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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019  

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 No. 0-21392

 

Amarin Corporation plc

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

England and Wales

Not applicable

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Block C,

Grand Canal Docklands, Dublin 2, Ireland

(Address of principal executive offices)

+353 (0) 1 6699 020

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

American Depositary Shares (ADS(s)), each ADS
representing the right to receive one (1) Ordinary Share of

Amarin Corporation plc

AMRN

NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    YES      NO  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    YES      NO  

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.    YES      NO  

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).    YES      NO  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a 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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    YES      NO  

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2019 was approximately $6,371.7 million, based upon the closing price on the NASDAQ Capital Market reported for such date.

361,201,553 shares were outstanding as of February 21, 2020, including 360,999,820 shares held as American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each representing one Ordinary Share, 50 pence par value per share and 201,733 Ordinary Shares. In addition, 28,931,746 ordinary share equivalents were issuable in exchange for outstanding preferred shares as of February 21, 2020, for a total of 390,133,299 ordinary shares and ordinary share equivalents outstanding as of February 21, 2020.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain information required to be disclosed in Part III of this report is incorporated by reference from the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report.

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

1

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

28

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

63

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

63

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

63

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

66

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

76

Item 7.

 

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

 

77

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

91

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

92

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

92

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

92

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

94

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

 

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

95

Item 12.

 

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

 

95

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

95

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

96

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

101

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

102

 

 

 

 

 


 

PART I

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INDUSTRY DATA

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the progress and timing of our clinical programs, regulatory filings and commercialization activities, and the potential clinical benefits, safety and market potential of our product candidates, as well as more general statements regarding our expectations for future financial and operational performance, regulatory environment, and market trends. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “expects,” “aims,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “projects,” “potential,” or “continue”; the negative of these terms; or other comparable terminology. These statements include but are not limited to statements regarding the commercial success of Vascepa and factors that can affect such success; plans to expand promotion of Vascepa; interpretation of court decisions; expectation on determinations and policy positions of the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA; the safety and efficacy of our product and product candidates; expectation regarding the potential for Vascepa to be partnered, developed and commercialized outside of the United States; expectation on the scope and strength of our intellectual property protection and the likelihood of securing additional patent protection; estimates of the potential markets for our product candidates; estimates of the capacity of manufacturing and other facilities to support our products; our operating and growth strategies; our industry; our projected cash needs, liquidity and capital resources; and our expected future revenues, operations and expenditures.

Forward-looking statements are only current predictions and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our or our industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those anticipated by such statements. These factors include, among other things, those listed under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, performance, or achievements. Except as required by law, we are under no duty to update or revise any of such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K concerning our product candidates, the number of patients that may benefit from these product candidates and the potential commercial opportunity for our product candidates, is based on information from independent industry analysts and third-party sources (including industry publications, surveys, and forecasts), our internal research, and management estimates. Management estimates are derived from publicly available information released by independent industry analysts and third-party sources, as well as data from our internal research, and based on assumptions made by us based on such data and our knowledge of such industry, which we believe to be reasonable. None of the sources cited in this Annual Report on Form 10-K has consented to the inclusion of any data from its reports, nor have we sought their consent. Our internal research has not been verified by any independent source, and we have not independently verified any third-party information. While we believe that such information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise. In addition, projections, assumptions, and estimates of our future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties and by us.

 

Item 1.

Business

References in this report to “Amarin,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Amarin Corporation plc and its subsidiaries, on a consolidated basis, unless otherwise indicated.

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes the registered and unregistered trademarks and service marks of other parties.

Amarin Corporation plc is a public limited company incorporated under the laws of England and Wales. Amarin Corporation plc was originally incorporated in England as a private limited company on March 1, 1989 under the Companies Act 1985, and re-registered in England as a public limited company on March 19, 1993.

Our principal offices are located at 77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Block C, Grand Canal Docklands, Dublin 2 Ireland. Our registered office is located at One New Change, London EC4M 9AF, England. Our primary office in the United States is located at 440 Route 22, Bridgewater, NJ 08807, USA. Our telephone number at that location is (908) 719-1315.

1


 

For purposes of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our ordinary shares may also be referred to as “common shares” or “common stock.”

Overview

We are a pharmaceutical company with expertise in omega-3 fatty acids and lipid science focused on the commercialization and development of therapeutics to improve cardiovascular, or CV, health and reduce CV risk. Our lead product, Vascepa® (icosapent ethyl) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in July 2012 for use as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride, or TG, levels in adult patients with severe (≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa based on the landmark results of our cardiovascular outcomes trial of Vascepa, REDUCE-IT® (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA – Intervention Trial). Vascepa is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy for reducing persistent cardiovascular risk in select high risk patients.

  Since our inception, we have devoted substantial resources to our research and development efforts, most significantly, the development and conduct of our long-term cardiovascular outcomes study of Vascepa, REDUCE-IT. We announced topline results from REDUCE-IT on September 24, 2018. On November 10, 2018, we presented primary results of REDUCE-IT at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, or AHA, and the results were concurrently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. REDUCE-IT met its primary endpoint demonstrating a 25% relative risk reduction, or RRR, to a high degree of statistical significance (p<0.001), in first occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events, or MACE, in the intent-to-treat patient population with use of Vascepa 4 grams/day as compared to placebo. REDUCE-IT also showed a 26% RRR in its key secondary composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, heart attacks and stroke (p<0.001). On March 18, 2019, we publicly presented the total cardiovascular events results, and the method of calculating such events, of the REDUCE-IT study at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session and such results and methods were concurrently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Vascepa reduced total events (first and subsequent events) by 30% compared to placebo, reflecting that for every 1,000 patients treated for five years with Vascepa versus placebo in this trial, approximately 159 MACE could be prevented with Vascepa.

Based on REDUCE-IT results, several clinical treatment guidelines and position statements have been updated as follows:

 

In March 2019, the American Diabetes Association, or ADA, issued important updates to the Standard of Medical Care in Diabetes for 2019, including a recommendation for the use of icosapent ethyl in treating at-risk patients based on the results of the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study.

 

In August 2019, the AHA recognized the results of REDUCE-IT and recommended directing medical care away from unproven fish oil dietary supplements and to prescription drug therapy in patients with elevated TG levels.

 

In September 2019, the National Lipid Association issued a position statement recognizing the cardiovascular risk-lowering effects of icosapent ethyl based on the REDUCE-IT results.

 

In September 2019, the European Society of Cardiology and the European Atherosclerosis Society updated their Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Dyslipidemias to incorporate findings from the REDUCE-IT study.

 

In February 2020, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology released a consensus statement on the comprehensive management of type 2 diabetes. The statement included new guidance for managing patients with established or high risk for cardiovascular disease who have triglyceride levels between 135 – 499 mg/dL with icosapent ethyl which has proven benefits to prevent the next adverse cardiovascular event.

In October 2019, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER, released its final evidence report regarding clinical effectiveness and economic impacts on Vascepa. ICER’s report indicated that Vascepa was cost effective across all of the non-profit organization’s analyses, including its quality-adjusted life year metrics of <$50,000. The conclusion from the report is that Vascepa easily meets “commonly cited thresholds for cost-effectiveness and therefore represents a high long-term value for money” based on the organization’s value assessment framework. In addition, an independent academic, patient-level, cost-effectiveness analysis of icosapent ethyl led by Dr. William S. Weintraub, M.D., director of Outcomes Research with MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network, indicated that Vascepa was projected to not only be cost-effective but also to reduce long-term health care costs in a majority of the scenarios analyzed.  

The FDA granted Priority Review designation to our March 2019, supplemental new drug application, or sNDA, seeking an expanded indication for Vascepa in the United States based on the positive results of the REDUCE-IT study. The FDA grants Priority Review designation to applications for drugs that, if approved, have the potential to offer significant improvements in the effectiveness and safety of the treatment of serious conditions when compared to standard applications. In November 2019, FDA held an Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee, or EMDAC, meeting to review the REDUCE-IT sNDA. The EMDAC

2


 

voted unanimously (16-0) to recommend approval of an indication and label expansion for Vascepa to reduce cardiovascular events in high-risk patients based on the REDUCE-IT results. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and related label expansion based on REDUCE-IT. Vascepa is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated triglyceride, or TG, levels (≥150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

It is estimated that over 50 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dL. Approximately 2 to 3 million adults in the United States have very high triglyceride levels (≥500 mg/dL), the condition for which Vascepa received its initial drug approval from FDA in 2012 based on the MARINE clinical trial. There are approximately 5 to 15 million people in the United States that meet the specific REDUCE-IT inclusion criteria. Additionally, the FDA-approved label for Vascepa mentions maximally tolerated statin therapy in the indication statement. This may mean that patients on prior statin therapy who are thought to be intolerant to statins, approximately 10% - 20% of patients with prior statin use, may be eligible for Vascepa. Since 1976, mean triglyceride levels have increased along with the growing epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, mean low-density lipoprotein, or LDL-C, levels have decreased. Multiple primary and secondary prevention trials have shown a significant RRR of 25% to 35% in the risk of cardiovascular events with statin therapy, leaving significant persistent residual CV risk despite the achievement of target LDL-C levels. Worldwide, cardiovascular disease, or CVD, remains the number one killer of men and women. In the United States, CVD leads to one in every three deaths—one death approximately every 38 seconds—with annual treatment cost in excess of $500.0 billion.

Commercialization

We commenced the commercial launch of Vascepa in the United States in January 2013. We sell 1-gram and 0.5-gram capsule sizes of Vascepa principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers, or collectively, our distributors or our customers, that in turn resell Vascepa to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers.  

Prior to results of the REDUCE-IT study, we did not have cardiovascular outcomes data regarding the clinical effect of Vascepa and a substantial portion of our resources were being spent on the REDUCE-IT study. As a result, our commercialization of Vascepa was somewhat limited. Subsequent to learning the positive cardiovascular outcomes results of the REDUCE-IT study, we have increased our promotional efforts.

Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our sales team to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives. As a result of the FDA’s newly approved indication and label expansion, we are close to completing the expansion of our direct sales force to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives. Hiring, training and deploying approximately 400 new sales representatives is a multi-stage process which commenced in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in early 2020. Most of the expanded sales management team needed to support this sales force expansion was hired, or internally promoted, and trained prior to December 31, 2019.

We also employ various medical affairs and marketing personnel to support our commercialization of Vascepa. We expanded certain medical education and market awareness initiatives following the reporting of positive REDUCE-IT results in 2018. We intend to further expand promotion of Vascepa, including direct to consumer advertising, as a result of the new indication and label expansion of Vascepa approved by the FDA on December 13, 2019. Our field sales efforts are further complemented by investments in digital and non-personal channels as well as peer-to-peer (e.g., promotional medical education programs and product theaters) initiatives to further increase Vascepa brand awareness and clarify Vascepa’s unique clinical profile. In January 2020, we launched an educational campaign, True To Your Heart, to help people learn more about cardiovascular disease and how to better protect against persistent cardiovascular risk.

In addition to promotion of Vascepa in the United States, based on REDUCE-IT, we have increased focus on expansion of our development efforts for Vascepa to major markets outside the United States. We currently have strategic collaborations to develop and commercialize Vascepa in select territories outside the United States. In February 2015, we announced an exclusive agreement with Eddingpharm (Asia) Macao Commercial Offshore Limited, or Eddingpharm, to develop and commercialize Vascepa capsules in what we refer to as the China Territory, consisting of the territories of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, for uses that are currently commercialized and under development by us in the United States. In March 2016, we entered into an agreement with Biologix FZCo, or Biologix, to register and commercialize Vascepa in several Middle Eastern and North African countries. In September 2017, we entered into an agreement with HLS Therapeutics, Inc., or HLS, to register, commercialize and distribute Vascepa in Canada. In March 2019, HLS received formal confirmation from Health Canada that the Canadian regulatory authority granted priority review status for the New Drug Submission, which was filed in April 2019, for Vascepa. In December 2019, HLS received formal confirmation from Health Canada that the Canadian regulatory authority granted approval for Vascepa to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, coronary revascularization or hospitalization for unstable angina) in statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides, who are at high risk of cardiovascular events

3


 

due to: established cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. In January 2020, HLS obtained a regulatory exclusivity designation. In 2020, we intend to explore potential development and commercial paths for Vascepa in other markets such as the European Union. In December 2019, the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, validated our marketing authorization application, or MAA, seeking approval for Vascepa in the European Union. This validation confirms the submission is sufficiently complete for the EMA to begin its review, which review is currently expected to be completed before the end of 2020.

We plan to assess other potential partnership opportunities for licensing Vascepa to partners outside of the United States as we seek to maximize the value of the Vascepa franchise globally.

Research and Development

Since our inception, we have devoted substantial resources to the research and development of Vascepa capsules. Vascepa is a single-molecule prescription product consisting of the omega-3 acid commonly known as EPA in ethyl-ester form. Vascepa is derived from fish through a stringent and complex FDA-regulated manufacturing process designed to effectively eliminate impurities and isolate and protect the single molecule active ingredient from degradation. Vascepa was designated as a new chemical entity by the FDA. Vascepa is known in scientific literature as AMR101.  

Our most important clinical trials of Vascepa are summarized here and discussed in further detail below:

 

The REDUCE-IT trial, a Phase 3 global study of 8,179 statin-treated adults with elevated cardiovascular risk with a primary endpoint being the first occurrence of MACE in the intent-to-treat patient population, patients with LDL-C between 41-100 mg/dL (median baseline LDL-C 75 mg/dL) controlled by statin therapy and various cardiovascular risk factors including persistent elevated TG between 135-499 mg/dL and either established cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention cohort) or age 50 or more with diabetes mellitus and at least one other CV risk factor (primary prevention cohort);

 

The MARINE trial, a Phase 3, multi-center, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week study in patients with very high (500 mg/dL) TGs with the primary endpoint being the lowering of TG levels; and

 

The ANCHOR trial, a Phase 3 multi-center, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week pivotal study in patients with high (200 and <500 mg/dL) TGs who were also receiving optimized statin therapy with the primary endpoint being the lowering of TG levels.

The REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study of Vascepa has been the centerpiece of our research and development efforts. Prior research on Vascepa, such as the MARINE and ANCHOR trials, had been focused on the effects of the drug on biomarkers associated with increased risk of pancreatitis and increased risk of cardiovascular events. Other prior and ongoing research and development efforts include the study of potential mechanisms of action of Vascepa.

The REDUCE-IT study was conducted based on a special protocol assessment, or SPA, agreement with the FDA. Based on the final positive results of REDUCE-IT, we sought additional indicated uses for Vascepa in the United States. Based on REDUCE-IT, we are also pursuing additional approvals for Vascepa around the world. We anticipate continuing to publish additional details of the REDUCE-IT study to address scientific interest beyond the primary results of this study derived from the over 35,000 patient years of study experience which were accumulated in the REDUCE-IT study. The REDUCE-IT study topline results were made public in September 2018, and the primary results of the REDUCE-IT study were presented at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018 with such results concurrently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The total (first and subsequent) cardiovascular events results of the REDUCE-IT study were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in March 2019 and concurrently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Potential additional research and development opportunities beyond REDUCE-IT will be prioritized after giving priority to securing regulatory approval for Vascepa based on the REDUCE-IT results in various geographies internationally, including pursuit of approval for Vascepa in Europe and in countries where we have commercialization partners for Vascepa.

