Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying financial information has been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”).
Principles of Consolidation
The Company has a wholly-owned subsidiary, ContraFect International Limited, in Scotland that establishes legal status for interactions with the European Economic Area. This subsidiary is dormant or is otherwise
Any inter-company accounts have been eliminated in consolidation.
Segment and Geographic Information
Operating segments are identified as components of an enterprise about which separate discrete financial information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision maker, or decision-making group, in making decisions on how to allocate resources and assess performance. The Company’s chief operating decision maker is the chief executive officer. The Company and the chief decision maker view the Company’s operations and manage its business as one operating segment. The Company operates in only one geographic segment.
Significant Risks and Uncertainties
The Company’s operations are subject to a number of factors that can affect its operating results and financial condition. Such factors include, but are not limited to: the results of clinical testing and trial activities of the Company’s products, the Company’s ability to obtain regulatory approval to market its products, and, if approved, the price of, and demand for, the Company’s products, competition from products manufactured and sold or being developed by other companies, the Company’s ability to negotiate favorable manufacturing and other agreements for its products and the Company’s ability to raise capital.
The Company currently relies on a single manufacturer of exebacase drug substance and drug product, located in the United Kingdom, and there is no long-term supply agreement in place. A sustained disruption in the operations of this manufacturer or in the event the Company would need to change to a new supplier, could result in a significant delay in the ability of the Company to complete the activities needed to support a Biologics License Application for, and, if approved, commercialization of exebacase.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. The Company bases estimates and assumptions on historical experience when available and on various factors that it believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. On an ongoing basis, the Company evaluates its estimates and assumptions, including those related to research and development prepaid expenses and accruals, stock-based compensation, warrant valuation and realization of net deferred income tax assets. The Company’s actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. There have been no significant changes from the Company’s original estimates in any periods presented.
Concentrations of Credit Risk
Financial instruments which potentially subject the Company to credit risk consist primarily of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. The Company holds these investments in highly rated financial institutions, and, by policy, limits the amounts of credit exposure to any one financial institution. These amounts at times may exceed federally insured limits. The Company has not experienced any credit losses in such accounts and does not believe it is exposed to any significant credit risk on these funds. The Company has no
sheet concentrations of credit risk, such as foreign currency exchange contracts, option contracts or other hedging arrangements.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all highly liquid investments with maturities at the date of purchase of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents include bank demand deposits, marketable securities with maturities of three months or less at purchase, and money market funds that invest primarily in certificates of deposit, commercial paper and U.S. government and U.S. government agency obligations. Cash equivalents are reported at fair value.
Marketable Securities
Marketable securities consist of investments in corporate debt and U.S. Treasury securities. Management determines the appropriate classification of the securities at the time they are acquired and evaluates the appropriateness of such classifications at each balance sheet date. The Company classifies its marketable securities as
pursuant to ASC 320,
Investments – Debt and Equity Securities
. The Company classifies marketable securities available to fund current operations as current assets on its consolidated balance sheets. Marketable securities are classified as long-term assets on the consolidated balance sheets if (i) the Company has the intent and ability to hold the investments for a period of at least one year and (ii) the contractual maturity date of the investments is greater than one year. Marketable securities are recorded at fair value, with unrealized gains and losses included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss in stockholders’ equity and a component of total comprehensive loss in the consolidated statements of comprehensive loss, until realized. The fair value of these securities is based on quoted prices for identical or similar assets. Realized gains and losses are included in interest income in the consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss on a specific-identification basis.
There were $9,609 of realized gains on sales of marketable securities for the year ended December 31, 2020. There were no realized gains or losses for the year ended December 31, 2019.
 There were no marketable securities that had been in an unrealized loss position for more than 12 months as of December 31, 2020. The Company held no marketable securities as of December 31, 2019.
The Company reviews marketable securities for other-than-temporary impairment whenever the fair value of a marketable security is less than the amortized cost and evidence indicates that a marketable security’s carrying amount is not recoverable within a reasonable period of time. Other-than-temporary impairments of investments are recognized in the consolidated statements of operations if the Company has experienced a credit loss, has the intent to sell the marketable security, or if it is more likely than not that the Company will be required to sell the marketable security before recovery of the amortized cost basis. Evidence considered in this assessment includes reasons for the impairment, compliance with the Company’s investment policy, the severity and the duration of the impairment and changes in value subsequent to the end of the period.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company’s financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts payable, accrued liabilities and warrant liabilities. Fair value estimates of these instruments are made at a specific point in time, based on relevant market information. These estimates may be subjective in nature and involve uncertainties and matters of significant judgment and therefore cannot be determined with precision. The fair value of the Company’s warrant liabilities are based upon unobservable inputs, as described further below.
