratory tract infection (n=2) and elevated A1c (n=2) and all four events deemed not related to tildacerfont treatment. The majority of events were grade one in nature. One subject discontinued study drug due to itching without a rash experienced between weeks two and four of treatment.

Patients with highly elevated levels of adrenal hormones at baseline were receiving supraphysiologic glucocorticoid doses equivalent to approximately 25mg hydrocortisone daily. Based on the levels of ACTH, 17-OHP, and A4 at baseline, these glucocorticoid doses were insufficient to adequately suppress androgen synthesis. However, the addition of tildacerfont lowered the levels of these hormones by approximately 80%, bringing them close to normal levels. In contrast, patients on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline upon enrollment in the clinical trial were receiving supraphysiologic glucocorticoid doses equivalent to 36mg of hydrocortisone daily. Because the baseline levels of ACTH and A4 were all well below the target goal, we believe that these patients may have been receiving glucocorticoid doses that were higher than would be necessary with the addition of tildacerfont. Furthermore, we believe that treatment of these patients with tildacerfont could enable these patients to reduce their glucocorticoid doses. Over time, we believe that tildacerfont may enable both groups of patients to achieve potentially normal or markedly improved levels of androgen synthesis with minimized levels of glucocorticoid replacement.

Late-Stage Clinical Trials in Adult Classic CAH

CAHmelia-203, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging Phase 2b clinical trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont in 96 adults with classic CAH with highly elevated levels of A4 at baseline while on stable glucocorticoid dosing. For the first six weeks, patients received blinded placebo to assess their adherence to their existing glucocorticoid therapy. Patients who continued to meet all eligibility criteria at the end of this period entered a three-part treatment period. During the placebo-controlled treatment period, patients were randomized in a blinded manner to receive placebo, 50mg, 100mg, or 200mg tildacerfont once daily. Dosing in the placebo-controlled treatment period continued for 12 weeks. The primary endpoint of the clinical trial is the assessment of dose response for the change from baseline in A4 at week zero to week 12. Following the placebo-controlled treatment period, all patients received tildacerfont following a proposed dose-escalation protocol based on hormone response in which the dosage may be increased to 200mg once daily over 12 weeks. Following the 12-week dose-escalation period, all patients continued receiving tildacerfont at 200mg once daily for an additional 46 weeks. Patients who achieved control of A4 while on supraphysiologic glucocorticoid treatment had the opportunity

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to taper down their glucocorticoid dosing in the open-label period according to a pre-specified algorithm in the protocol.

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Figure 15. Design of trial CAHmelia-203

CAHmelia-203 enrolled 96 subjects with a mean baseline A4 level of 1,151 ng/dL, which is more than five times above the ULN. The clinical trial did not achieve the primary efficacy endpoint of change in A4 from baseline to week 12. 200mg QD of tildacerfont demonstrated a placebo-adjusted reduction from baseline in A4 of -2.6% with a non-significant p-value at week 12. Compliance with study medication and glucocorticoid was low with approximately 50% of patients reporting 80% or greater compliance, which we believe resulted in lower-than-expected tildacerfont exposure. Tildacerfont was generally safe and well tolerated at all doses, with no treatment-related SAEs. Most adverse events were reported as mild to moderate.

We also initiated CAHmelia-204, a second Phase 2b clinical trial in 100 adult patients with classic CAH on mean daily dose of supraphysiologic glucocorticoids of 37 mg/day of HCe. Patients enrolled with mean A4 level at baseline of 224 ng/dL, which is approximately the ULN; 66% of patients enrolled with androgenic control, which is defined as having A4 values below the ULN at baseline. This clinical trial is designed in two parts. In the first part of the clinical trial, patients were randomized to receive 200mg tildacerfont once daily or placebo for 24 weeks. During the second part of the clinical trial, all patients received open-label 200mg tildacerfont once daily for 52 weeks. Throughout the trial, tapering of glucocorticoids will be guided according to a pre-specified algorithm and continue to the lowest level possible (replacement levels only), as long as patients remain well controlled based on standard biomarkers and clinical assessments.

 

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Figure 16. Design of trial CAHmelia-204

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The primary endpoint of this clinical trial is the absolute change in daily GC dose (HCe) from baseline at week 24.

Based on analyses of our clinical data to date, we have chosen to target two distinct groups of classic CAH patients with either supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline or highly elevated levels of A4 at baseline. These two groups, which together make up the entire classic CAH patient population, have differing disease challenges centered on excessive adrenal androgen levels or excessive glucocorticoid usage, both of which have the potential to be addressed by treatment with tildacerfont, if approved. The table below summarizes the key demographics in patients enrolled in the CAHmelia-203 and CAHmelia-204 clinical studies as compared to a Phase 3 study investigating a CRF1 receptor antagonist for the treatment of adult classic CAH.

 

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Figure 17. Baseline Characteristics in CAHmelia-203 and CAHmelia-204

1 In hydrocortisone equivalents (HCe). 2 Pre-GC dose. 3 A4 <ULN for age and sex. 4 A4 <120% of the subject’s baseline or <ULN for age and sex.

Phase 2 CAHptain Clinical Trial in Pediatric Classic CAH

At birth, newborns with classic CAH are immediately faced with a risk of adrenal crisis, which produces symptoms that include vomiting, severe dehydration, low blood pressure, and life-threatening shock. Replacement glucocorticoid therapy, initiated immediately after diagnosis, remains the customary treatment for children with classic CAH. Glucocorticoid therapy is administered to avoid precocious puberty. The growth suppressing effects of glucocorticoids, however, combined with the early bone growth closure from elevated levels of adrenal androgens, limits the height potential of children impacted by classic CAH. Many patients with classic CAH complete growth prematurely and are ultimately short as adults. We believe tildacerfont has the potential to reduce both the levels of adrenal androgens and the need for excess glucocorticoids, which may enable management of classic CAH at doses of glucocorticoids near physiologic replacement levels, with potential to enable more normal growth progression through childhood and adolescence. We estimate that children represent approximately 20% of the total classic CAH patient population.

We initiated CAHptain, a Phase 2 open-label clinical trial, which utilizes a sequential three cohort design, to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont in children two to 17 years of age. The study will also characterize changes in androgen levels over 12 weeks of treatment, and the ability to reduce daily glucocorticoid dose based on A4 normalization. An optional open-label extension period will provide additional open-label treatment with tildacerfont to provide long-term safety data for up to two years. Cohort 1 enrolled five participants between the ages of 11 and 17 years of age, who received a weight-adjusted, adult dose equivalent of 50mg QD of tildacerfont. Cohort 2 enrolled seven participants between the ages of 11 and 17 years of age, who received a weight-adjusted, adult dose equivalent of 200mg QD of tildacerfont. Cohort 3 enrolled 18 participants

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between the ages of two and 10 years of age, who received a weight-adjusted, adult dose equivalent of 200mg QD of tildacerfont.

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Figure 18. Design of CAHptain (Cohorts 1-3)

The primary endpoint of this clinical trial is safety. Additional secondary endpoints include the proportion of subjects who achieve reduction in A4 or daily glucocorticoid dosing at week 12 and the proportion of subjects with elevated A4 at baseline who achieve a reduction in A4 at week 4. We reported topline results in March 2024. CAHptain-205 enrolled 30 children between two and 17 years of age with a mean baseline GC dose of 14 mg/m2/day and mean baseline A4 level of 372 ng/dL. The study characterized the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of tildacerfont, as well as changes in androgen levels over 12 weeks of treatment, and the ability to reduce daily GC dose upon A4 normalization. 73% of all patients (22 of 30 patients) met the efficacy endpoint of A4 or GC reduction from baseline at 12 weeks of treatment with tildacerfont. 70% of patients with elevated baseline A4 values (16 of 23 patients) demonstrated an A4 reduction at week 4. Tildacerfont was generally well tolerated at all doses with no treatment-related SAEs reported. Although the CAHptain-205 clinical trial met the efficacy endpoints, the activity observed was less consistent than anticipated and without clear dose response. Preliminary pharmacokinetic analysis suggests that tildacerfont is cleared more rapidly in children than in adult CAH patients. It is not uncommon for children to require relatively higher doses than adults to achieve optimal exposures of drugs. While we are encouraged by the activity observed thus far at suboptimal doses in this Phase 2 dose-ranging study, we plan to continue to evaluate the optimal dose, with topline results from additional dose ranging cohorts anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2024. Assuming positive results from CAHmelia-204 and CAHptain-205, we plan to meet with the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to outline the design of a registrational clinical program in adult and pediatric classic CAH.

Phase 2 POWER Clinical Trial in PCOS

PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among females of reproductive age affecting nearly five million females in the United States and approximately 115 million females worldwide. PCOS is characterized by elevated levels of androgens, cysts in the ovaries, and irregular periods. Females with PCOS present with additional symptoms, including hirsutism, alopecia, acne, infertility, weight gain, fatigue, depression and mood changes. The underlying causes of PCOS are unknown. However, excess insulin secretion and low-grade inflammation, which stimulate the polycystic ovaries, have been linked to androgen excess. The source of this androgen excess may be ovarian, adrenal, both adrenal and ovarian, or from other sources. Adrenal androgen excess in PCOS appears to occur independently of ovarian androgen excess, suggesting it may represent an intrinsic, and possible primary source of abnormal synthesis of androgens. Adrenal androgen excess in PCOS does not result from enzymatic deficiencies, rather it represents an altered adrenal responsivity to ACTH. We believe that, in women whose PCOS is caused by elevated adrenal androgens, tildacerfont may provide a therapeutic option to treat the underlying cause of disease through reductions of ACTH. We may pursue orphan drug designation in this patient population.

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By leveraging our existing Phase 1 program, which includes safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont, we initiated and completed POWER, a Phase 2 proof-of-concept, randomized, placebo-controlled dose escalation study which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont titrated to 200 mg QD compared to placebo at 12 weeks of treatment in subjects with PCOS and elevated adrenal androgens as measured by DHEAS levels at baseline.

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Figure 19. Design of POWER

The primary endpoint of this clinical trial is the absolute change from baseline in DHEAS. Additional secondary endpoints include safety and tolerability, the proportion of subjects who achieve a 30% or greater reduction in DHEAS and change from baseline in hormonal biomarkers. In August 2023, we conducted an analysis of interim data from 20 patients (13 on tildacerfont and 7 on placebo) through the 12-week treatment period for the POWER clinical trial. The study enrolled 27 patients in total. The interim data from the study support target engagement and suggests that DHEAS may be reduced with tildacerfont treatment in women suffering from PCOS. Tildacerfont was well-tolerated, with a safety profile that is consistent with past studies. Most adverse events were classified as mild-moderate, balanced between treatment arms, unrelated to study drug and single event occurrences. No serious adverse reactions or dose toxicities were observed, and there was no evidence of adrenal insufficiency. We plan to present the final data from the POWER clinical trial at a future medical conference.

Potential Role of Tildacerfont in the Treatment of Non-Classic CAH

The non-classic form of CAH (non-classic CAH), also called late-onset CAH, occurs in approximately one in 1,000 of the general population. In females, non-classic CAH is characterized by a generally less severe dysregulation of cortisol production and clinically manifests with a variety of late-onset virilizing symptoms. Females may experience irregular periods, hirsutism, deep voice, and infertility. Some males and females may experience early onset puberty and rapid growth in childhood but short stature in adulthood. Other symptoms of non-classic CAH include low bone density, severe acne, obesity, and elevated lipids. Patients with non-classic CAH typically do not require glucocorticoids to replace deficiencies in cortisol levels. However, they possess high levels of adrenal androgens caused by the inability of their endogenous levels of cortisol to properly regulate ACTH production and adrenal stimulation. Although, genetic mutations have been associated with about 30% to 40% of residual 21-hydroxylase enzymatic activity, approximately 5% of patients presenting with non-classic CAH may have a mutation in one copy of the 21-hydroxylase gene, that results in clinical phenotype that is indistinguishable from classic CAH. We believe that tildacerfont has the potential to bring non-steroidal therapeutic benefit to these non-classic CAH patients with the severe form of disease.

Sales and Marketing

We currently do not have a commercial organization for the marketing, sales, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. We intend to build a highly specialized commercial organization to support the commercialization of tildacerfont, if approved, in the United States. Given a relatively small number of endocrinologists and specialists treat a large proportion of patients with classic CAH, we believe this market can be effectively addressed with a modest-sized targeted commercial sales force, alongside various high-touch patient initiatives. If tildacerfont is approved for additional indications, we plan to leverage our rare disease commercial infrastructure and expertise to efficiently address those patient populations. We plan to seek strategic collaborations to benefit from the resources of biopharmaceutical companies specialized in either relevant disease areas or geographies in markets outside the United States.

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License Agreement with Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”)

In May 2016, we entered into a license agreement (the “Lilly License Agreement”) with Lilly. Pursuant to the terms of the Lilly License Agreement, Lilly granted us an exclusive, worldwide, royalty bearing, sublicensable license under certain technology, patent rights, know-how, and proprietary materials, which we refer to collectively as the Lilly IP, and such patents, the Lilly Licensed Patents, relating to the CRF1 receptor antagonist compounds either listed in the Lilly License Agreement or covered by patent rights controlled by Lilly, which we refer to collectively as the Lilly Compounds, to research, develop, commercialize, make, have made, use, sell, offer to sell, and import the Lilly Compounds and any products containing a Lilly Compound, including any products containing a Lilly Compound and one or more additional active pharmaceutical ingredients other than a Lilly Compound, which we refer to collectively as the Lilly Licensed Products, for all pharmaceutical uses, including all diagnostic, therapeutic, and prophylactic uses, for human or animal administration, which we refer to as the Field. Lilly retained rights under the Lilly IP and the Lilly Licensed Patents for internal research purposes.

Under the Lilly License Agreement, we are required to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize a Lilly Licensed Product in the Field. In addition, we are responsible to oversee, monitor, and manage all regulatory interactions, communications, and filings with, and submissions to regulatory authorities, with respect to the Lilly Licensed Products, and shall have final decision-making authority regarding all such regulatory activities, including the regulatory and labeling strategy and the content of submissions.

As partial consideration for the rights granted to us under the Lilly License Agreement, we made a one-time upfront payment to Lilly of approximately $0.8 million. We are also required to pay Lilly up to an aggregate of $23.0 million upon the achievement, during the time the Lilly License Agreement remains in effect, of certain milestones relating to the clinical development and commercial sales of the Lilly Licensed Products. Such payments are for predetermined fixed amounts, are paid only upon the first occurrence of each event, and are due shortly after achieving the applicable milestone. In addition, we are required to pay Lilly tiered royalties on annual worldwide net sales of Lilly Licensed Products in the Field, with rates ranging from mid-single-digits to sub-teens (the “Lilly Royalties”). The Lilly Royalties shall commence on a country-by-country basis on the date of the first commercial sale of Lilly Licensed Product in such country, and shall expire on a country-by-country basis on the latest of the following dates: (i) the tenth anniversary of the date of first commercial sale in such country, (ii) the expiration in such country of the last-to-expire Lilly Licensed Patent having a valid claim covering the manufacture, use, or sale of the Lilly Licensed Product as commercialized in such country, and (iii) the expiration of any data or regulatory exclusivity period for the Lilly Licensed Product in such country. Upon such expiration, the license granted to us with respect to such country shall be come fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual and irrevocable. In addition, the Lilly Royalties may be reduced upon the occurrence of certain events.

The Lilly License Agreement shall remain in effect until the expiration of all payment obligations thereunder, unless terminated earlier as follows, (i) termination upon mutual agreement, (ii) unilateral termination by us, on a worldwide basis or with respect to any country or countries, in our sole discretion, upon 60 days’ advance written notice, (iii) unilateral termination by either party upon written notice of the other party’s material breach of its obligations under the Lilly License Agreement and failure to cure such breach within 90 days after receiving written notice of such breach, and (iv) unilateral termination by either party in the event of a general assignment for the benefit of creditors of the other party or if proceedings are commenced against such other party relating to bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation, reorganization, winding up, or composition or adjustment of debt, and such proceedings continue undismissed, or an order with respect to the foregoing shall be entered and continue unabated, for a period of more than 60 days.

License Agreement with Kaken

On January 5, 2023, we entered into a Collaboration and License Agreement (the “Kaken License Agreement”) with Kaken. Under the terms of the Kaken License Agreement, we granted to Kaken the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and commercialize our product candidate, tildacerfont, for the treatment of CAH in Japan. Pursuant to the Kaken License Agreement, Kaken will be responsible for securing and maintaining regulatory approvals necessary to commercialize tildacerfont in Japan. We will retain all rights to tildacerfont in all other geographies.

We have also granted to Kaken a right of first negotiation with respect to the development, manufacturing and commercialization of tildacerfont for CAH in China (including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau), South Korea and other specified southeastern Asian countries, and for indications other than CAH.

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Pursuant to the Kaken License Agreement, Kaken made an upfront payment to us of $15.0 million. In addition to the upfront payment, we are entitled to receive up to an aggregate of approximately $65.0 million (at exchange rates in effect on the date of the Kaken License Agreement) upon the achievement of specified milestones related to the development, regulatory approval and commercialization of tildacerfont in Japan, including the achievement of specified net sales thresholds, if approved. Kaken has agreed to pay us a non-creditable, non-refundable specified purchase price for each unit of Company-manufactured product supplied to Kaken for commercial sale. In addition, we will also be entitled to receive a royalty for each unit of non-Company manufactured product sold equal to a range of double-digit percentages up to the mid-twenties based on annual net sales of tildacerfont in Japan. Both the purchase price for each unit and the royalty rate are subject to reduction in certain circumstances as specified in the Kaken License Agreement. Kaken’s obligation to pay royalties will continue for ten years after the first commercial sale in Japan or, if later, until the expiration of regulatory exclusivity of tildacerfont or the expiration of the last valid claim of a Company-licensed patent covering tildacerfont in Japan (the “Royalty Term”).

We have agreed to supply Kaken’s clinical drug supply requirements of tildacerfont pursuant to a clinical supply agreement that the parties plan to consummate. During the Royalty Term, we have agreed to supply Kaken’s requirements of tildacerfont pursuant to the Kaken License Agreement and a commercial supply agreement to be entered into by the parties, though Kaken may procure alternate suppliers. Following the Royalty Term, Kaken at its option may continue to purchase Company-manufactured tildacerfont at a purchase price equal to our manufacturing cost plus a low double-digit administrative fee.

Either party may terminate the Kaken License Agreement (i) in the event the other party shall have materially breached its obligations thereunder and such default shall have continued for a specified period after written notice thereof or (ii) upon the bankruptcy or insolvency of the other party. In addition, we may terminate the Kaken License Agreement upon prior written notice if Kaken ceases all development or commercialization activities for a specified period of time, subject to certain exceptions, or (ii) challenges the validity, enforceability or scope of any of the patents licensed by us to Kaken under the Kaken License Agreement, subject to certain conditions. Kaken may terminate the Kaken License Agreement at any time for convenience upon prior written notice provided within a specified period of time to us.

Intellectual Property

We have developed and continue to expand our patent portfolio for tildacerfont. We have licensed from Lilly at least 25 patents in the United States and other countries and regions throughout the world covering composition of matter of tildacerfont, which are expected to expire in 2027, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions. We also have pending applications from the same family in Venezuela, and Pakistan covering tildacerfont, which, if issued, would also be expected to expire in 2027, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions. Additionally, we have licensed patents in the United States and other countries from Lilly covering methods of making tildacerfont, which are expected to expire in 2029, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions.

We have filed our own patent applications in the United States and other countries throughout the world directed to various methods of use and formulations, and six of these applications have been issued in the United States. Five of the issued United States patents are expected to expire in 2038, one of the issued United States patents is expected to expire in 2039, one of the issued United States patents in expected to expire in 2041, and one of the issued United States patents is expected to expire in 2042, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions. The remaining patent applications, if issued, would be expected to expire between 2038 and 2044, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions. We have also filed applications in the United States and other countries, including Argentina and Taiwan, directed to combination therapies as well as further uses of tildacerfont. Any patents that would issue from these applications would be expected to expire no later than 2041, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions. We have also filed an international patent application, a United States patent application, and a United States provisional application directed to various forms of tildacerfont. Any patents that would issue from this application would be expected to expire around 2042, absent any patent term adjustments or extension. Patents related to tildacerfont may be eligible for patent term extensions in certain jurisdictions, including up to five years in both the United States and the EU, upon approval of a commercial use of the corresponding product by a regulatory agency in the jurisdiction where the patent was granted.

In addition to patent protection, we rely on trade secret protection and know-how to expand our proprietary position around our chemistry, technology, and other discoveries and inventions that we consider important to our business. Under the Lilly License Agreement, Lilly granted intellectual property rights to know-how that are

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important to our business. The Lilly License Agreement imposes various development, regulatory, and commercial diligence obligations, payment of milestones and/or royalties, and other obligations.

In addition, we have been granted orphan drug designation for tildacerfont for the treatment of patients with CAH in the United States and the EU, providing the opportunity to receive seven years of market exclusivity in the United States, which can be extended to seven and a half years if clinical trials are conducted in accordance with an agreed-upon PIP and ten years of market exclusivity in the EU, which can be extended to 12 years in the EU if clinical trials are conducted in accordance with an agreed-upon PIP, if tildacerfont is approved.

If approved in the United States, as tildacerfont has not previously been approved in the United States for any indication, tildacerfont may be eligible for five years of new chemical entity exclusivity, which would run concurrently with its seven years of orphan drug exclusivity if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for its approved uses. Further, if approved in the EU, as tildacerfont has not previously been approved in the EU for any indication, tildacerfont may be eligible for eight years of data exclusivity, as well as ten years of market exclusivity. In the EU, an additional one year of market exclusivity may be obtained if within the first eight years of market exclusivity, tildacerfont is approved for a new indication that provides a significant clinical benefit.

We also seek to protect our intellectual property in part by entering into confidentiality agreements with companies with whom we share proprietary and confidential information in the course of business discussions, and by having confidentiality terms in our agreements with our employees, consultants, scientific advisors, clinical investigators, and other contractors and also by requiring our employees, commercial contractors, and certain consultants and investigators, to enter into invention assignment agreements that grant us ownership of any discoveries or inventions made by them while in our employ.

In addition to patent protection around tildacerfont, we have also licensed from Lilly patents in the United States and other countries throughout the world directed to composition of matter around other CRF1 antagonists.

Manufacturing

We rely on contract manufacturing organizations (“CMOs”) to produce tildacerfont in accordance with the FDA’s and comparable foreign regulatory authorities current Good Manufacturing Practices (“cGMP”), regulations for use in our clinical trials. The manufacture of pharmaceuticals for human use is subject to extensive cGMP regulations, which impose various procedural and documentation requirements and govern all areas of record keeping, production processes and controls, personnel training, and quality control. Tildacerfont is manufactured using common chemical engineering and synthetic processes from readily available raw materials. We have entered into manufacturing, development, and clinical supply agreements with our CMOs that provide for the procurement of active pharmaceutical ingredient (“API”) and drug product in connection with our planned and future clinical trials. These agreements contain no minimum purchase commitments or other purchase obligations. To date, the CMOs have met our manufacturing requirements, and we expect them to be capable of providing sufficient quantities of API and our drug product to meet estimated full-scale commercial needs. We plan to enter into commercial manufacturing and supply agreements with our CMOs prior to commercialization of tildacerfont, if approved, in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Our relationships with CMOs are managed by internal personnel with extensive experience in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing.

Our contract manufacturing agreements give us visibility into the expected future cost of producing tildacerfont at commercial scale. Based upon a range of prices of currently marketed therapies indicated for orphan diseases, we believe that our cost of goods for tildacerfont will be highly competitive.

Competition

The commercialization of new drugs is competitive, and we may face worldwide competition from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and ultimately generic companies. Our competitors may develop or market therapies that are more effective, safer, or less costly than any that we are commercializing, or may obtain regulatory or reimbursement approval for their therapies more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours.

We are aware of other companies actively developing treatments for patients with classic CAH. Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. is developing a CRF1 receptor antagonist and has initiated Phase 3 registrational trials in adult and pediatric classic CAH and reported topline results from both studies in 2023. Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial in 2023 to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an oral ACTH antagonist in adults with

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classic CAH and plans to report initial results in the first half of 2024. BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. is evaluating an AAV5 gene therapy product candidate to treat classic CAH in a Phase 1/2 proof-of-concept clinical trial. In addition, while tildacerfont ultimately seeks to significantly reduce steroid use for patients with classic CAH, patients will continue to use their steroid regimen. As high doses of corticosteroids are the current standard of care for the treatment of classic CAH, in the United States alone, there are more than two dozen companies manufacturing steroid-based products.

Government Regulation and Product Approval

As a pharmaceutical company that operates in the United States, we are subject to extensive regulation. Government authorities in the United States (at the federal, state, and local level) and in other countries extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacturing, quality control, approval, labeling, packaging, storage, record-keeping, promotion, advertising, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, marketing, and export and import of drug products such as those we are developing. Any drug candidates that we develop must be approved by the FDA before they may be legally marketed in the United States and by the appropriate foreign regulatory agency before they may be legally marketed in foreign countries. Generally, our activities in other countries will be subject to regulation that is similar in nature and scope as that imposed in the United States, although there can be important differences. Additionally, some significant aspects of regulation in the EU are addressed in a centralized way, but country-specific regulation remains essential in many respects.