We are also developing other products based on the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Vascepa, the ethyl ester form of the omega-3 acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. In June 2018, we entered into a multi-faceted collaboration with Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., or Mochida, related to the development and commercialization of drug products and indications based on the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Vascepa, the omega-3 acid, EPA. Among other terms in the agreement, we obtained an exclusive license to certain Mochida intellectual property to advance our interests in the United States and certain other territories. In addition, the parties will collaborate to research and develop new products and indications based on EPA for our commercialization in the United States and certain other territories. The potential new product and indication opportunities contemplated under this agreement are currently in early stages of development. Upon closing of the collaboration agreement, we made a non-refundable, non-creditable upfront payment of approximately $2.7 million. In addition, the agreement provides for milestone payments from us upon the achievement of certain product development milestones and royalties on net sales of future products arising from the collaboration, if any. In January 2020, we achieved certain milestones under the agreement, resulting in payment of $1.0 million to Mochida.

4


 

Additional research and development opportunities beyond REDUCE-IT will continue to be assessed.

Commercial and Clinical Supply

We manage the manufacturing and supply of Vascepa internally and have done so since we began clinical development of Vascepa prior to the drug’s marketing approval by FDA in 2012. We rely on contract manufacturers in each step of our commercial and clinical product supply chain. These steps include active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, manufacturing, encapsulation of the API, product packaging and supply-related logistics. Our approach to product supply procurement is designed to mitigate risk of supply interruption and maintain an environment of cost competition through diversification of contract manufacturers at each stage of the supply chain and lack of reliance on any single supplier. We have multiple FDA-approved international API suppliers, encapsulators and packagers to support the Vascepa commercial franchise. The amount of supply we seek to purchase in future periods will depend on the level of growth of Vascepa revenues and minimum purchase commitments with certain suppliers. While our current supply chain is scalable, we continue efforts to expand, diversify and further enhance it.

  

Lipid Disorders and Cardiovascular Disease

Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events represent the leading cause of death and disability among men and women in western societies. According to the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update from the American Heart Association, CVD is the underlying cause of death in approximately 1 out of every 3 deaths. Approximately 121 million adults in the United States live with one or more types of cardiovascular disease with an estimated 1 million new or recurrent coronary events and 795,000 new or recurrent strokes occur each year. An estimated 29 million adults 20 years of age have high total serum cholesterol levels (240 mg/dL), and an estimated 71 million adults 20 years of age have borderline high or high low-density lipoprotein (“bad”) cholesterol, or LDL-C, levels (130 mg/dL). According to the 2020 Heart and Stroke Statistics from the AHA, 45.1% of the United States population is projected to have some form of CVD by 2035 and total costs of CVD are expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2035, with direct medical costs projected to reach $748.7 billion and indirect costs estimated to reach $368.0 billion.

In addition to cholesterol, lipoproteins such as LDL also carry fats in the form of triglycerides. Hypertriglyceridemia refers to a condition in which patients have high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream and has been reported to be both an independent risk factor for, and potential cause of, cardiovascular disease. Triglyceride levels provide important information as a marker associated with the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Guidelines for the management of very high triglyceride levels (500 mg/dL) suggest that reducing triglyceride levels is the primary treatment goal in these patients to reduce the risk of acute pancreatitis. Treating LDL-C remains an important secondary goal. Other important parameters to consider in patients with very high triglycerides include levels of apolipoprotein B, or apo B, non-HDL-C, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or VLDL-C. The effect of Vascepa on the risk for pancreatitis in patients with hypertriglyceridemia has not been determined.

Vascepa is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated TG levels (150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

It is estimated that more than 50 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dL. Additionally, approximately 2 to 3 million adults in the United States have very high triglyceride levels (500 mg/dL), the condition for which Vascepa received its annual drug approval from FDA in 2012 based on the MARINE clinical trial. There are approximately 5 to 15 million people in the United States that meet the specific REDUCE-IT inclusion criteria. Additionally, the FDA-approved label for Vascepa mentions maximally tolerated statin therapy in the indication statement. This may mean that patients on prior statin therapy who are thought to be intolerant to statins, approximately 10% - 20% of patients with prior statin use, may be eligible for Vascepa. Since 1976, mean triglyceride levels have increased, along with the growing epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, mean LDL-C levels have decreased.

Mixed dyslipidemia refers to a condition in which patients have a combination of two or more lipid abnormalities including elevated triglycerides, low HDL-C, and/or elevated LDL-C. Both hypertriglyceridemia and mixed dyslipidemia are components of a range of lipid disorders collectively referred to as dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia has been linked to atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries.

Limitations of Current Therapies

Hypertriglyceridema, or HTG, is a prevalent lipid disorder in approximately 25% of the U.S. adult population. Both epidemiological and genetic data have shown associations between HTG and coronary heart disease. Many of those patients are taking statin therapy directed at lowering the risk of CVD by lowering their LDL-C levels, primarily. Recently, real world administrative database analyses have reported an increased CVD risk as well as direct healthcare costs associated with HTG despite statin therapy and controlled LDL-C compared to those with TG<150 mg/dL.

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In CV outcomes trials, therapies that reduce TG levels and had other favorable effects on classically studied lipid and lipoprotein parameters, such as extended-release niacin and fibrates, did not met their primary CV endpoints to reduce risk when taken with contemporary medical therapy, including statins. Specifically, cardiovascular outcomes trials, ACCORD Lipid, AIM-HIGH, and HPS2-THRIVE, while not designed to test the effect of lowering TG levels in patients with high TG levels after statin therapy, each failed to demonstrate incremental cardiovascular benefit of adding a second lipid-altering drug (fenofibrate or formulations of niacin), despite raising HDL-C and reducing TG levels, among statin-treated patients with well-controlled LDL-C. As a result, in 2015, the FDA updated both the Trilipix® (a fenofibrate) and extended-release niacin product labeling and removed combination use with statin therapy in mixed dyslipidemia patients as an indication due to a failed outcomes trial. No head-to head, randomized, well-controlled studies have been conducted to compare the clinical effects of Vascepa with other FDA-approved TG-lowering therapies.

Recent CV outcomes trials and meta-analyses with low and high dose omega-3 fatty acid mixtures containing DHA have not shown substantial benefit in patients receiving contemporary medical therapy, including statins. Due to failed low dose omega-3 CV outcomes trials, the European regulatory authorities have concluded that omega-3 fatty acid medicines (specifically Lovaza®/Omacor®) at a dose of 1-gram per day are not effective in preventing further events for patients who have had a heart attack.

Potential Benefits and Market Opportunity for Vascepa

Vascepa is 1-gram of icosapent ethyl, or ethyl-EPA, and contains no DHA. We believe that the removal of DHA mitigates against the LDL-C raising effect observed in omega-3 compositions that include DHA. Based on the results of the REDUCE-IT trial, Vascepa was the first omega-3 based product, or any type of product, to demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in cardiovascular risk beyond cholesterol lowering therapy in high risk patients approved for treatment. Prior to REDUCE-IT, based on the MARINE trial, Vascepa was the first omega-3 based product to demonstrate statistically significant triglyceride reduction without a statistically significant increase in LDL-C in this very high triglyceride population.

We believe that the results of the REDUCE-IT, ANCHOR and MARINE clinical trials of Vascepa and Vascepa’s EPA only/DHA-free composition position Vascepa to achieve a global “best-in-class” prescription therapy in studied patient populations. Potential mechanisms of action at work in the reduction of cardiovascular events seen in REDUCE-IT as discussed in The New England Journal of Medicine publication of REDUCE-IT primary results include TG reduction, anti-thrombotic effects, antiplatelet or anticoagulant effects, membrane-stabilizing effects, effects on stabilization and/or regression of coronary plaque and inflammation reduction. Mechanisms responsible for the benefit shown in REDUCE-IT were not studied in REDUCE-IT as that was not the purpose of an outcomes study. More study is needed to determine to what extent, if any, each of these effects or others may be responsible for the CV risk reduction benefit demonstrated in REDUCE-IT.     

Clinical Trials

The REDUCE-IT Study (basis for new FDA approved indication and label expansion)

The REDUCE-IT study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of Vascepa in reducing major cardiovascular events in an at-risk patient population also receiving statin therapy. REDUCE-IT was a multinational, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to evaluate the effectiveness of Vascepa, as an add-on to statin therapy, in reducing first major cardiovascular events in an at-risk patient population compared to statin therapy alone. The control arm of the study was comprised of patients on optimized statin therapy plus placebo. The active arm of the study was comprised of patients on optimized statin therapy plus Vascepa. All subjects enrolled in the study had elevated triglyceride levels and either established coronary heart disease or risk factors for coronary heart disease.

In August 2011, we reached agreement with the FDA on a SPA for the design of the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study. A SPA is an evaluation by the FDA of a protocol with the goal of reaching an agreement that the Phase 3 trial protocol design, clinical endpoints, and statistical analyses are acceptable to support regulatory approval. The FDA agreed that, based on the information we submitted to the agency, the design and planned analysis of the REDUCE-IT study adequately addressed the objectives necessary to support a regulatory submission. A SPA is generally binding upon the FDA unless a substantial scientific issue essential to determining safety or efficacy of the drug is identified after the testing begins.

It is believed that the effects of EPA are not due to a single mode of action, such as triglyceride lowering, but rather to multiple mechanisms working together. Studies in the scientific literature explore potentially beneficial effects of EPA on multiple atherosclerosis processes, including endothelial function, oxidative stress, foam cell formation, inflammation/cytokines, plaque formation/progression, platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, and plaque rupture. With respect to triglyceride levels, our scientific rationale for the REDUCE-IT study was supported by (i) epidemiological data that suggests elevated triglyceride levels correlate with increased cardiovascular disease risk, (ii) genetic data that suggest triglyceride and/or triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (as well as LDL-C, known as bad cholesterol) are independently in the causal pathway for cardiovascular disease and (iii) clinical data that suggest substantial triglyceride reduction in patients with elevated baseline triglyceride levels correlates with reduced cardiovascular risk. The REDUCE-IT study was designed to determine the clinical benefit, if any, of stable EPA therapy in statin-treated patients with elevated triglyceride levels.

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In September 2011, we engaged a clinical research organization, or CRO, and began initial trial and clinical site preparation for REDUCE-IT. In December 2011, we announced that the first patient was dosed in the study. In 2016, we completed patient enrollment and randomization of 8,179 individual patients into the REDUCE-IT study. Amarin personnel remained blinded to the efficacy and safety data from the REDUCE-IT study until after the study was completed and the database was locked in 2018.  

On November 10, 2018, we announced primary results from our REDUCE-IT study as late-breaking clinical results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA and the results were concurrently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. REDUCE-IT met its primary endpoint demonstrating a 25% RRR to a high degree of statistical significance (p<0.001), in first occurrence of MACE in the intent-to-treat patient population with use of Vascepa 4 grams/day as compared to placebo. Patients qualified to enroll in REDUCE-IT had LDL-C between 41-100 mg/dL (median baseline LDL-C75 mg/dL) controlled by statin therapy and various cardiovascular risk factors including persistent elevated triglycerides, or TG, between 135-499 mg/dL (median baseline 216 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention cohort) or age 50 or more with diabetes mellitus and at least one other CV risk factor (primary prevention cohort). Approximately 59% of the patients had diabetes at baseline, approximately 71% of the patients had established cardiovascular disease at time of enrollment and approximately 29% were primary prevention subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease. REDUCE-IT also showed a 26% RRR in its key secondary composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, heart attacks and stroke (p<0.001). We expended more than $300.0 million to fund completion of the REDUCE-IT study.

Vascepa in the REDUCE-IT study demonstrated a number needed to treat, or NNT, of 21 for the first occurrence of MACE in the 5-point primary composite endpoint. NNT is a statistical concept intended to provide a measurement of the impact of a medicine or therapy by estimating the number of patients that need to be treated in order to have an impact on one person.

An additional seven secondary endpoints were achieved below the key secondary endpoint, in order of sequential statistical testing within the prespecified hierarchy:

 

Cardiovascular death or nonfatal heart attack: 25% RRR (p<0.001)

 

Fatal or nonfatal heart attack: 31% RRR (p<0.001)

 

Urgent or emergent revascularization: 35% RRR (p<0.001)

 

Cardiovascular death: 20% RRR (p=0.03)

 

Hospitalization for unstable angina: 32% RRR (p=0.002)

 

Fatal or nonfatal stroke: 28% RRR (p=0.01)

 

Total mortality, nonfatal heart attack or nonfatal stroke: 23% RRR (p<0.001)

The next prespecified secondary endpoint in the hierarchy was the only such endpoint that did not achieve statistical significance although it trended positively:

 

Total mortality, which includes mortality from non-cardiovascular and cardiovascular events: 13% RRR (p=0.09)

Positive REDUCE-IT results were consistent across various patient subgroups, including female/male, diabetic/non-diabetic and secondary/primary prevention.

Overall adverse event rates in REDUCE-IT were similar across treatment groups and Vascepa was well tolerated. Vascepa was associated with an increase (3% vs 2%) in the reported rate of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter requiring hospitalization in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The incidence of atrial fibrillation was greater in patients with a previous history of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. It is not known whether patients with allergies to fish and/or shellfish are at an increased risk of an allergic reaction to Vascepa. Vascepa was associated with an increase (12% vs 10%) in the reported rate of bleeding in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The reported incidence of bleeding was greater in patients receiving concomitant antithrombotic medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel or warfarin.

Common adverse reactions in the cardiovascular outcomes trial (incidence ≥3% and ≥1% more frequent than placebo) were: musculoskeletal pain (4% vs 3%), peripheral edema (7% vs 5%), constipation (5% vs 4%), gout (4% vs 3%), and atrial fibrillation (5% vs 4%). Common adverse reactions in the hypertriglyceridemia trials (incidence >1% more frequent than placebo) were: arthralgia (2% vs 1%) and oropharyngeal pain (1% vs 0.3%). Patients receiving Vascepa and concomitant anticoagulants and/or anti-platelet agents for bleeding are to be monitored. In the REDUCE-IT trial, cardiovascular benefits appeared not to be influenced significantly by TG levels at baseline (above or below 150 mg/dL baseline range) or as achieved at one year, potentially suggesting mechanisms at work with use of Vascepa that are independent of baseline TG levels or therapy-driven reduction in TG levels. Determining the mechanisms responsible for the benefit shown in REDUCE-IT was not the focus of REDUCE-IT. As summarized from the primary results of REDUCE-IT in The New England Journal of Medicine, potential Vascepa mechanisms of action at work in REDUCE-IT may include TG reduction, anti-thrombotic effects, antiplatelet or anticoagulant effects, membrane-stabilizing effects,

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effects on stabilization and/or regression of coronary plaque and inflammation reduction, each as supported by earlier stage mechanistic studies.