The Company is required to disclose information on all assets and liabilities reported at fair value that enables an assessment of the inputs used in determining the reported fair values. FASB ASC Topic 820,
Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures
(“ASC 820”), establishes a hierarchy of inputs used in measuring fair value that maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs by requiring that the observable inputs be used when available. Observable inputs are inputs that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability based on market data obtained from sources independent of the Company. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect the Company’s assumptions about the inputs that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability, and are developed based on the best information available in the circumstances. The fair value hierarchy applies only to the valuation inputs used in determining the reported fair value of the investments and is not a measure of the investment credit quality. The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are described below:
Level 1—Valuations based on unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that the Company has the ability to access at the measurement date.
Level 2—Valuations based on quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active or for which all significant inputs are observable, either directly or indirectly.
Level 3—Valuations that require inputs that reflect the Company’s own assumptions that are both significant to the fair value measurement and unobservable.
To the extent that valuation is based on models or inputs that are less observable or unobservable in the market, the determination of fair value requires more judgment. Accordingly, the degree of judgment exercised by the Company in determining fair value is greatest for instruments categorized in Level 3. A financial instrument’s level within the fair value hierarchy is based on the lowest level of any input that is significant to the fair value measurement.
The Company had no liabilities classified as Level 1 or Level 2. The carrying amounts reported in the accompanying financial statements for accounts payable and accrued expenses approximate their respective fair values due to their short-term maturities. The fair value of the warrant liabilities are discussed in Note 4, “Fair Value Measurements.”
Property, Office Equipment, and Leasehold Improvements
Property and equipment are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation of property and equipment is provided by the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives, ranging from three to five years.
Leasehold improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the useful life of the improvement or the initial lease term, whichever is shorter. Costs for normal repair and maintenance are charged to expense as incurred.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
In accordance with ASC 360,
Property, Plant, and Equipment
, the Company’s policy is to review long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. An impairment loss would be recognized when estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset and its eventual disposition is less than its carrying amount. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, no impairment of long-lived assets has occurred.
Research and Development Costs
Research and development costs are charged to expense as incurred and are typically made up of salaries and benefits, clinical trial activities, drug development and manufacturing costs, and third-party service fees, including for clinical research organizations and investigative sites. Costs for certain development activities, such as clinical trials, are recognized based on an evaluation of the progress to completion of specific tasks using data such as patient enrollment, clinical site activations, or information provided by vendors on their actual costs incurred. Payments for these activities are based on the terms of the individual arrangements, which may differ from the pattern of costs incurred, and are reflected in the financial statements as prepaid expenses and other current assets or accrued liabilities.
Share-based Compensation
The Company accounts for stock-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718,
Compensation—Stock Compensation,
which requires the measurement and recognition of compensation expense for all stock-based payment awards made to employees and directors, including employee stock options. Compensation expense based on the grant date fair value is generally amortized over the requisite service period of the award on a straight-line basis. For
effective January 1, 2019, unvested option compensation expense is based on the adoption date fair value and is amortized over the service period on a straight-line basis.
The fair value of options is calculated using the Black-Scholes option pricing model on the date of grant based on key assumptions such as stock price, risk free interest rates, expected volatility and expected term. The Company’s estimates of these assumptions are primarily based on historical data and judgment regarding future trends and factors.
Income Taxes
The Company uses the asset and liability method to calculate deferred tax assets and liabilities. Deferred taxes are recognized based on the differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The Company records a valuation allowance against a deferred tax asset when it is
that the deferred tax asset will not be realized.
The Company is subject to federal, state and local taxes and follows a recognition threshold and measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. The Company recognizes tax benefits or expenses of uncertain tax positions in the year such determination is made when the position is “more likely than not” to be sustained assuming examination by tax authorities. Management has reviewed the Company’s tax positions for all open tax years (tax years ended December 31, 2009 through December 31, 2020) and concluded that no provision for unrecognized tax benefits or expense is required in these financial statements. There are no income tax audits in progress as of December 31, 2020.
The Company recognizes a receivable and the related reduction in its research and development expenses when the actual reimbursable costs have been incurred and there is reasonable assurance that the Company has complied with the conditions of the grants and the amounts will be received. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company recognized a reduction to its research and development expense in the amount of approximately $4.2 million and $3.6 million, respectively. The receivable for grants as of each of December 31, 2020 and 2019 was approximately $1.1 million, and is included in prepaid expenses and other current assets. The Company has approximately $8.6 million of approved grant award funding remaining as of December 31, 2020.