U.S. Drug Development Process

In the United States, the FDA regulates drugs under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) and implements regulations. Drugs are also subject to other federal, state, and local statutes and regulations. 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. Failure to comply with the applicable U.S. requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. FDA sanctions could include, among other actions, refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, a clinical hold, warning letters, product recalls or withdrawals from the market, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement, or civil or criminal penalties. The process required by the FDA before a drug may be marketed in the United States generally involves the following:

completion of extensive preclinical laboratory tests, preclinical animal studies and formulation studies in accordance with applicable regulations, including the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practices (“GLP”), regulations, and other applicable regulations;
submission to the FDA of an IND, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin;
approval by an IRB at each clinical site before each clinical trial may be initiated;
performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with applicable regulations, including the FDA’s current good clinical practices (“GCP”), regulations to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed drug for its proposed indication;
submission to the FDA of a new drug application (“NDA”) for a new drug;
a determination by the FDA within 60 days of its receipt of an NDA to file the NDA for review;
satisfactory completion of an FDA pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities where the drug is produced to assess compliance with the FDA’s current cGMP requirements to assure that the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the drug’s identity, strength, quality, and purity;
potential FDA audit of the preclinical and/or clinical trial sites that generated the data in support of the NDA;
satisfactory completion of an FDA advisory committee review, if applicable; and
FDA review and approval of the NDA prior to any commercial marketing or sale of the drug in the United States.

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Before testing any compounds with potential therapeutic value in humans, the drug candidate enters the preclinical testing stage. Preclinical tests include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, toxicity, and formulation, as well as animal studies, to assess the potential safety and activity of the drug candidate. The conduct of the preclinical tests must comply with federal regulations and requirements, including GLPs. The sponsor must submit the results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and a proposed clinical protocol, to the FDA as part of the IND. An IND is a request for authorization from the FDA to administer an investigational drug product to humans. The central focus of an IND submission is on the general investigational plan and the protocol(s) for human trials. Some preclinical testing may continue even after the IND is submitted. The IND automatically becomes effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions regarding the proposed clinical trials and places the IND on clinical hold within that 30-day time period. In such a case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before the clinical trial can begin. The FDA may also impose clinical holds on a drug candidate at any time before or during clinical trials due to safety concerns or non-compliance.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the drug candidate to healthy volunteers or patients under the supervision of qualified investigators, generally physicians not employed by or under the trial sponsor’s control, in accordance with GCP requirements, which include the requirement that all research subjects provide their informed consent for their participation in any clinical trial. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria and the parameters to be used to monitor subject safety and assess efficacy. Each protocol, and any subsequent amendments to the protocol, must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. Further, each clinical trial must be reviewed and approved by an IRB or ethics committee, at or servicing each institution at which the clinical trial will be conducted. An IRB is charged with protecting the welfare and rights of trial participants and considers such items as whether the risks to individuals participating in the clinical trials are minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits. The IRB also approves the informed consent form that must be provided to each clinical trial subject or his or her legal representative and must monitor the clinical trial until completed. There are also requirements governing the reporting of ongoing clinical trials and completed clinical trial results to public registries.

Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases that may overlap or be combined:

Phase 1. The drug is initially introduced into healthy human subjects and tested for safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution, and excretion, the side effects associated with increasing doses and if possible, to gain early evidence of effectiveness. In the case of some products for severe or life-threatening diseases, especially when the product may be too inherently toxic to ethically administer to healthy volunteers, the initial human testing is often conducted in patients.
Phase 2. The drug is evaluated in a limited patient population to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, to preliminarily evaluate the efficacy of the product for specific targeted diseases or conditions and to determine dosage tolerance, optimal dosage, and dosing schedule.
Phase 3. Clinical trials are undertaken to further evaluate dosage, clinical efficacy and safety in an expanded patient population at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. These clinical trials are intended to establish the overall benefit/risk ratio of the product and provide an adequate basis for product approval. Generally, two adequate and well-controlled Phase 3 clinical trials are required by the FDA for approval of an NDA.

In some cases, FDA may require, or sponsors may voluntarily pursue, post-approval studies, or Phase 4 clinical trials, that are conducted after initial marketing approval. These trials are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication. In certain instances, such as with accelerated approval drugs, FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 trials. In certain instances, the FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 clinical trials as a condition of approval of an NDA.

Progress reports detailing the results of the clinical trials must be submitted at least annually to the FDA and written IND safety reports must be submitted to the FDA and the investigators for serious and unexpected adverse events or any finding from tests in laboratory animals that suggests a significant risk for human subjects. Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 clinical trials may not be completed successfully within any specified period, if at all. The FDA, the IRB, or the sponsor may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution if the clinical trial is not being conducted in

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accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the drug has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients. Additionally, some clinical trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the clinical trial sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization for whether or not a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the trial.

Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and must also develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the drug as well as finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the drug candidate and, among other things, must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality, and purity of the final drug. 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 shelf life.

U.S. Review and Approval Processes

If we successfully complete all required testing in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements, the results of product development, preclinical studies and clinical trials, along with descriptions of the manufacturing process, analytical tests conducted on the chemistry of the drug, proposed labeling and other relevant information are submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA requesting approval to market the product. Data may come from company-sponsored clinical trials intended to test the safety and effectiveness of a use of a product, or from a number of alternative sources, including studies initiated by investigators. To support marketing approval, the data submitted must be sufficient in quality and quantity to establish the safety and effectiveness of the investigational drug product to the satisfaction of the FDA. The submission of an NDA is subject to the payment of substantial user fees; a waiver of such fees may be obtained under certain limited circumstances.

In addition, the Pediatric Research Equity Act (“PREA”) requires a sponsor to conduct pediatric clinical trials for most drugs, for a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen, or new route of administration. Under PREA, original NDAs and supplements must contain a pediatric assessment unless the sponsor has received a deferral or waiver. The required assessment must evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the product for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations and support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The sponsor or FDA may request a deferral of pediatric clinical trials for some or all of the pediatric subpopulations. A deferral may be granted for several reasons, including a finding that the drug is ready for approval for use in adults before pediatric clinical trials are complete or that additional safety or effectiveness data needs to be collected before the pediatric clinical trials begin. The FDA must send a non-compliance letter to any sponsor that fails to submit the required assessment, keep a deferral current or fails to submit a request for approval of a pediatric formulation. Unless otherwise required by regulation, the Pediatric Research Equity Act does not apply to any drug for an indication for which orphan designation has been granted. However, if only one indication for a product has orphan designation, a pediatric assessment may still be required for any applications to market that same product for the non-orphan indication(s).

The FDA reviews all NDAs submitted before it accepts them for filing and may request additional information rather than accepting an NDA for filing. The FDA must make a decision on accepting an NDA for filing within 60 days of receipt. Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA begins an in-depth review of the NDA. Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (“PDUFA”), guidelines that are currently in effect, the FDA has a goal of ten months from the date of “filing” of a standard NDA for a new molecular entity to review and act on the submission. This review typically takes 12 months from the date the NDA is submitted to FDA because the FDA has approximately two months to make a “filing” decision after the application is submitted. The FDA does not always meet its PDUFA goal dates for standard and priority NDAs, and the review process is often significantly extended by FDA requests for additional information or clarification.

After the NDA submission is accepted for filing, the FDA reviews the NDA to determine, among other things, whether the proposed product is safe and effective for its intended use and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with cGMP to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality, and purity. The FDA may refer applications for novel drug products or drug products which present difficult questions of safety or efficacy to an advisory committee, typically a panel that includes clinicians and other experts, for review, evaluation, and a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions and typically follows the advisory committee’s recommendations.

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Before approving an NDA, the FDA will inspect the facilities at which the product is manufactured. The FDA will not approve the product unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. Additionally, before approving an NDA, the FDA may inspect one or more clinical sites to assure compliance with GCP requirements. After the FDA evaluates the application, manufacturing process, and manufacturing facilities, it may issue an approval letter or a Complete Response Letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A Complete Response Letter indicates that the review cycle of the application is complete and the application will not be approved in its present form. A Complete Response Letter usually describes all of the specific deficiencies in the NDA identified by the FDA. The Complete Response Letter may require additional clinical data and/or (an) additional pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial(s), and/or other significant and time-consuming requirements related to clinical trials, preclinical studies, or manufacturing. If a Complete Response Letter is issued, the applicant may either resubmit the NDA, addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, or withdraw the application. Even if such data and information is submitted, the FDA may ultimately decide that the NDA does not satisfy the criteria for approval.

If a product receives regulatory approval, the approval may be significantly limited to specific diseases and dosages or the indications for use may otherwise be limited, which could restrict the commercial value of the product. Further, the FDA may require that certain contraindications, warnings, or precautions be included in the product labeling or may condition the approval of the NDA on other changes to the proposed labeling, development of adequate controls and specifications, or a commitment to conduct one or more post-market studies or clinical trials. For example, the FDA may require Phase 4 testing, which involves clinical trials designed to further assess a drug safety and effectiveness, and may require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the safety of approved products that have been commercialized. The FDA may also determine that a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (“REMS”) is necessary to assure the safe use of the drug. If the FDA concludes a REMS is needed, the sponsor of the NDA must submit a proposed REMS; the FDA will not approve the NDA without an approved REMS, if required. A REMS could include medication guides, physician communication plans, or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries, and other risk minimization tools.

Orphan Drug Designation

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States or, if it affects more than 200,000 individuals in the United States, there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making a drug product available in the United States for this type of disease or condition will be recovered from sales of the product. Orphan designation must be requested before submitting an NDA. After the FDA grants orphan designation, the identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. Orphan designation does not convey any advantage in or shorten the duration of the regulatory review and approval process.

If a product that has orphan designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease or condition for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications to market the same drug or biological product for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan exclusivity or inability to manufacture the product in sufficient quantities. The designation of such drug also entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and user-fee waivers. Competitors, however, may receive approval of different products for the indication for which the orphan product has exclusivity or obtain approval for the same product but for a different indication for which the orphan product has exclusivity. Orphan exclusivity also could block the approval of one of our products for seven years if a competitor obtains approval of the same drug as defined by the FDA or if our product candidate is determined to be contained within the competitor’s product for the same indication or disease. If an orphan designated product receives marketing approval for an indication broader than what is designated, it may not be entitled to orphan exclusivity. Orphan drug status in the EU has similar but not identical benefits in that jurisdiction.

Post-Approval Requirements

Any drug products for which we receive FDA approvals are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, manufacturing, record-keeping requirements, reporting of adverse experiences with the product, providing the FDA with updated safety and efficacy information, product sampling and distribution

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requirements, and complying with FDA promotion and advertising requirements, which include, among others, standards for direct-to-consumer advertising, restrictions on promoting drugs for uses or in patient populations that are not described in the drug’s approved labeling (known as “off-label use”), limitations on industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities, and requirements for promotional activities involving the internet.

In addition, quality control and manufacturing procedures must continue to conform to applicable manufacturing requirements after approval to ensure the long-term stability of the drug product. We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties for the production of clinical and commercial quantities of our products in accordance with cGMP regulations. cGMP regulations require among other things, quality control and quality assurance as well as the corresponding maintenance of records and documentation and the obligation to investigate and correct any deviations from cGMP requirements. Drug manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drugs 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. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money, and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain cGMP compliance.

The FDA may withdraw approval if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical trials to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution restrictions or other restrictions under a REMS program. Other potential consequences include, among other things:

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, complete withdrawal of the product from the market or product recalls;
fines, warning letters, or untitled letters;
clinical holds on clinical trials;
refusal of the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications, or suspension or revocation of product license approvals;
product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products;
consent decrees, corporate integrity agreements, debarment, or exclusion from federal healthcare programs;
mandated modification of promotional materials and labeling and the issuance of corrective information;
the issuance of safety alerts, Dear Healthcare Provider letters, press releases, and other communications containing warnings or other safety information about the product; or injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The FDA also may require post-marketing testing, known as Phase 4 testing, and surveillance to monitor the effects of an approved product. Discovery of previously unknown problems with a product or the failure to comply with applicable FDA requirements can have negative consequences, including adverse publicity, judicial or administrative enforcement, warning letters from the FDA, mandated corrective advertising or communications with doctors, and civil or criminal penalties, among others. Newly discovered or developed safety or effectiveness data may require changes to a product’s approved labeling, including the addition of new warnings and contraindications, and also may require the implementation of other risk management measures.

The FDA closely regulates the marketing, labeling, advertising, and promotion of drug products. A company can make only those claims relating to safety and efficacy, purity, and potency that are approved by the FDA and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in, among other things, adverse publicity, warning letters, corrective advertising, and potential civil and criminal penalties. Physicians may prescribe, in their independent professional medical judgment, legally available products for uses that are not described in the product’s labeling and that differ from those tested by us and approved by the FDA. Physicians may believe that such off-label uses are the best treatment for many patients in varied

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circumstances. The FDA does not regulate the behavior of physicians in their choice of treatments. The FDA does, however, restrict manufacturer’s communications on the subject of off-label use of their products. The federal government has levied large civil and criminal fines against companies for alleged improper promotion of off-label use and has enjoined companies from engaging in off-label promotion. The FDA and other regulatory agencies have also required that companies enter into consent decrees or permanent injunctions under which specified promotional conduct is changed or curtailed. However, companies may share truthful and not misleading information that is otherwise consistent with a product’s FDA-approved labelling.

In addition, the distribution of prescription pharmaceutical products is subject to the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (“PDMA”), which regulates the distribution of drugs and drug samples at the federal level, and sets minimum standards for the registration and regulation of drug distributors by the states. Both the PDMA and state laws limit the distribution of prescription pharmaceutical product samples and impose requirements to ensure accountability in distribution.

Marketing Exclusivity

Market exclusivity provisions under the FDCA can also delay the submission or the approval of certain marketing applications. The FDCA provides a five-year period of non-patent marketing exclusivity within the United States to the first applicant to obtain approval of an NDA for a new chemical entity. A drug is a new chemical entity if the FDA has not previously approved any other new drug containing the same active moiety, which is the molecule or ion responsible for the action of the drug substance. During the exclusivity period, the FDA may not approve or even accept for review an abbreviated new drug application (“ANDA”), or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted by another company for another drug based on the same active moiety, regardless of whether the drug is intended for the same indication as the original innovative drug or for another indication, where the applicant does not own or have a legal right of reference to all the data required for approval. However, an application may be submitted after four years if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement to one of the patents listed with the FDA by the innovator NDA holder.

The FDCA also provides three years of marketing exclusivity for an NDA, or supplement to an existing NDA if new clinical investigations, other than bioavailability studies, that were conducted or sponsored by the applicant are deemed by the FDA to be essential to the approval of the application, for example new indications, dosages or strengths of an existing drug. This three-year exclusivity covers only the modification for which the drug received approval on the basis of the new clinical investigations and does not prohibit the FDA from accepting ANDAs or 505(b)(2) NDAs for drugs referencing the approved application for review. Five-year and three-year exclusivity will not delay the submission or approval of a full NDA. However, an applicant submitting a full NDA would be required to conduct or obtain a right of reference to all of the preclinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical trials necessary to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.

Orphan drug exclusivity, as described above, may offer a seven-year period of marketing exclusivity, except in certain circumstances. Pediatric exclusivity is another type of non-patent market exclusivity in the United States. Pediatric exclusivity, if granted, adds six months to existing exclusivity periods and patent terms. This six-month exclusivity, which runs from the end of other exclusivity protection or patent term, may be granted based on the voluntary completion of a pediatric trial in accordance with an FDA-issued “Written Request” for such a trial.

Other U.S. Healthcare Laws and Compliance Requirements

Although we currently do not have any products on the market, we are and, upon approval and commercialization, will be subject to additional healthcare regulation and enforcement by the federal government and by authorities in the states and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct our business. In the United States, such laws include, without limitation, state and federal anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, false claims, privacy and security, price reporting, and physician sunshine laws and regulations.

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity, from knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving any remuneration, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce or in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for the purchase, lease or order of any item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federal healthcare programs. The term remuneration has been interpreted broadly to include anything of value. The Anti-Kickback Statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on the one hand and prescribers, purchasers, and formulary managers on the other. There are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution. The exceptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly

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and practices that involve remuneration that may be alleged to be intended to induce prescribing, purchasing, or recommending may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exception or safe harbor. Failure to meet all of the requirements of a particular applicable statutory exception or regulatory safe harbor does not make the conduct per se illegal under the Anti-Kickback Statute. Instead, the legality of the arrangement will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on a cumulative review of all of its facts and circumstances. Our practices may not in all cases meet all of the criteria for protection under a statutory exception or regulatory safe harbor.

Additionally, the intent standard under the Anti-Kickback Statute and the criminal healthcare fraud statutes (discussed below) was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, together with subsequent amendments and regulations, collectively, the Affordable Care Act, to a stricter standard such that a person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. In addition, the Affordable Care Act codified case law that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act (discussed below).

The federal False Claims Act prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false claim for payment to, or approval by, the federal government or knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to the federal government. As a result of a modification made by the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, a claim includes “any request or demand” for money or property presented to the U.S. government. Several pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have been prosecuted under these laws for allegedly providing free product to customers with the expectation that the customers would bill federal programs for the product. Other companies have been prosecuted for causing false claims to be submitted because of the companies’ marketing of the product for unapproved, and thus non-covered, uses.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) also created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud or to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, any money or property owned by, or under the control or custody of, any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by trick, scheme or device, a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items, or services. Also, many states have similar fraud and abuse statutes or regulations that apply to items and services reimbursed under Medicaid and other state programs, or, in several states, apply regardless of the payor.

Additionally, the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act within the Affordable Care Act, and its implementing regulations, require that certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biological and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) annually report information related to certain payments or other transfers of value made or distributed to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors), certain other healthcare professionals (such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners), and teaching hospitals, certain ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.

We may also be subject to health data privacy and security regulations by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business. HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) and its implementing regulations, impose requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. Among other things, HITECH makes HIPAA’s privacy and security standards directly applicable to business associates, independent contractors or agents of covered entities that receive or obtain protected health information in connection with providing a service on behalf of a covered entity, and their covered subcontractors. HITECH also created four new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, 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. In addition, state laws govern the privacy and security of health information in specified circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.

In order to distribute products commercially, we must also comply with state laws that require the registration of manufacturers and wholesale distributors of pharmaceutical products in a state, including, in certain states, manufacturers, and distributors who ship products into the state even if such manufacturers or distributors have no place of business within the state. Some states also impose requirements on manufacturers and distributors to

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establish the pedigree of product in the chain of distribution, including some states that require manufacturers and others to adopt new technology capable of tracking and tracing product as it moves through the distribution chain. Several states have enacted legislation requiring pharmaceutical companies to establish marketing compliance programs, file periodic reports with the state, make periodic public disclosures on sales, marketing, pricing, track, and report gifts, compensation and other remuneration made to physicians and other healthcare providers, clinical trials and other activities, and/or register their sales representatives, as well as to prohibit pharmacies and other healthcare entities from providing certain physician prescribing data to pharmaceutical companies for use in sales and marketing, and to prohibit certain other sales and marketing practices. All of our activities are potentially subject to federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the federal and state healthcare laws described above or any other governmental regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to significant penalties, including without limitation, civil, criminal and/or administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, exclusion from participation in government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, injunctions, private “qui tam” actions brought by individual whistleblowers in the name of the government, or refusal to allow us to enter into government contracts, contractual damages, reputational harm, administrative burdens, diminished profits and future earnings, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Pharmaceutical Coverage, Pricing and Reimbursement

Significant uncertainty exists as to the coverage and reimbursement status of any product candidates for which we or our collaborators obtain regulatory approval. In the United States and markets in other countries, sales of any products for which we or our collaborators receive regulatory approval for commercial sale will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payors provide coverage, and establish adequate reimbursement levels for such drug products.

In the United States, third-party payors include federal and state healthcare programs, government authorities, private managed care providers, private health insurers, and other organizations. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the price, examining the medical necessity and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical drug products and medical services, in addition to questioning their safety and efficacy. Such payors may limit coverage to specific drug products on an approved list, also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the FDA-approved drugs for a particular indication. We or our collaborators may need to conduct expensive pharmaco-economic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of our products, in addition to the costs required to obtain the FDA approvals. Nonetheless, our product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost-effective. Moreover, the process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a drug product may be separate from the process for setting the price of a drug product or for establishing the reimbursement rate that such a payor will pay for the drug product. A payor’s decision to provide coverage for a drug product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a drug product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage for the drug product. Adequate third-party reimbursement may not be available to enable us to maintain price levels sufficient to realize an appropriate return on our investment in product development.

If we elect to participate in certain governmental programs, we may be required to participate in discount and rebate programs, which may result in prices for our future products that will likely be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain. For example, drug manufacturers participating under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program must pay rebates on prescription drugs to state Medicaid programs. Under the Veterans Health Care Act (“VHCA”), drug companies are required to offer certain drugs at a reduced price to a number of federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Public Health Service and certain private Public Health Service designated entities in order to participate in other federal funding programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Recent legislative changes require that discounted prices be offered for certain U.S. Department of Defense purchases for its TRICARE program via a rebate system. Participation under the VHCA also requires submission of pricing data and calculation of discounts and rebates pursuant to complex statutory formulas, as well as the entry into government procurement contracts governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulations. If our products are made available to authorized users of the Federal Supply Schedule of the General Services Administration, additional laws and requirements apply.

Different pricing and reimbursement schemes exist in other countries. In Europe, governments may influence the price of pharmaceutical products through their pricing and reimbursement rules and control of national health

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care systems that fund a large part of the cost of those products to consumers. Some jurisdictions operate positive and negative list systems under which products may only be marketed once a reimbursement price has been agreed. Other countries may approve a specific price for a product, or they may instead adopt a system of director or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the product on the market. In addition, to obtain reimbursement or pricing approval, some countries of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) may require the completion of clinical studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of a particular drug candidate to currently available therapies. This Health Technology Assessment (“HTA”) process is the procedure according to which the assessment of the public health impact, therapeutic impact and the economic and societal impact of use of a given medicinal product in the national healthcare systems of the individual country is conducted. The outcome of HTA regarding specific medicinal products will often influence the pricing and reimbursement status granted to these medicinal products by the competent authorities of individual EU Member States. Other Member States allow companies to fix their own prices for medicines, but monitor and control company profits. The downward pressure on health care costs in general, particularly prescription drugs, has become very intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products. In addition, in some countries, cross-border imports from low-priced markets exert a commercial pressure on pricing within a country.

The marketability of any product candidates for which we or our collaborators receive regulatory approval for commercial sale may suffer if the government and third-party payors fail to provide adequate coverage and reimbursement. In addition, emphasis on managed care in the United States has increased and we expect will continue to increase the pressure on pharmaceutical pricing. Coverage policies and third-party reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which we or our collaborators receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

Healthcare Reform

A primary trend in the U.S. healthcare industry and elsewhere is cost containment. Government authorities and other third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medical products and services, implementing reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding and applying new payment methodologies. For example, in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was enacted, which affected existing government healthcare programs and resulted in the development of new programs.

Among the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are that it established an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports specified branded prescription drugs and biologic agents; expands eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs; increased the statutory minimum rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program; created a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program; established a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research; and established a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending.

There have been executive, judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act. For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Tax Act”) was enacted, which includes a provision repealing, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the Affordable Care Act on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate.” On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge on procedural grounds that argue the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional in its entirety because the "individual mandate" was repealed by Congress. Further, on August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) into law, which among other things, extends enhanced subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance coverage in Affordable Care Act marketplaces through plan year 2025. The IRA also eliminates the "donut hole" under the Medicare Part D program beginning in 2025 by significantly lowering the beneficiary maximum out-of-pocket cost and creating a new manufacturer discount program. It is possible that the Affordable Care Act will be subject to judicial or Congressional challenges in the future. It is unclear how such challenges and the healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration will impact the Affordable Care Act and our business.

Other legislative changes have also been proposed and adopted in the United States since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. On August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, included aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year, which went into effect on April 1, 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, will remain in effect until 2032, unless additional

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Congressional action is taken. In addition, in January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years.

There has also been heightened governmental scrutiny recently over the manner in which pharmaceutical companies set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several Presidential executive orders, Congressional inquiries and proposed federal legislation, as well as state efforts, designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drug products. For example, in July 2021, the Biden administration released an executive order, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” with multiple provisions aimed at prescription drugs. In response to Biden’s executive order, on September 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released a Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices that outlines principles for drug pricing reform and sets out a variety of potential legislative policies that Congress could pursue as well as potential administrative actions HHS can take to advance these principles. In addition, the IRA, among other things (i) directs HHS to negotiate the price of certain high-expenditure, single-source drugs and biologics covered under Medicare and (ii) imposes rebates under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D to penalize price increases that outpace inflation. These provisions take effect progressively starting in fiscal year 2023. On August 29, 2023, HHS announced the list of the first ten drugs that will be subject to price negotiations, although the Medicare drug price negotiation program is currently subject to legal challenges. In response to the Biden administration’s October 2022 executive order, on February 14, 2023, HHS released a report outlining three new models for testing by the CMS Innovation Center which will be evaluated on their ability to lower the cost of drugs, promote accessibility, and improve quality of care. It is unclear whether the models will be utilized in any health reform measures in the future. Further, on December 7, 2023, the Biden administration announced an initiative to control the price of prescription drugs through the use of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. On December 8, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published for comment a Draft Interagency Guidance Framework for Considering the Exercise of March-In Rights which for the first time includes the price of a product as one factor an agency can use when deciding to exercise march-in rights. While march-in rights have not previously been exercised, it is uncertain if that will continue under the new framework. At the state level, legislatures are increasingly passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological 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.

In December 2021, Regulation No 2021/2282 on Health Technology Assessment, or HTA Regulation, was adopted in the EU. The HTA Regulation is intended to boost cooperation among EU Member States in assessing health technologies, including new medicinal products, and providing the basis for cooperation at EU level for joint clinical assessments in these areas. When it enters into application in 2025, the HTA Regulation will be intended to harmonize the clinical benefit assessment of HTA across the European Union.

We anticipate that these new laws and executive orders will result in additional downward pressure on coverage and the price that we receive for any approved product, and could seriously harm our business. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare and other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability, or commercialize our products. In addition, it is possible that there will be further legislation or regulation that could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Data Privacy and Security

We may also be subject to federal, state, local, and foreign data privacy and security laws, regulations, guidance, industry standards and other obligations. Such obligations may include U.S. state data breach notification laws, U.S. state health information privacy laws, federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations (e.g., Section 5 of the FTC Act), HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, and its implementing regulations, U.S. state data privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“EU GDPR”), and the United Kingdom’s “UK GDPR” (the “EU GDPR” and the “UK GDPR” together, “GDPR”).