The FDA granted Priority Review designation to our March 2019 sNDA seeking an expanded indication for Vascepa in the United States based on the positive results of the REDUCE-IT study. The FDA grants Priority Review designation to applications for drugs that, if approved, have the potential to offer significant improvements in the effectiveness and safety of the treatment of serious conditions when compared to standard applications. In November 2019, the FDA held an EMDAC meeting to review the REDUCE-IT sNDA. The EMDAC voted unanimously (16-0) to recommend approval of an indication and label expansion for Vascepa to reduce cardiovascular events in high-risk patients based on the REDUCE-IT results. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa capsules. Vascepa is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

 

The MARINE Trial (first FDA-approved label for Vascepa)

The MARINE trial, the largest study ever conducted with the omega-3 fatty acid ethyl EPA in treating patients with very high triglycerides (500 mg/dL), was a Phase 3, multi-center, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week study. Patients were randomized into three treatment arms for treatment with Vascepa 4 gram/day, 2 gram/day or placebo. Patient enrollment in this trial began in December 2009, and enrollment and randomization was completed in August 2010 at 229 patients. The primary endpoint in the trial was the percentage change in triglyceride level from baseline compared to placebo after 12 weeks of treatment. The MARINE study primary endpoint was required to meet a stringent level of statistical significance of 1% (p < 0.01) in our SPA agreement with the FDA.

In November 2010, we reported topline data for the MARINE trial. In the trial, Vascepa met its primary endpoint at doses of 4 grams and 2 grams per day with median placebo-adjusted reductions in triglyceride levels of 33% (p < 0.0001) compared to placebo for 4 grams and 20% (p = 0.0051) compared to placebo for 2 grams. The median baseline triglyceride levels were 703 mg/dL, 680 mg/dL and 657 mg/dL for the patient groups treated with placebo, 4 grams of Vascepa and 2 grams of Vascepa, respectively.

In a pre-specified secondary analysis in the subgroup of patients with baseline triglyceride > 750 mg/dL, representing 39% of all patients, the effect of Vascepa in reducing triglyceride levels compared to placebo was 45% for 4 grams and 33% for 2 grams, both statistically significant (p = 0.0001 for 4 grams and p= 0.0016 for 2 grams, respectively). The median baseline triglyceride levels in this subgroup were 1052 mg/dL, 902 mg/dL and 948 mg/dL for placebo, 4-gram and 2-gram groups, respectively. Twenty-five percent of patients in this trial were also on background statin therapy. These patients had greater median reduction in triglyceride levels, which was also statistically significant.

Importantly, the significant reduction in triglycerides was not associated with a statistically significant increase in median LDL-C compared to placebo at either dose (-2.3% for the 4-gram group and +5.2% for the 2-gram group [both p=NS]). In addition, there was a statistically significant decrease in median non-HDL-C (total cholesterol less so-called “good cholesterol”) compared to placebo with both of the Vascepa-treated groups (-18% for the 4-gram group [p < 0.001] and -8% for the 2-gram group [p < 0.05]).

The MARINE trial results also included statistically significant reductions compared to placebo in several important lipid and inflammatory biomarkers, including apo B (apolipoprotein B) (8.5%), Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-phospholipase A2) (13.6%), VLDL-C (very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) (28.6%), Total Cholesterol (16.3%), and hsCRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) (36.0%) at the 4-gram dose. For these achieved endpoints, p-values were <0.01 for most and <0.05 for all. Apo B (apolipoprotein B) is believed to be a sensitive biomarker of cardiovascular risk and may be a better predictor of cardiovascular risk than LDL-C. Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme found in blood and atherosclerotic plaque; high levels have been implicated in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. In a post-hoc analysis of MARINE study data, Vascepa 4 g/day and 2 g/day statistically significantly reduced ApoC-III levels by 25.1% (p < 0.0001) and 14.3% (p=0.0154) versus placebo, respectively. In the MARINE trial, patients treated with 4 grams per day of Vascepa experienced a significant reduction in median placebo-adjusted lipoprotein particle concentrations of total LDL and small LDL. When looking at lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes as measured with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Vascepa 4 grams per day, compared with placebo, significantly reduced median total LDL particle count by 16.3% (p=0.0006), which is an important factor in atherogenesis. LDL particle count and apo B are important risk markers for the prediction of cardiovascular events. Small LDL particle count, which is a common risk factor for cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes, was reduced by 25.6% (p<0.0001) compared with placebo. Vascepa 2 grams per day, compared with placebo, significantly reduced median small LDL particle count by 12.8% (p <0.05) and reduced median total LDL particle count by 1.1% (NS). LDL particle size did not change significantly for the 2 or 4 gram per day doses.

Vascepa was well tolerated in the MARINE trial, with a safety profile comparable to placebo and there were no treatment-related serious adverse events observed. No patient discontinued treatment of Vascepa during this study due to Vascepa-related

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adverse events. No significant changes in fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C, vital signs, electrocardiograms, or liver or kidney function were observed with either Vascepa dose.

Patients enrolled in the MARINE trial were given the option to be treated with Vascepa for a period of up to 40 weeks after their last dose in the double-blind portion of the trial. Once participants completed the randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled 12-week MARINE registration trial, patients in all three randomized groups (4 grams, 2 grams and placebo) were offered the opportunity to participate in the open label extension, or OLE, phase. Patients in the OLE phase received 4 grams per day of Vascepa for a period of up to an additional 40 weeks. As is typical of such extension phases, the OLE phase was not a controlled trial, as differentiated from the randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled 12-week MARINE registration trial. In the OLE phase, participants were not randomized at entry, Vascepa administration was open-label (and thus not blinded), and no placebo group was maintained. Also, once patients entered in the OLE phase, investigators were free to add or modify other lipid-altering nutritional, lifestyle and drug treatment regimens. Given the lack of randomization, the open-label design, the addition of various other lipid-altering drugs and changes to doses of existing lipid-altering drugs, as well as the lack of placebo control, neither we nor our independent advisors were able to draw efficacy conclusions from the data. However, we have concluded that the MARINE OLE phase revealed no new safety signals after an additional 40 weeks of exposure to Vascepa, whether used alone or in combination with other lipid-altering regimens.

The ANCHOR Trial (promoted in the United States under court declaration)

The ANCHOR trial was a multi-center, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week pivotal study in patients with high triglycerides (200 and <500 mg/dL) who were also receiving optimized statin therapy. Patients were randomized into three arms for treatment with Vascepa 4 gram/day, 2 gram/day or placebo. Patient enrollment in this trial began in January 2010, and enrollment and randomization was completed in February 2011 at 702 patients. The primary endpoint in the trial was the percentage change in triglyceride level from baseline compared to placebo after 12 weeks of treatment.

In April 2011, we reported topline results from the ANCHOR trial. The ANCHOR trial met its primary endpoint at doses of 4 grams and 2 grams per day with median placebo-adjusted reductions in triglyceride levels of 21.5% (p<0.0001 value) for 4 grams and 10.1% (p=0.0005) for 2 grams. The median baseline triglyceride levels were 259 mg/dL, 265 mg/dL and 254 mg/dL for the patient groups treated with placebo, 4 grams and 2 grams of Vascepa per day, respectively. The analysis of subgroups by baseline triglyceride tertiles showed that higher baseline triglycerides resulted in greater triglyceride reductions.

One of the trial’s secondary endpoints was to demonstrate a lack of elevation in LDL-C, the primary target of cholesterol lowering therapy. The trial’s non-inferiority criterion for LDL-C was met at both Vascepa doses. The upper confidence boundaries for both doses were below the pre-specified +6% LDL-C threshold limit. At the 4-gram dose the upper confidence boundary was below zero (-1.7%) and at the 2-gram dose the upper confidence boundary was close to zero (0.5%). For the 4 grams per day group, LDL-C decreased significantly by 6.2% from baseline versus placebo, demonstrating superiority over placebo (p=0.0067). For the 2-gram group, LDL-C decreased by 3.6% from baseline versus placebo (p=0.0867), which is not a statistically significant decrease.

Other secondary efficacy endpoints included the median placebo-adjusted percent change in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or non-HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, or apo B, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). The 4-gram dose was associated with statistically significant reductions in non-HDL-C (13.6%, p<0.0001), apo B (9.3%, p<0.0001), Lp-PLA2 (19%, p<0.0001) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or hsCRP, (22%, p<0.001), at week 12 compared to placebo. One published analysis showed that the Vascepa 4-gram daily dose in the ANCHOR study also significantly decreased levels of the inflammatory marker oxidized low-density lipoprotein relative to placebo by 13% (p < 0.0001). In a separate, post-hoc analysis of study data, Vascepa 4 g/day statistically significantly reduced ApoC-III levels by 25.1% in MARINE (p < 0.0001) and by 19.2% in ANCHOR (p < 0.0001) versus placebo.

Vascepa was well tolerated in the ANCHOR trial with a safety profile comparable to placebo and there were no treatment-related serious adverse events observed. No significant changes in fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C, vital signs, electrocardiograms, or liver or kidney function were observed with either Vascepa dose. The safety results from the ANCHOR trial are included in the first FDA-approved label for Vascepa.

In April 2015, we received a Complete Response Letter, or CRL, from the FDA in response to our supplemental new drug application, or sNDA, that sought approval of Vascepa for use in patients with mixed dyslipidemia, based on the successful ANCHOR study. The CRL followed an October 2013 rescission by the FDA of a SPA agreement and three failed attempts by us to appeal that rescission at FDA. The FDA has acknowledged the success of the ANCHOR study, which met all primary and secondary endpoints. However, FDA determined that there were insufficient data to conclude that drug-induced changes in serum triglycerides could be recognized by the FDA as a valid surrogate for reducing cardiovascular risk in the ANCHOR population for the purpose of regulatory approval of a drug targeted at a triglyceride-lowering indication in this population. The FDA has acknowledged that the standard of proof required by the FDA for approval of a new drug indication is higher than that generally used to inform patient treatment guidelines and that used by physicians in clinical practice. The FDA did not determine that the drug-induced effects of Vascepa, which go beyond triglyceride-lowering, would not actually reduce cardiovascular risk in this population.

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In May 2015, we and a group of independent physicians filed a lawsuit in federal court to permit us to promote to healthcare professionals the use of Vascepa in patients with mixed dyslipidemia so long as the promotion is truthful and non-misleading. This use reflected recognized medical practice but was not covered by the then-current, FDA-approved labeling for the drug. Historically, FDA has considered promotion of drug uses not covered by FDA-approved labeling to be illegal off-label promotion, even if such promotion is truthful and non-misleading. In August 2015, we were granted preliminary relief in the form of a declaratory judgment in this lawsuit. The court declaration permits us to promote to healthcare professionals the FDA-reviewed and agreed effects of Vascepa demonstrated in the ANCHOR clinical trial and presentation of the current state of scientific research related to the potential (and now demonstrated effect) of Vascepa to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease including through use of peer-reviewed scientific publications of available data. In August 2015, we began to communicate promotional information beyond the MARINE indication to healthcare professionals in the United States as permitted by this court declaration and in March 2016, the parties obtained court approval of negotiated settlement terms under which the FDA and the U.S. government agreed to be bound by the court’s conclusions from the August 2015 declaration that we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of Vascepa and that certain statements and disclosures that we proposed to make to healthcare professionals were truthful and non-misleading. The FDA-approved labeling for Vascepa did not change as a result of this litigation and settlement, and neither government nor other third-party coverage or reimbursement to pay for the off-label use of Vascepa promoted under the court declaration was required.

Observed Efficacy of Ethyl-EPA

In Japan, ethyl-EPA is marketed under the product name of Epadel by Mochida and is indicated for hyperlipidemia and peripheral vascular disease. In an outcomes study called the Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study, or JELIS study, which consisted of more than 18,000 patients followed over multiple years, Epadel, when used in conjunction with statins, was shown to reduce cardiovascular events by 19% compared to the use of statins alone. In this study, cardiovascular events decreased by approximately 53% compared to statins alone in the subset of primary prevention patients with triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL (median of 272 mg/dL at entry) and HDL-C <40 mg/dL. Epadel has been approved and available by prescription in Japan for over a decade. In 2013, the Japan Ministry of Health approved Epadel for over-the-counter sales. JELIS provided supportive but not conclusive data that EPA drug therapy may reduce major coronary events. JELIS results cannot be generalized to populations outside of Japan due to limitations in the study’s design. Due to the limitation of JELIS, further study was needed through the REDUCE-IT study to determine the clinical benefit, if any, of EPA therapy in statin-treated patients with elevated triglyceride levels in a patient population beyond that studied in JELIS.

Observed Clinical Safety of Vascepa in MARINE, ANCHOR and Early Development

In the MARINE and ANCHOR trials, patients dosed with Vascepa demonstrated a safety profile similar to placebo. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events in the MARINE study or in the ANCHOR study. In the MARINE and ANCHOR trials, the most commonly reported adverse reaction (incidence >2% and greater than placebo) in Vascepa treated patients was arthralgia (joint pain) (2.3% for Vascepa vs. 1.0% for placebo). There was no reported adverse reaction > 3% and greater than placebo.

Prior to commencing the REDUCE-IT, MARINE and ANCHOR trials, we conducted a pre-clinical program for Vascepa, including toxicology and pharmacology studies. In addition, we previously investigated Vascepa in central nervous system disorders in several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, including Phase 3 trials in Huntington’s disease. Over 1,000 patients have been dosed with Vascepa in these studies, with over 100 receiving continuous treatment for a year or more. In all studies performed to date, Vascepa has shown a favorable safety and tolerability profile.

In addition to the REDUCE-IT, MARINE and ANCHOR trials, we completed a 28-day pharmacokinetic study in healthy volunteers, a 26-week study to evaluate the toxicity of Vascepa in transgenic mice and multiple pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction studies in healthy subjects in which we evaluated the effect of Vascepa on certain common prescription drugs. All findings from these studies were consistent with our expectations and confirmed the overall safety profile of Vascepa.

Since Vascepa was made commercially available in 2013, more than eight million estimated normalized total prescriptions of Vascepa have been reported by Symphony Health.  

New Lipid Compounds and Other Preclinical Programs

We are also considering development of other next generation compounds based on our internal lipid science expertise, including potential combination and derivative therapies.

In August 2013, we completed dosing of AMR102, a fixed dose combination of Vascepa and a leading statin product. The study is a randomized, open-label, single-dose, 4-way cross-over study to continue testing of the relative bioavailability of AMR102 capsules, Vascepa capsules with the selected statin taken concomitantly, Vascepa taken alone and the selected statin taken alone. The results of this study support the feasibility of AMR102. We have suspended additional development of AMR102 while we focus on commercializing the expanded indication of Vascepa; however, we will continue to evaluate these types of opportunities over time.

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We believe that Vascepa and other lipid-based compositions may have an impact on a number of biological factors in the body such as anti-inflammatory mechanisms, cell membrane composition and plasticity, triglyceride levels and regulation of glucose metabolism. Currently all other development activities are at formulation or pre-clinical stages.

Manufacturing and Supply for Vascepa

We manage the manufacturing and supply of Vascepa and have done so since we began clinical development of Vascepa prior to the drug’s marketing approval by the FDA in 2012. We rely on contract manufacturers in each step of our commercial and clinical product supply chain. These steps include API, manufacturing, encapsulation of the API, product packaging and supply-related logistics. Our approach to product supply procurement is designed to mitigate risk of supply interruption and maintain an environment of cost competition through diversification of contract manufacturers at each stage of the supply chain and lack of reliance on any single supplier.