Net Loss per Share Applicable to Common Stockholders
Basic net loss per share applicable to common stockholders is calculated by dividing net loss applicable to common stockholders by the weighted average shares outstanding during the period, without consideration for common stock equivalents. Diluted net loss per share applicable to common stockholders is calculated by adjusting weighted average shares outstanding for the dilutive effect of common stock equivalents outstanding for the period, determined using the treasury-stock method. For purposes of the dilutive net loss per share applicable to common stockholders calculation, stock options and warrant are considered to be common stock equivalents but are excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share applicable to common stockholders, as their effect would be anti-dilutive; therefore, basic and diluted net loss per share applicable to common stockholders were the same for all periods presented.
Comprehensive Loss
Comprehensive loss is defined as the change in equity of a business enterprise during a period from transactions, and other events and circumstances from
sources, and currently consists of net loss and changes in unrealized gains and losses on
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
The Company adopted Accounting Standards Update No.
Leases (Topic 842)
, as of January 1, 2019, using the optional modified retrospective approach with no cumulative-effect adjustment to equity as of January 1, 2019. Prior period amounts have not been adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historical accounting under previous lease guidance. The Company elected the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance within Topic 842, which among other things, allowed it to carry forward the historical lease classification of those leases in place as of January 1, 2019 and to not separate lease and
components when the requisite criteria is met to be treated as such. The Company determined that the only contract containing a lease was the lease of its corporate headquarters at 28 Wells Avenue in Yonkers, New York (see “Note 8—Commitments” in these consolidated financial statements for a description of the leases).
The Company recognizes
(ROU) assets at the inception of the arrangement as the present value of the lease payments plus our initial direct costs, if any, less any lease incentives. The corresponding liability is computed as the present value of the lease payments at inception. Assets are classified as either operating or finance ROU assets according to the classification criteria in Topic 842. The present value of the lease payments is computed using the rate implicit in the lease, if known, or the Company’s incremental borrowing rate. Operating lease costs are charged to operations on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. Under the Company’s policy, it does not record an ROU asset or corresponding liability for arrangements where the initial lease term is one year or less. Those leases are expensed on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease.
Adoption of Topic 842 resulted in recording of ROU assets, net of deferred rent and a lease incentive obligation, of $3.3 million and lease liabilities of approximately $4.1 million as of January 1, 2019. The lease liability was classified between a current portion of $0.6 million and a long-term portion of $3.5 million. The new standard did not impact the Company’s consolidated net loss and had no impact on cash flows.
Stock Compensation
The Company adopted Accounting Standards Update,
Compensation-Stock Compensation (ASU
as of January 1, 2019. The Company elected to utilize the contractual term for its outstanding option grants to
and to recognize forfeitures of awards when incurred. The adoption of ASU
did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
Statements of Equity
In August 2018, the SEC adopted the final rule under SEC Release
No. 33-10532,
Disclosure Update and Simplification, amending certain disclosure requirements that were redundant, duplicative, overlapping, outdated or superseded. Additionally, the amendments expanded the disclosure requirements on the consolidated statements of equity for interim financial statements. Under the amendments, a summary of changes in each caption of stockholders’ equity presented in the consolidated balance sheets must be provided in a note or separate statement. The consolidated statements of equity should present a reconciliation of a beginning balance to the ending balance of each period for which the consolidated statement of comprehensive income is required to be filed. This final rule was effective in the fourth quarter of 2018. The SEC provided relief on the effective date until the first quarter of 2019, and the Company adopted this rule in the first quarter of 2019.
Fair Value Measurements
On January 1, 2020, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-13-
Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820).
Topic 820 eliminates, adds and modifies certain disclosure requirements for fair value measurements. The adoption of the new guidance did not affect the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted 
In June 2016, the FASB issued a new Accounting Standards Update,
Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (ASU
amends the guidance for measuring and recording credit losses on financial assets measured at amortized cost by replacing the “incurred loss” model with an “expected loss” model. Accordingly, these financial assets will be presented at the net amount expected to be collected. This new standard also requires that credit losses related to
debt securities be recorded through an allowance for such losses rather than reducing the carrying amount under the current, other-than-temporary-impairment model. The new standard is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2022. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that this new standard will have on its financial statements and related disclosures.
In 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740), which simplifies the accounting for income taxes. ASU 2019-12 will be effective for the Company on January 1, 2021 and is not expected to have a significant impact on the Company’s financial statements.