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These laws impose increasingly stringent and evolving regulatory frameworks related to the processing of personal data that may increase our compliance obligations and exposure for any noncompliance. For example, where it applies, the GDPR requires stringent standards of data privacy and security concerning personal data, including limitations which could limit our ability to collect, use and share personal data (including health and medical information collected and processed in connection our relevant clinical trials and studies). In particular, the GDPR significantly restricts the transfer of personal data to the United States and other countries whose privacy laws are considered ‘inadequate’. If there is no lawful manner for us to effect cross-border transfers of personal data in compliance with the GDPR, as applicable, or if the requirements for a compliant transfer are too onerous, we could face significant adverse consequences, including the interruption or degradation of our operations, the need to relocate certain parts of our operations, increased exposure to regulatory actions, substantial fines and penalties, the inability to work with certain collaborators, partners, vendors and other third parties, and injunctions against our processing or transferring of personal data necessary to operate our business. In addition, sanctions for breaches of the GDPR are significant: companies may face temporary or definitive bans on processing of personal data and other corrective actions; fines of up to 17.5 million pounds sterling under the UK GDPR / 20 million Euros under the EU GDPR, or, in each case, 4% of annual global revenue, whichever is greater; or private litigation related to processing of personal data brought by classes of data subjects or consumer protection organizations authorized at law to represent their interests.

Furthermore, we and the third parties upon which we rely may be subject to various and evolving federal, state, and foreign regulatory frameworks and other obligations related to cybersecurity that may increase our compliance obligations and exposure for any noncompliance. For more information on the potential impact of these laws, including the GDPR, see the sections titled “Risk Factors—If our information technology systems or data, or those of third parties upon which we rely, are or were compromised, we could experience adverse consequences resulting from such compromise, including but not limited to regulatory investigations or actions; litigation; fines and penalties; disruptions of our business operations; reputational harm; loss of revenue or profits; and other adverse consequences” and “Risk Factors—We are subject to stringent and evolving obligations related to data privacy and security. These obligations include U.S. and foreign laws, regulations, and rules; contractual obligations; industry standards; and policies. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could lead to regulatory investigations and actions (which could include civil or criminal penalties); private litigation (including class action claims) and mass arbitration demands; disruptions to our business operations; adverse publicity; and other adverse consequences that could negatively affect our operating results and business.”

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (“FCPA”) prohibits any U.S. individual or business from paying, offering, or authorizing payment or offering of anything of value, directly or indirectly, to any foreign official, political party or candidate for the purpose of influencing any act or decision of the foreign entity in order to assist the individual or business in obtaining or retaining business. The FCPA also obligates companies whose securities are listed in the United States to comply with accounting provisions requiring the company to maintain books and records that accurately and fairly reflect all transactions of the corporation, including international subsidiaries, and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls for international operations.

Europe / Rest of World Government Regulation

In addition to regulations in the United States, we will be subject to a variety of regulations in other jurisdictions governing, among other things, clinical trials and any commercial sales and distribution of our products. Whether or not we or our potential collaborators obtain FDA approval for a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in foreign countries prior to the commencement of clinical trials or marketing of the product in those countries. Certain countries outside of the United States have a similar process that requires the submission of a clinical trial application much like the IND prior to the commencement of human clinical trials.

Clinical Trials in the EU

In the EU, clinical trials are governed by the Clinical Trials Regulation (EU) No 536/2014, or CTR, which entered into application on January 31, 2022 repealing and replacing the former Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20, or CTD. The CTR is intended to harmonize and streamline clinical trial authorizations, simplify adverse-event reporting procedures, improve the supervision of clinical trials and increase transparency.

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The extent to which on-going clinical trials will be governed by the CTR will depend on the duration of the individual clinical trial. For clinical trials in relation to which an application for approval was made on the basis of the CTD before January 31, 2023, the CTD will continue to apply on a transitional basis until January 31, 2025. By that date, all ongoing trials will become subject to the provisions of the CTR. The CTR will apply to clinical trials from an earlier date if the related clinical trial application was made on the basis of the CTR or if the clinical trial has already transitioned to the CTR framework before January 31, 2025.

Certain requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country.

EU Review and approval process

In the EU, medicinal products can only be commercialized after a related marketing authorization (“MA”) has been granted. To obtain an MA for a product in the EU, an applicant must submit a Marketing Authorization Application (“MAA”) either under a centralized procedure administered by the EMA, or one of the procedures administered by the competent authorities of EU Member States (decentralized procedure, national procedure or mutual recognition procedure). An MA may be granted only to an applicant established in the EU.

Centralized procedure. The centralized procedure provides for the grant of a single MA, which is issued by the European Commission based on the opinion of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (the “CHMP”) of the EMA and that is valid in all EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (the European Economic Area (“EEA”)). The Centralized Procedure is mandatory for certain types of products, such as biotechnology medicinal products, orphan medicinal products, and medicines that contain a new active substance indicated for the treatment of AIDS, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, auto-immune and viral diseases. The Centralized Procedure is optional for products containing a new active substance not yet authorized in the EEA, or for products that are highly innovative or for which a centralized process is in the interest of patients, authorization through the centralized procedure is optional on related approval. Under the Centralized Procedure the EMA’s CHMP conducts the initial assessment of a product. The maximum timeframe for the evaluation of an MAA is 210 days (excluding clock stops, when additional written or oral information is to be provided by the applicant in response to questions asked by the CHMP). Accelerated evaluation might be granted by the CHMP in exceptional cases, a medicinal product targeting an unmet medical need is expected to be of major interest from the point of view of public health and in particular from the viewpoint of therapeutic innovation. Under the accelerated procedure the standard 210-day review period is reduced to 150 days (excluding clock stops). The CHMP can, however, revert to the standard time limit for the centralized procedure if it considers that it is no longer appropriate to conduct an accelerated assessment.

 

National authorization procedures. There are also two other possible routes to authorize medicinal products in several EU Member States, which are available for investigational medicinal products that fall outside the scope of the centralized procedure:

Decentralized procedure. Using the decentralized procedure, an applicant may apply for simultaneous authorizations in more than one EU country of medicinal products that have not yet been authorized in any EU Member State and that do not fall within the mandatory scope of the centralized procedure.
Mutual recognition procedure. In the mutual recognition procedure, a medicine is first authorized in one EU Member State, in accordance with the national procedures of that country. Following this, further marketing authorizations can be sought from other EU countries in a procedure whereby the countries concerned agree to recognize the validity of the original, national marketing authorization.

An MA has, in principle, an initial validity of five years. The MA may be renewed after five years on the basis of a re-evaluation of the risk-benefit balance by the EMA or by the competent authority of the EU Member State in which the original MA was granted. The European Commission or the competent authorities of the EU Member States may decide on justified grounds relating to pharmacovigilance, to proceed with one further five year renewal period for the MA. Once subsequently definitively renewed, the MA shall be valid for an unlimited period. Any authorization which is not followed by the actual placing of the medicinal product on the EU market (for a centralized MA) or on the market of the authorizing EU Member State within three years after authorization ceases to be valid (the so-called sunset clause).

Innovative products that target an unmet medical need and are expected to be of major public health interest may be eligible for a number of expedited development and review programs, such as the Priority Medicines, or

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PRIME, scheme, which provides incentives similar to the breakthrough therapy designation in the U.S. In the EU, a “conditional” MA may be granted in cases where all the required safety and efficacy data are not yet available. An MA may also be granted “under exceptional circumstances” where the applicant can show that it is unable to provide comprehensive data on efficacy and safety under normal conditions of use even after the product has been authorized and subject to specific procedures being introduced.

Pediatric Development in the EU

In the EU, Regulation (EC) No 1901/2006 provides that all MAAs for new medicinal products have to include the results of trials conducted in the pediatric population, in compliance with a pediatric investigation plan, or PIP, agreed with the EMA’s Pediatric Committee, or PDCO. The PIP sets out the timing and measures proposed to generate data to support a pediatric indication of the medicinal product for which MA is being sought. Once the MA is obtained in all EU Member States and study results are included in the product information, even when negative, the product is eligible for a six-month extension to the Supplementary Protection Certificate, or SPC, if any is in effect at the time of authorization or, in the case of orphan medicinal products, a two-year extension of orphan market exclusivity.

Data and Market Exclusivity in the EU

In the EEA, upon receiving marketing authorization, new active substances generally receive eight years of data exclusivity and an additional two years of market exclusivity. If granted, data exclusivity prevents regulatory authorities in the EU from referencing the innovator’s data to assess a generic application or biosimilar application for eight years from the date of authorization of the innovative product, after which a generic or biosimilar MAA can be submitted, and the innovator’s data may be referenced. During the additional two-year period of market exclusivity, a generic marketing authorization can be submitted, and the innovator’s data may be referenced, but no generic product can be marketed until the expiration of the market exclusivity. The overall ten-years of market exclusivity may, occasionally, be extended for a further year to a maximum of 11 years if, during the first eight years of those ten years, the MA holder obtains an authorization for one or more new therapeutic indications which, during the scientific evaluation prior to their authorization, are held to bring a significant clinical benefit in comparison with existing therapies. However, there is no guarantee that a product will be considered by the EU’s regulatory authorities to be a new chemical entity and qualify for data exclusivity.

Orphan Designation in the EU

In the EU, Regulation (EC) No. 141/2000, as implemented by Regulation (EC) No. 847/2000 provides that a medicinal product can be designated as an orphan medicinal product by the European Commission if its sponsor can establish that: (i) the product is intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of life-threatening or chronically debilitating conditions; (ii) either (a) such conditions affect not more than 5 in 10,000 persons in the EU when the application is made, or (b) the product without the benefits derived from orphan status, would not generate sufficient return in the EU to justify the necessary investment in developing the medicinal product; and (iii) there exists no satisfactory authorized method of diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of the condition that has been authorized in the EU, or even if such method exists, the product will be of significant benefit to those affected by that condition.

Upon grant of a marketing authorization, orphan medicinal products are entitled to a ten-year period of market exclusivity for the approved therapeutic indication, which means that the EMA cannot accept another marketing authorization application or accept an application to extend for a similar product and the European Commission cannot grant a marketing authorization for the same indication for a period of ten years. The period of market exclusivity is extended by two years for orphan medicinal products that have also complied with an agreed PIP.

The period of market exclusivity may, however, be reduced to six years if, at the end of the fifth year, it is established that the product no longer meets the criteria on the basis of which it received orphan medicinal product designation.

For other countries outside of the EU, such as countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America or Asia, the requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country.

If we or our potential collaborators fail to comply with applicable foreign regulatory requirements, we may be subject to, among other things, fines, suspension, variation or withdrawal of regulatory approvals, product recalls, seizure of products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecution.

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Human Capital Resources

In order to achieve the goals and expectations of our company, it is crucial that we continue to attract and retain top talent. To facilitate talent attraction and retention, we strive to make our company a safe and rewarding workplace, with opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers, supported by strong compensation, benefits and health and wellness programs, and by programs that build connections between our employees.

As of December 31, 2023, we had 29 employees, including 23 in research and development and 6 in general and administrative functions. We believe our employee relations are good.

The success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our employees. Accordingly, we are committed to their health, safety and wellness. We provide our employees and their families with access to a variety of innovative, flexible and convenient health and wellness programs, including benefits that provide protection and security so they can have peace of mind concerning events that may require time away from work or that impact their financial well-being; that support their physical and mental health by providing tools and resources to help them improve or maintain their health status and encourage engagement in healthy behaviors; and that offer choice where possible so they can customize their benefits to meet their needs and the needs of their families. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented significant changes that we determined were in the best interest of our employees, as well as the communities in which we operate, and which comply with government regulations. This includes allowing our employees to work from home.

We provide compensation and benefits programs to help meet the needs of our employees. In addition to salaries, these programs include potential annual discretionary bonuses, stock awards, a 401(k) Plan, healthcare and insurance benefits, paid time off, family leave, and flexible work schedules, among others.

Corporate Information

We were initially formed as a limited liability company in Delaware in November 2014 under the name Spruce Biosciences LLC. In April 2016, Spruce Biosciences LLC converted into a Delaware corporation under the name Spruce Biosciences, Inc. Our principal executive offices are located at 611 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 740, South San Francisco, CA 94080. Our telephone number at that location is (415) 655-4168. Our corporate website address is www.sprucebiosciences.com. Information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report and should not be considered a part of this Annual Report.

Available Information

We make available, free of charge through our website, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC.

The SEC maintains an internet site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

An investment in shares of our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, as well as the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” before deciding whether to purchase, hold or sell shares of our common stock. The occurrence of any of the risks described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, growth prospects, and/or stock price or cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements we have made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and those we may make from time to time. You should consider all of the risk factors described when evaluating our business.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We have a limited operating history, have incurred significant net losses since our inception, and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant net losses for the foreseeable future.

We are a late-stage biopharmaceutical company founded in 2014, and our operations to date have focused primarily on raising capital, establishing and protecting our intellectual property portfolio, organizing and staffing our company, business planning, and conducting preclinical and clinical development of, and manufacturing development for, our only product candidate, tildacerfont. Additionally, as an organization, we have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully complete clinical development, obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture a commercial-scale product, or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful commercialization. As we build our capabilities and expand our organization, we have not yet demonstrated an ability to overcome many of the risks and uncertainties frequently encountered by companies in new and rapidly evolving fields, particularly in the biopharmaceutical area. Consequently, any predictions about our future performance may not be as accurate as they would be if we had a history of successfully developing and commercializing biopharmaceutical products.

Investment in biopharmaceutical product development is highly speculative because it entails substantial upfront capital expenditures and significant risk that any potential product candidate will fail to demonstrate adequate effectiveness in the targeted indication or an acceptable safety profile, gain regulatory approval and become commercially viable. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated any product revenue to date, and we continue to incur significant research and development and other expenses related to our ongoing operations. As a result, we are not profitable and have incurred significant net losses since our inception. If tildacerfont is not successfully developed and approved in the United States, Europe, or Japan, we may never generate any product revenue. For the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, we reported net losses of $47.9 million and $46.2 million, respectively. As of December 31, 2023, we had an accumulated deficit of $197.2 million.

We expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future, and we expect these losses to increase as we continue our clinical development of, seek regulatory approvals for, and commercially launch tildacerfont and any future product candidates, if approved. We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. The size of our future net losses will depend, in part, on the rate of future growth of our expenses and our ability to generate revenues. Our prior net losses and expected future net losses have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with drug development, we are unable to accurately predict the timing or amount of increased expenses, or when, if at all, we will be able to achieve profitability.

We will need substantial additional financing to develop tildacerfont and any future product candidates and implement our operating plan. If we fail to obtain additional financing, we may be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development programs or commercialization efforts.

Our operations have consumed substantial amounts of cash since our inception. We expect to continue to spend substantial amounts to continue the clinical development of, and seek regulatory approval for, tildacerfont and any future product candidates. We will require significant additional amounts in order to prepare for commercialization, and, if approved, to launch and commercialize tildacerfont.

As of December 31, 2023, we had cash and cash equivalents of $96.3 million. In October 2020, we consummated our initial public offering (“IPO”) and issued 6,900,000 shares of common stock for net proceeds of $93.4 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. In February 2023, we

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completed a private placement for net proceeds of $50.9 million. In April 2023, we received a $15.0 million upfront payment under the Kaken License Agreement. We believe, based on our current operating plan, that our cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2023 will be sufficient to fund our operations and debt obligations for at least 12 months following the issuance date of our financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

However, changing circumstances may cause us to consume capital significantly faster than we currently anticipate, and we may need to spend more money than currently expected because of circumstances beyond our control. For example, primarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment in our Phase 2b clinical trials evaluating tildacerfont for the treatment of adult classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (“CAH”) was delayed, extending the overall duration of the trials. We have expanded the number of trial sites worldwide to provide more recruitment capabilities in an effort to accelerate enrollment. Additionally, we have amended our clinical trial protocols to enable remote visits to mitigate any potential impacts. As a result of the extended duration of the trials, increased number of trial sites, and this home health component, the overall costs of our Phase 2b clinical trials have increased and may continue to increase in the future.

We will require additional capital for the further development and commercialization of tildacerfont and any future product candidates and may need to raise additional funds sooner if we choose to expand more rapidly than we presently anticipate.

Additional funding may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. In addition, we may not be able to access a portion of our existing cash and cash equivalents due to market conditions. For example, on March 10, 2023, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) took control and was appointed receiver of Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”). If other banks and financial institutions enter receivership or become insolvent in the future in response to financial conditions affecting the banking system and financial markets, our ability to access our existing cash and cash equivalents may be threatened and could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Further, as a result of geopolitical and macroeconomic events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Israel and related sanctions, the global credit and financial markets have experienced volatility and disruptions, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates, and uncertainty about economic stability. If the equity and credit markets deteriorate, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult, more costly or more dilutive. If we are unable to raise additional capital in sufficient amounts or on terms acceptable to us, we may have to significantly delay, scale back, or discontinue the development or commercialization of tildacerfont or other research and development initiatives. We also could be required to seek collaborators for tildacerfont and any future product candidates at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable or on terms that are less favorable than might otherwise be available or relinquish or license on unfavorable terms our rights to tildacerfont and any future product candidates in markets where we otherwise would seek to pursue development or commercialization ourselves.

Any of the above events could significantly harm our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations and cause the price of our common stock to decline.

We currently depend entirely on the success of tildacerfont, which is our only product candidate. If we are unable to advance tildacerfont in clinical development, obtain regulatory approval, and ultimately commercialize tildacerfont, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

We currently only have one product candidate, tildacerfont, and our business and future success depends entirely on our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and then successfully commercialize, tildacerfont, which is currently in clinical development for adult patients with classic CAH. This may make an investment in our company riskier than similar companies that have multiple product candidates in active development that may be able to better sustain failure of a lead product candidate. We initiated CAHmelia-203, a placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 2b clinical trial in 96 adult patients with classic CAH with highly elevated levels of A4 at baseline and reported topline results in March 2024.

CAHmelia-203 enrolled 96 subjects with a mean baseline A4 level of 1,151 ng/dL, which is more than five times above the ULN. The clinical trial did not achieve the primary efficacy endpoint of change in A4 from baseline to week 12. 200mg QD of tildacerfont demonstrated a placebo-adjusted reduction from baseline in A4 of -2.6% with a non-significant p-value at week 12. Compliance with study medication and glucocorticoid was low with approximately 50% of patients reporting 80% or greater compliance, which we believe resulted in lower-than-expected tildacerfont exposure. Tildacerfont was generally safe and well tolerated at all doses, with no

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treatment-related SAEs. Most adverse events were reported as mild to moderate. As a result of not meeting the primary efficacy endpoint, we have decided to terminate the CAHmelia-203 study.

We also initiated CAHmelia-204, a second Phase 2b clinical trial in 100 adult patients with classic CAH on mean daily dose of supraphysiologic glucocorticoids of 37 mg/day of HCe. Patients enrolled with mean A4 level at baseline of 224 ng/dL, which is approximately the ULN; 66% of patients enrolled with androgenic control, which is defined as having A4 values below the ULN at baseline. Although we have terminated the CAHmelia-203 trial, we believe the differentiated patient population between CAHmelia-203 and CAHmelia-204 supports our decision to continue with the CAHmelia-204 trial until topline results are available. However, our belief about the differentiated patient population may be incorrect and the CAHmelia-204 trial may similarly fail to meet its primary efficacy endpoint, which would result in significant financial and development setbacks.

In addition, we are investigating tildacerfont for the treatment of classic CAH in children. We initiated CAHptain, a Phase 2 open-label clinical trial, which will utilize a sequential three cohort design, to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont in children two to 17 years of age with classic CAH. Enrollment in the clinical trial was completed with 30 patients and we reported topline results in March 2024. CAHptain-205 enrolled 30 children between two and 17 years of age with a mean baseline GC dose of 14 mg/m2/day and mean baseline A4 level of 372 ng/dL. The study characterized the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of tildacerfont, as well as changes in androgen levels over 12 weeks of treatment, and the ability to reduce daily GC dose upon A4 normalization. 73% of all patients (22 of 30 patients) met the efficacy endpoint of A4 or GC reduction from baseline at 12 weeks of treatment with tildacerfont. 70% of patients with elevated baseline A4 values (16 of 23 patients) demonstrated an A4 reduction at week 4. Tildacerfont was generally well tolerated at all doses with no treatment-related SAEs reported. Although the CAHptain-205 clinical trial met the efficacy endpoints, the activity observed was less consistent than anticipated and without clear dose response. Preliminary pharmacokinetic analysis suggests that tildacerfont is cleared more rapidly in children than in adult CAH patients. It is not uncommon for children to require relatively higher doses than adults to achieve optimal exposures of drugs. While we are encouraged by the activity observed thus far at suboptimal doses in this Phase 2 dose-ranging study, we plan to continue to evaluate the optimal dose, with topline results from additional dose ranging cohorts anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2024. Assuming positive results from CAHmelia-204 and CAHptain-205, we plan to meet with the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to outline the design of a registrational clinical program in adult and pediatric classic CAH.

Additionally, by leveraging our existing Phase 1 program, which includes safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of tildacerfont, we initiated and completed POWER, a Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial in polycystic ovary syndrome (“PCOS”). The Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled, dose escalation trial which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont titrated to 200 mg QD compared to placebo at 12 weeks of treatment in subjects with PCOS and elevated adrenal androgens as measured by dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (“DHEAS”) levels at baseline. In August 2023, we conducted an analysis of interim data from 20 patients (13 on tildacerfont and 7 on placebo) through the 12-week treatment period for the POWER clinical trial. The study enrolled 27 patients in total. The interim data from the study support target engagement and suggests that DHEAS may be reduced with tildacerfont treatment in women suffering from PCOS. Tildacerfont was well-tolerated, with a safety profile that is consistent with past studies. Most adverse events were classified as mild-moderate, balanced between treatment arms, unrelated to study drug and single event occurrences. No serious adverse reactions or dose toxicities were observed, and there was no evidence of adrenal insufficiency. We plan to present the final data from the POWER clinical trial at a future medical conference.

The success of tildacerfont will depend on several factors, including the following:

successful enrollment, site expansion and activation and patient engagement in our ongoing and planned clinical trials;
successful completion of our ongoing and planned clinical trials with favorable results;
acceptance by the FDA and EMA of the clinical trial design of our planned and ongoing clinical trials of tildacerfont;
demonstrating safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory authorities;
the outcome, timing, and cost of meeting regulatory requirements established by the FDA, the European Commission, EMA, and other comparable foreign regulatory authorities;

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receipt of marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities, including one or more non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) from the FDA, and maintaining such approvals;
establishing commercial manufacturing capabilities and receiving/importing commercial supplies approved by the FDA and other regulatory authorities from any future third-party manufacturer;
establishing sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities and commercializing tildacerfont, if approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others;
establishing and maintaining patent and trade secret protection and regulatory exclusivity for tildacerfont;
maintaining an acceptable safety profile of tildacerfont following approval; and
maintaining and growing an organization of people who can develop and, if approved, commercialize, market, and sell tildacerfont to physicians, patients, healthcare payors, and others in the medical community.

If we do not achieve one or more of these factors, many of which are beyond our control, in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to obtain regulatory approvals or commercialize tildacerfont.

Even if regulatory approvals are obtained, we may never be able to successfully commercialize tildacerfont. In addition, we will need to transition at some point from a company with a development focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be successful in such a transition. Accordingly, we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue through the sale of tildacerfont to continue our business.

Our clinical trials may fail to adequately demonstrate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont, which could prevent or delay regulatory approval and commercialization.

Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of a product candidate, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex, and expensive preclinical testing and clinical trials that a product candidate is both safe and effective for use in each target indication. Clinical trials often fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy of the product candidate studied for the target indication. Most product candidates that commence clinical trials are never approved by regulatory authorities for commercialization. We are seeking to develop treatments for rare endocrine disorders for which there is limited clinical experience, and our ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial uses novel endpoints that do not have regulatory precedent in classic CAH due to the lack of clinical trials in classic CAH, which add complexity to the conduct and analysis of data from our clinical trials and may delay or prevent regulatory approval. Additionally, any safety concerns observed in any one of our clinical trials in our targeted indications could limit the prospects for regulatory approval of tildacerfont in other indications.

Preclinical and clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process with uncertain outcomes, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results. We may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of tildacerfont and any future product candidates.

Preclinical and clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. A failure of one or more preclinical or clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of tildacerfont may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. For example, tildacerfont is still being evaluated in pediatric patients with classic CAH, and the results may not be similar to the results observed in clinical trials of adult patients. In addition, we are using doses in our Phase 2b clinical trial that may not be safe or efficacious doses. As such, our hypotheses of efficacy may not show the desired clinical results. A number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or safety profiles, notwithstanding promising results in earlier trials. Moreover, preclinical and clinical data is often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses. We have faced significant setbacks as we conducted our two Phase 2b clinical trials in adult patients with classic CAH, and we may continue to face such setbacks, which may delay or prevent regulatory approval of tildacerfont. For example, due to not meeting its primary efficacy endpoint, we made the decision to terminate our CAHmelia-203 trial in March 2024 and will be largely dependent on our Phase 2b CAHmelia-204 and Phase 2 CAHptain-205 trials to inform the design of a

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registrational clinical program in adult and pediatric classic CAH, subject to feedback from FDA and comparable regulatory authorities.

Further, if patients drop out of our clinical trials, miss scheduled doses or follow-up visits, or otherwise fail to follow clinical trial protocols, the integrity of data from our clinical trials may be compromised or not accepted by the FDA or other regulatory authorities, which would represent a significant setback for the applicable program.

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

We may not be able to initiate or continue our clinical trials for tildacerfont and any future product candidates if we are unable to identify and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities. Patient enrollment, a significant factor in the timing of clinical trials, is affected by many factors including the size and nature of the patient population, the proximity of patients to clinical sites, the eligibility criteria for the clinical trial, the design of the clinical trial, competing clinical trials, patient engagement, and clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages of the product candidate being studied in relation to other available therapies, including any new drugs that may be approved for the indications we are investigating.