The FDA has approved several international large-scale API manufacturers, global encapsulation leaders and two U.S.-based packagers for use in the manufacturing of Vascepa. All of our manufacturing facilities were approved by the FDA following successful preapproval inspections and they remain active manufacturers of Vascepa under FDA authority.

The API material that constitutes ethyl-EPA is a chemical modification of a naturally occurring substance that is derived from specific fish sourced from qualified producers. The fishing from which the raw material for Vascepa is derived is regulated by local government agencies under policies designed to ensure sustainability of the marine life supply. A limited number of other manufacturers have the ability, scale, know-how, sufficient supply chain capability and suitable, industrial-scale facilities to produce ethyl-EPA to the required level of purity. Among the conditions for FDA approval of a pharmaceutical product is the requirement that the manufacturer’s quality control and manufacturing procedures are validated and conform to pharmaceutical current Good Manufacturing Practice, or cGMP, which, under applicable regulations, must be followed at all times. The FDA typically inspects manufacturing facilities before regulatory approval of a product candidate, such as Vascepa, and on a periodic basis after the initial approval. Consistent with cGMP regulations, pharmaceutical manufacturers must expend resources and time to ensure compliance with product specifications as well as production, record keeping, quality control, reporting, and other regulatory requirements.

Some of our agreements with our API suppliers are exclusive and include minimum purchase commitments. During 2019, we fully met the aggregate minimum purchase requirements in our supply agreements. Under the supply agreements, we can purchase more than the minimum requirements. Certain of these agreements contemplate phased capacity expansion aimed at creating sufficient volumes to meet anticipated demand for Vascepa. Certain of these agreements contain provisions for reduced payments (fractional API cost) for unmet annual volume requirements.

Our Commercialization Plans

We commenced the commercial launch of Vascepa in the United States in January 2013. In October 2016, in addition to the original 1-gram capsule size for Vascepa, we introduced a smaller 0.5-gram capsule size, the first and only 0.5-gram prescription omega-3 alternative available on the market, for the subset of patients who prefer a smaller capsule. The FDA-approved dosing for Vascepa is 4 grams per day, and, as expected, the majority of new and existing patients taking Vascepa continue to be prescribed the 1-gram size Vascepa capsule. We sell the 1-gram and 0.5-gram capsule sizes of Vascepa principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers, or collectively, our distributors or our customers, that in turn resell Vascepa to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers.

We currently market Vascepa in the United States through our direct sales force. We currently target clinicians who are top prescribers of lipid-regulating therapies, including statins. Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our sales team to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives. As a result of the FDA’s newly approved indication and label expansion, we are close to completing the expansion of our direct sales force to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives. Hiring, training and deploying approximately 400 new sales representatives is a multi-stage process which commenced in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in early 2020. Most of the expanded sales management team needed to support this sales force expansion was hired, or internally promoted, and trained prior to December 31, 2019.

From May 2014 through December 2018, in addition to Vascepa promotion by our sales representatives, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. co-promoted Vascepa in the United States in conjunction with its promotion of its primary product, a branded statin for patients with high cholesterol. This co-promotion reached its mutually agreed upon termination date in December 2018. During 2018, as a result of not renewing the agreement, we incurred expense for the accrual of co-promotion tail payments, which were calculated as a percentage of the 2018 co-promotion fee. Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. will receive $17.8 million in co-promotion tail payments, the present value of which, $16.6 million, was fully accrued as of December 31, 2018 and will be paid over three years with declining amounts each year. We made $7.3 million in tail payments as of December 31, 2019.

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We also employ various medical affairs and marketing personnel to support our commercialization of Vascepa. We expanded certain medical education and market awareness initiatives, including, pilot testing of new promotional initiatives following the reporting of positive REDUCE-IT results in 2018 and we intend to further expand such initiatives based on the newly approved indication and label expansion of Vascepa. Our field sales efforts are further complemented by investments in digital and non-personal channels as well as peer-to-peer (e.g., promotional medical education programs and product theaters) initiatives to further increase Vascepa brand awareness and clarify Vascepa’s unique clinical profile. In January 2020, we launched an educational campaign, True To Your Heart, to help people learn more about cardiovascular disease and how to better protect against persistent cardiovascular risk.

Since commercial launch of Vascepa in January 2013, we have promoted Vascepa based on the MARINE clinical trial data as reflected in the first FDA-approved label for Vascepa. In August 2015, we and our co-promotion partner began communicating promotional information beyond MARINE clinical trial data to targeted healthcare professionals. Such qualified communications were made pursuant to the August 7, 2015 federal district court declaration and related March 2016 settlement allowing truthful and non-misleading promotion of the FDA-reviewed and agreed effects of Vascepa demonstrated in the ANCHOR clinical trial. This promotion also included information related to the then current state of scientific research about the potential of Vascepa to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including REDUCE-IT data and previously other peer-reviewed scientific publications of available data. The ANCHOR clinical trial of Vascepa demonstrated the favorable effects of Vascepa on TGs and related lipid, lipoprotein and inflammation parameters in patients on statin therapy and persistent high TGs.

After results of REDUCE-IT were available in September 2018 and demonstrated that Vascepa is effective in lowering the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events in statin-treated patients with CV risk factors, we expanded the size of our U.S. direct sales force and continued to expand promotion of Vascepa. After publication of the primary results of the REDUCE-IT study in The New England Journal of Medicine and scientific presentation of REDUCE-IT results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018, we updated and expanded our communication of REDUCE-IT results to include the publication and the peer-reviewed information presented in an effort to further ensure that our communications remained truthful and non-misleading. Starting December 13, 2019, we began promoting based on the new indication and label expansion.

The datasets from the clinical development of Vascepa are large, representing greater than 35,000 patient years of study. Additionally, the list of prespecified endpoints evaluated in support of the REDUCE-IT sNDA was extensive. We submitted an sNDA to the FDA in the United States in March 2019 seeking approval to expand the label for Vascepa based on the effects of Vascepa demonstrated in the REDUCE-IT study. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa capsules. Vascepa is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statins therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Throughout 2019, we continued an efficient expansion of our commercial activities and capabilities directed primarily toward targeted providers and payor decision-makers. We brought the results of REDUCE-IT to healthcare providers and payors, in a manner we believed was both truthful and non-misleading and consistent with an August 2015 federal district court declaration and related March 2016 settlement with the FDA. Thus, we directly connected Vascepa with the REDUCE-IT data for these target audiences, in advance of having a new label. Further, now that a new FDA- approved cardiovascular risk reduction indication has been granted in the United States, we expect to deploy a direct to consumer campaign in 2020 consistent with the expanded U.S. label.

Based on monthly compilations of data provided by a third party, Symphony Health, the estimated number of normalized total Vascepa prescriptions for the three months ended December 31, 2019 was approximately 992,000 compared to 865,000, 756,000, 618,000, and 539,000 in the three months ended September 30, 2019, June 30, 2019, March 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018, respectively. According to data from another third party, IQVIA, the estimated number of normalized total Vascepa prescriptions for the three months ended December 31, 2019 was approximately 909,000 compared to 787,000, 683,000, 553,000, and 492,000 in the three months ended September 30, 2019, June 30, 2019, March 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018, respectively. Normalized total prescriptions represent the estimated total number of Vascepa prescriptions dispensed to patients, calculated on a normalized basis (i.e., one month’s supply, or total capsules dispensed multiplied by the number of grams per capsule divided by 120 grams). Inventory levels at wholesalers tend to fluctuate based on seasonal factors, prescription trends and other factors.

Companies such as Symphony Health and IQVIA collect and report estimates of weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual prescription information. There is a limited amount of information available to such companies to determine the actual number of total prescriptions for prescription products like Vascepa during such periods. Each vendor’s estimates utilize a proprietary projection methodology and are based on a combination of data received from pharmacies and other distributors, and historical data when actual data is unavailable. Their calculations of changes in prescription levels between periods can be significantly affected by lags in data reporting from various sources or by changes in pharmacies and other distributors providing data. Such methods can from time to time result in significant inaccuracies in information when ultimately compared with actual results. These inaccuracies have historically been most prevalent and pronounced during periods of time of inflections upward or downward in rates of use. Further, data for a single and limited period may not be representative of a trend or otherwise predictive of future results. Data reported by Symphony Health and IQVIA is rarely identical. As such, the resulting conclusions from such sources should be viewed with caution. We are not responsible for the accuracy of these companies’ information and we do not receive prescription data directly from retail pharmacies.

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We sell Vascepa principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers in the United States, that in turn resell Vascepa to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers. We recognize revenue from product sales when the distributor obtains control of our product, which occurs at a point in time, typically upon delivery to the distributor. Timing of shipments to wholesalers, as used for revenue recognition purposes, and timing of prescriptions as estimated by these third parties may differ from period to period. Although we believe these data are prepared on a period-to-period basis in a manner that is generally consistent and that such results can be generally indicative of current prescription trends, these data are based on estimates and should not be relied upon as definitive. While we expect to be able to grow Vascepa revenues over time, no guidance should be inferred from the operating metrics described above. We also anticipate that such sales growth will be inconsistent from period to period. We believe that investors should view the above-referenced operating metrics with caution, as data for this limited period may not be representative of a trend consistent with the results presented or otherwise predictive of future results. Seasonal fluctuations in pharmaceutical sales, for example, may affect future prescription trends of Vascepa, as could changes in prescriber sentiment, quarterly changes in distributor purchases, and other factors. We believe investors should consider our results over several quarters, or longer, before making an assessment about potential future performance.

The commercialization of pharmaceutical products is a complex undertaking, and our ability to effectively and profitably commercialize Vascepa will depend in part on our ability to generate market demand for Vascepa through education, marketing and sales activities, our ability to achieve market acceptance of Vascepa, our ability to generate product revenue and our ability to receive adequate levels of reimbursement from third-party payers. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Commercialization and Development of Vascepa.”

Outside of the United States, we have expanded our commercialization activities through partnering arrangements in certain territories. In February 2015, we entered into a Development, Commercialization and Supply Agreement, or the DCS Agreement, with Eddingpharm related to the development and commercialization of Vascepa in the China Territory. Under the DCS Agreement, Eddingpharm will be solely responsible for development and commercialization activities in the China Territory and associated expenses. Additionally, Eddingpharm is required to conduct clinical trials in the China Territory to secure regulatory approval in certain territories. For example, in December 2017, Eddingpharm commenced a pivotal clinical trial aimed to support the regulatory approval of the first indication of Vascepa in a patient population with severe hypertriglyceridemia in Mainland China. Additional clinical development efforts are necessary in certain segments of this market. If Eddingpharm is not able to effectively develop and commercialize Vascepa in the China Territory, we may not be able to generate revenue from the DCS Agreement resulting from the sale of Vascepa in the China Territory.

In March 2016, we entered into an agreement with Biologix to register and commercialize Vascepa in several Middle Eastern and North African countries. Under the terms of the distribution agreement, we granted to Biologix a non-exclusive license to use our trademarks in connection with the importation, distribution, promotion, marketing and sale of Vascepa in the Middle East and North Africa territory. Biologix obtained approval of Vascepa in Lebanon in March 2018, in United Arab Emirates in July 2018 and in Qatar in January 2020. Vascepa was launched in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates in June 2018 and February 2019, respectively. Vascepa is under registration in additional countries in the MENA region. Commercialization across the Middle East and North Africa is subject to similar risks as in the China Territory.

In September 2017, we entered into an agreement with HLS to register, commercialize and distribute Vascepa in Canada. Under the agreement, HLS is responsible for regulatory and commercialization activities and associated costs. We are responsible for providing assistance towards local filings, supplying finished product under negotiated supply terms, and maintaining intellectual property. In December 2019, following priority review designation, HLS received confirmation from Health Canada that the Canadian regulatory authority granted approval for Vascepa to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, coronary revascularization or hospitalization for unstable angina) in statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides, who are at high risk of cardiovascular events due to: established cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. In January 2020, HLS obtained an extended regulatory exclusivity designation. Commercial launch in Canada began in February 2020 on a limited scale with subsequent expansion intended. If HLS Therapeutics is not able to effectively commercialize Vascepa in Canada, we may not be able to generate revenue from the agreement as a result of the sale of Vascepa in Canada.

In December 2019, the EMA validated the marketing authorization application seeking approval for Vascepa. The validation confirms the submission is sufficiently complete for the EMA to begin its review, which is currently expected to be completed before the end of 2020. Commercialization across Europe is several years away, if at all.

We plan to assess other potential partnership opportunities for licensing Vascepa to partners outside of the United States.

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Competition

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly competitive. There are many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, public and private universities and research organizations actively engaged in the research and development of products that may be similar to our products. It is probable that the number of companies seeking to develop products and therapies similar to our products will increase. Many of these and other existing or potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do and may be better equipped to develop, manufacture and market products. These companies may develop and introduce products and processes competitive with or superior to ours. In addition, other technologies or products may be developed that have an entirely different approach or means of accomplishing the intended purposes of our products, which might render our technology and products noncompetitive or obsolete.

Our competitors both in the United States and abroad include large, well-established pharmaceutical and generic companies, specialty and generic pharmaceutical sales and marketing companies, and specialized cardiovascular treatment companies. GlaxoSmithKline plc currently sells Lovaza®, a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid indicated for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, which was approved by FDA in 2004 and has been on the market in the United States since 2005. Multiple generic versions of Lovaza are available in the United States. Other large companies with competitive products include AbbVie, Inc., which currently sells Tricor® and Trilipix® for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and Niaspan®, which is primarily used to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL-C, but is also used to lower triglycerides. Multiple generic versions of Tricor, Trilipix and Niaspan are also available in the United States. We compete with these drugs, and in particular, multiple low-cost generic versions of these drugs, in our FDA-approved indicated uses, even though such products do not have FDA approval to reduce CV risk on top of statin therapy.

In addition, in May 2014, Epanova® (omega-3-carboxylic acids) capsules, a free fatty acid form of omega-3 (comprised of 55% EPA and 20% DHA), was approved by the FDA for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Epanova was developed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is now owned by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP (AstraZeneca). Also, in April 2014, Omtryg, another omega-3-acid fatty acid composition developed by Trygg Pharma AS, received FDA approval for severe hypertriglyceridemia. Neither Epanova nor Omtryg have been commercially launched, but could launch at any time. AstraZeneca has greater resources than we do, including financial, product development, marketing, personnel and other resources.

AstraZeneca had been conducting a long-term outcomes study to assess Statin Residual Risk Reduction With EpaNova in HiGh Cardiovascular Risk PatienTs With Hypertriglyceridemia (STRENGTH). The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (corn oil), parallel group design that is believed to have enrolled approximately 13,000 patients with hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL and high risk for cardiovascular disease randomized 1:1 to either corn oil plus statin or Epanova plus statin, once daily. On January 13, 2020, following the recommendation of an independent Data Monitoring Committee, AstraZeneca decided to end the STRENGTH trial due to its low likelihood of demonstrating benefit to studied patients, i.e., patients with mixed dyslipidemia who were at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. AstraZeneca also stated that full data from the STRENGTH trial will be presented at a future medical meeting. In addition, in March 2017, Kowa Research Institute (a subsidiary of the Japanese company Kowa Co., Ltd) initiated a Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes trial titled PROMINENT examining the effect of pemafibrate (experimental name K-877) in reducing cardiovascular events in Type II diabetic patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Kowa Research Institute has publicly estimated study completion in May 2022, and if successful, U.S. regulatory approval is estimated in mid-2023.  

