EX-5.1

Exhibit 5.1

 

    

200 Clarendon Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Tel: +1.617.948.6000 Fax: +1.617.948.6001

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December 13, 2022     

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ContraFect Corporation

28 Wells Avenue, Third Floor

Yonkers, New York 10701

 

Re:

Registration Statement on Form S-3 (No. 333-246359); 4,350,000 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, and a pre-funded warrant to purchase up to 49,913,565 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value per share

To the addressees set forth above:

We have acted as special counsel to ContraFect Corporation, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), in connection with the proposed issuance of (i) 4,350,000 shares (the “Shares”) of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of the Company (the “Common Stock”) and (ii) a pre-funded warrant to purchase up to 49,913,565 shares of Common Stock (the “Warrant”). The Shares and the Warrant are included in a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Act”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) on August 14, 2020 (Registration No. 333-246359) (the “Registration Statement”), a base prospectus dated August 31, 2020 (the “Base Prospectus”) and a prospectus supplement dated December 12, 2022 filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Act (together with the Base Prospectus, the “Prospectus”). The Shares and the Warrant are being sold pursuant to a securities purchase agreement dated December 12, 2022 by and between the Company and the purchaser named therein (the “Purchase Agreement”). This opinion is being furnished in connection with the requirements of Item 601(b)(5) of Regulation S-K under the Act, and no opinion is expressed herein as to any matter pertaining to the contents of the Registration Statement or related Prospectus, other than as expressly stated herein with respect to the issue of the Shares, the Warrant and Warrant Shares (as defined below).

As such counsel, we have examined such matters of fact and questions of law as we have considered appropriate for purposes of this letter. With your consent, we have relied upon certificates and other assurances of officers of the Company and others as to factual matters without having independently verified such factual matters. We are opining herein as to the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”), and we express no opinion with respect to any other laws.


December 13, 2022

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Subject to the foregoing and the other matters set forth herein, it is our opinion that, as of the date hereof:

1. When the Shares shall have been duly registered on the books of the transfer agent and registrar therefor in the name or on behalf of the purchaser, and have been issued by the Company against payment therefor (not less than par value) in the circumstances contemplated by the Purchase Agreement, the issue and sale of the Shares will have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate action of the Company, and the Shares will be validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. In rendering the foregoing opinion, we have assumed that the Company will comply with all applicable notice requirements regarding uncertificated shares provided in the DGCL.

2. When the Warrant has been issued by the Company against payment therefor in the circumstances contemplated by the Purchase Agreement, the issue and sale of the Warrant will have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate action of the Company, and the Warrant will be a legally valid and binding obligation of the Company, enforceable against the Company in accordance with its terms.

3. When the shares of Common Stock initially issuable upon exercise of the Warrant (the “Warrant Shares”) shall have been duly registered on the books of the transfer agent and registrar therefor in the name or on behalf of the Warrant holders, and have been issued by the Company against payment therefor (not less than par value) in the circumstances contemplated by the Warrant, the issue of the Warrant Shares will have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate action of the Company, and the Warrant Shares will be validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. In rendering the foregoing opinion, we have assumed that (i) the Company will comply with all applicable notice requirements regarding uncertificated shares provided in the DGCL and (ii) upon the issue of any of the Warrant Shares, the total number of shares of Common Stock issued and outstanding will not exceed the total number of shares of Common Stock that the Company is then authorized to issue under its Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and by the board of directors of the Company in connection with the offering contemplated by the Registration Statement.

With your consent, we have assumed that the status of the Warrant as legally valid and binding obligations of the Company is not affected by any (i) breaches of, or defaults under, agreements or instruments, (ii) violations of statutes, rules, regulations or court or governmental orders, or (iii) failures to obtain required consents, approvals or authorizations from, or make required registrations, declarations or filings with, governmental authorities.

Our opinions are subject to: (i) the effect of bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, preference, fraudulent transfer, moratorium or other similar laws relating to or affecting the rights and remedies of creditors; (ii) (a) the effect of general principles of equity, whether considered in a proceeding in equity or at law (including the possible unavailability of specific


December 13, 2022

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performance or injunctive relief), (b) concepts of materiality, reasonableness, good faith and fair dealing, and (c) the discretion of the court before which a proceeding is brought; and (iii) the invalidity under certain circumstances under law or court decisions of provisions providing for the indemnification of or contribution to a party with respect to a liability where such indemnification or contribution is contrary to public policy. We express no opinion as to (a) any provision for liquidated damages, default interest, late charges, monetary penalties, make-whole premiums or other economic remedies to the extent such provisions are deemed to constitute a penalty; (b) consents to, or restrictions upon, governing law, jurisdiction, venue, arbitration, remedies, or judicial relief; (c) any provision requiring the payment of attorneys’ fees, where such payment is contrary to law or public policy; (d) other applicable exceptions; and (e) the severability, if invalid, of provisions to the foregoing effect.

This opinion is for your benefit in connection with the Registration Statement and may be relied upon by you and by persons entitled to rely upon it pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Act. We consent to your filing this opinion as an exhibit to the Company’s Form 8-K dated December 13, 2022 and to the reference to our firm in the Prospectus under the heading “Legal Matters.” In giving such consent, we do not thereby admit that we are in the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the Act or the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder.

 

Sincerely,
/s/ LATHAM & WATKINS LLP