In particular, each indication for which we are evaluating tildacerfont is a rare endocrine disorder with limited patient populations from which to draw participants in clinical trials. For example, we estimate the total classic CAH populations are approximately 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States, approximately 50,000 people in the European Union (“EU”) and approximately 145,000 people in China. We are and will be required to identify and enroll a sufficient number of patients with the disorder under investigation for our clinical trials of tildacerfont. Potential patients may not be adequately diagnosed or identified with the disorders which we are targeting or may not meet the entry criteria for our clinical trials. Additionally, other pharmaceutical companies with more resources and greater experience in drug development and commercialization are targeting these same endocrine disorders and are recruiting clinical trial patients from these patient populations, which may delay or make it more difficult to fully enroll our clinical trials. In addition, we have encountered difficulties in opening clinical trial sites and enrolling patients in our two Phase 2b clinical trials. Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for any of our current or future clinical trials would result in significant delays or may require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether.

Any delays in the commencement or completion, or termination or suspension, of our clinical trials could result in increased costs to us, delay or limit our ability to generate revenue, and adversely affect our commercial prospects.

Before we can initiate clinical trials for tildacerfont or any future product candidates, we must submit the results of preclinical studies to the FDA, or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, along with other information, including information about chemistry, manufacturing and controls, and our proposed clinical trial protocol, as part of an IND or similar regulatory filing under which we must receive authorization to proceed with clinical development.

Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of tildacerfont or any future product candidates, we must conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont and any future product candidates in humans. Clinical testing is expensive, time-consuming, and uncertain as to outcome. In addition, we may rely in part on preclinical, clinical and quality data generated by clinical research organizations (“CROs”) and other third parties for regulatory submissions for tildacerfont and any future product candidates. While we have or will have agreements governing these third parties’ services, we have limited influence over their actual performance. If these third parties do not make data available to us, or, if applicable, do not make regulatory submissions in a timely manner, in each case pursuant to our agreements with them, our development programs may be significantly delayed, and we may need to conduct additional clinical trials or collect additional data independently. In either case, our development costs would increase.

We do not know whether our current or any future clinical trials will begin on time or be completed on schedule, if at all. The commencement and completion of clinical trials can be delayed for a number of reasons, including delays related to:

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the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities’ failure to accept our proposed manufacturing processes and suppliers and/or requirement to provide additional information regarding our manufacturing processes before providing marketing authorization;
obtaining regulatory authorizations to commence a clinical trial or reaching a consensus with regulatory authorities on clinical trial design or implementation;
any failure or delay in reaching an agreement with CROs and clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and clinical trial sites;
obtaining approval from one or more institutional review boards (“IRBs”) or positive opinions from Ethics Committees (“ECs”);
IRBs or ECs refusing to approve or issuing a negative opinion, suspending, varying or terminating the clinical trial at an investigational site, precluding enrollment of additional subjects, or withdrawing their approval or positive opinion of the clinical trial;
changes to clinical trial protocols and related operationalization of such changes at clinical trial sites;
selection of clinical endpoints that require prolonged periods of clinical observation or analysis of the resulting data;
acceptance by the FDA and EMA of the clinical trial design of our planned and ongoing clinical trials of tildacerfont;
sites not timely activating, delaying screening activities, or deviating from clinical trial protocols;
manufacturing sufficient quantities of tildacerfont or any future product candidates or obtaining sufficient quantities of combination therapies for use in clinical trials;
subjects failing to enroll or remain in our trials at the rate we expect, or failing to return for post-treatment follow-up;
subjects choosing an alternative treatment for the indications for which we are developing tildacerfont and any future product candidates, or participating in competing clinical trials;
lack of subject engagement in the clinical trials or subjects dropping out of a clinical trial;
lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial;
subjects experiencing severe or unexpected drug-related adverse effects;
occurrence of SAEs in clinical trials of the same class of agents conducted by other companies;
a facility manufacturing tildacerfont or any of its components being ordered by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities to temporarily or permanently shut down due to violations of current good manufacturing practice (“cGMP”), regulations or other applicable requirements, or infections or cross-contaminations of tildacerfont in the manufacturing process;
any changes to our manufacturing process, suppliers or formulation that may be necessary or desired;
third-party vendors not performing manufacturing and distribution services in a timely manner or to sufficient quality standards;
third-party clinical investigators losing the licenses or permits necessary to perform our clinical trials, not performing our clinical trials on our anticipated schedule or consistent with the clinical trial protocol, good clinical practice (“GCP”), or other regulatory requirements;
third-party contractors not performing data collection or analysis in a timely or accurate manner;
third-party contractors becoming debarred or suspended or otherwise penalized by the FDA or other government or regulatory authorities for violations of regulatory requirements, in which case we may need to find a substitute contractor, and we may not be able to use some or all of the data produced by such contractors in support of our marketing applications; or

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the impacts of contagious disease outbreaks on our ongoing and planned clinical trials.

We could also encounter delays if a clinical trial is suspended or terminated by us, by the IRBs or ECs of the institutions in which such trials are being conducted or by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. Such authorities may impose such a suspension or termination due to a number of factors, including failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from using a drug, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial. In addition, changes in regulatory requirements and policies may occur, and we have amended, and may need to further amend, clinical trial protocols to comply with these changes. Amendments may require us to resubmit our clinical trial protocols to competent authorities, IRBs or ECs for reexamination, which may impact the costs, timing, or successful completion of a clinical trial.

Further, conducting clinical trials in foreign countries, which we are doing for tildacerfont and may do for any future product candidates, presents additional risks that may delay completion of our clinical trials. These risks include the failure of enrolled patients in foreign countries to adhere to clinical protocol as a result of differences in healthcare services or cultural customs, managing additional administrative burdens associated with foreign regulatory schemes, as well as political and economic risks relevant to such foreign countries.

Moreover, principal investigators for our clinical trials may serve and have served as scientific advisors or consultants to us from time to time and receive compensation in connection with such services. Under certain circumstances, we may be required to report some of these relationships to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may conclude that a financial relationship between us and a principal investigator has created a conflict of interest or otherwise affected interpretation of the trial. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may therefore question the integrity of the data generated at the applicable clinical trial site and the utility of the clinical trial itself may be jeopardized. This could result in a delay in approval, or rejection, of our marketing applications by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority, as the case may be, and may ultimately lead to the denial of marketing approval of tildacerfont.

If we experience delays in the completion of, or termination of, any clinical trial of tildacerfont or any future product candidates, the commercial prospect of tildacerfont or any future product candidates will be harmed, and our ability to generate product revenue will be delayed. Moreover, any delays in completing our clinical trials will increase our costs, slow down our product candidate development and approval process and jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate revenue. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, termination or suspension of, or a delay in the commencement or completion of, clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of tildacerfont or any future product candidates. Further, delays to our clinical trials that occur as a result could shorten any period during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize tildacerfont and our competitors may be able to bring products to market before we do, and the commercial viability of tildacerfont could be significantly reduced. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition, and prospects significantly.

Tildacerfont is, and any future product candidates will be, subject to extensive regulation and compliance obligations, which are costly and time-consuming, and such regulation may cause unanticipated delays or prevent the receipt of the required approvals to commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates.

The clinical development, manufacturing, labeling, storage, record-keeping, advertising, promotion, import, export, marketing, and distribution of tildacerfont is subject to extensive regulation by the FDA in the United States and by comparable foreign regulatory authorities in foreign markets. In the United States, we are not permitted to market tildacerfont and any future product candidates until we receive regulatory approval from the FDA. The process of obtaining regulatory approval is expensive, often takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials and can vary substantially based upon the type, complexity, and novelty of the product candidates involved, as well as the target indications and patient population. Approval policies or regulations may change, and the FDA has substantial discretion in the drug approval process, including the ability to delay, limit, or deny approval of a product candidate for many reasons. Despite the time and expense invested in clinical development of product candidates, regulatory approval is never guaranteed. Neither we nor any future collaborator is permitted to market tildacerfont and any future product candidates in the United States until we receive approval of an NDA

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from the FDA. Similar requirements and risks are applicable in foreign markets. We have not previously submitted an NDA to the FDA, or similar drug approval filings to comparable foreign authorities.

Prior to obtaining approval to commercialize a product candidate in the United States or in foreign markets, we must demonstrate with substantial evidence from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials, and to the satisfaction of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, that such product candidates are safe and effective for their intended uses. Results from non-clinical studies and clinical trials can be interpreted in different ways. Even if we believe the non-clinical or clinical data for tildacerfont are promising, such data may not be sufficient to support approval by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, as the case may be, may also require us to conduct additional preclinical studies or clinical trials for tildacerfont and any future product candidates either prior to or post-approval, or may object to elements of our clinical development program.

Tildacerfont and any future product candidates could fail to receive regulatory approval for many reasons, including the following:

serious and unexpected drug-related side effects may be experienced by participants in our clinical trials or by people using drugs similar to tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
the population studied in the clinical trial may not be sufficiently broad or representative to assure safety in the full population for which we seek approval;
the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may not accept clinical data from trials which are conducted at clinical facilities or in countries where the standard of care is potentially different from that of the United States;
we may be unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities that a product candidate is safe and effective for any of its proposed indications;
the results of clinical trials may not meet the level of statistical significance required by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities for approval;
we may be unable to demonstrate that a product candidate’s clinical and other benefits outweigh its safety risks;
the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our interpretation of data from preclinical studies or clinical trials;
the data collected from clinical trials of tildacerfont and any future product candidates may not be sufficient to satisfy the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities to support the submission of an NDA or other comparable submissions in foreign jurisdictions or to obtain regulatory approval in the United States or elsewhere, requiring, in the case of adult patients with classic CAH, additional clinical trials beyond our ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial prior to any such approval;
the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may fail to approve the manufacturing processes or facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract for clinical and commercial supplies; and
the approval policies or regulations of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.

Any of the above events could prevent us from achieving market approval of tildacerfont or any future product candidates and could substantially increase the costs of commercializing tildacerfont or any future product candidates. The demand for tildacerfont or any future product candidates could also be negatively impacted by any adverse effects of a competitor’s product or treatment.

Of the large number of drugs in development, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or foreign regulatory approval processes and are commercialized. The lengthy approval process as well as the unpredictability of future clinical trial results may result in our failing to obtain regulatory approval to market tildacerfont and any future product candidates, which would significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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Even if we eventually complete clinical trials and receive approval of an NDA or foreign marketing application for tildacerfont and any future product candidates, the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly additional clinical trials, including Phase 4 clinical trials, and/or the implementation of a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (“REMS”) or comparable foreign strategies which may be required to ensure safe use of the drug after approval. The FDA or the comparable foreign regulatory authority also may approve a product candidate for a more limited indication or patient population than we originally requested, and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may not approve the labeling that we believe is necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of a product. Any delay in obtaining, or inability to obtain, applicable regulatory approval would delay or prevent commercialization of that product candidate and would materially adversely impact our business and prospects.

Unfavorable U.S. and global economic conditions could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our results of operations could be adversely affected by general conditions in the U.S. and global economies, the U.S. and global financial markets and adverse geopolitical and macroeconomic developments. U.S. and global market and economic conditions have been, and may continue to be, disrupted and volatile due to many factors, including component shortages and related supply chain challenges, outbreaks of contagious diseases (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), the wars in Ukraine and Israel and related sanctions, recent and potential future disruptions in access to bank deposits or lending commitments due to bank failures, and increasing inflation rates and the responses by central banking authorities to control such inflation, among others. General business and economic conditions that could affect our business, financial condition or results of operations include fluctuations in economic growth, debt and equity capital markets, liquidity of the global financial markets, access to our liquidity within the U.S. banking system, the availability and cost of credit, investor and consumer confidence, and the strength of the economies in which we, our manufacturers and our suppliers operate.

A severe or prolonged global economic downturn could result in a variety of risks to our business. For example, inflation rates, particularly in the United States, have increased recently to levels not seen in years, and increased inflation may result in increases in our operating costs (including our labor costs), reduced liquidity and limits on our ability to access credit or otherwise raise capital on acceptable terms, if at all. In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve and equivalent foreign entities have raised, and may again raise, interest rates in response to concerns about inflation, which, coupled with reduced government spending and volatility in financial markets may have the effect of further increasing economic uncertainty and heightening these risks. Risks of a prolonged global economic downturn are particularly true in Europe, which is undergoing a continued severe economic crisis. A weak or declining economy could also strain our suppliers and manufacturers, possibly resulting in supply disruption. Any of the foregoing could harm our business and we cannot anticipate all of the ways in which the current economic climate and financial market conditions could adversely impact our business.

We have a banking relationship with SVB. SVB was closed on March 10, 2023 by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, which appointed the FDIC as receiver. On March 12, 2023, the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC announced that SVB depositors will have access to all of their money starting March 13, 2023. On March 27, 2023, First Citizens Bank and Trust Company announced that it entered into an agreement with the FDIC to purchase out of FDIC receivership substantially all loans and certain other assets, and assume all customer deposits and certain other liabilities of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, N.A. While we have not experienced any losses in such accounts, the recent failure of SVB potentially exposed us to significant credit risk prior to the completion by the FDIC of the resolution of SVB in a manner that fully protected all depositors. We are assessing how to prevent this exposure in the future, however, any potential future disruptions in access to bank deposits or lending commitments due to bank failures may expose us to significant credit risk.

In addition, our access to funding sources and other credit arrangements in amounts adequate to finance or capitalize our current and projected future business operations could be significantly impaired by factors that affect us, the financial institutions with which we have arrangements directly, or the financial services industry or economy in general. These factors could include, among others, events such as liquidity constraints or failures, the ability to perform obligations under various types of financial, credit or liquidity agreements or arrangements, disruptions or instability in the financial services industry or financial markets, or concerns or negative expectations about the prospects for companies in the financial services industry. These factors could involve financial institutions or financial services industry companies with which we have financial or business relationships, but could also include factors involving financial markets or the financial services industry generally.

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Additionally, financial markets around the world experienced volatility following the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. In response to the invasion, the United States, United Kingdom and EU, along with others, imposed significant new sanctions and export controls against Russia, Russian banks and certain Russian individuals and may implement additional sanctions or take further punitive actions in the future. The full economic and social impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia (as well as possible future punitive measures that may be implemented), as well as the counter measures imposed by Russia, in addition to the ongoing military conflict between Ukraine and Russia and related sanctions, which could conceivably expand into the surrounding region, remains uncertain; however, both the conflict and related sanctions have resulted and could continue to result in disruptions to trade, commerce, pricing stability, credit availability, supply chain continuity and reduced access to liquidity in both Europe and globally, and has introduced significant uncertainty into global markets. In particular, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and related sanctions has contributed to rapidly rising costs of living (driven largely by higher energy prices) in Europe and other advanced economies. Further, a weak or declining economy could strain our suppliers and manufacturers. Similarly, it is possible that the war in Israel may have similar effects. As a result, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected by the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Israel and related sanctions, particularly to the extent it escalates to involve additional countries, further economic sanctions or wider military conflict.

Interim, topline, and preliminary data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.

From time to time, we may publicly disclose interim, topline, or preliminary data from our clinical trials, which is based on a preliminary analysis of then-available data, and the results and related findings and conclusions are subject to change following a more comprehensive review of the data related to the particular study or trial. We also make assumptions, estimations, calculations, and conclusions as part of our analyses of data, and we may not have received or had the opportunity to fully and carefully evaluate all data. As a result, the interim, topline, or preliminary results that we report may differ from future results of the same studies, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated. Interim, topline, and preliminary data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, such data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Adverse differences between preliminary, interim, or topline data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects.

Further, others, including regulatory authorities, may not accept or agree with our assumptions, estimates, calculations, conclusions, or analyses or may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently, which could impact the value of the particular program, the approvability, or commercialization of the particular product candidate or product and our company in general. In addition, the information we choose to publicly disclose regarding a particular study or clinical trial is based on what is typically extensive information, and you or others may not agree with what we determine is the material or otherwise appropriate information to include in our disclosure, and any information we determine not to disclose may ultimately be deemed significant with respect to future decisions, conclusions, views, activities or otherwise regarding a particular product, product candidate, or our business. If the interim, topline, or preliminary data that we report differ from actual results, or if others, including regulatory authorities, disagree with the conclusions reached, our ability to obtain regulatory approval for, and commercialize, tildacerfont and any future product candidates may be harmed, which could harm our business, operating results, prospects, or financial condition.

If the market opportunities for tildacerfont and any future product candidates are smaller than we believe they are, our future revenue may be adversely affected, and our business may suffer.

If the size of the market opportunities in each of our target indications for tildacerfont and any future product candidates is smaller than we anticipate, we may not be able to achieve profitability and growth. We focus our clinical development of tildacerfont on treatments for rare endocrine disorders with relatively small patient populations. For example, we believe that tildacerfont has the potential to bring therapeutic benefit to patients suffering from endocrine disorders where the underlying pathophysiology supports a need to reduce excess secretion of or hyperresponsiveness to adrenocorticotropic hormone (“ACTH”), including, but not limited to, non-classic CAH and females with PCOS due to adrenal hyperandrogenism. Given the relatively small number of patients who have the disorders that we are targeting and intend to target with tildacerfont, it is critical to our ability to grow and become profitable that we continue to successfully identify patients with these rare endocrine disorders. In addition,

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our estimates of the patient populations for our target indications have been derived from a variety of sources, including scientific literature, surveys of clinics, patient foundations, and market research, and may prove to be incorrect. Further, new studies may change the estimated incidence or prevalence of these disorders. The number of patients may turn out to be lower than expected. The effort to identify patients with diseases we seek to treat is in early stages, and we cannot accurately predict the number of patients for whom treatment might be possible. For example, while classic CAH is usually detected at birth through required newborn screening programs in most developed countries, new patients may become increasingly difficult to identify or gain access to, which would adversely affect our results of operations and our business. In addition, the potentially addressable patient population for classic CAH may be limited or may not be amenable to treatment with tildacerfont, if approved. Further, even if we obtain significant market share for tildacerfont in classic CAH, we may never achieve profitability despite obtaining such significant market share, as other pharmaceutical companies with more resources and greater experience in drug development and commercialization are targeting this same endocrine disorder.

We may not be successful in our efforts to expand our pipeline by identifying additional indications and formulations for which to investigate tildacerfont in the future. We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular indication or formulation for tildacerfont and fail to capitalize on product candidates, indications, or formulations that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we are focused on specific indications and formulations for tildacerfont. As a result, we may fail to generate additional clinical development opportunities for tildacerfont for a number of reasons, including, tildacerfont may in certain indications, on further study, be shown to have harmful side effects, limited to no efficacy, or other characteristics that suggest it is unlikely to receive marketing approval and achieve market acceptance in such additional indications.

We are conducting and plan to conduct several clinical trials for tildacerfont in parallel over the next several years, including multiple clinical trials in adult and pediatric patients with classic CAH and females with PCOS. As a result, we may forgo or delay pursuit of opportunities with other indications that could have had greater commercial potential or likelihood of success. However, we may focus on or pursue one or more of our target indications over other potential indications and such development efforts may not be successful, which would cause us to delay the clinical development and approval of tildacerfont. Furthermore, research programs to identify additional indications for tildacerfont require substantial technical, financial, and human resources. We may also pursue additional formulations for tildacerfont, including a granulate formulation or oral suspension for pediatric patients. However, we may not successfully develop these additional formulations for chemistry-related, stability-related, or other reasons. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future research and development programs for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products.

Additionally, we may pursue additional in-licenses or acquisitions of development-stage assets or programs, which entails additional risk to us. Identifying, selecting and acquiring promising product candidates requires substantial technical, financial, and human resources expertise. Efforts to do so may not result in the actual acquisition or license of a particular product candidate, potentially resulting in a diversion of our management’s time and the expenditure of our resources with no resulting benefit.

For example, if we are unable to identify programs that ultimately result in approved products, we may spend material amounts of our capital and other resources evaluating, acquiring and developing products that ultimately do not provide a return on our investment.

Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval for a product candidate in one jurisdiction does not mean that we will be successful in obtaining regulatory approval for that product candidate in other jurisdictions.

Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval for a product candidate in one jurisdiction does not guarantee that we will be able to obtain or maintain regulatory approval in any other jurisdiction, while a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative effect on the regulatory approval process in others. For example, even if the FDA grants marketing approval for a product candidate, comparable regulatory authorities in foreign jurisdictions must also approve the manufacturing, marketing and promotion of the product candidate in those countries. Approval procedures vary among jurisdictions and can involve requirements and administrative review periods different from, and greater than, those in the United States, including additional preclinical studies or clinical trials as clinical trials conducted in one jurisdiction may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. In many jurisdictions outside the United States, including a number of countries in

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the EU, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that jurisdiction. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for tildacerfont is also subject to approval.

We expect to submit a Marketing Authorization Application (“MAA”) to the EMA for approval of tildacerfont in the EU for the treatment of classic CAH. As with the FDA, obtaining approval of an MAA from the European Commission, following the related opinion of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, is a similarly lengthy and expensive process and the EMA has its own procedures for assessing product candidates. Regulatory authorities in jurisdictions outside of the United States and the EU also have requirements for approval for product candidates with which we must comply prior to marketing in those jurisdictions. Obtaining foreign regulatory approvals and compliance with foreign regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of tildacerfont in certain countries. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements in international markets and/or receive applicable marketing approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of tildacerfont will be harmed, which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

We currently have no marketing and sales organization and have yet to commercialize a product. If we are unable to establish marketing and sales capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell tildacerfont and any future product candidates, we may not be able to generate product revenues.

We currently do not have a commercial organization for the marketing, sales, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. To commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates, we must build our marketing, sales, distribution, managerial and other non-technical capabilities or make arrangements with third parties to perform these services. We intend to build a highly specialized commercial organization to support the commercialization of tildacerfont, if approved, in the United States.

The establishment and development of our own sales force or the establishment of a contract sales force to market tildacerfont and any future product candidates will be expensive and time-consuming and could delay any commercial launch. Moreover, we may not be able to successfully develop this capability. We will have to compete with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to recruit, hire, train, and retain marketing and sales personnel. We also face competition in our search for third parties to assist us with the sales and marketing efforts of tildacerfont. To the extent we rely on third parties to commercialize tildacerfont, if approved, we may have little or no control over the marketing and sales efforts of such third parties and our revenues from product sales may be lower than if we had commercialized tildacerfont and any future product candidates ourselves. In the event we are unable to develop our own marketing and sales force or collaborate with a third-party marketing and sales organization, we would not be able to commercialize tildacerfont or any future product candidates.

We are highly dependent on our key personnel, and if we are not successful in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.

Our ability to compete in the highly competitive biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industries depends upon our ability to attract and retain highly qualified managerial, scientific, and medical personnel. We are highly dependent on our management, scientific, and medical personnel. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers or other key employees and our inability to find suitable replacements could potentially harm our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations.

We conduct our operations in South San Francisco, California. This region serves as the headquarters to many other biopharmaceutical companies and many academic and research institutions. Competition for skilled personnel in our market is intense and may limit our ability to hire and retain highly qualified personnel on acceptable terms or at all.

To induce valuable employees to remain at our company, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we have provided stock options that vest over time. The value to employees of stock options that vest over time may be significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control and may at any time be insufficient to counteract more lucrative offers from other companies. Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our management, scientific, and development teams may terminate their employment with us on short notice. Although we have employment agreements and/or offer letters with our key employees, these arrangements provide for at-will employment, which means that any of our employees could leave our employment at any time, with or without notice. We do not maintain “key man” insurance policies on the lives of these individuals or the lives of any of our other employees. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract,

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retain and motivate highly skilled junior, mid-level, and senior managers as well as junior, mid-level, and senior scientific and medical personnel.

Many of the other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that we compete against for qualified personnel have greater financial and other resources, different risk profiles, and a longer history in the industry than we do. They may also provide more diverse opportunities and better chances for career advancement. Some of these characteristics are more appealing to high quality candidates than what we can offer. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high quality personnel, the rate and success at which we can discover, develop and commercialize product candidates will be limited.

Use of tildacerfont or any future product candidates could be associated with side effects, adverse events or other properties that could delay or prevent regulatory approval or result in significant negative consequences following marketing approval, if any.

As is the case with biopharmaceuticals generally, it is likely that there may be side effects and adverse events associated with the use of tildacerfont and any future product candidates. Results of our clinical trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of side effects or unexpected characteristics. Undesirable side effects caused by tildacerfont and any future product candidates could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay, terminate or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other comparable foreign authorities. For example, although tildacerfont has been assessed in over 200 subjects across nine completed clinical trials in which it has been well tolerated with no drug-related SAEs, in our proof-of-concept, dose-escalating Phase 2a clinical trial in adults with classic CAH, one patient experienced a grade one liver-related adverse event after 14 days of treatment at 1,000mg once daily. This patient had elevated levels of alanine transaminase (“ALT”) between five and nine times the upper limit of normal (“ULN”), elevations in aspartate aminotransferase (“AST”) less than five times the ULN, and no increases in bilirubin. The event resolved on its own without additional medical intervention. No cases of liver enzyme elevations above three times the ULN were observed in any patient receiving total daily doses of 600mg, which is approximately three times the proposed therapeutic dose for adults with classic CAH, and below. If drug-related SAEs are observed, our trials could be suspended or terminated and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of or deny approval for tildacerfont for any or all targeted indications. The drug-related side effects could affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial or result in potential product liability claims. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition, and prospects significantly.

Furthermore, only adults have been treated with tildacerfont, and the safety profile in pediatric patients is unknown and may be different than that observed in previous clinical trials. Results of our trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of side effects.