During 2018, two outcomes studies were completed of omega-3 mixtures which both failed to achieve their primary endpoints of cardiovascular risk reduction and two meta-analyses were published showing that omega-3 mixtures are not effective in lowering cardiovascular risk. Results of these failed outcomes studies and analysis, while not done with Vascepa, may negatively affect sales of Vascepa. For example, results of VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL), as announced immediately before the presentation of REDUCE-IT results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018, failed to achieve its primary endpoint of lowering cardiovascular events. VITAL was an NIH funded randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2x2 factorial trial of 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3 and 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acid mixture supplementation (Lovaza) for the primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease in a nationwide USA cohort of 25,874 adults not selected for elevated cardiovascular or cancer risk.

Likewise, in 2018, results from A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes (ASCEND) trial were released and showed negligible results for omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily. ASCEND was a British Heart Foundation funded 2x2 factorial design, randomized study to assess whether aspirin 100 mg daily versus placebo and separately, omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily versus placebo, reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in a nationwide UK cohort of over 15,000 individuals with diabetes who do not have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.  

In a meta-analysis, presented in 2018 by the Cochran Foundation and separately as published in JAMA, additional omega-3 studies were evaluated. Similar to the VITAL and ASCEND studies, most of the studies in these omega-3 meta-analyses were of omega-3 mixtures, including DHA, and most were studies of relatively low doses of omega-3 as is associated with dietary supplementation and/or they studied relatively low risk patient populations. The exception was the JELIS study, conducted in Japan, of highly pure EPA which showed a positive outcome benefit but had significant limitations in its application to a wider population. The negative results from such omega-3 mixture studies could create misleading impressions about the use of omega-3s generally, including Vascepa, despite REDUCE-IT positive results and the highly-pure and stable EPA active ingredient in Vascepa and its higher dose regimen.

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We are also aware of other pharmaceutical companies that are developing products that, if successfully developed, approved and marketed, would compete with Vascepa. Acasti Pharma, or Acasti, a subsidiary of Neptune Technologies & Bioresources Inc., announced in December 2015 that it intends to pursue a regulatory pathway under section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA for its omega-3 prescription drug candidate, CaPre® (omega-3 phospholipid), derived from krill oil, for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. In September 2016, Acasti announced positive results from its pivotal bioavailability bridging study comparing CaPre to Lovaza, establishing a scientific bridge between the two that is expected to support the feasibility of a 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway. In the first quarter of 2018, Acasti initiated a Phase 3 clinical program (TRILOGY 1 & 2) to assess the safety and efficacy of CaPre in patients with very high (500 mg/dL) triglycerides. In January 2020, Acasti announced topline results of the TRILOGY 1 trial of CaPre. The study did not reach statistical significance and further analysis is underway. In February 2020, Acasti announced their intention to request a meeting with the FDA to discuss the TRILOGY 1 data and will seek guidance about how to conduct the analysis of the TRILOGY 2 data. As a result, Acasti also stated that they expect to announce topline results of TRILOGY 2 in the third quarter of 2020. NDA submission (if any) and resultant review/approval timelines will be announced following completion of TRILOGY 1 and 2 data analysis. We believe Micelle BioPharma Inc., or Micelle, is also developing potential treatments for hypertriglyceridemia based on omega-3 fatty acids. To our knowledge, Micelle, after acquiring SC401 from Sancilio & Company, or Sancilio, is pursuing a regulatory pathway under section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA for its product and submitted an Investigational New Drug Application, or IND, in July 2015. Micelle (Sancilio) completed two pharmacokinetic studies and Phase 2 bioavailability studies (FASTR I&II), with one comparing SC401 to Lovaza. We expect the company or a potential partner to initiate a pivotal clinical Phase 3 study as the next step in development.

Matinas BioPharma, Inc., or Matinas, is developing an omega-3-based therapeutic, or MAT9001, for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and mixed dyslipidemia. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Matinas filed an IND with the FDA to conduct a human study in the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and, in June 2015, the company announced topline results for its head-to-head comparative short duration pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of MAT9001 versus Vascepa in patients under conditions inconsistent with the FDA-approved label for Vascepa and presented results based on biomarker modification without outcomes data. In September 2017, Matinas announced that it will be seeking a partner company to develop and commercialize MAT9001. In March 2019, Matinas announced that net proceeds from a public offering of common stock would be used for development activities for MAT9001. In September 2019, Matinas announced that it will begin a comparative clinical bridging bioavailability study in the fourth calendar quarter of 2019, with expected completion in the first half of 2020, and has planned an additional Phase 2 head-to-head pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study, or ENHANCE-IT, against Vascepa in patients with elevated triglycerides (150-499 mg/dL). Patient enrollment is expected to commence in early 2020, with topline data expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. Matinas anticipates initiating a Phase 3 placebo-controlled study of MAT9001 in statin-treated patients with high risk hypertriglyceridemia by the end of 2020. We are not aware if or when Matinas intends to conduct a cardiovascular outcomes study of MAT9001.

In June 2018, Gemphire Therapeutics (renamed NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. following completion of a merger on December 31, 2019) announced positive topline results from a Phase 2b trial, or INDIGO-1, of its drug candidate, gemcabene, in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Gemcabene is an oral, once-daily pill for a number of hypercholesterolemic populations and severe hypertriglyceridemia. In August 2018, the FDA requested that Gemphire conduct an additional long-term toxicity study before commencing any further clinical testing, thereby effectively placing gemcabene on clinical hold. Gemphire expects to submit a request to the FDA to lift the clinical hold in the first quarter of 2020. In June 2019, Gemphire announced top-line clinical results from a Phase 2 trial in Familial Partial Lipodystrophy (FPL)/NASH in which Gemcabene safely met the primary endpoint in a sub-set of patients. Phase 3 studies for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HoFH, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HeFH, and non-familial hypercholesterolemia in ASCVD patients are planned.

Afimmune Ltd. has an oral, small molecule drug candidate, epeleuton, or DS-102, in development for a number of conditions of the liver and lung, including severe hypertriglyceridemia, Phase 2 clinical trials are currently ongoing for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, in the United States. In November 2019, Afimmune Ltd. announced positive results from an exploratory Phase 2 study of epeleuton in patients with NAFLD in which the molecule decreased triglycerides, improved glycemic control, and decreased markers of inflammation.

Based on prior communications from the FDA, including communications in connection with its review of the ANCHOR indication for Vascepa, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy for treatment of cardiovascular risk based on biomarker modification without outcomes study data, with the potential exception of therapies which lower LDL-cholesterol. In particular, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy based primarily on data demonstrating lowering of triglyceride levels. In our view, this position from the FDA did not change based on the REDUCE-IT study particularly in light of significant independence of the positive benefit demonstrated in the REDUCE-IT study from triglyceride levels and benefit from the REDUCE-IT study supporting that the positive effects of Vascepa are unique to Vascepa and extend beyond triglyceride reduction. If the FDA were to change this position, it could potentially have a negative impact on us by making it easier for other products to achieve a cardiovascular risk reduction indication without the need in advance to conduct a long and expensive cardiovascular outcomes study.

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Vascepa also faces competition from dietary supplement manufacturers marketing omega-3 products as nutritional supplements. Such products are classified as food, not as prescription drugs or as over-the-counter drugs, by the FDA in the United States. Most regulatory regimes outside the United States are similar in this regard. Some of the promoters of such products have greater resources than us and are not restricted to the same standards as are prescription drugs with respect to promotional claims or manufacturing quality, consistency and subsequent product stability. We have taken successful legal action against supplement manufacturers attempting to use the REDUCE-IT results to promote their products. Still, we cannot be sure physicians and pharmacists will view the FDA-approved, prescription-only status, and EPA-only purity and stability of Vascepa or FDA’s stringent regulatory oversight, as significant advantages versus omega-3 dietary supplements regardless of clinical study results and other scientific data.

Regulatory Matters

Government Regulation and Regulatory Matters

Any product development activities related to Vascepa or products that we may develop or acquire in the future will be subject to extensive regulation by various government authorities, including the FDA and comparable regulatory authorities in other countries, which regulate the design, research, clinical and nonclinical development, testing, manufacturing, storage, distribution, import, export, labeling, advertising and marketing of pharmaceutical products. Generally, before a new drug can be sold, considerable data demonstrating its quality, safety and efficacy must be obtained, organized into a format specific to each regulatory authority, submitted for review and approved by the regulatory authority. The data are generated in two distinct development stages: preclinical and clinical. Drugs must be approved by the FDA through the NDA process before they are first marketed in the United States. For new chemical entities, the preclinical development stage generally involves synthesizing the active component, developing the formulation, determining the manufacturing process and controls, as well as carrying out non-human toxicology, pharmacology and drug metabolism studies which support subsequent clinical testing.

The clinical stage of development can generally be divided into Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. In Phase 1, generally, a small number of healthy volunteers are initially exposed to a single dose and then multiple doses of the product candidate. The primary purpose of these studies is to assess the metabolism, pharmacologic action, side effect tolerability and safety of the drug. Phase 2 trials typically involve studies in disease-affected patients to determine the dose required to produce the desired benefits. At the same time, safety and further pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information is collected. Phase 3 trials generally involve large numbers of patients at multiple sites, in multiple countries and are designed to provide the pivotal data necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product for its intended use and its safety in use, provide an adequate basis for physician labeling and may include comparisons with placebo and/or other comparator treatments. The duration of treatment is often extended to mimic the actual use of a product during marketing.

United States Drug Development

In the United States, 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 United States requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, a clinical hold, warning or untitled letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement, or civil or criminal penalties. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us.

Prior to the start of human clinical studies for a new drug in the United States, preclinical laboratory and animal tests are often performed under the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practices regulations, or GLP, and an investigational new drug application, or IND, is filed with the FDA. Similar filings are required in other countries; however, data requirements and other information needed for a complete submission may differ in other countries. The amount of data that must be supplied in the IND depends on the phase of the study. Phase 1 studies typically require less data than larger Phase 3 studies. A clinical plan must be submitted to the FDA prior to commencement of a clinical trial. If the FDA has concerns about the clinical plan or the safety of the proposed studies, it may suspend or terminate the study at any time. Studies must be conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice, or GCP, including the requirement that subjects provide their informed consent, and regular reporting of study progress and any adverse experiences is required. Studies are also subject to review by independent institutional review boards, or IRBs, responsible for overseeing studies at particular sites and protecting human research study subjects. An independent IRB may also suspend or terminate a study once initiated.

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FDA Review Process

The results of nonclinical studies and clinical trials, together with other information, including manufacturing information and information on the composition of the drug and proposed labeling, are submitted to the FDA in an NDA requesting approval to market the drug for one or more specified indications. Each NDA is typically accompanied by a user fee and there is also an annual prescription drug product program fee for human drugs. The FDA reviews an NDA to determine, among other things, whether a drug is safe and effective for its intended use and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with cGMP requirements to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality and purity. The FDA will conduct a pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facilities for the new drug and may audit data from clinical trials to ensure compliance with GCP requirements. Additionally, 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.

After the FDA evaluates an NDA, it will 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, and usually describes all the specific deficiencies in the NDA identified by the FDA. The complete response letter may require additional clinical data and/or additional clinical trial(s), and/or other information. If a complete response letter is issued, the applicant may either resubmit the NDA, addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, withdraw the application, or request a hearing. Even if such data and information is submitted, the FDA may ultimately decide that the NDA does not satisfy the criteria for approval.

Following the approval process of any drug product, the FDA may require post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor the effects of approved products or it may place conditions on approvals including potential requirements or risk management plans that could restrict the commercial promotion, distribution, prescription or dispensing of products. Product approvals may be withdrawn for non-compliance with regulatory requirements or if problems occur following initial marketing.  

Off-label Promotion in the United States

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, has been interpreted by the FDA and the U.S. government to make it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote their FDA-approved products for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. Companies that market drugs for off-label uses or indications have been subject to related costly litigation, criminal penalties and civil liability under the FDCA and the False Claims Act. However, recent case law has called into question the extent to which government in the United States, including FDA, can, and is willing to seek to, prevent truthful and non-misleading speech related to off-label uses of FDA-approved products such as Vascepa.

In May 2015, we and a group of independent physicians filed a lawsuit against the FDA seeking a federal court declaration that would permit us and our agents to promote to healthcare professionals the use of Vascepa in the ANCHOR population and promote on the potential of Vascepa to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease so long as the promotion is truthful and non-misleading. This use of Vascepa at issue reflected recognized medical practice but was not approved by the FDA and is thus not covered by the then current FDA-approved labeling for the drug. Promotion of an off-label use has generally been considered by the FDA to be illegal under the FDCA. The lawsuit, captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc., et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., 119 F. Supp. 3d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 2015), was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the lawsuit, we contended principally that FDA regulations limiting off-label promotion of truthful and non-misleading information are unconstitutional under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as applied in the case of our proposed promotion of Vascepa. The physicians in the suit regularly treated patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and, as the complaint contended, have First Amendment rights to receive truthful and non-misleading information from us. The suit was based on the principle that better informed physicians make better treatment decisions for their patients. The FDA opposed this lawsuit but did not dispute the veracity of the subject ANCHOR clinical trial data (the safety data from which data was already and currently is in FDA-approved labeling of Vascepa) or the peer-reviewed research related to Vascepa and the potential for cardiovascular risk reduction.

In August 2015, we were granted preliminary relief in this lawsuit through the court’s declaratory judgment that confirmed we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of Vascepa to healthcare professionals, i.e., to treat patients with persistently high triglycerides, and that such speech may not form the basis of a misbranding action under the FDCA.

In March 2016, we settled this litigation under terms by which the FDA and the U.S. government agreed to be bound by the conclusions from the federal court order that we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of Vascepa and that certain statements and disclosures that we proposed to make to healthcare professionals were truthful and non-misleading. As part of the settlement, given, as expressed in the court’s opinion, that the dynamic nature of science and medicine is that knowledge is ever-advancing and that a statement that is fair and balanced one day may become incomplete or otherwise misleading in the future as new studies are done and new data is acquired, we agreed that we bear the responsibility to ensure that our communications regarding off-label use of Vascepa remain truthful and non-misleading, consistent with the federal court ruling.

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If our promotional activities or other operations are found to be in violation of any law or governmental regulation through existing or new interpretations, we may be subject to prolonged litigation, penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. Also, if governmental parties or our competitors view our claims as misleading or false, we could also be subject to liability based on fair competition-based statutes, such as the Lanham Act. Any of such negative circumstances could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Foreign Regulation of New Drug Compounds

In addition to regulations in the United States, we may 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 obtain FDA approval for a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in all or most 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, or CTA, much like the IND prior to the commencement of human clinical trials. In Europe, for example, a CTA must be submitted to each country’s national health authority and an independent ethics committee, much like the FDA and IRB, respectively. Once the CTA is approved in accordance with a country’s requirements, clinical trial development may proceed. Similarly, clinical trials conducted in countries such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, require review and approval of clinical trial proposals by an ethics committee, which provides a combined ethical and scientific review process. Most countries in which clinical studies are conducted require the approval of the clinical trial proposals by both the regulatory body and ethics committee.

The requirements and process governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country. In all cases, the clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with GCP, which have their origin in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki, the applicable regulatory requirements, and guidelines developed by the International Conference on Harmonization, or ICH, for GCP practices in clinical trials.

Post-Marketing Requirements

Following approval of a new product, a pharmaceutical company generally must engage in numerous specific monitoring and recordkeeping activities, such as routine safety surveillance, and must continue to submit periodic and other reports to the applicable regulatory agencies, including any cases of adverse events and appropriate quality control records. Such reports submitted to the FDA may result in changes to the label and/or other post-marketing requirements or actions, including product withdrawal. These are viable risks once a product is on the market. Additionally, modifications or enhancements to the products or labeling or changes of site of manufacture are often subject to the approval of the FDA and other regulators, which may or may not be received or may result in a lengthy review process.

Prescription drug advertising is subject to federal, state and foreign regulations. In the United States, the FDA regulates prescription drug promotion, including direct-to-consumer advertising. Prescription drug promotional materials must be submitted to the FDA in conjunction with their first use. Any distribution of prescription drug products and pharmaceutical samples must comply with the U.S. Prescription Drug Marketing Act, or the PDMA, a part of the FDCA.

In the United States, once a product is approved, its manufacture is subject to comprehensive and continuing regulation by the FDA. The FDA regulations require that products be manufactured in specific approved facilities and in accordance with pharmaceutical cGMPs, and NDA holders must list their products and register their manufacturing establishments with the FDA. These regulations also impose certain organizational, procedural and documentation requirements with respect to manufacturing and quality assurance activities. NDA holders using contract manufacturers, laboratories or packagers are responsible for the selection and monitoring of qualified firms, and, in certain circumstances, qualified suppliers to these firms. These firms and, where applicable, their suppliers are subject to inspections by the FDA at any time, and the discovery of violative conditions, including failure to conform to cGMPs, could result in enforcement actions that interrupt the operation of any such facilities or the ability to distribute products manufactured, processed or tested by them.

Federal and State Fraud and Abuse Laws and Data Regulation

In addition to FDA restrictions on marketing of pharmaceutical products, several other types of state and federal laws restrict certain marketing practices in the biopharmaceutical industry. These laws include anti-kickback statutes and false claims statutes.

The federal anti-kickback statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or in return for a referral or the purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending the purchase, lease, or order of any healthcare facility, item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal healthcare programs. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on one hand and prescribers, purchasers, and formulary managers on the other.

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Liability may be established without a person or entity having actual knowledge of the federal anti-kickback statute or specific intent to violate it. 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. Although there are a number of statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain activities from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchases, or recommendations may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exemption or safe harbor. Our practices may not in all cases meet all of the criteria for safe harbor protection from anti-kickback liability. Moreover, there are no safe harbors for many common practices, such as educational and research grants or patient or product support programs.

The federal civil and criminal false claim laws, including the civil monetary penalty laws and the civil False Claims Act prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment of government funds, or knowingly making or using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay money to the government or knowingly concealing, or knowingly and improperly avoiding, decreasing, or concealing an obligation to pay money or transmit properly to the federal government. Manufacturers can be held liable under the FCA even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors if they are deemed to “cause” the submission of false or fraudulent claims. The False Claims Act also permits a private individual acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the statute and to share in any monetary recovery. Recently, several pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have been investigated or faced enforcement actions under the federal civil False Claims Act for a variety of alleged improper marketing activities, including allegations that they caused false claims to be submitted because of the company’s marketing of the product for unapproved, and thus allegedly non-reimbursable, uses. Federal enforcement agencies also have showed increased interest in pharmaceutical companies’ product and patient assistance programs, including reimbursement and co-pay support services, and a number of investigations into these programs have resulted in significant civil and criminal settlements. Pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies also are subject to other federal false claims laws, including, among others, federal criminal healthcare fraud and false statement statutes that extend to non-government health benefit programs.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, including the Final Omnibus Rule published in January 2013, collectively referred to herein as HIPAA, among other things, imposes criminal and civil liability for knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payor and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up 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. In addition, HITECH imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. It requires certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. HITECH also created 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.

The federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act, implemented as the Open Payments Program, requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics, 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 related to direct or indirect payments and other transfers of value to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held in the company by physicians and their immediate family members. Beginning on January 1, 2022, applicable manufacturers also will be required to report information regarding payments and transfers of value provided to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives.

Many foreign countries and the majority of states also have statutes or regulations similar to the federal anti-kickback law and false claims laws, which may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers. Other states or localities may have 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 or otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers; restrict the ability of manufacturers to offer co-pay support to patients for certain prescription drugs; require drug manufacturers to report information related to clinical trials, or information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures; relate to insurance fraud in the case of claims involving private insurers; and/or require identification or licensing of sales representatives.

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Some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government in addition to requiring manufacturers to report information related to payments to physicians and other healthcare providers, marketing expenditures, and drug pricing information. Certain state and local laws require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives. State and foreign laws, including for example the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, also govern 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.

The CCPA creates new individual privacy rights for California consumers (as defined in the law) and places increased privacy and security obligations on entities handling personal data of consumers or households. The CCPA will require covered companies to provide certain disclosures to consumers about its data collection, use and sharing practices, and to provide affected California residents with ways to opt-out of certain sales or transfers of personal information. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, and the California Attorney General will commence enforcement actions against violators beginning July 1, 2020. While there is currently an exception for protected health information that is subject to HIPAA and clinical trial regulations, as currently written, the CCPA may impact our business activities.

In the event we decide to conduct clinical trials or continue to enroll subjects in our ongoing or future clinical trials, we may be subject to additional privacy restrictions. The collection, use, storage, disclosure, transfer, or other processing of personal data regarding individuals in the European Economic Area, or EEA, including personal health data, is subject to the GDPR, which became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is wide-ranging in scope and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU, including the United States, and permits data protection authorities to impose large penalties for violations of the GDPR, including potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global revenues, whichever is greater. The GDPR also confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. In addition, the GDPR includes restrictions on cross-border data transfers. Compliance with the GDPR will be a rigorous and time-intensive process that may increase our cost of doing business or require us to change our business practices, and despite those efforts, there is a risk that we may be subject to fines and penalties, litigation, and reputational harm in connection with our European activities. Further, the United Kingdom’s exit of the EU, often referred to as Brexit, has created uncertainty with regard to data protection regulation in the United Kingdom. Pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the United Kingdom ceased being a Member State of the EU on January 31, 2020. However, the terms of the withdrawal have yet to be fully negotiated. The implementation period began February 1, 2020 and will continue until December 31, 2020. In particular, it is unclear how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated following the completion of the withdrawal.

Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the exceptions or safe harbors, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. Such a challenge could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These laws may impact, among other things, our proposed sales, marketing and education programs. In addition, we may be subject to patient privacy regulation by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business.

If our promotional activities or other operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other governmental regulations or guidance that apply to us through existing or new interpretations, we may be subject to prolonged litigation, penalties, including administrative, civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines, disorgnment, the exclusion from participation in federal and state healthcare programs, individual imprisonment, reputational harm and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, as well as additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. Also, if governmental parties or our competitors view our claims as misleading or false, we could also be subject to liability based on fair competition-based statutes, such as the Lanham Act. Any of such negative circumstances could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Healthcare Reform and Legislation

In the United States and foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the healthcare system that could affect our future results of operations. In particular, there have been and continue to be a number of initiatives at the United States federal and state levels that seek to reduce healthcare costs. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, or the MMA, imposed new requirements for the distribution and pricing of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. Under Part D, Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in prescription drug plans offered by private entities which will provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs. Part D plans include both stand-alone prescription drug benefit plans and

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prescription drug coverage as a supplement to Medicare Advantage plans. Unlike Medicare Part A and B, Part D coverage is not standardized. Part D prescription drug plan sponsors are not required to pay for all covered Part D drugs, and each drug plan can develop its own drug formulary that identifies which drugs it will cover and at what tier or level. However, Part D prescription drug formularies must include drugs within each therapeutic category and class of covered Part D drugs, though not necessarily all the drugs in each category or class. Any formulary used by a Part D prescription drug plan must be developed and reviewed by a pharmacy and therapeutic committee. Government payment for some of the costs of prescription drugs may increase demand for our products for which we receive marketing approval. However, any negotiated prices for our products covered by a Part D prescription drug plan will likely be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain. Moreover, while the MMA applies only to drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, private payers often follow Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own payment rates. Any reduction in payment that results from the MMA may result in a similar reduction in payments from non-governmental payers. In addition, there has been renewed interest in amending the Social Security Act to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B. If this were to be enacted by Congress and signed by the President, the prices we obtain for our products covered under Part B could be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain, and it could exert a similar lowering pressure on payments from non-governmental payers.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, established by the MMA and provided additional funding by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, conducts comparative effectiveness research on different treatments for the same illness. Although the results of the comparative effectiveness studies are not intended to mandate coverage policies for public or private payers, it is possible that comparative effectiveness research demonstrating benefits in a competitor’s product could adversely affect the sales of our product candidates. If third-party payers do not consider our products to be cost-effective compared to other available therapies, they may not cover our products as a benefit under their plans or, if they do, the level of payment may not be sufficient to allow us to sell our products on a profitable basis.

In March 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively the ACA, was enacted, which has substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers and has significantly impacted the pharmaceutical industry. Among the provisions of the ACA of greatest importance to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry are the following:

 

an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic products, apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs, that began in 2011;

 

expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to certain individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability;

 

expanded manufacturers’ rebate liability under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program by increasing the minimum rebate for both branded and generic drugs and revising the definition of “average manufacturer price,” or AMP, for calculating and reporting Medicaid drug rebates on outpatient prescription drug prices;

 

addressed a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted or injected;

 

expanded the types of entities eligible for the 340B drug discount program;

 

established the Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program by requiring manufacturers to provide a 50% point-of-sale-discount, which was increased to 70% by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (as of January 1, 2019), off the negotiated price of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period as a condition for the manufacturers’ outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D;

 

increases the minimum Medicaid rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extends the rebate program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organization;

 

establishes annual fees and taxes on manufacturers of certain branded prescription drugs;

 

a licensure framework for follow-on biologic products;

 

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

 

establishment of a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, potentially including prescription drug spending that began on January 1, 2011.

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Certain provisions of the ACA have yet to be implemented and others have been subject to judicial challenges, as well as efforts to repeal or replace them or to alter their interpretation or implementation. For example, since January 2017, President Trump has signed two Executive Orders and other directives designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. On January 20, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the ACA to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the ACA that would impose a fiscal burden on states or a cost, fee, tax, penalty or regulatory burden on individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. On October 13, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order terminating the cost-sharing subsidies that reimburse insurers under the ACA. The Trump administration has concluded that cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, payments to insurance companies required under the ACA have not received necessary appropriations from Congress and announced that it will discontinue these payments immediately until those appropriations are made. The effects of this gap in reimbursement on third-party payors, the viability of the ACA marketplace, providers, and potentially our business, are not yet known. In December 2018, CMS published a final rule permitting further collections and payments to and from certain ACA qualified health plans and health insurance issuers under the ACA risk adjustment program in response to the outcome of federal district court litigation regarding the method CMS uses to determine this risk adjustment. CMS also published a final rule that would give states greater flexibility, starting in 2020, in setting benchmarks for insurers in the individual and small group marketplaces, which may have the effect of relaxing the essential health benefits required under the ACA for plans sold through such marketplaces.

Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the Affordable Care Act. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, it has enacted laws that modify certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted on December 22, 2017, or the Tax Act, which included a provision that decreased the tax-based shared responsibility payment for individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage under section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate,” to $0, effective January 1, 2019. On December 14, 2018, a federal district court in Texas ruled the individual mandate is a critical and inseverable feature of the ACA, and therefore, because it was repealed as part of the Tax Act, the remaining provisions of the ACA are invalid as well. On December 18, 2019, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and remanded the case to the lower court to reconsider its earlier invalidation of the full ACA. Pending review, the ACA remains in effect, but it is unclear at this time what effect the latest ruling will have on the status of the ACA.

Further, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 among other things, amended the Medicare statute, effective January 1, 2019, to close the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the “donut hole.” On January 22, 2018, President Trump signed a continuing resolution on appropriations for fiscal year 2018 that delayed the implementation of certain ACA-mandated fees, including the so called “Cadillac” tax on certain high cost employer-sponsored insurance plans, the annual fee imposed on certain health insurance providers based on market share, and the medical device excise tax on non-exempt medical devices; however, on December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1865), which repeals the Cadillac tax, the health insurance provider tax, and the medical device excise tax. It is impossible to determine whether similar taxes could be instated in the future. In January 2013, President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, 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.

It is unclear how the ACA and its implementation, as well as efforts to repeal, replace, or invalidate, the ACA or its implementing regulations, or portions thereof, and other legislative changes adopted since, will affect our business. It is possible that the ACA will continue to exert pressure on pharmaceutical pricing, especially under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and may also increase our regulatory burdens and operating costs. Additional legislative changes, regulatory changes, and judicial challenges related to the ACA remain possible. We will continue to evaluate the effect that the ACA as well as its possible repeal, replacement, or invalidation, in whole or in part, has on our business.

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement

In the United States and markets in other countries, patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers performing the prescribed services generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs. Our ability to successfully commercialize our product therefore depends significantly on the availability of adequate financial coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors, including, in the United States, governmental payors such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as managed care organizations, private health insurers and other organizations. Third-party payors decide which drugs they will pay for and establish reimbursement and copayment levels. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged for medicines and examining their cost effectiveness, in addition to their safety and efficacy. We may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of our products. Even with studies, our products may be considered less safe, less effective or less cost effective than other products, and third-party payors may not provide coverage and reimbursement for our product candidates, in whole or in part. Reimbursement of newly approved products and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the medicine is approved by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. Product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost effective. In the United States, the principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMS decides whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree.

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Outside the United States, ensuring coverage and adequate payment for a product also involves challenges. Pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to government control in many countries. Pricing negotiations with government authorities can extend well beyond the receipt of regulatory approval for a product and may require a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of a product to other available therapies. The conduct of such a clinical trial could be expensive and result in delays in commercialization.

In some foreign countries, the proposed pricing for a drug must be approved before it may be lawfully marketed. The requirements governing drug pricing vary widely from country to country. For example, the European Union provides options for its Member States to restrict the range of medicinal products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval, some of these countries may require the completion of clinical trials that compare the cost effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies. A Member State may approve a specific price for the medicinal product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the medicinal product on the market. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any of our product candidates. Historically, products launched in the European Union do not follow price structures of the U.S. and generally prices tend to be significantly lower.

A decision by a third-party payor not to cover a product could reduce physician utilization once the product is approved and have a material adverse effect on sales, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, a third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage and reimbursement for the product, and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor. In the United States, no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug products exists among third-party payors. Coverage and reimbursement for drug products can differ significantly from payor to payor. The process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the price or reimbursement rate that the payor will pay for the product once coverage is approved.