Additionally, if tildacerfont and any future product candidates receive marketing approval, and we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by such product candidate, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

we may be forced to suspend marketing of that product, or decide to remove the product form the marketplace;
regulatory authorities may withdraw approvals or suspend or change their approvals of such product or place restrictions on the way it is prescribed;
regulatory authorities may require additional warnings on the label or limit access of that product to selective specialized centers with additional safety reporting and with requirements that patients be geographically close to these centers for all or part of their treatment;
we may be required to create a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;
we may be required to change the way the product is administered;
we could be subject to fines, injunctions, or the imposition of criminal or civil penalties;
we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients; and
the product may become less competitive, and our reputation may suffer.

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Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, if approved, and could significantly harm our business, results of operations, and prospects.

If we receive regulatory approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with any product.

Any regulatory approvals that we receive may be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the product may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing testing, including post-market studies or clinical trials, and surveillance to monitor safety and effectiveness. The FDA may also require us to adopt a REMS to ensure that the benefits of treatment with such product candidate outweigh the risks for each potential patient, which may include, among other things, a communication plan to health care practitioners, patient education, extensive patient monitoring, or distribution systems and processes that are highly controlled, restrictive and more costly than what is typical for the industry. We or our collaborators may also be required to adopt a REMS or engage in similar actions, such as patient education, certification of health care professionals, or specific monitoring, if we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by any product that we develop alone or with collaborators. Comparable foreign regulatory authorities may impose similar requirements in their markets.

In addition, if the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority approves a product candidate, the manufacturing, quality control, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion, import, export, and recordkeeping for the approved product will be subject to extensive and ongoing regulatory requirements. The FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities also require submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration, as well as continued compliance with cGMP requirements and GCP for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product candidate, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

issue warning letters or untitled letters;
mandate modifications to promotional materials or require us to provide corrective information to healthcare practitioners, or require other restrictions on the labeling or marketing of such products;
require us to enter into a consent decree, which can include imposition of various fines, reimbursements for inspection costs, required due dates for specific actions and penalties for noncompliance;
seek an injunction or impose civil or criminal penalties or monetary fines;
suspend, withdraw or modify regulatory approval;
suspend, terminate or modify any ongoing clinical trials;
require that we conduct post-market studies;
refuse to approve pending applications or supplements to applications filed by us;
grant approval for narrower indications than we requested;
suspend or impose restrictions on operations, including costly new manufacturing requirements; or
seize or detain products, refuse to permit the import or export of products, or require us to initiate a product recall.

The occurrence of any event or penalty described above may inhibit our ability to commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates and generate revenue and could require us to expend significant time and resources in response and could generate negative publicity.

Advertising and promotion of any product candidate that obtains approval in the United States will be heavily scrutinized by the FDA, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), state attorneys general, members of the U.S. Congress, and the public. Additionally, advertising and promotion of any product candidate that obtains

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approval outside of the United States will be heavily scrutinized by comparable foreign entities and stakeholders. Violations, including actual or alleged promotion of our products for unapproved or off-label uses, are subject to enforcement letters, inquiries, and investigations, and civil and criminal sanctions by the FDA, DOJ, or comparable foreign authorities. Any actual or alleged failure to comply with labeling and promotion requirements may result in fines, warning letters, mandates to corrective information to healthcare practitioners, injunctions, or civil or criminal penalties.

The policies of the FDA and other regulatory authorities, including foreign regulatory authorities, may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any marketing approval that we may have obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability, which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

Changes in funding for the FDA and other government agencies, or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could hinder their ability to hire and retain key leadership and other personnel, or otherwise prevent new products and services from being developed or commercialized in a timely manner, which could negatively impact our business.

The ability of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities to review and approve new products can be affected by a variety of factors, including government budget and funding levels, ability to hire and retain key personnel and accept the payment of user fees, and statutory, regulatory, and policy changes. Average review times at the authorities have fluctuated in recent years as a result. In addition, government funding of other government agencies that fund research and development activities is subject to the political process, which is inherently fluid and unpredictable.

Disruptions at the FDA and other agencies or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may also slow the time necessary for new drugs to be reviewed and/or approved, which would adversely affect our business. For example, over the last several years, including for 35 days beginning on December 22, 2018, the U.S. government has shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, have had to furlough critical FDA employees and stop critical activities. If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, or if global health concerns prevent the FDA or other regulatory authorities from conducting their regular inspections, reviews, or other regulatory activities, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA or other regulatory authorities to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Even if we obtain regulatory approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates, tildacerfont and any future product candidates may not gain market acceptance among physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community.

Tildacerfont and any future product candidates may not be commercially successful. The commercial success of tildacerfont or any future product candidates, if approved, will depend significantly on the broad adoption and use of such product by physicians and patients for approved indications. The degree of market acceptance of tildacerfont or any future products, if approved, will depend on a number of factors, including:

the clinical indications for which such product candidate is approved;
physicians and patients considering the product as a safe and effective treatment;
the potential and perceived advantages of the product over alternative treatments;
the prevalence and severity of any side effects;
product labeling or product insert requirements of the FDA or other regulatory authorities;
limitations or warnings contained in the labeling approved by the FDA or other regulatory authorities;
the timing of market introduction of the product as well as competitive products;
the cost of treatment in relation to alternative treatments;

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the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement by third-party payors and government authorities;
the willingness of patients to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of coverage and adequate reimbursement by third-party payors and government authorities;
relative convenience and ease of administration, including as compared to alternative treatments and competitive therapies; and
the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts and those of any collaboration or distribution partner on whom we rely for sales in foreign jurisdictions.

If tildacerfont and any future product candidate is approved but fails to achieve market acceptance among physicians, patients, healthcare payors or others in the medical community, we will not be able to generate significant revenues, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, even if tildacerfont and any future product candidate gains acceptance, the markets for the treatment of patients with our target indications may not be as significant as we estimate.

If tildacerfont and any future product candidate is approved for marketing, and we are found to have improperly promoted off-label uses, or if physicians prescribe or use tildacerfont and any future product candidates off-label, we may become subject to prohibitions on the sale or marketing of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, significant fines, penalties, sanctions, or product liability claims, and our image and reputation within the industry and marketplace could be harmed.

The FDA, DOJ, and comparable foreign authorities strictly regulate the marketing and promotional claims that are made about pharmaceutical products, such as tildacerfont, following approval. In particular, a product may not be promoted for uses or indications that are not approved by the FDA or comparable foreign authorities as reflected in the product’s approved labeling and Summary of Product Characteristics. However, if we receive marketing approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates, physicians can prescribe such product to their patients in a manner that is inconsistent with the approved label based on the physician’s independent medical judgement. If we are found to have promoted such off-label uses, we may receive warning letters from the FDA and comparable foreign authorities, incur penalties, and become subject to significant liability, which would materially harm our business. The federal government has levied large civil and criminal fines against companies for alleged improper promotion and has enjoined several companies from engaging in off-label promotion. If we become the target of such an investigation or prosecution based on our marketing and promotional practices, we could face similar sanctions, which would materially harm our business. In addition, management’s attention could be diverted from our business operations, significant legal expenses could be incurred, and our reputation could be damaged. The FDA and other governmental authorities, including comparable foreign authorities, have also required that companies enter into consent decrees or permanent injunctions under which specified promotional conduct is changed or curtailed in order to resolve enforcement actions. If we are deemed by the FDA, DOJ, or other governmental authorities, or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, to have engaged in the promotion of tildacerfont or any future product candidate for off-label use, we could be subject to certain prohibitions or other restrictions on the sale or marketing and other operations or significant fines and penalties, and the imposition of these sanctions could also affect our reputation and position within the industry.

Coverage and reimbursement may be limited or unavailable in certain market segments for tildacerfont and any future product candidates, which could make it difficult for us to sell tildacerfont and any future product candidates profitably.

Successful sales of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, if approved, depend on the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors. Patients who are prescribed medicine for the treatment of their conditions generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their prescription drugs. Coverage and adequate reimbursement from governmental healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, or comparable foreign healthcare programs, and commercial payors is critical to new product acceptance, and we may not obtain such coverage or adequate reimbursement. Moreover, we focus our clinical development of tildacerfont on treatments for rare endocrine disorders with relatively small patient populations. As a result, we must rely on obtaining appropriate coverage and reimbursement for these populations.

Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which drugs they will cover and the amount of reimbursement they will provide.

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Reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the third-party payor’s determination that use of a product is:

a covered benefit under its health plan;
safe, effective, and medically necessary;
appropriate for the specific patient;
cost-effective; and
neither experimental nor investigational.

Obtaining coverage and reimbursement approval for a product from a government or other third-party payor is a time-consuming and costly process that could require us to provide to the payor supporting scientific, clinical and cost-effectiveness data for the use of our products. We may not be able to provide data sufficient to obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement. If we obtain coverage for a given product, the resulting reimbursement payment rates might not be adequate or may require co-payments that patients find unacceptably high. Patients are unlikely to use tildacerfont or any future product candidate unless coverage is provided and reimbursement is adequate to cover a significant portion of the cost. Additionally, the reimbursement rates and coverage amounts may be affected by the approved label for tildacerfont or any future product candidate. If coverage and reimbursement of our future products are unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, we may be unable to achieve or sustain profitability.

In addition, the market for tildacerfont and any future product candidates will depend significantly on access to third-party payors’ drug formularies or lists of medications for which third-party payors provide coverage and reimbursement. The industry competition to be included in such formularies often leads to downward pricing pressures on pharmaceutical companies. Also, third-party payors may refuse to include a particular branded drug in their formularies or otherwise restrict patient access through formulary controls or otherwise to a branded drug when a less costly generic equivalent or other alternative is available.

In the United States, no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug products exists among third-party payors. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates, but also have their own methods and approval process apart from Medicare determinations. Therefore, coverage and reimbursement for drug products can differ significantly from payor to payor. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time-consuming and costly process that will require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of tildacerfont and any future product candidates to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be obtained. Further, coverage policies and third-party reimbursement rates may change at any time. Therefore, even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

We intend to seek approval to market tildacerfont in the United States and in selected foreign jurisdictions. If we obtain approval in one or more foreign jurisdictions for tildacerfont, we will be subject to rules and regulations in those jurisdictions. In some foreign countries, particularly those in the EU, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals and biologics is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after obtaining marketing approval for a drug candidate. In addition, market acceptance and sales of a product will depend significantly on the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors for a product and may be affected by existing and future health care reform measures.

Recently enacted legislation, future legislation and healthcare reform measures may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval for and commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates and may affect the prices we may set.

In the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been, and we expect there will continue to be, a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the healthcare system, including cost-containment measures that may reduce or limit coverage and reimbursement for newly approved drugs and affect our ability to profitably sell any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. In particular, there have been and continue to be a number of initiatives at the U.S. federal and state levels that seek to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of healthcare.

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For example, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (collectively the “Affordable Care Act”), was enacted in the United States. Among the provisions of the Affordable Care Act of importance to our potential product candidates are that it established an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports specified branded prescription drugs and biologic agents; expands eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs; increased the statutory minimum rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program; created a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program; established a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research; and established a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending.

There have been executive, judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act. By way of example, legislation enacted in 2017, informally titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), included a provision which repealed, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the Affordable Care Act on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate.” For example, on June 17, 2021, the United States Supreme Court dismissed a challenge on procedural grounds that argued the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional in its entirety because the “individual mandate” was repealed by Congress. Moreover, prior to the United Supreme Court ruling, on January 28, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order that initiated a special enrollment period for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, which began on February 15, 2021 and remained open through August 15, 2021. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act. Further, on August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) into law, which among other things, extends enhanced subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance coverage in Affordable Care Act marketplaces through plan year 2025. The IRA also eliminates the “donut hole” under the Medicare Part D program beginning in 2025 by significantly lowering the beneficiary maximum out-of-pocket cost and creating a new manufacturer discount program. It is possible that the Affordable Care Act will be subject to judicial or Congressional challenges in the future. It is unclear how any such challenges and the healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration will impact the Affordable Care Act and our business.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. On August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed into law, which, among other things, included reductions to Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year, which went into effect on April 1, 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, will remain in effect until 2032, unless additional Congressional action is taken. In addition, on January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years.

Further, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny in the United States of pharmaceutical pricing practices in light of the rising cost of prescription drugs. Such scrutiny has resulted in several recent Presidential executive orders, congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state 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 products.

At the federal level, in July 2021, the Biden administration released an executive order, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” with multiple provisions aimed at prescription drugs. In response to Biden’s executive order, on September 9, 2021, HHS released a Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices that outlines principles for drug pricing reform and sets out a variety of potential legislative policies that Congress could pursue as well as potential administrative actions HHS can take to advance these principles. In addition, the IRA, among other things (i) directs HHS to negotiate the price of certain high-expenditure, single-source drugs and biologics covered under Medicare and (ii) imposes rebates under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D to penalize price increases that outpace inflation. These provisions will take effect progressively starting in fiscal year 2023. On August 29, 2023, HHS announced the list of the first ten drugs that will be subject to price negotiations, although the Medicare drug price negotiation program is currently subject to legal challenges. HHS has

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and will continue to issue and update guidance as these programs are implemented. It is currently unclear how the IRA will be implemented but it is likely to have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, in response to the Biden administration’s October 2022 executive order, on February 14, 2023, HHS released a report outlining three new models for testing by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation which will be evaluated on their ability to lower the cost of drugs, promote accessibility, and improve quality of care. It is unclear whether the models will be utilized in any health reform measures in the future. Further, on December 7, 2023, the Biden administration announced an initiative to control the price of prescription drugs through the use of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. On December 8, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published for comment a Draft Interagency Guidance Framework for Considering the Exercise of March-In Rights which for the first time includes the price of a product as one factor an agency can use when deciding to exercise march-in rights. While march-in rights have not previously been exercised, it is uncertain if that will continue under the new framework.

At the state level, individual states in the United States have also increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological 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. For example, on January 5, 2024, the FDA approved Florida’s Section 804 Importation Program (“SIP”) proposal to import certain drugs from Canada for specific state healthcare programs. It is unclear how this program will be implemented, including which drugs will be chosen, and whether it will be subject to legal challenges in the United States or Canada. Other states have also submitted SIP proposals that are pending review by the FDA. Any such approved importation plans, when implemented, may result in lower drug prices for products covered by those programs. Legally mandated price controls on payment amounts by third-party payors or other restrictions could harm our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects. In addition, regional healthcare authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine what pharmaceutical products and which suppliers will be included in their prescription drug and other healthcare programs. This could reduce the ultimate demand for tildacerfont, if approved, or put pressure on our product pricing, which could negatively affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects.

We expect that other healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding, more rigorous coverage criteria, new payment methodologies and additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from third-party payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability or commercialize tildacerfont, if approved.

Moreover, in order to obtain reimbursement for our products in some European countries, including some EU Member States, we may be required to compile additional data comparing the cost-effectiveness of our products to other available therapies. The Health Technology Assessment, or HTA, of medicinal products is becoming an increasingly common part of the pricing and reimbursement procedures in some EU Member States, including those representing the larger markets. The HTA process is the procedure to assess therapeutic, economic and societal impact of a given medicinal product in the national healthcare systems of the individual country. The outcome of an HTA will often influence the pricing and reimbursement status granted to these medicinal products by the competent authorities of individual EU Member States. The extent to which pricing and reimbursement decisions are influenced by the HTA of the specific medicinal product currently varies between EU Member States. In December 2021, Regulation No 2021/2282 on HTA, amending Directive 2011/24/EU, was adopted in the EU. This Regulation, which entered into force in January 2022, will apply from January 2025. It is intended to boost cooperation among EU Member States in assessing health technologies, including new medicinal products, and providing the basis for cooperation at EU level for joint clinical assessments in these areas. The Regulation will permit EU Member States to use common HTA tools, methodologies, and procedures across the EU to identify promising technologies early, and continuing voluntary cooperation in other areas. Individual EU Member States will continue to be responsible for assessing non-clinical (e.g., economic, social, ethical) aspects of health technologies, and making decisions on pricing and reimbursement. If we are unable to maintain favorable pricing and reimbursement status in EU Member States for product candidates that we may successfully develop and for which we may obtain regulatory approval, any anticipated revenue from and growth prospects for those products in the EU could be negatively affected.

In addition, on April 26, 2023, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive and Regulation to revise the existing pharmaceutical legislation. If adopted in the form proposed, the recent European

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Commission proposals to revise the existing EU laws governing authorization of medicinal products may result in a decrease in data and market exclusivity for our product candidates in the EU, if approved, among other regulatory changes.

A variety of risks associated with marketing tildacerfont and any future product candidates internationally could materially adversely affect our business.

We plan to seek regulatory approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates internationally and, accordingly, we expect that we will be subject to additional risks related to operating in foreign countries if we obtain the necessary approvals, including:

differing regulatory requirements in foreign countries, including differing reimbursement, pricing and insurance regimes;
the potential for so-called parallel importing, which is what happens when a local seller, faced with high or higher local prices, opts to import goods from a foreign market (with low or lower prices) rather than buying them locally;
unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers, price and exchange controls, and other regulatory requirements;
economic weakness, including inflation, or political instability in particular foreign economies and markets;
compliance with tax, employment, immigration, and labor laws for employees living or traveling internationally;
foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;
foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenues, and other obligations incident to doing business in another country;
difficulties staffing and managing foreign operations;
workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the United States;
potential liability under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (“FCPA”) or comparable foreign regulations;
challenges enforcing our contractual and intellectual property rights, especially in those foreign countries that do not respect and protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the United States;
production shortages resulting from any events affecting raw material supply or manufacturing capabilities internationally; and
business interruptions resulting from geo-political actions, including war and terrorism.

These and other risks associated with our international operations may materially adversely affect our ability to attain or maintain profitable operations.

If we fail to develop and commercialize additional product candidates, we may be unable to grow our business.

We may seek to in-license or acquire development-stage product candidates in endocrine disorders that have the potential to complement our existing portfolio. If we decide to pursue the development and commercialization of any additional product candidates, we may be required to invest significant resources to acquire or in-license the rights to such product candidates or to conduct drug discovery activities. We do not currently have the necessary drug discovery personnel or expertise adequate to discover and develop an additional product candidate on our own. Any other product candidates will require additional, time-consuming development efforts, and significant financial resources, prior to commercial sale, including preclinical studies, extensive clinical trials, and approval by the FDA and applicable foreign regulatory authorities. All product candidates are prone to the risks of failure that are inherent in pharmaceutical product development, including the possibility that the product candidate will not be shown to be sufficiently safe and/or effective for approval by regulatory authorities. In addition, we may not be able to acquire, discover, or develop any additional product candidates, and any additional product candidates we may develop may

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not be approved, manufactured, or produced economically, successfully commercialized or widely accepted in the marketplace, or be more effective than other commercially available alternatives. Research programs to identify new product candidates require substantial technical, financial, and human resources whether or not we ultimately identify any candidates. If we are unable to develop or commercialize any other product candidates, our business and prospects will suffer.

If we fail to develop tildacerfont for additional indications, our commercial opportunity may be limited.

One of our strategies is to pursue clinical development of tildacerfont in additional endocrine disorders, including, but not limited to, pediatric classic CAH and females with PCOS. The endocrine disorders we are targeting are all rare disorders and, as a result, the market size for the treatment of patients with such disorders is limited. In addition, CRF1 receptor antagonism may not be an appropriate or effective mechanism in indications where disease biology supports a need to reduce ACTH. Due to these factors, our ability to grow revenue may be dependent on our ability to successfully develop and commercialize tildacerfont for the treatment of additional indications. Developing, obtaining regulatory approval and commercializing tildacerfont for additional indications will require substantial additional funding and is prone to the risks of failure inherent in drug development. We may not be able to successfully advance any of these indications through the development process. Even if we receive regulatory approval to market tildacerfont for the treatment of any of these additional indications, any such additional indications may not be successfully commercialized, widely accepted in the marketplace, or more effective than other commercially available alternatives. If we are unable to successfully develop and commercialize tildacerfont for these additional indications, our commercial opportunity may be limited.

We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.

The biopharmaceutical industry is characterized by intense competition and rapid innovation. Although we believe that we hold a leading position in our focus on rare endocrine disorders, our competitors may be able to develop other compounds or drugs that are able to achieve similar or better results. Our potential competitors include major multinational pharmaceutical companies, established biotechnology companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and universities and other research institutions. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and other resources, such as larger research and development staff and experienced marketing and manufacturing organizations and well-established sales forces. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large, established companies. Mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries may result in even more resources being concentrated in our competitors. Competition may increase further as a result of advances in the commercial applicability of technologies and greater availability of capital for investment in these industries. Our competitors may succeed in developing, acquiring or licensing on an exclusive basis drug products that are more effective or less costly than tildacerfont. We believe the key competitive factors that will affect the development and commercial success of tildacerfont are efficacy, safety and tolerability profile, reliability, convenience of dosing, price and reimbursement.

Although classic CAH is part of the newborn screening program in most developed countries, there are no known novel therapies that have been approved in approximately 70 years. We are aware of other companies actively developing treatments for patients with classic CAH. Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. is developing a CRF1 receptor antagonist and has initiated Phase 3 registrational trials in adult and pediatric classic CAH and reported positive topline results from both studies. Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial in 2023 to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an oral ACTH antagonist in adults with CAH. BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. is evaluating an AAV5 gene therapy product candidate to treat classic CAH in a Phase 1/2 proof-of-concept clinical trial. In addition, while tildacerfont ultimately seeks to significantly reduce steroid use for patients with classic CAH, patients will continue to use their steroid regimen. As high doses of corticosteroids are the current standard of care for the treatment of classic CAH, in the United States alone, there are more than two dozen companies manufacturing steroid-based products.

Our commercial potential could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient, or are less expensive than products that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market or make our development more

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complicated. We believe the key competitive factors affecting the success of tildacerfont are likely to be efficacy, safety, and convenience.

Even though we have obtained orphan drug designation for tildacerfont for the treatment of CAH, we may not be able to obtain or maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug status, including market exclusivity.

Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and the EU, may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a drug as an orphan drug if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally defined as a patient population of fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, or a patient population of greater than 200,000 people in the United States, but for which there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug will be recovered from sales in the United States. In the EU, the European Commission, on the basis of the opinion of the EMA Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products, may grant orphan drug designation for medicinal products that are intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of diseases that are life-threatening or chronically debilitating, and for which either no satisfactory method of diagnosis, prevention, or treatment exists, or if such method exists, the medicine is of significant benefit to those affected by such condition. In addition, to benefit from such designation, either the prevalence of such condition must not be more than five in 10,000 people across the EU or, if more prevalent, the product, without the benefits derived from orphan status, would not generate sufficient returns in the EU to justify the investment needed for its development.

We have received orphan drug designation for tildacerfont for the treatment of patients with CAH in both the US and EU. Generally, if a drug with an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first marketing approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the drug may be entitled to a period of marketing exclusivity, which precludes the FDA from approving another marketing application for the same drug and same indication for that time period. In the EU, upon grant of a marketing authorization, orphan medicinal products market exclusivity precludes the EMA from accepting another marketing authorization application or an application to extend for a similar product, and the European Commission from granting a marketing authorization for the same indication. The applicable period is seven years in the United States and ten years in the EU, which may be extended by six months and two years, respectively, in the case of product candidates that have complied with the respective regulatory authority’s agreed upon pediatric investigation plan. The market exclusivity period in the EU can be reduced to six years if, at the end of the fifth year, it is established that a drug no longer meets the criteria for orphan drug designation or if the drug is sufficiently profitable so that market exclusivity is no longer justified. Orphan drug exclusivity may be lost if the FDA or EMA determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantity of the drug to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. In addition, even after a drug is granted orphan designation and approved, the FDA and the European Commission can subsequently approve a different drug for the same condition or the same drug for a different condition, which may subject the orphan-exclusive product to off-label competition. As well, before the expiration of the orphan exclusivity period, the FDA or European Commission may grant approval to a competitor if the manufacturer of the original orphan medicinal product is unable to supply sufficient quantities or the regulatory authority concludes that a subsequent application for the same drug for the same indication is clinically superior in that it is shown to be safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. In addition, if an orphan designated product receives marketing approval for an indication broader than or different from what is designated, such product may not be entitled to the regulatory exclusivities associated with orphan designation. Even though the FDA has granted orphan drug designation to tildacerfont for the treatment of classic CAH, if we receive approval for tildacerfont for a modified or different indication, our current orphan designations may not provide us with exclusivity.

Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review or approval process. Also, regulatory approval for any product candidate may be withdrawn, suspended or varied and other product candidates may obtain approval before us and receive orphan drug exclusivity, which could block us from entering the market.

Even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for tildacerfont, that exclusivity may not effectively protect us from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition before the expiration of the orphan drug exclusivity period.

We may form or seek strategic alliances or enter into additional licensing arrangements in the future, and we may not realize the benefits of such alliances or licensing arrangements.

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We may form or seek strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations or enter into additional licensing arrangements with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our development and commercialization efforts with respect to tildacerfont and any future product candidates that we may develop. We intend to establish commercial partnerships outside of the United States in selected foreign markets. Any of these relationships may require us to incur non-recurring and other charges, increase our near-and long-term expenditures, issue securities that dilute our existing stockholders, or disrupt our management and business. In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. If we license products or businesses, we may not be able to realize the benefit of such transactions if we are unable to successfully integrate them with our existing operations and company culture. Following a strategic transaction or license, we may not achieve the revenues or cash flows that justifies such transaction. Any delays in entering into new strategic partnership agreements related to tildacerfont could delay the development and commercialization of tildacerfont in certain geographies for certain indications, which would harm our business prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our failure to successfully in-license, acquire, develop, and market additional product candidates or approved products would impair our ability to grow our business.