The containment of healthcare costs has become a priority of federal, state and foreign governments, and the prices of products have been a focus in this effort. Governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit a company’s revenue generated from the sale of any approved products. Coverage policies and third-party payor reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which a company or its collaborators receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

Political, economic and regulatory influences are subjecting the healthcare industry in the United States to fundamental changes. There have been, and we expect there will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals to change the healthcare system in ways that could impact our ability to sell our products profitably. We anticipate that the United States Congress, state legislatures and the private sector will continue to consider and may adopt healthcare policies intended to curb rising healthcare costs. These cost containment measures include: controls on government funded reimbursement for drugs; new or increased requirements to pay prescription drug rebates to government healthcare programs; controls on healthcare providers; challenges to the pricing of drugs or limits or prohibitions on reimbursement for specific products through other means; requirements to try less expensive products or generics before a more expensive branded product; changes in drug importation laws; expansion of use of managed care systems in which healthcare providers contract to provide comprehensive healthcare for a fixed cost per person; and public funding for cost effectiveness research, which may be used by government and private third-party payors to make coverage and payment decisions. Further, federal budgetary concerns could result in the implementation of significant federal spending cuts, including cuts in Medicare and other health related spending in the near term. For example, on August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals for spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction, which triggered the legislation’s automatic reductions. In concert with subsequent legislation, this has resulted in aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of, on average, 2% per fiscal year through 2029 unless Congress takes additional action. These cuts reduce reimbursement payments related to our products, which could potentially negatively impact our revenue.

Payors also are increasingly considering new metrics as the basis for reimbursement rates, such as average sales price, average manufacturer price and actual acquisition cost. CMS surveys and publishes retail community pharmacy acquisition cost information in the form of National Average Drug Acquisition Cost files to provide state Medicaid agencies with a basis of comparison for their own reimbursement and pricing methodologies and rates. It is difficult to project the impact of these evolving reimbursement mechanics on the willingness of payors to cover our products. We participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, the 340B drug pricing program, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, Federal Supply Schedule, or FSS, pricing program. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, we are required to pay a rebate to each state Medicaid program for our covered outpatient drugs that are dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries and paid for by a state Medicaid program as a condition of having federal funds being made available to the states for our drugs under Medicaid and Part B of the Medicare program.

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Federal law requires that any company that participates in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program also participate in the 340B drug pricing program in order for federal funds to be available for the manufacturer’s drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. The 340B program requires participating manufacturers to agree to charge statutorily defined covered entities no more than the 340B “ceiling price” for the manufacturer’s covered outpatient drugs. These 340B covered entities include a variety of community health clinics and other entities that receive health services grants from the Public Health Service, as well as hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients. The 340B ceiling price is calculated using a statutory formula, which is based on the average manufacturer price and Medicaid rebate amount for the covered outpatient drug as calculated under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program.

In order to be eligible to have our products paid for with federal funds under the Medicaid and Medicare Part B programs and purchased by certain federal agencies and grantees, we participate in the VA/FSS pricing program. Under this program, we are obligated to make our products available for procurement on an FSS contract and charge a price to four federal agencies - the VA, U.S. Department of Defense, Public Health Service and U.S. Coast Guard - that is no higher than the statutory Federal Ceiling Price, or FCP. The FCP is based on the non-federal average manufacturer price, or Non-FAMP, which we calculate and report to the VA on a quarterly and annual basis. We also participate in the Tricare Retail Pharmacy program, under which we pay quarterly rebates on utilization of innovator products that are dispensed through the Tricare Retail Pharmacy network to Tricare beneficiaries. The rebates are calculated as the difference between the annual Non-FAMP and FCP.  

The Medicaid Drug Rebate program, 340B program, and VA/FSS pricing program, and the risks relating to price reporting and other obligations under these programs, are further discussed under the heading “If we fail to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program or other governmental pricing programs, we could be subject to additional reimbursement requirements, penalties, sanctions and fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Recently, there have been several U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed and adopted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug 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 drugs. For example, at the federal level, the Trump administration released a “Blueprint” to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contains additional proposals to increase drug manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products, and reduce the out of pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers. The Trump administration’s budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 contain further drug price control measures that could be enacted during the budget process or in other future legislation, including, for example, measures to permit Medicare Part D plans to negotiate the price of certain drugs under Medicare Part B, to allow some states to negotiate drug prices under Medicaid, and to eliminate cost sharing for generic drugs for low income patients.

While some proposed measures may require additional authorization to become effective, Congress and the Trump administration have each indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs. For example, on September 25, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee introduced the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Action of 2019, a bill intended to reduce Medicare and Medicaid prescription drug prices. The proposed legislation would restructure the Part D benefit, modify payment methodologies for certain drugs, and impose an inflation cap on drug price increases. An even more restrictive bill, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, was introduced in the House of Representatives on September 19, 2019, and would require the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, to directly negotiate drug prices with manufacturers. The Lower Drugs Costs Now Act of 2019 has passed out of the House and was delivered to the Senate on December 16, 2019. However, it is unclear whether either of these bills will make it through both chambers and be signed into law, and if either is enacted, what effect it would have on our business. Individual states in the United States have also increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical 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.

FDA Marketing Exclusivity and Generic Competition

The FDCA, as amended by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, as amended, or the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, provides for market exclusivity provisions that can help protect the exclusivity of new drugs by delaying the acceptance and final approval of certain competitive drug applications. NCE marketing exclusivity precludes approval during the five-year exclusivity period of certain 505(b)(2) applications and abbreviated new drug applications, or ANDAs, submitted by another company for another version of the drug. The timelines and conditions under the ANDA process that permit the start of patent litigation and allow the FDA to approve generic versions of brand name drugs like Vascepa differ based on whether a drug receives three-year, or five-year, NCE marketing exclusivity.

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NCE marketing exclusivity precludes approval during the five-year exclusivity period of certain 505(b)(2) applications and ANDAs submitted by another company for another version of the drug. However, an application may be submitted after four years if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement. In such case, the pioneer drug company is afforded the benefit of a 30-month stay against the launch of such a competitive product that extends from the end of the five-year exclusivity period. A pioneer company could also be afforded extensions to the stay under applicable regulations, including a six-month pediatric exclusivity extension or a judicial extension if applicable requirements are met. In May 2016, after litigation, FDA determined that Vascepa was entitled to NCE marketing exclusivity. The related 30-month stay expired on January 26, 2020, seven-and-a-half years from FDA approval of Vascepa.

A three-year period of exclusivity under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments is generally granted for a drug product that contains an active moiety that has been previously approved. For example, three-year exclusivity may be granted when the application contains reports of new clinical investigations (other than bioavailability studies) conducted by the sponsor that were essential to approval of the application. Accordingly, we expect to receive three-year exclusivity in connection with any future regulatory approvals of Vascepa. For example, we received such three-year regulatory exclusivity in connection with the recent approval based on the REDUCE-IT outcomes study results. Such three-year exclusivity protection precludes the FDA from approving a marketing application for an ANDA, a product candidate that the FDA views as having the same conditions of approval as Vascepa (for example, the same indication and/or other conditions of use), or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted to the FDA with Vascepa as the reference product, for a period of three years from the date of FDA approval. The FDA may accept and commence review of such applications during the three-year exclusivity period. Such three-year exclusivity grant does not prevent a company from challenging the validity of patents at any time, subject to any prior four-year period pending from a grant of five-year exclusivity. This three-year form of exclusivity may also not prevent the FDA from approving an NDA that relies only on its own data to support the change or innovation.

Regulatory exclusivity is in addition to exclusivity afforded by issued patents related to Vascepa.

Other Regulatory Matters

Manufacturing, sales, promotion, importation, and other activities related to approved products are also subject to regulation by numerous regulatory authorities, including, in the United States, the FDA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, other divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and state and local governments. Sales, marketing and scientific/educational programs must comply with the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the False Claims Act and similar state laws. Pricing and rebate programs must comply with the Medicaid rebate requirements of the U.S. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. If products are made available to authorized users of the Federal Supply Schedule of the General Services Administration, additional laws and requirements apply. Products must meet applicable child-resistant packaging requirements under the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The distribution of pharmaceutical products is subject to additional requirements and regulations, including extensive record-keeping, licensing, storage and security requirements intended to prevent the unauthorized sale of pharmaceutical products.

The failure to comply with regulatory requirements subjects firms to possible legal or regulatory action. Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet applicable regulatory requirements can result in criminal prosecution, fines or other penalties, injunctions, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, denial or withdrawal of product approvals, or refusal to allow a firm to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts. In addition, even if a firm complies with FDA and other requirements, new information regarding the safety or effectiveness of a product could lead the FDA to modify or withdraw a product approval. Prohibitions or restrictions on sales or withdrawal of future products marketed by us could materially affect our business in an adverse way.

Changes in regulations or statutes or the interpretation of existing regulations could impact our business in the future by requiring, for example: (i) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (ii) additions or modifications to product labeling; (iii) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (iv) additional record-keeping requirements. If any such changes were to be imposed, they could adversely affect the operation of our business.

Patents, Proprietary Technology, Trade Secrets

Our success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our drug candidates, technology and know-how, and to operate without infringing the proprietary rights of others. Our ability to successfully implement our business plan and to protect our products with our intellectual property will depend in large part on our ability to:

 

obtain, defend and maintain patent protection and market exclusivity for our current and future products;

 

preserve any trade secrets relating to our current and future products;

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acquire patented or patentable products and technologies; and

 

operate without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties.

We have prosecuted, and are currently prosecuting, multiple patent applications to protect the intellectual property developed during the Vascepa development program. As of the date of this report, we had 92 patent applications in the United States that have been either issued or allowed and more than 30 additional patent applications are pending in the United States. Such 92 allowed and issued applications include the following:

 

2 issued U.S. patents directed to a pharmaceutical composition of Vascepa in a capsule that have terms that expire in 2020 and 2030, respectively;

 

1 issued U.S. patent covering a composition containing highly pure EPA that expires in 2021;

 

49 U.S. patents covering or related to the use of Vascepa in either the MARINE or ANCHOR populations that have terms that expire in 2030 or later;

 

14 U.S. patents covering or related to the use of Vascepa in the REDUCE-IT population with terms expiring in 2033 or later;

 

1 additional US patent directed to a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids with a term that expires in 2030;

 

4 additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the ANCHOR patient population with a term that expires in 2030 or later;

 

2 additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the MARINE patient population with a term that expires in 2030;

 

3 additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033;

 

3 additional patent related to a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids and uses thereof to treat both the MARINE and ANCHOR patient populations with a term that expires in 2030;

 

1 additional patent related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of re-esterified EPA triglyceride to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033;  

 

3 additional patents related to a formulation of EPA/DHA and uses thereof with a term that expires in 2030;

 

2 additional patents related to the use of Vascepa to treat obesity with a term that expires in 2034;

 

3 additional patents covering a pharmaceutical composition comprised of EPA and a hydroxyl compound with a term that expires in 2034; and

 

4 additional patents covering a new combination therapy comprised of EPA and another drug.

A Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent can be granted from an application. A Notice of Allowance does not afford patent protection until the underlying patent is issued by the USPTO. No assurance can be given that applications with issued notices of allowance will be issued as patents or that any of our pending patent applications will issue as patents. No assurance can be given that, if and when issued, our patents will prevent competitors from competing with Vascepa. For example, we may choose to not assert all issued patents in patent litigation and patents or claims within patents may be determined to be invalid.

We are the owner of the above-listed patents. We are also the exclusive licensee of certain patents owned by others covering products in development. To secure our debt under our outstanding royalty-like instrument, we have granted the holders of such instrument a security interest in our Vascepa-related patents.  

We are also pursuing patent applications related to Vascepa in multiple jurisdictions outside the United States. We may be dependent in some cases upon third-party licensors to pursue filing, prosecution and maintenance of patent rights or applications owned or controlled by those parties, including, for example, under our collaboration with Mochida. It is possible that third parties will obtain patents or other proprietary rights that might be necessary or useful to us. In cases where third parties are first to invent a particular product or technology, or first to file after various provisions of the America Invents Act of 2011 went into effect on March 16, 2013, it is possible that those parties will obtain patents that will be sufficiently broad so as to prevent us from utilizing such technology or commercializing our current and future products.

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Although we intend to make reasonable efforts to protect our current and future intellectual property rights and to ensure that any proprietary technology we acquire or develop does not infringe on the rights of other parties, we may not be able to ascertain the existence of all potentially conflicting claims. Therefore, there is a risk that third parties may make claims of infringement against our current or future products or technologies. In addition, third parties may be able to obtain patents that prevent the sale of our current or future products or require us to obtain a license and pay significant fees or royalties in order to continue selling such products.

We may in the future discover the existence of products that infringe patents that we own or that have been licensed to us. If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to stop such an infringement, such proceedings could be costly and time consuming, regardless of the outcome. No assurances can be given that we would prevail, and it is possible that, during such a proceeding, our patent rights could be held to be invalid, unenforceable or both. Although we intend to protect our trade secrets and proprietary know-how through confidentiality agreements with our manufacturers, employees and consultants, we may not be able to prevent parties subject to such confidentiality agreements from breaching these agreements or third parties from independently developing or learning of our trade secrets.

We anticipate that competitors may from time to time oppose our efforts to obtain patent protection for new technologies or to submit patented technologies for regulatory approvals. Competitors may seek to oppose our patent applications to delay the approval process or to challenge our granted patents, for example, by requesting a reexamination of our patent at the USPTO, or by filing an opposition in a foreign patent office, even if the opposition or challenge has little or no merit. For example, one of our patents was revoked in an opposition proceeding in Europe due to a determination of improper claim amendments under a provision of law not applicable in the United States. Such proceedings are generally highly technical, expensive, and time consuming, and there can be no assurance that such a challenge would not result in the narrowing or complete revocation of any patent of ours that was so challenged.

Employees

At February 21, 2020, we had 965 full-time employees employed in sales, marketing, general and administrative and research and development functions. We believe our relations with our employees are good.

Organizational Structure

At February 21, 2020, we had the following subsidiaries:

 

 

Subsidiary Name

 

Country of

Incorporation

or Registration

 

Proportion of

Ownership Interest and

Voting Power Held

 

Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited

 

 

Ireland

 

100%

 

Amarin Pharma, Inc.

 

 

United States

 

100%

 

Amarin Neuroscience Limited

 

 

Scotland

 

100%

 

Corsicanto II DAC

 

 

Ireland

 

100%

 

Ester Neurosciences Limited

 

 

Israel

 

100%

 

As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our principal operating activities were being conducted by Amarin Corporation plc, together with Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited and Amarin Pharma, Inc., with little to no operating activity being conducted by Amarin Neuroscience Limited or Ester Neurosciences Limited. Corsicanto DAC (formerly Corsicanto Limited) was liquidated in January 2019 pursuant to a resolution of Amarin Corporation plc as a sole shareholder. Corsicanto II DAC was placed into liquidation in September 2019 pursuant to a resolution of Amarin Corporation plc as a sole shareholder.