Although a substantial amount of our efforts is focused on the clinical development, potential regulatory approval and commercialization of tildacerfont, a key element of our long-term strategy is to in-license, acquire, develop, market, and commercialize a portfolio of products to treat patients with endocrine disorders. Because we do not have the necessary internal research and development capabilities, unless we build such capabilities internally, we will be dependent upon pharmaceutical companies, academic scientists, and other researchers to sell or license products or technology to us. The success of this strategy depends partly upon our ability to identify and select promising biopharmaceutical product candidates and products, negotiate licensing or acquisition agreements with their current owners, and finance these arrangements. The process of proposing, negotiating, and implementing a license or acquisition of a product candidate or approved product is lengthy and complex. Other companies, including some with substantially greater financial, marketing, sales, and other resources, may compete with us for the license or acquisition of product candidates and approved products. We have limited resources to identify and execute the acquisition or in-licensing of third-party products, businesses, and technologies and integrate them into our current infrastructure. Moreover, we may devote resources to potential acquisitions or licensing opportunities that are never completed, or we may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such efforts. We may not be able to acquire the rights to additional product candidates on terms that we find acceptable, or at all. Further, any product candidate that we acquire may require additional development efforts prior to commercial sale, including preclinical or clinical testing and approval by the FDA, the European Commission and other similar regulatory authorities. All product candidates are prone to risks of failure during biopharmaceutical product development, including the possibility that a product candidate will not be shown to be sufficiently safe and effective for approval by regulatory authorities. In addition, any approved products that we acquire may not be manufactured or sold profitably or achieve market acceptance.

We will need to grow the size of our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing this growth.

As of December 31, 2023, we had 29 employees, all of whom are full-time. As our development and commercialization plans and strategies develop, and as we transition into operating as a public company, we expect to need additional development, managerial, operational, financial, sales, marketing, and other personnel. Future growth would impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including:

identifying, recruiting, integrating, maintaining, and motivating additional employees;
managing our internal development efforts effectively, including the clinical and regulatory review process for tildacerfont and any future product candidates, while complying with our contractual obligations to contractors and other third parties; and
improving our operational, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures.

In addition, in March 2024, we reported topline results from CAHmelia-203, our placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 2b clinical trial in adult patients with classic CAH with highly elevated levels of A4 at baseline. Additionally, we completed enrollment in CAHmelia-204, our second Phase 2b clinical trial in adult patients with classic CAH on supraphysiologic doses of glucocorticoids with normal or near normal levels of A4 at baseline focused on glucocorticoid reduction and anticipate topline results in the third quarter of 2024. We also reported topline results from our Phase 2 open-label clinical trial in pediatric patients between two and 17 years of age with

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classic CAH in March 2024. Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize tildacerfont will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively manage any future growth, and our management may also have to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from day-to-day activities in order to devote a substantial amount of time to managing these growth activities. To date, we have used the services of outside vendors to perform tasks including clinical trial management, manufacturing, statistics and analysis, regulatory affairs, formulation development, and other drug development functions. Our growth strategy may also entail expanding our group of contractors or consultants to implement these tasks going forward. Because we rely on numerous consultants, effectively outsourcing many key functions of our business, we will need to be able to effectively manage these consultants to ensure that they successfully carry out their contractual obligations and meet expected deadlines. However, if we are unable to effectively manage our outsourced activities or if the quality or accuracy of the services provided by consultants is compromised for any reason, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed, or terminated, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates or otherwise advance our business. We may not be able to manage our existing consultants or find other competent outside contractors and consultants on economically reasonable terms, or at all. If we are not able to effectively expand our organization by hiring new employees and expanding our groups of consultants and contractors, we may not be able to successfully implement the tasks necessary to further develop and commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals.

Our indebtedness to Silicon Valley Bank may limit our flexibility in operating our business and adversely affect our financial health and competitive position, and our obligations to Silicon Valley Bank are secured by substantially all of our assets, excluding our intellectual property assets. If we default on these obligations, Silicon Valley Bank could foreclose on our assets.

In September 2019, we entered into a Loan and Security Agreement (the “Loan Agreement”) providing for a term loan (the “Term Loan”) with Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”). In April 2020, we entered into a deferral agreement with SVB (the “Deferral Agreement”), whereby we and SVB agreed to extend the repayment dates of all monthly payments of principal due and the maturity date with respect to the Term Loan by six months. In March 2021, we entered into the First Amendment with SVB (the “First Amendment”), which increased the aggregate principal amount of the Term Loan commitment by SVB to up to $30.0 million. In May 2022, we entered into the Second Amendment with SVB (the “Second Amendment”), which amended the milestone upon which the Second Tranche commitment of $10.0 million would become available. As of December 31, 2023, we had $3.4 million outstanding under the Loan Agreement. Repayment of principal commenced in January 2023. Commitments available under the Second Tranche of $10.0 million expired on December 31, 2022.

All obligations under the Term Loan are secured by a first priority lien on substantially all of our assets, excluding intellectual property assets. We have agreed with SVB not to encumber our intellectual property assets without its prior written consent unless a security interest in the underlying intellectual property is necessary to have a security interest in the accounts and proceeds that are part of the assets securing the Term Loan, in which case our intellectual property shall automatically be included within the assets securing the Term Loan. As a result, if we default on any of our obligations under the Loan Agreement, SVB could foreclose on its security interest and liquidate some or all of the collateral, which would harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations and could require us to reduce or cease operations.

In order to service this indebtedness and any additional indebtedness we may incur in the future, we need to generate cash from our operating activities. Our ability to generate cash is subject, in part, to our ability to successfully execute our business strategy, as well as general economic, financial, competitive, regulatory, and other factors beyond our control. Our business may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow from operations, and future borrowings or other financings may not be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to service our indebtedness and fund our other liquidity needs. To the extent we are required to use cash from operations or the proceeds of any future financing to service our indebtedness instead of funding working capital, capital expenditures or other general corporate purposes, we will be less able to plan for, or react to, changes in our business, industry, and in the economy generally. This could place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less indebtedness.

The Loan Agreement contains certain covenants that limit our ability to engage in certain transactions that may be in our long-term best interest, including entering into a change in control transaction. The Loan Agreement also contains certain covenants that limit our ability to obtain additional debt financing, including incurring debt

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from third parties not permitted under the Loan Agreement or incurring liens or encumbrances on our property. While we have not previously breached and are currently in compliance with the covenants contained in the Loan Agreement, we may breach these covenants in the future. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events and factors beyond our control. In the event that we breach one or more covenants, SVB may choose to declare an event of default and require that we immediately repay all amounts outstanding under the Loan Agreement, terminate any commitment to extend further credit and foreclose on the collateral. In addition, if an event of default occurs under the Loan Agreement, SVB may, among other things, accelerate the Term Loan or do any acts it considers necessary or reasonable to protect its security interest in the collateral under the Term Loan. Events of default include the occurrence of a material adverse change in our business, operations, or condition (financial or otherwise). The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

For a more detailed description of the terms of the Loan Agreement, see the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Material Agreements—Loan Agreement” and Note 6 to our financial statements, each included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our existing stockholders, restrict our operations, or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates.

We may seek additional capital through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, strategic partnerships and alliances, and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a stockholder. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed payment obligations and could involve certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire or license intellectual property rights, and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. If we raise additional funds through strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies or current or future product candidates, or grant licenses on terms unfavorable to us.

Our employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, CROs, consultants, strategic partners, and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements.

We are exposed to the risk that employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, CROs, consultants, and vendors may engage in fraudulent or other illegal activity. Misconduct by these parties could include intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct or disclosure of unauthorized activities to us that violates: (i) the rules of the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory bodies, including those rules that require the reporting of true, complete, and accurate information to the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory bodies; (ii) manufacturing standards; (iii) healthcare fraud and abuse laws in the United States and similar foreign fraudulent misconduct laws or (iv) laws that require the true, complete, and accurate reporting of our financial information or data. These laws may impact, among other things, our current activities with principal investigators and research subjects, as well as proposed and future sales, marketing, and education programs. In particular, 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.

If we obtain regulatory approval for tildacerfont and begin commercializing those products in the United States and in Europe, our potential exposure under such laws will increase significantly, and our costs associated with compliance with such laws are also likely to increase. 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, disgorgement, monetary fines, imprisonment, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal or comparable foreign 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, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment of our operations.

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Our relationships with customers, healthcare providers and third-party payors may be subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, health information privacy and security laws, and other comparable foreign healthcare laws and regulations. If we or our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners, or vendors violate these laws, we could face substantial penalties.

Our relationships with customers, healthcare providers, and third-party payors may be subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, health information privacy and security laws, and other healthcare laws and regulations. These laws may impact, among other things, our clinical research program, as well as our proposed and future sales, marketing, and education programs. In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services is subject to extensive laws and regulations 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, sales commission, customer incentive, and other business arrangements. We may also be subject to federal, state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of identifiable patient information. The U.S. healthcare laws and regulations that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly and willfully, offering, paying, soliciting or receiving any remuneration, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce, or in return for, the purchasing, leasing, ordering or arranging for the purchase, lease, or order of any item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federal healthcare programs. The term “remuneration” has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value. Although there are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution, the exceptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly. Practices that may be alleged to be intended to induce prescribing, purchases or recommendations, include any payments of more than fair market value, and may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exception or safe harbor. In addition, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation.
federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the federal civil False Claims Act, and civil monetary penalty laws, which prohibit, among other things, individuals or entities from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment or approval from Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal government programs that are false or fraudulent or knowingly making a false statement to improperly avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government, including federal healthcare programs. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act and the civil monetary penalties statute;
the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), which created new federal civil and criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick, scheme or device, a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation;
HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and their respective implementing regulations, which impose requirements on certain healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses, known as covered entities, and their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information as well as their covered subcontractors; and
the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to CMS information

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related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors), certain other healthcare professionals (such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners), and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.

We may also be subject to state and foreign equivalents of each of the healthcare laws described above, among others, some of which may be broader in scope. For example, we may be subject to the following: state and foreign anti-kickback and false claims laws that may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third party payors, including private insurers, or that apply regardless of payor; 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; 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, marketing expenditures, or drug pricing; state and local laws requiring the registration of pharmaceutical sales and medical representatives; and state and foreign laws, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) governing the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Additionally, we may be subject to federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, and equivalent foreign laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers.

Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors available, it is possible that some of our business activities, or our arrangements with physicians, could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. It is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct or business noncompliance, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent inappropriate conduct 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 or regulations. Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements will comply with applicable healthcare laws may involve substantial costs. 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 we or our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners and vendors violate these laws, we may be subject to investigations, enforcement actions and/or significant penalties, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, monetary fines, imprisonment, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal or comparable foreign healthcare programs, contractual damages, public reprimands, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, 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, and curtailment of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations. In addition, the approval and commercialization of tildacerfont outside the United States will also likely subject us to foreign equivalents of the healthcare laws mentioned above, among other foreign laws.

If our information technology systems or data, or those of third parties upon which we rely, are or were compromised, we could experience adverse consequences resulting from such compromise, including but not limited to regulatory investigations or actions; litigation; fines and penalties; disruptions of our business operations; reputational harm; loss of revenue or profits; and other adverse consequences.

In the ordinary course of our business, we and the third parties upon which we rely collect, receive, store, process, generate, use, transfer, disclose, make accessible, protect, secure, dispose of, transmit, and share (collectively, process) proprietary, confidential, and sensitive data, including personal data (such as health-related data including in the context of clinical trials), intellectual property, and trade secrets (collectively, sensitive data). As a result, we and the third parties upon which we rely face a variety of evolving threats, including but not limited to ransomware attacks, which could cause security incidents. Cyber-attacks, malicious internet-based activity, online and offline fraud, and other similar activities threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our sensitive data and information technology systems, and those of the third parties upon which we rely. Such threats are prevalent and continue to rise, are increasingly difficult to detect, and come from a variety of sources, including traditional computer “hackers,” threat actors, “hacktivists,” organized criminal threat actors, personnel (such as through theft or misuse), sophisticated nation states, and nation-state-supported actors.

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Some actors now engage and are expected to continue to engage in cyber-attacks, including without limitation nation-state actors for geopolitical reasons and in conjunction with military conflicts and defense activities. During times of war and other major conflicts, we and the third parties upon which we rely may be vulnerable to a heightened risk of these attacks, including retaliatory cyber-attacks, that could materially disrupt our systems and operations, supply chain, and ability to produce, sell and distribute our services.

We and the third parties upon which we rely are subject to a variety of evolving threats, including but not limited to physical or electronic break-ins, social engineering attempts (including through deep fakes, phishing and spam emails), malicious code (such as computer viruses and worms), malware (including as a result of advanced persistent intrusions), ransomware attacks, natural disasters, terrorism, war, server malfunctions, telecommunication and electrical failure, denial of service attacks (such as credential stuffing attacks), credential harvesting, personnel misconduct or error, supply-chain attacks, software bugs, attacks enhanced or facilitated by AI and other similar threats.

In particular, severe ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and can lead to significant interruptions in our operations, loss of sensitive data and income, reputational harm, and diversion of funds. Extortion payments may alleviate the negative impact of a ransomware attack, but we may be unwilling or unable to make such payments due to, for example, applicable laws or regulations prohibiting such payments.

Remote work has become more common and has increased risks to our information technology systems and data, as more of our employees utilize network connections, computers, and devices outside our premises or network, including working at home, while in transit and in public locations. Additionally, future or past business transactions (such as acquisitions or integrations) could expose us to additional cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, as our systems could be negatively affected by vulnerabilities present in acquired or integrated entities’ systems and technologies. Furthermore, we may discover security issues that were not found during due diligence of such acquired or integrated entities, and it may be difficult to integrate companies into our information technology environment and security program.

In addition, our relationship with the third parties upon which we rely could introduce new cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, including supply-chain attacks, and other threats to our business operations. We rely on third-party service providers and technologies to operate critical business systems to process sensitive data in a variety of contexts, including, without limitation, cloud-based infrastructure, third-party research institution collaborators and other third parties to conduct clinical trials, data center facilities, encryption and authentication technology, employee email, and other functions. Our ability to monitor these third parties’ information security practices is limited, and these third parties may not have adequate information security measures in place. While we may be entitled to damages if our third-party service providers fail to satisfy their privacy or security-related obligations to us, any award may be insufficient to cover our damages, or we may be unable to recover such award. In addition, supply-chain attacks have increased in frequency and severity, and we cannot guarantee that third parties’ infrastructure in our supply chain or our third-party partners’ supply chains have not been compromised.

We may expend significant resources or modify our business activities (including our clinical trial activities) to try to protect against security incidents. Additionally, certain data privacy and security obligations may require us to implement and maintain specific security measures or industry-standard or reasonable security measures to protect our information technology systems and sensitive data.

While we have implemented security measures designed to protect against security incidents, there can be no assurance that these measures will be effective. We take steps to detect and remediate vulnerabilities, in our information systems (such as our hardware and/or software, including that of third parties upon which we rely. We may not detect and remediate all such vulnerabilities including on a timely basis. Further, we may experience delays in developing and deploying remedial measures and patches designed to address identified vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities could be exploited and result in a security incident.

Any of the previously identified or similar threats could cause a security incident or other interruption that could result in unauthorized, unlawful, or accidental acquisition, modification, destruction, alteration, encryption, access to, use or disclosure of, corruption of, or loss of sensitive data or our information technology systems, or those of the third parties upon whom we rely. A security incident or other interruption could disrupt our ability (and that of third parties upon whom we rely) to provide our services.

If we or the third parties upon which we rely experience a security incident, applicable data privacy and security obligations may require us to notify relevant stakeholders, such as consumers, partners, collaborators,

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government authorities, and the media. Such disclosures are costly, and the disclosure or the failure to comply with such requirements could lead to adverse consequences.

If we (or a third party upon which we rely) experience a security incident or are perceived to have experienced a security incident, we may experience adverse consequences, such as significant liabilities, regulatory and enforcement actions (including investigations, fines, penalties, audits and inspections), reputational damage, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight, restrictions on processing sensitive data (including personal data), litigation, indemnification obligations, negative publicity, monetary fund diversions, interruptions in our operations (including availability of data), diversion of management attention, financial loss, and other harms. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or ongoing clinical trials could result in delays in any regulatory approval or clearance efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data, and subsequently commercialize the product. Additionally, theft of our intellectual property or proprietary business information could require substantial expenditures to remedy. Additionally, the development and commercialization of tildacerfont could be delayed.

Furthermore, our contracts may not contain limitations of liability, and even where they do, there can be no assurance that limitations of liability in our contracts are sufficient to protect us from liabilities, damages, or claims related to our data privacy and security obligations. Additionally, we cannot be sure that our insurance coverage will be adequate or sufficient to protect us from or to mitigate liabilities arising out of our privacy and security practices, that such coverage will continue to be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or that such coverage will pay future claims.

We are subject to stringent and evolving obligations related to data privacy and security. These obligations include U.S. and foreign laws, regulations, and rules; contractual obligations; industry standards; and policies. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could lead to regulatory investigations and actions (which could include civil or criminal penalties); private litigation, (including class-action claims) and mass arbitration demands; disruptions to our business operations; adverse publicity; and other adverse consequences that could negatively affect our operating results and business.

We and the third parties upon which we rely may be subject to federal, state, local, and foreign data privacy and security laws and regulations, as well as other rules, standards, policies and contractual or other obligations, relating to the processing of personal data, including data we collect about trial participants in connection with clinical trials. If we or the third parties upon which we rely fail, or are perceived to have failed, to address or comply with any such obligations, this could result in enforcement actions that could include investigations, fines, penalties, audits and inspections, litigation (including class-action claims) and arbitration, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight, temporary or permanent bans on all or some processing of personal data, or orders to destroy or not use personal data.

In the United States, numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including state data breach notification laws, state health information privacy laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws (e.g., Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act) and regulations, and other laws (e.g., wiretapping laws) that govern the processing of personal data could apply to our operations or the operations of the third parties upon which we rely. In addition, we may obtain health information from third parties (including research institutions from which we obtain clinical trial data) that is subject to privacy and security requirements under HIPAA, as amended by HITECH. If we violate HIPAA, we may be subject to significant administrative and civil penalties. Additionally, depending on the facts and circumstances, we could be subject to criminal penalties if we knowingly obtain, use, or disclose individually identifiable health information maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity in a manner that is not authorized or permitted by HIPAA.

In addition, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”) (collectively “CCPA”), applies to personal data of consumers, business representatives, and employees who are California residents, and requires businesses to provide specific disclosures in privacy notices and honor requests of such individuals to exercise certain privacy rights. The CCPA provides for fines of up to $7,500 per intentional violation and allows private litigants affected by certain data breaches to recover significant statutory damages. Although the CCPA exempts some data processed in the context of clinical trials, the CCPA increases compliance costs and potential liability with respect to other personal data we maintain about California residents. In addition, the CPRA expanded the CCPA’s requirements, including by adding a new right for individuals to correct their personal data and establishing a new regulatory agency to implement and enforce the law.

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Other states, such as Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut and Utah have also passed comprehensive privacy laws, and similar laws are being considered in several other states, as well as at the federal and local levels. While these states, like the CCPA, also exempt some data processed in the context of clinical trials, these developments may further complicate compliance efforts, and increase legal risk and compliance costs for us and the third parties upon whom we rely.

Outside the United States, an increasing number of laws, regulations, and industry standards may govern data privacy and security, including our processing of personal data. For example, our processing of personal data is or may become subject in certain circumstances to the GDPR. Each of these regulations requires stringent standards of data privacy and security concerning personal data and potentially significant sanctions. For example, under GDPR, companies may face temporary or definitive bans on processing of personal data and other corrective actions; fines of up to 20 million Euros under the EU GDPR / 17.5 million pounds sterling under the UK GDPR or, in each case, 4% of annual global revenue whichever is greater; or private litigation related to processing of personal data brought by classes of data subjects or consumer protection organizations authorized at law to represent their interests.

In the ordinary course of business, we may transfer personal data from Europe and other jurisdictions to the United States or other countries outside Europe. Europe and other jurisdictions have enacted laws requiring data to be localized or limiting the transfer of personal data to other countries. In particular, the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and the UK have significantly restricted the transfer of personal data to the United States and other countries whose privacy laws it generally believes are inadequate. Other jurisdictions may adopt similarly stringent interpretations of their data localization and cross-border data transfer laws. Although there are currently various mechanisms that may be used to transfer personal data from the EEA and UK to the United States and other ‘inadequate’ countries in compliance with GDPR, such as the European Commission’s standard contractual clauses, the UK’s International Data Transfer Agreement / Addendum, and the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework and the UK extension thereto (which allow for transfers to relevant U.S.-based organizations who self-certify compliance and participate in the Framework and/or Extension), these mechanisms are subject to legal challenges, and there is no assurance that we can always satisfy or rely on these mechanisms to lawfully transfer personal data to the United States. If there is no lawful manner for us transfer personal data from the EEA, the UK or other jurisdictions to the United States, or if the requirements for a legally-compliant transfer are too onerous, we could face significant adverse consequences, including the interruption or degradation of our operations, the need to relocate part of or all of our business or data processing activities to other jurisdictions (such as Europe) at significant expense, increased exposure to regulatory actions, substantial fines and penalties, the inability to transfer data and work with certain collaborators, partners, vendors and other third parties upon which we rely, and injunctions against our processing or transferring of personal data necessary to operate our business. Additionally, companies that transfer personal data out of the EEA and UK to other jurisdictions, particularly to the United States, are subject to increased scrutiny from regulators, individual litigants, and activist groups. Some European regulators have ordered certain companies to suspend or permanently cease certain transfers of personal data to recipients outside the EEA for allegedly violating the EU GDPR’s cross-border data transfer limitations.

In addition to data privacy and security laws, we are bound by other contractual obligations related to data privacy and security, and our efforts to comply with such obligations may not be successful. For example, patients about whom we or the third parties upon which we rely to obtain information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may contractually limit our ability to use and disclose the information. We also publish privacy policies and other statements regarding data privacy and security. If these policies or statements are found to be deficient, lacking in transparency, deceptive, unfair, or misrepresentative of our practices, we may be subject to investigation, enforcement actions by regulators, or other adverse consequences.

Obligations related to data privacy and security (and individuals’ data privacy and security expectations) are quickly changing, becoming increasingly stringent, and creating uncertainty. Compliance with data privacy and security obligations could require us to take on more onerous requirements in our contracts, require us to engage in costly compliance exercises, restrict our ability to collect, use and disclose data, or in some cases, impact our or the third parties upon which we rely ability to operate in certain jurisdictions. Each of these constantly evolving laws can be subject to differing applications and interpretations which may be inconsistent or conflict among jurisdictions.

If we or the third parties upon which we rely fail, or are perceived to have failed, to address or comply with applicable data privacy and security obligations, we could face significant consequences, including but not limited to: government enforcement actions (e.g., investigations, fines, penalties, audits, inspections, and similar); litigation

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(including class-action claims) and mass arbitration demands; additional reporting requirements and/or oversight; bans on processing personal data; orders to destroy or not use personal data; and imprisonment of company officials. In particular, plaintiffs have become increasingly more active in bringing privacy-related claims against companies, including class claims and mass arbitration demands. Some of these claims allow for the recovery of statutory damages on a per violation basis, and, if viable, carry the potential for monumental statutory damages, depending on the volume of data and the number of violations. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, or financial condition, including but not limited to: loss of customers; interruptions or stoppages in our business operations (including, as relevant, clinical trials); inability to process personal data or to operate in certain jurisdictions; limited ability to develop or commercialize our products; expenditure of time and resources to defend any claim or inquiry; adverse publicity; or substantial changes to our business model or operations.

If product liability lawsuits are brought against us, we may incur substantial liabilities and may be required to limit commercialization of tildacerfont and any future product candidates.

We face an inherent risk of product liability as a result of the clinical testing of tildacerfont and any future product candidates and will face an even greater risk if we commercialize any products. For example, we may be sued if tildacerfont or any future product candidates causes or is perceived to cause injury or is found to be otherwise unsuitable during clinical testing, manufacturing, marketing, or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability, and a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of tildacerfont. Even successful defense would require significant financial and management resources. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

decreased demand for tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
injury to our reputation;
withdrawal of clinical trial participants;
initiation of investigations by regulatory authorities;
costs to defend the related litigation;
a diversion of management’s time and our resources;
substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;
product recalls, withdrawals or labeling, marketing, or promotional restrictions;
loss of revenue;
exhaustion of any available insurance and our capital resources;
the inability to commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates; or
a decline in our share price.

Our inability to obtain and retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop. We currently carry an aggregate of up to $10.0 million of product liability insurance covering our clinical trials. Although we maintain such insurance, any claim that may be brought against us could result in a court judgment or settlement in an amount that is not covered, in whole or in part, by our insurance or that is in excess of the limits of our insurance coverage. If we determine that it is prudent to increase our product liability coverage due to the commercial launch of any approved product, we may be unable to obtain such increased coverage on acceptable terms, or at all. Our insurance policies also have various exclusions, and we may be subject to a product liability claim for which we have no coverage. We will have to pay any amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts.

We are subject to U.S. and certain foreign export and import controls, sanctions, embargoes, anti-corruption laws and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Compliance with these legal standards could impair our ability

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to compete in domestic and international markets. We can face criminal liability and other serious consequences for violations, which can harm our business.

We are subject to export control and import laws and regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations, and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls, and anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws and regulations, including the FCPA, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and other state and national anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in the countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption laws are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies and their employees, agents, clinical research organizations, contractors and other collaborators and partners from authorizing, promising, offering, providing, soliciting or receiving, directly or indirectly, improper payments or anything else of value to recipients in the public or private sector. We may engage third parties for clinical trials outside of the United States, to sell our products internationally once we enter a commercialization phase, and/or to obtain necessary permits, licenses, patent registrations and other regulatory approvals. We have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or government-affiliated hospitals, universities and other organizations. We can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our employees, agents, clinical research organizations, contractors and other collaborators and partners, even if we do not explicitly authorize or have actual knowledge of such activities. Any violations of the laws and regulations described above may result in substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties, imprisonment, the loss of export or import privileges, debarment, tax reassessments, breach of contract and fraud litigation, reputational harm, and other consequences.

Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

We have incurred substantial losses during our history and do not expect to become profitable in the near future, and we may never achieve profitability. As of December 31, 2023, after reducing net operating losses (“NOLs”) and tax credits for amounts not expected to be utilized, we had federal NOL carryforwards of approximately $118.2 million and state NOL carryforwards of approximately $123.0 million. The federal NOL carryforwards arising in taxable years beginning prior to 2018 will begin to expire in 2036 and state NOL carryforwards will begin to expire in 2036, unless previously utilized. We also have federal and state tax credit carryforwards totaling $22.2 million and $1.7 million, respectively. The federal tax credit carryforwards will begin to expire in 2036, unless previously utilized. The state tax credits will not expire.

Under the Tax Act, as modified by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), federal NOL carryforwards generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 may be carried forward indefinitely but may only be used to offset 80% of our taxable income annually. Similar rules may apply under state tax laws. Such limitations could result in the expiration of our carryforwards before they can be utilized and, if we are profitable, our future cash flows could be adversely affected due to our increased taxable income or tax liability. Our NOLs and tax credit carryforwards are subject to review and possible adjustment by the Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities and may become subject to an annual limitations under Section 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Under Section 382, certain cumulative changes in the ownership interest of significant stockholders over a rolling three-year period in excess of 50 percentage points (by value), could result in an ownership change that may limit our ability to utilize our NOL carryforwards and other tax attributes to offset future taxable income or tax liabilities. An ownership change analysis covering periods through December 31, 2023 concluded that an ownership change occurred in May 2016 and in August 2020. As a result of the ownership changes, we derecognized NOL-related deferred tax assets down to the amount expected to be realized. Our ability to use our remaining NOL carryforwards may be further limited if we experience a Section 382 ownership change as a result of future changes in our stock ownership. As of December 31, 2023, we recorded a full valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets.

Changes in tax laws or regulations that are applied adversely to us may have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, financial condition or results of operations.

New income, sales, use or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be enacted at any time, which could adversely affect our business operations and financial performance. Further, existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. For example, the Tax Act enacted many significant changes to the U.S. tax laws. Future guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities with respect to the Tax Act may affect us, and certain aspects of the Tax Act could be repealed or modified in future legislation. For example, the CARES Act modified certain provisions of the Tax Act and the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes provisions that will impact the U.S.

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federal income taxation of corporations, including imposing a minimum tax on the book income of certain large corporations and an excise tax on certain corporate stock repurchases that would be imposed on the corporation repurchasing such stock. In addition, it is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the Tax Act, the CARES Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, or any other newly enacted federal tax legislation. Changes in corporate tax rates, the realization of net deferred tax assets relating to our operations, and the deductibility of expenses under the Tax Act, the CARES Act, the Inflation Reduction Act or future reform legislation could have a material impact on the value of our net deferred tax assets, could result in significant one-time charges, and could increase our future tax expense.

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Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

We depend on intellectual property licensed from Lilly, the termination of which could result in the loss of significant rights, which would harm our business.

We are dependent on technology, patents, know-how, and proprietary materials, both our own and licensed from others. We entered into a license agreement with Lilly in May 2016 pursuant to which we were granted an exclusive, worldwide, royalty bearing, sublicensable license under certain technology, patent rights, know-how, and proprietary materials relating to certain CRF1 receptor antagonist compounds. Any termination of this license will result in the loss of significant rights and will restrict our ability to develop and commercialize tildacerfont.

We are generally also subject to all of the same risks with respect to protection of intellectual property that we license, as we are for intellectual property that we own, which are described below under “Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property.” If we or our licensors fail to adequately protect this intellectual property, our ability to commercialize products could suffer.

We rely on third parties to conduct our clinical trials. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize tildacerfont.

We currently rely on, and intend to continue relying on, third-party CROs in connection with our clinical trials for tildacerfont. We control or will control only certain aspects of their activities. Nevertheless, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with applicable protocol, legal, regulatory, and scientific standards, and our reliance on our CROs does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities. We and our CROs are required to comply with GCPs, which are regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for product candidates in clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these GCPs through periodic inspections of trial sponsors, principal investigators and trial sites. If we or any of these CROs fail to comply with applicable GCP regulations, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. Upon inspection, such regulatory authorities may determine that our clinical trials do not comply with the GCP regulations. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with drug product produced under cGMP regulations and will require a large number of test subjects. Our failure or any failure by our CROs to comply with these regulations or to recruit a sufficient number of patients may require us to repeat clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process. Moreover, our business may be implicated if any of our CROs violates federal or state fraud and abuse or false claims laws and regulations or healthcare privacy and security laws.

Our CROs are not our employees and, except for remedies available to us under our agreements with such CROs, we cannot control whether or not they devote sufficient time and resources to our ongoing preclinical, clinical and non-clinical programs. These CROs may also have relationships with other commercial entities, including our competitors, for whom they may also be conducting clinical trials or other drug development activities, which could affect their performance on our behalf. If our CROs do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, if they need to be replaced or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to the failure to adhere to our clinical protocols or regulatory requirements or for other reasons, our clinical trials may be extended, suspended, varied, delayed, or terminated and we may not be able to complete development of, obtain regulatory approval for or successfully commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates. As a result, our financial results and the commercial prospects for tildacerfont and any future product candidates would be harmed, our costs could increase and our ability to generate revenues could be delayed.

Switching or adding CROs involves substantial cost and requires extensive management time and focus. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new CRO commences work. As a result, delays occur, which can materially impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines. Although we carefully manage our relationships with our CROs, we may encounter challenges or delays in the future and these delays or challenges may have a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

In addition, quarantines, shelter-in-place, and similar government orders, or the perception that such orders, shutdowns or other restrictions on the conduct of business operations could occur, related to infectious diseases could impact personnel at our CROs, which could disrupt our clinical timelines, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

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We rely completely on third parties to manufacture our preclinical and clinical drug supplies and we intend to rely on third parties to produce commercial supplies of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, if approved, and these third parties may fail to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for their facilities, fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of drug product or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices.

We do not currently have nor do we plan to acquire the infrastructure or capability internally to manufacture our clinical drug supplies for use in the conduct of our clinical trials, and we lack the resources and the capability to manufacture tildacerfont and any future product candidates on a clinical or commercial scale. Instead, we rely on contract manufacturers for such production. In particular, we currently rely on a single-source manufacturer for drug product, and a single-source manufacturer for drug substance.

We do not currently have any long-term agreement with a manufacturer to produce raw materials, active pharmaceutical ingredients (“APIs”), and the finished products of tildacerfont or the associated packaging used in our current product format and we may rely on single source suppliers for clinical supply of API and drug product of tildacerfont. We will need to identify and qualify a third-party manufacturer prior to commercialization of tildacerfont, and we intend to enter into agreements for commercial production with third-party suppliers. As tildacerfont is intended to treat rare endocrine disorders, we will only require a low-volume of raw materials and APIs, and in some cases with single-source suppliers and manufacturers. Our reliance on third-party suppliers and manufacturers, including single-source suppliers, could harm our ability to develop tildacerfont and any future product candidates or to commercialize any product candidates that are approved. Further, any delay in identifying and qualifying a manufacturer for commercial production could delay the potential commercialization of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, and, in the event that we do not have sufficient product to complete our clinical trials, it could delay such trials.

The facilities used by our contract manufacturers to manufacture tildacerfont and any future product candidates must be approved by the applicable regulatory authorities, including the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, pursuant to inspections that will be conducted after an NDA or comparable foreign regulatory marketing application is submitted. We currently do not control the manufacturing process of tildacerfont and are completely dependent on our contract manufacturing partners for compliance with the FDA’s and comparable foreign regulatory authorities’ cGMP requirements for manufacture of both the active drug substances and finished drug product. If our contract manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture material that conforms to our specifications and the FDA’s and comparable foreign regulatory authorities’ strict regulatory requirements, they will not be able to secure or maintain FDA or comparable foreign regulatory approval for the manufacturing facilities. In addition, we have limited control over the ability of our contract manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the FDA or any other applicable regulatory authority does not approve these facilities for the manufacture of tildacerfont or any future product candidates or if it withdraws any such approval in the future, or if our suppliers or contract manufacturers decide they no longer want to supply or manufacture for us, we may need to find alternative manufacturing facilities, in which case we might not be able to identify manufacturers for clinical or commercial supply on acceptable terms, or at all, which would significantly impact our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, or market tildacerfont and any future product candidates.

In addition, the manufacture of pharmaceutical products is complex and requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. Manufacturers of pharmaceutical products often encounter difficulties in production, particularly in scaling up and validating initial production and absence of contamination. These problems include difficulties with production costs and yields, quality control, including stability of the product, quality assurance testing, operator error, shortages of qualified personnel, as well as compliance with strictly enforced federal, state, and foreign regulations. Furthermore, if contaminants are discovered in our supply of tildacerfont or any future product candidates or in the manufacturing facilities, such manufacturing facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination. Any stability or other issues relating to the manufacture of tildacerfont may occur in the future. In addition, quarantines, shelter-in-place, and similar government orders, or the perception that such orders, shutdowns, or other restrictions on the conduct of business operations could occur, related to infectious diseases could impact personnel at our third-party manufacturing facilities upon which we rely, or the availability or cost of materials, which could disrupt the supply chain for our product candidates. Additionally, our manufacturers may experience manufacturing difficulties due to resource constraints or as a result of labor disputes or unstable political environments. If our manufacturers were to encounter any of these difficulties, or otherwise fail to comply with their contractual obligations, our ability to provide our product candidate to patients in clinical trials

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would be jeopardized. Any delay or interruption in the supply of clinical trial supplies could delay the completion of clinical trials, increase the costs associated with maintaining clinical trial programs and, depending upon the period of delay, require us to commence new clinical trials at additional expense or terminate clinical trials completely.

If we or our third-party manufacturers use hazardous and biological materials in a manner that causes injury or violates applicable law, we may be liable for damages.

Our research and development activities involve the controlled use of potentially hazardous substances, including chemical and biological materials, by our third-party manufacturers. Our manufacturers are subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations in the United States governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of medical, radioactive and hazardous materials. Although we believe that our manufacturers’ procedures for using, handling, storing and disposing of these materials comply with legally prescribed standards, we cannot completely eliminate the risk of contamination or injury resulting from medical, radioactive or hazardous materials. As a result of any such contamination or injury, we may incur liability or local, city, state or federal authorities may curtail the use of these materials and interrupt our business operations. In the event of an accident, we could be held liable for damages or penalized with fines, and the liability could exceed our resources. We do not have any insurance for liabilities arising from medical radioactive or hazardous materials. Compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations is expensive, and current or future environmental regulations may impair our research, development, and production efforts, which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition, or results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient intellectual property protection for tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies we develop, or if the scope of the intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize tildacerfont, if approved, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies if approved, may be adversely affected.

Our commercial success will depend in part on our ability to obtain and maintain a combination of patents, trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements to protect the intellectual property related to tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies we develop. If we are unable to obtain or maintain patent protection with respect to tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies we may develop, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.

The patent position of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies is highly uncertain and involves complex legal, scientific, and factual questions and has been the subject of frequent litigation in recent years. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability, and commercial value of our patent rights are highly uncertain. Our patent applications may not result in patents being issued which protect tildacerfont and uses thereof, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies we may develop or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. Further, no consistent policy regarding the breadth of claims allowed in pharmaceutical patents has emerged to date in the United States or in many jurisdictions outside of the United States. Changes in either the patent laws or interpretations of patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our intellectual property. Accordingly, we cannot predict the breadth of claims that may be obtained or enforced in the patents that have been issued or may be issued from the applications we currently or may in the future own or license from third parties. Further, if any patents or applications we obtain or license are deemed invalid and unenforceable, our ability to commercialize or license our technology could be adversely affected.

The patent application process is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that we or any of our actual or potential future collaborators will be successful in protecting tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies and their uses by obtaining, defending and enforcing patents. These risks and uncertainties include the following:

the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other provisions during the patent process, the noncompliance with which can result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application, and partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction;
patent applications may not result in any patents being issued;

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patents that may be issued or in-licensed may be challenged, invalidated, modified, revoked, circumvented, found to be unenforceable, or may otherwise not provide any competitive advantage;
our competitors, many of whom have substantially greater resources than we do and many of whom have made significant investments in competing technologies, may seek or may have already obtained patents that will limit, interfere with, or eliminate our ability to make, use and sell our potential product candidates and may limit, interfere with, or eliminate our ability to obtain patents related to tildacerfont;
other parties may have or may seek to design around our claims or develop technologies that may be related or competitive to our platform, may have filed or may file patent applications and may have received or may receive patents that overlap or conflict with our patent applications and patents, either by claiming the same composition of matter, methods or formulations or by claiming subject matter that could dominate our patent position;
any successful opposition to any patents owned by or licensed to us could deprive us of rights necessary for the practice of our technologies or the successful commercialization of any products or product candidates that we may develop;
because patent applications in the United States and most other countries are confidential for a period of time after filing, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to file any patent application related to tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies and their uses;
an interference proceeding can be provoked by a third party or instituted by the USPTO to determine who was the first to invent any of the subject matter covered by the patent claims of our applications for any application with an effective filing date before March 16, 2013; as such, subject matter covered in patents or patent applications that we or our licensors have filed before March 16, 2013 may be challenged and invalidated under an interference proceeding;
there may be significant pressure on the U.S. government and international governmental bodies to limit the scope of patent protection both inside and outside the United States for disease treatments that prove successful, as a matter of public policy regarding worldwide health concerns; and
countries other than the United States may have patent laws less favorable to patentees than those upheld by U.S. courts, allowing foreign competitors a better opportunity to create, develop, and market competing product candidates in those countries.

The patent prosecution process is expensive, time-consuming, and complex, and we may not be able to file, prosecute, or maintain all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. It is also possible that we will fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development output before it is too late to obtain patent protection. Although we enter into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to patentable aspects of our research and development output, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties, any of these parties may breach such agreements and disclose such output before a patent application is filed, thereby jeopardizing our ability to seek patent protection for such output. In addition, our ability to obtain and maintain valid and enforceable patents depends on whether the differences between our inventions and the prior art allow our inventions to be patentable over the prior art. Furthermore, publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all. Therefore, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to make the inventions claimed in any of our owned or licensed patents or pending patent applications, or that we or our licensors were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions.

The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain because legal means afford only limited protection and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep our competitive advantage. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology, competitors may be able to use tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies and erode or negate any competitive advantage we may have, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. For example:

others may be able to make compounds that are similar to tildacerfont and any future product candidates but that are not covered by the claims of our patents;

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others may be able to make and use tildacerfont and any future product candidates in countries where valid enforceable patents are not obtained;
we might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by our pending patent applications;
we might not have been the first to file patent applications for these inventions;
others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies;
any patents that we obtain may not provide us with any competitive advantages;
we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;
our competitors might conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not have patent rights or where patent protection is weak and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets;
we cannot ensure that any of our patents, or any of our pending patent applications, if issued, or those of our licensors, will include claims having a scope sufficient to protect our products;
we cannot ensure that we will be able to successfully commercialize our products on a substantial scale, if approved, before the relevant patents that we own or license expire;
others may obtain patents that cover the use or manufacture of tildacerfont; or
the patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business.

Others have filed, and in the future are likely to file, patent applications covering products and technologies that are similar, identical or competitive to ours or important to our business. We cannot be certain that any patent application owned by a third party will not have priority over patent applications filed or in-licensed by us, or that we or our licensors will not be involved in interference, opposition or invalidity proceedings before U.S. or non-U.S. patent offices.

We cannot be certain that the claims in our issued patents and pending patent applications covering tildacerfont or any future product candidates will be considered patentable by the USPTO, courts in the United States, or by patent offices or courts in foreign countries. Furthermore, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent or in the same manner as the laws of the United States. As a result, we may encounter significant problems in protecting and defending our intellectual property internationally.

The strength of patents in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields involves complex legal and scientific questions and can be uncertain. The patent applications that we own or in-license may fail to result in issued patents with claims that cover tildacerfont and any future product candidates in the United States or in foreign countries. Even if such patents do successfully issue, third parties may challenge the ownership, validity, enforceability, or scope thereof, which may result in such patents being narrowed, invalidated, or held unenforceable. Any successful opposition to our patents could deprive us of exclusive rights necessary for the successful commercialization of tildacerfont and any future product candidates. Furthermore, even if they are unchallenged, our patents may not adequately protect our intellectual property, provide exclusivity for tildacerfont or any future product candidates or prevent others from designing around our claims. If the breadth or strength of protection provided by the patents we hold with respect to tildacerfont or any future product candidates is threatened, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to develop, or threaten our ability to commercialize, tildacerfont or any future product candidates.

For U.S. patent applications in which claims are entitled to a priority date before March 16, 2013, an interference proceeding can be provoked by a third party or instituted by the USPTO to determine who was the first to invent any of the subject matter covered by the patent claims of our patents or patent applications. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms. Our participation in an interference proceeding may fail and, even if successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees.

For U.S. patent applications containing a claim not entitled to priority before March 16, 2013, there is greater level of uncertainty in the patent law. In September 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“America Invents

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Act”) was signed into law. The America Invents Act includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law, including provisions that affect the way patent applications will be prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation. The USPTO is developing regulations and procedures to govern the administration of the America Invents Act, and many of the substantive changes to patent law associated with the America Invents Act, and in particular, the “first to file” provisions, were enacted on March 16, 2013. This will require us to be cognizant going forward of the time from invention to filing of a patent application and be diligent in filing patent applications, but circumstances could prevent us from promptly filing patent applications on our inventions. It remains unclear what impact the America Invents Act will have on the operation of our business. As such, the America Invents Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our product candidates for an adequate amount of time.

The term of any individual patent depends on applicable law in the country where the patent is granted. In the United States, provided all maintenance fees are timely paid, a patent generally has a term of 20 years from its application filing date or earliest claimed non-provisional filing date. Extensions may be available under certain circumstances, such as patent term adjustments, but the life of a patent and, correspondingly, the protection it affords is limited. Even if we or our licensors obtain patents covering our product candidates, when the terms of all patents covering a product expire, our business may become subject to competition from competitive products, including generic products. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing, and regulatory review and approval of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates may expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. As a result, our owned and licensed patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.

If we do not obtain patent term extension for tildacerfont, our business may be materially harmed.

Depending upon the timing, duration, and specifics of any FDA marketing approval of tildacerfont, or any future product candidate we may develop, one or more of patents issuing from our U.S. patent applications may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Action of 1984 (“Hatch-Waxman Amendments”). The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent extension term (“PTE”) of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. A patent term extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval, only one patent may be extended and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. Similar patent term restoration provisions to compensate for commercialization delay caused by regulatory review are also available in certain foreign jurisdictions, such as in Europe under Supplemental Protection Certificate (“SPC”). If we encounter delays in our development efforts, including our clinical trials, the period of time during which we could market tildacerfont and any future product candidates under patent protection would be reduced. Additionally, we may not receive an extension if we fail to apply within applicable deadlines, fail to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents, or otherwise fail to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the applicable time period or the scope of patent protection afforded could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or restoration, or the term of any such extension is less than we request, the period during which we will have the right to exclusively market our product will be shortened and our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following our patent expiration, and our revenue could be reduced.

If we fail to comply with our obligations in the agreements under which we license intellectual property rights from third parties, such as our license agreement with Lilly, or otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our licensors, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.

We are a party to a license agreement with Lilly under which we are granted intellectual property rights that are important to our business and our only product candidate, tildacerfont. If we fail to comply with our obligations under the license agreement, or we are subject to a bankruptcy, the license agreement may be terminated, in which event we would not be able to develop, commercialize or market tildacerfont.

Licensing of intellectual property rights is of critical importance to our business and involves complex legal, business and scientific issues. Disputes may arise between us and our licensors regarding intellectual property rights subject to a license agreement, including:

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the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;
whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe on intellectual property rights of the licensor that are not subject to the license agreement;
our right to sublicense intellectual property rights to third parties under collaborative development relationships;
our diligence obligations with respect to the use of the licensed technology in relation to our development and commercialization of tildacerfont, and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations; and
the ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners.

Further, our current licensor or any future licensor may not always act in our best interest. If disputes over intellectual property rights that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on acceptable terms, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects may be adversely affected. We may enter into additional licenses in the future and if we fail to comply with obligations under those agreements, we could suffer adverse consequences.

We are generally also subject to all of the same risks with respect to protection of intellectual property that we license as we are for intellectual property that we own, which are described below. If we, our current licensor, or any future licensor fail to adequately protect this intellectual property, our ability to commercialize tildacerfont and any future product could be impeded.

Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for non-compliance with these requirements.

The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment, and other similar provisions during the patent process. Periodic maintenance fees, renewal fees, annuity fees and various other governmental fees on any issued patents and/or applications are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patents and/or applications. We have systems in place to remind us to pay these fees, and we employ an outside firm and rely on our outside counsel to pay these fees due to foreign patent agencies. While an inadvertent lapse may sometimes be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, our competitors might be able to enter the market with similar or identical products or technology earlier than should otherwise have been the case, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Changes in U.S. patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect tildacerfont.

As is the case with other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly on obtaining and enforcing patents. Our patent rights may be affected by developments or uncertainty in U.S. or foreign patent statutes, patent case law, USPTO rules and regulations or the rules and regulations of foreign patent offices. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry involve both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. In addition, the United States may, at any time, enact changes to U.S. patent law and regulations, including by legislation, by regulatory rule-making, or by judicial precedent, that adversely affect the scope of patent protection available and weaken the rights of patent owners to obtain patents, enforce patent infringement and obtain injunctions and/or damages. For example, the scope of patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101 has evolved significantly over the past several years as the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court issued various opinions, and the USPTO modified its guidance for practitioners on multiple occasions. Other countries may likewise enact changes to their patent laws in ways that adversely diminish the scope of patent protection and weaken the rights of patent owners to obtain patents, enforce patent infringement, and obtain injunctions and/or damages.

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Further, the United States and other governments may, at any time, enact changes to law and regulation that create new avenues for challenging the validity of issued patents. For example, the America Invents Act created new administrative post-grant proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review, and derivation proceedings that allow third parties to challenge the validity of issued patents. This applies to all of our U.S. patents, even those issued before March 16, 2013. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in U.S. federal courts necessary to invalidate a patent claim, a third party could potentially provide evidence in a USPTO proceeding sufficient for the USPTO to hold a claim invalid even though the same evidence would be insufficient to invalidate the claim if first presented in a district court action. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that could weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on several patent cases in recent years, either narrowing the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weakening the rights of patent owners in certain situations. We cannot predict how decisions by the federal courts, the U.S. Congress or the USPTO may impact the value of our patent rights. For example, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Amgen v. Sanofi (2023) that a functionally claimed genus was invalid for failing to comply with the enablement requirement of the Patent Act. In addition, the Federal circuit recently issued a decision, In re Cellect, LLC (2023) involving the interaction of patent term adjustment (“PTA”), terminal disclaimers, and obvious-type double patenting which may affect the patent term of any issued patents that rely on any PTA. Depending on future actions by the U.S. Congress, the U.S. courts, the USPTO and the relevant law-making bodies in other countries, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future. For example, in the 2013 case Assoc. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that certain claims to DNA molecules are not patentable. While we do not believe that any of the patents owned or licensed by us will be found invalid based on this decision, we cannot predict how future decisions by the courts, the U.S. Congress or the USPTO may impact the value of our patents. For example, The Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) passed by Congress authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to negotiate prices directly with participating manufacturers for selected medicines covered by Medicare even if these medicines are protected by an existing patent. For small molecule medicines, the process begins seven years after initial approval by the FDA. While we do not believe that the IRA or its effects will impact our ability to obtain patents in the near future, we cannot be certain that it will not affect our patent strategy in the long term.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.

Patents are of national or regional effect. Filing, prosecuting, and defending patents on tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies we develop in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights in the same manner and to the same extent as laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement of such patent protection is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our products and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.

The requirements for patentability may differ in certain countries. For example, unlike other countries, China has a heightened requirement for patentability, and specifically requires a detailed description of medical uses of a claimed drug. In India, unlike the United States, there is no link between regulatory approval for a drug and its patent status. In addition to India, certain countries in Europe and developing countries, including China, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, some countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors.

In those countries, we may have limited remedies if patents are infringed or if we are compelled to grant a license to a third party, which could materially diminish the value of those patents. This could limit our potential revenue opportunities. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we own or license.

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Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets, and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biotechnology or pharmaceutical products, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. In Europe, no earlier than October 1, 2022, European applications have the option, upon grant of a patent, of becoming a Unitary Patent which will be subject to the jurisdiction of the Unitary Patent Court (UPC). This is a significant change in European patent practice. As the UPC is a new court system, there is no precedent for the court, increasing the uncertainty of any litigation. In advance of June 1, 2023, European applications and patents had the option to opt-out of the UPC. We have opted-out all company owned European applications and patents from the UPC before the deadline. Also, for the licensed European applications and patents, the licensor has opted-out the licensed European applications and patents from the UPC except for EP1869049. Opted-out European applications and patents can withdraw opt-out requests and opt back in the UPC in the future. Nonetheless, due the uncertainty of the UPC, proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly, and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.

Geo-political actions in the United States and in foreign countries could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution or maintenance of our patent applications or those of any current or future licensors and the maintenance, enforcement or defense of our issued patents or those of any current or future licensors. For example, the United States and foreign government actions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may limit or prevent filing, prosecution and maintenance of patent applications in Russia. Government actions may also prevent maintenance of issued patents in Russia. These actions could result in abandonment or lapse of our patents or patent applications, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in Russia. If such an event were to occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, a decree was adopted by the Russian government in March 2022, allowing Russian companies and individuals to exploit inventions owned by patentees that have citizenship or nationality in, are registered in, or have predominately primary place of business or profit-making activities in the United States and other countries that Russia has deemed unfriendly without consent or compensation. Consequently, we would not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in Russia or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into Russia. Accordingly, our competitive position may be impaired, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be adversely affected.

We may become subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents and other intellectual property.

We may be subject to claims that former employees (including former employees of our licensors), collaborators or other third parties have an interest in our patents rights, trade secrets, or other intellectual property as an inventor or co-inventor. The failure to name the proper inventors on a patent application can result in the patents issuing thereon being unenforceable. For example, we may have inventorship disputes arise from conflicting views regarding the contributions of different individuals named as inventors, the effects of foreign laws where foreign nationals are involved in the development of the subject matter of the patent, conflicting obligations of third parties involved in developing tildacerfont or as a result of questions regarding co-ownership of potential joint inventions. Litigation may be necessary to resolve these and other claims challenging inventorship and/or ownership. Alternatively, or additionally, we may enter into agreements to clarify the scope of our rights in such intellectual property. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, valuable intellectual property. Such an outcome could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.

We may not be successful in obtaining or maintaining necessary rights to product components and processes for our development pipeline through acquisitions and in-licenses.

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Presently we have intellectual property rights, through licenses from third parties including Lilly, related to tildacerfont. Because our program may require the use of additional proprietary rights held by third parties, the growth of our business will likely depend in part on our ability to acquire, in-license or use these proprietary rights. In addition, tildacerfont may require specific formulations to work effectively and efficiently and these rights may be held by others. We may be unable to acquire or in-license, on reasonable terms, proprietary rights related to any compositions, formulations, methods of use, processes or other intellectual property rights from third parties that we identify as being necessary for tildacerfont. Even if we are able to obtain a license to such proprietary rights, it may be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us. In that event, we may be required to expend significant time and resources to develop or license replacement technology.

Where we obtain licenses from, grant licenses to, or collaborate with third parties, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing, and prosecution of patent applications, or to maintain the patents, covering technology that we license to or from third parties in certain countries or regions. Such activities, if controlled by us, may require the input of such third parties. Such activities, if controlled by such third parties, may require the input of us. However, in either case, such third parties may not cooperate with us even where such third parties are obligated to do so. We may not align on strategies for prosecuting the relevant patent applications or maintaining the relevant patents. For example, such third-party may not cooperate with us and may decide to prosecute the patent application in a manner that is inconsistent with the best interests of our business, or fails to comply with applicable laws and regulations. The validity and enforceability of such patents or any patents that may issue from such patent applications may be affected.

We may also require the cooperation of our licensors, licensees, and collaborators to enforce any licensed patent rights, and such cooperation may not be provided. Therefore, these patents and patent applications may not be prosecuted, maintained, and/or enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business, or in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, which may affect the validity and enforceability of such patents or any patents that may issue from such patent applications. Moreover, if we do obtain necessary licenses, we will likely have obligations under those licenses, including making royalty and milestone payments, and any failure to satisfy those obligations could give our licensor the right to terminate the license. Termination of a necessary license, or expiration of licensed patents or patent applications, could have a material adverse impact on our business. Our business would suffer if any such licenses terminate, if the licensors fail to abide by the terms of the license, if the licensors fail to enforce licensed patents against infringing third parties, if the licensed patents or other rights are found to be invalid or unenforceable, or if we are unable to enter into necessary licenses on acceptable terms. Furthermore, if any licenses terminate, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended exclusivity, competitors or other third parties may gain the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products identical or similar to ours. Moreover, our licensors may own or control intellectual property that has not been licensed to us and, as a result, we may be subject to claims, regardless of their merit, that we are infringing or otherwise violating the licensor’s rights. In addition, while we cannot currently determine the amount of the royalty obligations we would be required to pay on sales of future products, if any, the amounts may be significant. The amount of our future royalty obligations will depend on the technology and intellectual property we use in products that we successfully develop and commercialize, if any. Therefore, even if we successfully develop and commercialize products, we may be unable to achieve or maintain profitability.

The licensing and acquisition of third-party proprietary rights is a competitive area, and companies, which may be more established, or have greater resources than we do, may also be pursuing strategies to license or acquire third-party proprietary rights that we may consider necessary or attractive in order to commercialize tildacerfont. More established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, cash resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities.

For example, we may collaborate with U.S. and foreign academic institutions to accelerate our preclinical research or development under written agreements with these institutions. Typically, these institutions provide us with an option to negotiate an exclusive license to any of the institution’s proprietary rights in technology resulting from the collaboration. Regardless of such option to negotiate a license, we may be unable to negotiate a license within the specified time frame or under terms that are acceptable to us. If we are unable to do so, the institution may offer, on an exclusive basis, their proprietary rights to other parties, potentially blocking our ability to pursue our program.

In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us, either on reasonable terms, or at all. We also may be unable to license or acquire third-party intellectual property

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rights on terms that would allow us to make an appropriate return on our investment, or at all. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property rights on commercially reasonable terms, our ability to commercialize our products, and our business, financial condition, and prospects for growth, could suffer.

Third-party claims alleging intellectual property infringement may prevent or delay our drug discovery and development efforts.

Our success depends in part on our avoiding infringement of the patents and proprietary rights of third parties. There is a substantial amount of litigation, both within and outside the United States, involving patents and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as administrative proceedings for challenging patents, including inter partes review, interference and reexamination proceedings before the USPTO, or oppositions and other comparable proceedings in foreign jurisdictions. The America Invents Act introduced new procedures including inter partes review and post grant review. The implementation of these procedures brings uncertainty to the possibility of challenges to our patents in the future and the outcome of such challenges. Numerous U.S. and foreign issued patents and pending patent applications, which are owned by third parties, exist in the fields in which we are developing tildacerfont. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our activities related to tildacerfont may give rise to claims of infringement of the patent rights of others.

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have produced a proliferation of patents, and it is not always clear to industry participants, including us, which patents cover various types of products or methods of use. The coverage of patents is subject to interpretation by the courts, and the interpretation is not always uniform. We cannot assure you that any of our current or future product candidates will not infringe existing or future patents. We may not be aware of patents that have already issued that a third party might assert are infringed by one of our current or future product candidates. Nevertheless, we are not aware of any issued patents that will prevent us from marketing tildacerfont.

Third parties may assert that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. There may be third-party patents of which we are currently unaware with claims to materials, formulations, methods of manufacture or methods for treatment related to the use or manufacture of tildacerfont. Because patent applications can take many years to issue and may be confidential for 18 months or more after filing, there may be currently pending third-party patent applications which may later result in issued patents that tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies may infringe, or which such third parties claim are infringed by the use of our technologies. Parties making claims against us for infringement or misappropriation of their intellectual property rights may seek and obtain injunctive or other equitable relief, which could effectively block our ability to further develop and commercialize tildacerfont or future product candidates. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, could involve substantial expenses and could be a substantial diversion of management and other employee resources from our business.

If we collaborate with third parties in the development of technology in the future, our collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our proprietary information in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to litigation or potential liability. Further, collaborators may infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, which may expose us to litigation and potential liability. In the future, we may agree to indemnify our commercial collaborators against certain intellectual property infringement claims brought by third parties.

Any claims of patent infringement asserted by third parties would be time-consuming and could:

result in costly litigation;
divert the time and attention of our technical personnel and management;
cause development delays;
prevent us from commercializing tildacerfont or any future product candidates until the asserted patent expires or is finally held invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed in a court of law;
require us to develop non-infringing technology, which may not be possible on a cost-effective basis;
require us to pay damages to the party whose intellectual property rights we may be found to be infringing, which may include treble damages if we are found to have been willfully infringing such intellectual property;

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require us to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of litigation to the party whose intellectual property rights we may be found to be willfully infringing; and/or
require us to enter into royalty or license agreements, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

If we are sued for patent infringement, we would need to demonstrate that our products or methods either do not infringe the patent claims of the relevant patent or that the patent claims are invalid or unenforceable, and we may not be able to do either. Proving invalidity or unenforceability is difficult. For example, in the United States, proving invalidity before federal courts requires a showing of clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption of validity enjoyed by issued patents. Even if we are successful in these proceedings, we may incur substantial costs and divert management’s time and attention in pursuing these proceedings, which could have a material adverse effect on us. If we are unable to avoid infringing the patent rights of others, we may be required to seek a license, which may not be available, defend an infringement action or challenge the validity or enforceability of the patents in court. Patent litigation is costly and time-consuming. We may not have sufficient resources to bring these actions to a successful conclusion. In addition, if we do not obtain a license, develop or obtain non-infringing technology, fail to defend an infringement action successfully or have infringed patents declared invalid or unenforceable, we may incur substantial monetary damages, encounter significant delays in bringing tildacerfont to market and be precluded from developing, manufacturing or selling tildacerfont.

We do not always conduct independent reviews of pending patent applications of and patents issued to third parties. We cannot be certain that any of our or our licensors’ patent searches or analyses, including but not limited to the identification of relevant patents, analysis of the scope of relevant patent claims or determination of the expiration of relevant patents, are complete or thorough, nor can we be certain that we have identified each and every third-party patent and pending application in the United States, Europe and elsewhere that is relevant to or necessary for the commercialization of our product candidates in any jurisdiction, because:

some patent applications in the United States may be maintained in secrecy until the patents are issued;
patent applications in the United States and elsewhere can be pending for many years before issuance, or unintentionally abandoned patents or applications can be revived;
pending patent applications that have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our technologies, tildacerfont, and any future product candidates or the use of tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
identification of third-party patent rights that may be relevant to our technology is difficult because patent searching is imperfect due to differences in terminology among patents, incomplete databases, and the difficulty in assessing the meaning of patent claims;
patent applications in the United States are typically not published until 18 months after the priority date; and
publications in the scientific literature often lag behind actual discoveries.

Furthermore, the scope of a patent claim is determined by an interpretation of the law, the written disclosure in a patent and the patent’s prosecution history and can involve other factors such as expert opinion. Our interpretation of the relevance or the scope of claims in a patent or a pending application may be incorrect, which may negatively impact our ability to market our products. Further, we may incorrectly determine that our technologies, products, or product candidates are not covered by a third-party patent or may incorrectly predict whether a third party’s pending patent application will issue with claims of relevant scope. Our determination of the expiration date of any patent in the United States or internationally that we consider relevant may be incorrect, which may negatively impact our ability to develop and market our products or product candidates.

Our competitors may have filed, and may in the future file, patent applications covering technology similar to ours, and others may have or obtain patents or proprietary rights that could limit our ability to make, use, sell, offer for sale or import tildacerfont and future approved products or impair our competitive position. Numerous third-party U.S. and foreign issued patents and pending patent applications exist in the fields in which we are developing product candidates. There may be third-party patents or patent applications with claims to materials, formulations, methods of manufacture or methods for treatment related to the use or manufacture of tildacerfont. Any such patent application may have priority over our patent applications, which could further require us to obtain rights to issued

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patents covering such technologies. If another party has filed a U.S. patent application on inventions similar to ours, we may have to participate in an interference proceeding declared by the USPTO to determine priority of invention in the United States. The costs of these proceedings could be substantial, and it is possible that such efforts would be unsuccessful if, unbeknownst to us, the other party had independently arrived at the same or similar invention prior to our own invention, resulting in a loss of our U.S. patent position with respect to such inventions. Other countries have similar laws that permit secrecy of patent applications and may be entitled to priority over our applications in such jurisdictions.

Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. In addition, any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our operations.

If a third party prevails in a patent infringement lawsuit against us, we may have to stop making and selling the infringing product, pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees if we are found to be willfully infringing a third party’s patents, obtain one or more licenses from third parties, pay royalties or redesign our infringing products, which may be impossible or require substantial time and monetary expenditure.

We cannot predict whether any such license would be available at all or whether it would be available on commercially reasonable terms. Furthermore, even in the absence of litigation, we may need to obtain licenses from third parties to advance our research or allow commercialization of tildacerfont. We may fail to obtain any of these licenses at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms, if at all. In that event, we would be unable to further develop and commercialize tildacerfont, which could harm our business significantly. Even if we were able to obtain a license, the rights may be nonexclusive, which may give our competitors access to the same intellectual property.

We may be subject to claims that we have wrongfully hired an employee from a competitor or that we or our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged confidential information or trade secrets of their former employers.

As is common in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, in addition to our employees, we engage the services of consultants to assist us in the development of tildacerfont, any future product candidates, and other proprietary technologies. Many of these consultants, and many of our employees, were previously employed at, or may have previously provided or may be currently providing consulting services to, other pharmaceutical companies including our competitors or potential competitors. We may become subject to claims that we, our employees or a consultant inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other information proprietary to their former employers or their former or current clients. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel, which could adversely affect our business. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to our management team and other employees.

We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patents or the patents of our licensors, which could be expensive, time-consuming, and unsuccessful. Further, our issued patents could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court, and we may incur substantial costs as a result of litigation or other proceedings relating to patent and other intellectual property rights.

Third parties including competitors may infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate our patents, patents that may issue to us in the future, or the patents of our licensors that are licensed to us. To counter infringement or unauthorized use, we may need to or choose to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming. We may not be able to prevent, alone or with our licensors, infringement, misappropriation, or other violation of our intellectual property, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States.

If we choose to go to court to stop another party from using the inventions claimed in our patents, that individual or company has the right to ask the court to rule that such patents are invalid, unenforceable, or should not be enforced against that third party for any number of reasons. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge include an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements for patentability, including, but not limited to, lack of novelty, obviousness, lack of written description, indefiniteness, or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could include an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO or made a misleading statement during prosecution, i.e., committed

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inequitable conduct. Third parties may also raise similar claims before the USPTO, even outside the context of litigation. For example, in May 2021, Neurocrine filed a petition requesting the USPTO to institute an administrative proceeding involving the post-grant review of the patentability of United States Patent 10,849,908. In December 2021, the USPTO denied Neurocrine’s request for post-grant review. In January 2022, Neurocrine requested a rehearing of the USPTO’s decision to deny the post-grant review and also filed a request that the Procedural Opinion Panel (“POP”) review the case. Additionally, in February 2022, Neurocrine filed a petition requesting the USPTO to institute an administrative proceeding involving the post-grant review of the patentability of United States Patent 11,007,201. In September 2022, the USPTO denied Neurocrine’s request for post-grant review. In October 2022, Neurocrine requested a rehearing of the USPTO’s decision to deny the post-grant review and also filed a request that the POP review the case. In July 2023, the USPTO dismissed the rehearing and POP requests and granted sua sponte Director Review of the Board’s decisions. In August 2023, the USPTO issued a Director Review decision addressing the standards for inherent anticipation and written description and remanded for a new decision about institution from the Board. In December 2023, the Board instituted post-grant review. Similar mechanisms for challenging the validity and enforceability of a patent exist in foreign patent offices and courts and may result in the revocation, cancellation, or amendment of any foreign patents we or our licensors hold now or in the future. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable, and prior art could render our patents or those of our licensors invalid. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on such product candidate. Such a loss of patent protection would have a material adverse impact on our business.

Interference or derivation proceedings provoked by third parties or brought by us or declared by the USPTO may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions with respect to our patents or patent applications or those of our licensors. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or if a non-exclusive license is offered and our competitors gain access to the same technology. Our defense of litigation or interference proceedings may fail and, even if successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees. In addition, the uncertainties associated with litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our clinical trials, continue our research programs, license necessary technology from third parties, or enter into development or manufacturing partnerships that would help us bring tildacerfont and any future product candidates to market.

Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to our intellectual property rights may cause us to incur significant expenses and could distract our technical and management personnel from their normal responsibilities. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments and if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock. Such litigation or proceedings could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce the resources available for development activities or any future sales, marketing, or distribution activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to conduct such litigation or proceedings adequately. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could compromise our ability to compete in the marketplace. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation.

Our ability to enforce our patent rights depends on our ability to detect infringement. It may be difficult to detect infringers who do not advertise the components or methods that are used in connection with their products and services. Moreover, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain evidence of infringement in a competitor’s or potential competitor’s product or service. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded if we were to prevail may not be commercially meaningful.

Because of the expense and uncertainty of litigation, we may not be in a position to enforce our intellectual property rights against third parties.

Because of the expense and uncertainty of litigation, we may conclude that even if a third party is infringing our issued patent, any patents that may be issued as a result of our pending or future patent applications or other intellectual property rights, the risk-adjusted cost of bringing and enforcing such a claim or action may be too high

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or not in the best interest of our company or our stockholders. In such cases, we may decide that the more prudent course of action is to simply monitor the situation or initiate or seek some other non-litigious action or solution.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position would be harmed. Our reliance on third parties requires us to share our trade secrets, which increases the possibility that a competitor will discover them or that our trade secrets will be misappropriated or disclosed.

We rely on trade secrets to protect our proprietary technologies, especially where we do not believe patent protection is appropriate or obtainable. However, trade secrets are difficult to protect. We rely in part on confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers, and other advisors, and inventions agreements with employees, consultants, and advisors, to protect our trade secrets and other proprietary information. In addition to contractual measures, we try to protect the confidential nature of our proprietary information using commonly accepted physical and technological security measures. Despite these efforts, we cannot provide any assurances that all such agreements have been duly executed, and these agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets and proprietary information. For example, the FDA, as part of its Transparency Initiative, is currently considering whether to make additional information publicly available on a routine basis, including information that we may consider to be trade secrets or other proprietary information, and it is not clear at the present time how the FDA’s disclosure policies may change in the future, if at all. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain trade secret protection could adversely affect our competitive business position.

In addition, such security measures may not provide adequate protection for our proprietary information, for example, in the case of misappropriation of a trade secret by an employee, consultant, customer, or third party with authorized access. Our security measures may not prevent an employee, consultant or customer from misappropriating our trade secrets and providing them to a competitor, and recourse we take against such misconduct may not provide an adequate remedy to protect our interests fully. Monitoring unauthorized uses and disclosures is difficult, and we do not know whether the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary technologies will be effective. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to copy or reverse engineer certain aspects of our products that we consider proprietary. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. Even though we use commonly accepted security measures, the criteria for protection of trade secrets can vary among different jurisdictions.

Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts inside and outside the United States are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets. Moreover, third parties may still obtain this information or may come upon this or similar information independently, and we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us. Trade secrets will over time be disseminated within the industry through independent development, the publication of journal articles, and the movement of personnel skilled in the art from company to company or academic to industry scientific positions. Though our agreements with third parties typically restrict the ability of our advisors, employees, collaborators, licensors, suppliers, third-party contractors, and consultants to publish data potentially relating to our trade secrets, our agreements may contain certain limited publication rights. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent such competitor from using that technology or information to compete with us, which could harm our competitive position. Because from time to time we expect to rely on third parties in the development, manufacture, and distribution of our products and provision of our services, we must, at times, share trade secrets with them. Despite employing the contractual and other security precautions described above, the need to share trade secrets increases the risk that such trade secrets become known by our competitors, are inadvertently incorporated into the technology of others, or are disclosed or used in violation of these agreements. If any of these events occurs or if we otherwise lose protection for our trade secrets, the value of this information may be greatly reduced and our competitive position would be harmed. If we do not apply for patent protection prior to such publication or if we cannot otherwise maintain the confidentiality of our proprietary technology and other confidential information, then our ability to obtain patent protection or to protect our trade secret information may be jeopardized.

If our trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, then we may not be able to build name recognition in our markets of interest and our business may be adversely affected.

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Our future trademarks or trade names may be unable to be obtained, challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names, which we need to build name recognition among potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. At times, competitors may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. In addition, there could be potential trade name or trademark infringement claims brought by owners of other trademarks or trademarks that incorporate variations of our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names. Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, then we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected. We may license our trademarks and trade names to third parties, such as distributors. Though these license agreements may provide guidelines for how our trademarks and trade names may be used, a breach of these agreements or misuse of our trademarks and tradenames by our licensees may jeopardize our rights in or diminish the goodwill associated with our trademarks and trade names. Our efforts to enforce or protect our proprietary rights related to trademarks, trade names, trade secrets, domain names, copyrights, or other intellectual property may be ineffective and could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.

Moreover, any name we have proposed to use with tildacerfont in the United States must be approved by the FDA, regardless of whether we have registered it, or applied to register it, as a trademark. The FDA typically conducts a review of proposed product names, including an evaluation of potential for confusion with other product names. If the FDA (or an equivalent administrative body in a foreign jurisdiction) objects to any of our proposed proprietary product names, it may be required to expend significant additional resources in an effort to identify a suitable substitute name that would qualify under applicable trademark laws, not infringe the existing rights of third parties, and be acceptable to the FDA. Similar requirements exist in Europe. Furthermore, in many countries, owning and maintaining a trademark registration may not provide an adequate defense against a subsequent infringement claim asserted by the owner of a senior trademark. At times, competitors or other third parties may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. In addition, there could be potential trade name or trademark infringement claims brought by owners of other registered trademarks or trademarks that incorporate variations of our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names. If we assert trademark infringement claims, a court may determine that the marks we have asserted are invalid or unenforceable, or that the party against whom we have asserted trademark infringement has superior rights to the marks in question. In this case, we could ultimately be forced to cease use of such trademarks.

Any collaboration arrangements that we may enter into in the future may not be successful, which could adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize our products.

Any future collaborations that we enter into may not be successful. The success of our collaboration arrangements will depend heavily on the efforts and activities of our collaborators. Collaborations are subject to numerous risks, which may include that:

collaborators have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to collaborations;
collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of our products or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on trial or test results, changes in their strategic focus due to the acquisition of competitive products, availability of funding, or other external factors, such as a business combination that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;
collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
a collaborator with marketing, manufacturing, and distribution rights to one or more products may not commit sufficient resources to or otherwise not perform satisfactorily in carrying out these activities;
we could grant exclusive rights to our collaborators that would prevent us from collaborating with others;
collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our intellectual property or proprietary information in a way that gives rise to actual or threatened litigation

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that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential liability;
disputes may arise between us and a collaborator that causes the delay or termination of the research, development, or commercialization of our current or future products or that results in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management attention and resources;
collaborations may be terminated, and, if terminated, may result in a need for additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable current or future products;
collaborators may own or co-own intellectual property covering our products that results from our collaborating with them, and in such cases, we would not have the exclusive right to develop or commercialize such intellectual property;
we may not be able to obtain intellectual property rights in technologies or products resulting from the collaboration; under certain situations, the collaborators may provide us with an option to negotiate a license to such developed technologies or products, however, we may not be able to negotiate such license; and
a collaborator’s sales and marketing activities or other operations may not be in compliance with applicable laws resulting in civil or criminal proceedings.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

An active, liquid and orderly trading market for our common stock may not be sustained.

Prior to the closing of our IPO in October 2020, there was no public market for shares of our common stock. An active trading market for our shares may not be sustained. You may not be able to sell your shares quickly or at the market price if trading in shares of our common stock is not active. As a result of these and other factors, you may be unable to resell your shares of our common stock. Further, an inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to enter into strategic partnerships or acquire companies or products by using our shares of common stock as consideration.

The trading price of our common stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

The trading price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control, including limited trading volume. For example, the closing price of our common stock from January 1, 2023 to March 14, 2024 has ranged from a low of $0.81 to a high of $5.49. In addition to the factors discussed in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, these factors include:

the commencement, enrollment or results of our ongoing and planned clinical trials of tildacerfont or any future clinical trials we may conduct of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, or changes in the development status of tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
acceptance by the FDA and EMA of the clinical trial design of our planned and ongoing clinical trials of tildacerfont;
acceptance by the FDA and EMA of data from our Phase 2b clinical trial or any future clinical trials we conduct;
any delay in our regulatory filings for tildacerfont and any future product candidates and any adverse development or perceived adverse development with respect to the applicable regulatory authority’s review of such filings, including without limitation the FDA’s issuance of a “refusal to file” letter or a request for additional information;
adverse results or delays in clinical trials as a result of outbreaks of contagious diseases (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), patient engagement, protocol amendments or otherwise;
our decision to initiate a clinical trial, not to initiate a clinical trial, or to terminate an existing clinical trial;

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adverse regulatory decisions, including failure to receive regulatory approval for tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
changes in laws or regulations applicable to tildacerfont and any future product candidates, including but not limited to clinical trial requirements for approvals;
the failure to obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement of tildacerfont and any future product candidates, if approved;
changes on the structure of healthcare payment systems;
adverse developments concerning our manufacturers;
our inability to obtain adequate product supply for any approved drug product or inability to do so at acceptable prices;
our inability to establish collaborations if needed;
our failure to commercialize tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
additions or departures of key scientific or executive management personnel;
unanticipated serious safety concerns related to the use of tildacerfont and any future product candidates;
introduction of new products or services offered by us or our competitors, or the release or publication of clinical trial results from competing product candidates;
announcements of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments by us or our competitors;
our ability to effectively manage our growth;
the size and growth, if any, of the markets for classic CAH in adult and pediatric patients and females with PCOS, and other rare endocrine disorders that we may target;
actual or anticipated variations in quarterly or annual operating results;
our cash position;
our failure to meet the estimates and projections of the investment community or that we may otherwise provide to the public;
publication of research reports about us or our industry or positive or negative recommendations or withdrawal of research coverage by securities analysts;
changes in the market valuations of similar companies;
overall performance of the equity markets;
issuances of debt or equity securities;
sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders in the future;
trading volume of our common stock;
changes in accounting practices;
ineffectiveness of our internal controls;
disputes or other developments relating to proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters, and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;
significant lawsuits, including patent or stockholder litigation;
geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions, including relating to contagious disease outbreaks, the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Israel, and recent and potential future disruptions in access to bank deposits or lending commitments due to bank failures; and

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other events or factors, many of which are beyond our control.

In addition, the stock market in general, and biopharmaceutical companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of these companies. Broad market and industry factors may negatively affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities. This type of litigation, if instituted, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which would harm our business, operating results or financial condition.

We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock so any returns will be limited to the value of our stock.

We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our common stock. We currently anticipate that we will retain future earnings for the development, operation, and expansion of our business and do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. In addition, pursuant to the Loan Agreement, we are prohibited from paying cash dividends without the prior written consent of SVB, and future debt instruments may materially restrict our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. Any return to stockholders would therefore be limited to the appreciation, if any, of their stock.

Our principal sto