Available Information

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are made available free of charge on or through our website at www.amarincorp.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The SEC also maintains a website, www.sec.gov, that contains reports and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. We are not, however, including the information contained on our website, or information that may be accessed through links on our website, as part of, or incorporating such information by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Financial Information

The financial information required under this Item 1 is incorporated herein by reference to Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

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Item 1A.

Risk Factors

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking information based on our current expectations. Because our actual results may differ materially from any forward-looking statements that we make or that are made on our behalf, this section includes a discussion of important factors that could affect our actual future results, including, but not limited to, our ability to successfully commercialize Vascepa, our capital resources, the progress and timing of our clinical programs, the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, risks associated with regulatory filings, the potential clinical benefits and market potential of our product candidates, commercial market estimates, future development efforts, patent protection, effects of healthcare reform, reliance on third parties, effects of tax reform, and other risks set forth below.

Risks Related to the Commercialization and Development of Vascepa

We are substantially dependent upon Vascepa, its commercialization in the United States and its development and commercialization in major markets.

The success of our company depends on our ability to successfully commercialize our single product, Vascepa® (icosapent ethyl) capsules, in major markets. Our primary focus has been on the U.S. market as much of our near-term results and value as a company has depended on our ability to execute our development commercial strategy for Vascepa in the United States. Recently, with substantial achievements in the United States such as the FDA approval of an indication for Vascepa for the reduction of cardiovascular risk in certain patients (our second indication approval for Vascepa in the United States), we have increased focus on expansion of our development efforts for Vascepa to major markets outside the United States. We currently have multiple partners for the development and commercialization of Vascepa in select geographies and intend to consider potential additional partners to commercialize Vascepa in other parts of the world. For example, we have strategic collaborations for the development and commercialization of Vascepa in Canada, the Middle East and Greater China and are currently developing Vascepa on our own and exploring possible strategic collaborations in major markets such as Europe. If commercialization efforts for Vascepa do not meet expectations in major markets such as the United States and Europe, our business and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

The development and commercial time cycle for Vascepa or other products that we may develop from our research and development efforts could result in delays in our ability to achieve commercial success. For example, only after years of preceding product development, in December 2019, the EMA validated our MAA seeking approval for icosapent ethyl (brand name Vascepa in the United States) as a treatment to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in select high-risk patients.

Likewise, if we seek to diversify our development programs or product offerings through licensing or acquisitions, such transactions are also time-consuming, dilutive to existing shareholdings, and can be disruptive to operations. These dynamics can restrict our ability to respond rapidly to adverse business conditions for Vascepa. If development of, or demand for, Vascepa does not meet expectations, we may not have the ability to effectively shift our resources to the development of alternative products or do so in a timely manner without suffering material adverse effects on our business. As a result, the lack of alternative markets and products we develop could constrain our ability to generate revenues and achieve profitability.

Factors outside of our control make it more difficult for Vascepa to achieve a level of market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community necessary to meet expectations for commercial success.

In January 2013, we launched Vascepa based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approval of our MARINE indication, for use as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe (TG 500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. Guidelines for the management of very high triglyceride levels suggest that the primary goal of reducing triglyceride levels in this patient population is reduction in the risk of acute pancreatitis. A secondary goal for this patient population is to reduce cardiovascular risk. The effect of Vascepa on cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, or the risk for pancreatitis, in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia has not been determined and our FDA-approved labeling and promotional efforts state these facts. In September 2018, we announced topline results from the REDUCE-IT® (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA—Intervention Trial) cardiovascular outcomes study of Vascepa. In November 2018, we announced the primary results of our REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study confirming 25% relative risk reduction for the topline primary endpoint result with multiple robust demonstrations of efficacy, including 20% reduction in cardiovascular death. REDUCE-IT was a multinational, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, enrollment for which started in November 2011. REDUCE-IT investigated the effects of Vascepa on CV risk in statin-treated adults with well-controlled LDL-C 41-100 mg/dL (median baseline LDL-C: 75 mg/dL) and other CV risk factors, including persistent elevated TG 150-499 mg/dL (median baseline TG: 216 mg/dL). REDUCE-IT topline results showed the trial met its primary endpoint demonstrating an approximately 25% relative risk reduction, to a high degree of statistical significance (p<0.001), in MACE in the intent-to-treat patient population with use of Vascepa 4 grams/day as compared to placebo. MACE events were defined as a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina requiring hospitalization. This result was supported by robust demonstrations of efficacy across multiple secondary endpoints. Vascepa was well tolerated in REDUCE-IT with a safety profile generally consistent with clinical experience associated with omega-3 fatty acids and current FDA-approved labeling.

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In December 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa as an adjunct to statin therapy to reduce the risk of MACE events in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Even though we have recently received approval for a new indication and expanded label for Vascepa, we may not meet expectations for market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community for this new approved use. If Vascepa does not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate product revenues sufficient to become profitable on an ongoing basis. The degree of market acceptance of Vascepa for its approved indications and uses or otherwise will depend on a number of factors, including:

 

the perceived efficacy and safety of Vascepa by prescribing healthcare professionals, as compared to no treatment and as compared to alternative treatments in various at-risk patient populations;

 

peer review of different elements of REDUCE-IT results over time;

 

continued review and analysis of the results of REDUCE-IT by regulatory authorities internationally;

 

our ability to offer Vascepa for sale at competitive prices;

 

convenience and ease of administration compared to alternative treatments;

 

the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies and of physicians to prescribe these therapies;

 

the scope, effectiveness and strength of product education, marketing and distribution support, including our sales and marketing team;

 

publicity concerning Vascepa or competing products;

 

our ability to continually promote Vascepa in the United States consistent with and outside of FDA-approved labeling and the related perception thereof;

 

sufficient third-party coverage or reimbursement for Vascepa and its prescribe uses, on-label and off-label;

 

natural disasters, including pandemics such as the recent outbreak of coronavirus, and political unrest that could inhibit our ability to promote Vascepa regionally and can negatively affect product demand by creating obstacles for patients to seek treatment and fill prescriptions;

 

new policies or laws affecting Vascepa sales, such as state and federal efforts to affect drug pricing and provide or remove healthcare coverage that includes reimbursement for prescription drugs; and

 

the actual and perceived efficacy of the product and the prevalence and severity of any side effects and warnings in Vascepa’s approved labeling internationally.

For example, two major factors that affect market use of prescription drugs are their perceived cost-effectiveness and their breadth of their use among different patient populations, on label and off-label. In October 2019, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER, released its final evidence report regarding clinical effectiveness and economic impacts on Vascepa. The conclusion from the report is that Vascepa easily met “commonly cited thresholds for cost-effectiveness and therefore represent(s) a high long-term value for money,” based on the organization’s value assessment framework. As part of the public meeting held by ICER analyzing REDUCE-IT data, the ICER review committee discussed whether, based on REDUCE-IT, Vascepa should be considered for use in patients as an add-on to statin therapy generally, and not just in patients with persistent elevated triglyceride levels after statin therapy, which ICER defined as triglyceride levels of at least 135 mg/dL. Use as an add-on to statin therapy generally represents a larger patient population than studied in REDUCE-IT and larger than covered by FDA-approved labeling. By contrast, FDA-approved labeling for Vascepa reflects limitations such as use in patients with persistent elevated triglyceride levels defined as triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dL after statin therapy and specific criteria designed to ensure the patient populations approved for use had sufficiently high degrees of CV risk. While the clinical judgment of prescribing physicians is the most important factor that determines the breadth of a drug’s use in the United States and often results in prescriptions in patient populations that go beyond FDA labeling, FDA-approved labeling that is more closely tied to the patient population studied in a clinical trial could limit use generally and by making reimbursement more difficult.  

As with any cardiovascular outcomes trial, over time further data assessment related to REDUCE-IT by international regulatory authorities or otherwise could yield additional useful information to inform greater understanding of study outcome. If the additional data or related interpretations do not meet expectations, the perception of REDUCE-IT results and Vascepa revenue potential may suffer and our stock price may decline.

In December 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa as an adjunct to statin therapy to reduce the risk of MACE events in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and established cardiovascular disease or

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diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Even though FDA has approved Vascepa for an expanded label and new indication based on the REDUCE-IT results, additional data assessment by international regulatory authorities or otherwise could yield additional useful information to inform greater understanding of study outcome. Generally, trial data assessment sufficient to convey a complete picture of trial outcome can take years to complete and publish. When new data are assessed and released it could exceed, match or may not meet investor expectations. This type of updates and any future presentation and additional data may exceed, match or may not meet investors’ expectations.

In addition, the same set of data can sometimes be interpreted to reach different conclusions, as was the case when Health Canada approved an indication based on REDUCE-IT data that was different in certain respects than that approved by FDA in the United States. It is possible the scope of subsequent regulatory approvals, if any, could likewise differ based on the same data, such as in the case of our pending European Union application. Conflicting interpretations of data, or new data, could impact public and medical community perception of the totality of the efficacy and safety data from REDUCE-IT.

Aspects that from time to time in the future could be considered by regulatory authorities and medical guideline committees internationally and change and impact the final evaluation of the totality of the efficacy and safety data from REDUCE-IT, in addition to those noted above, may include some or all of the following:

 

the magnitude of the treatment benefit and related risks on the primary composite endpoint, its components, secondary endpoints and the primary and secondary risk prevention cohorts;

 

consideration of which components of the composite or secondary endpoints have the most clinical significance;

 

the consistency of the primary and secondary outcomes;

 

the consistency of findings across cohorts and important subgroups;

 

safety considerations and risk/benefit considerations (such as related to adverse events such as bleeding and trial fibrillation generally and in different sub-populations);

 

consideration of REDUCE-IT results in the context of other clinical studies;

 

consideration of the cumulative effect of Vascepa in studied patients; and

 

study conduct and data quality, integrity and consistency (including analyses regarding the placebo used in REDUCE-IT and other studies of Vascepa).

 

If additional data or analyses released from time to time does not meet expectations, the perception of REDUCE-IT results and the perceived and actual value of Vascepa may suffer. If this occurs, our revenue and business could suffer and our stock price could significantly decline.

Ongoing clinical trials involving Vascepa and similar moderate-to-high doses of eicosapentaenoic acid or icosapent ethyl could influence public perception of Vascepa’s clinical profile and the commercial and regulatory prospects of Vascepa.

Ongoing trials of moderate-to-high doses of Vascepa and icosapent ethyl or a similar, eicosapentaenoic acid, could provide further information on the effects of Vascepa and its commercial and regulatory prospects. The Effect of Vascepa on Improving Coronary Atherosclerosis in People with High Triglycerides Taking Statin Therapy (EVAPORATE; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02926027), is examining changes in patients’ coronary plaque over 9 to 18 months. The goal of this study is to evaluate whether treatment with Vascepa (4 grams/day) results in a greater change from baseline in low attenuation plaque than placebo in subjects with elevated triglycerides (200-499 mg/dL). Entry criteria for EVAPORATE include: elevated triglycerides (fasting value between 200-499 mg/dL) at qualifying or baseline visit; LDL-C >40 mg/dL and LDL-C ≤115 mg/dL on appropriate statin therapy; stable diet and exercise, as defined as the same pattern for the previous 4 weeks; and stable treatment with a statin with or without ezetimibe for at least 4 weeks. In November 2019, interim data from the EVAPORATE study were presented showing a reduction in total plaque volume when compared with placebo, with no shown reduction of low attenuation plaque volume compared with placebo. This study is continuing as designed and final results are expected to be announced in the second half of 2020. In addition, the Randomized Trial for Evaluation in Secondary Prevention Efficacy of Combination Therapy–Statin and EPA (RESPECT-EPA; UMIN Clinical Trials Registry number, UMIN000012069), is a study examining Japanese patients with chronic coronary artery disease receiving LDL-C lowering treatment by statin therapy. Patients will be randomized to either a control group (standard treatment) or EPA group (standard treatment plus 1.8 grams/day of eicosapentaenoic acid), to examine the effects of a different formulation of icosapent ethyl than Vascepa on the incidence of cardiovascular events. The relationship between the ratio of EPA to arachidonic acid and incidence of events will also be examined. Results from this study are expected in the second half of 2021, but could be announced sooner. If the outcomes of one or both of these studies does not meet expectations, the perception of REDUCE-IT results and the perceived commercial value of Vascepa and its regulatory status may suffer. If this occurs our revenue and business could suffer and our stock price could significantly decline.

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Our current and planned commercialization efforts may not be successful in increasing sales of Vascepa in the United States and developing sales internationally.

It is estimated that over 25 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥200 mg/dL and that more than 50 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dL. Approximately 2 to 3 million adults in the United States have very high triglyceride levels (≥500 mg/dL), the MARINE patient population. There are approximately 5 to 15 million people in the United States that meet the specific REDUCE-IT inclusion criteria. Since 1976, mean triglyceride levels have increase in concert with the growing epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, mean LDL-C levels have decreased.

Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our sales team to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives. As a result of the FDA’s newly approved indication and label expansion, we are close to completing the expansion of our direct sales force to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives. Hiring, training and deploying approximately 400 new sales representatives is a multi-stage process which commenced in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in early 2020. Most of the expanded sales management team needed to support this sales force expansion was hired, or internally promoted, and trained prior to December 31, 2019. This sales team promotes Vascepa to a limited group of physicians and other healthcare professionals in select geographies in the United States. Even after planned expansion, this sales team is not large enough to call upon all physicians.

In addition to the sales force expansion in the United States, we plan to work ourselves and with partners to support regulatory efforts toward approvals outside the United States based primarily on REDUCE-IT results. We will again need to overcome challenges associated with rapidly hiring and training personnel and managing larger teams of people, directly or through our partners.

Factors related to building and managing a sales and marketing organization that can inhibit our efforts to successfully commercialize Vascepa include:

 

our inability to attract and retain adequate numbers of effective sales and marketing personnel;

 

our inability to adequately train our sales and marketing personnel and our inability to adequately monitor compliance with these requirements;

 

the inability of our new sales personnel, to obtain access to or persuade adequate numbers of physicians to prescribe Vascepa;

 

the lack of complementary products to be offered by sales personnel, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to companies with more extensive product lines;

 

an inability by us or our partners to obtain regulatory and marketing approval or establish marketing channels in foreign jurisdictions; and

 

unforeseen costs and expenses associated with operating a new independent sales and marketing organization.

If we are not successful in our efforts to market and sell Vascepa, our anticipated revenues will be materially and negatively affected, and we may not obtain profitability, may need to cut back on research and development activities or need to raise additional funding that could result in substantial dilution.

Our past and future off-label promotion of Vascepa could subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and present unforeseen risks.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, has been interpreted by the FDA and the U.S. government to make it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote their FDA approved products for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. Companies that market drugs for off-label uses or indications have been subject to related costly litigation, criminal penalties and civil liability under the FDCA and the False Claims Act. However, case law over the last several years has called into question the extent to which government in the United States, including FDA, can, and is willing to seek to, prevent truthful and non-misleading speech related to off-label uses of FDA-approved products such as Vascepa.

In May 2015, we and a group of independent physicians filed a lawsuit against the FDA seeking a federal court declaration that would permit us and our agents to promote to healthcare professionals the use of Vascepa in the ANCHOR population and promote on the potential of Vascepa to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease so long as the promotion is truthful and non-misleading. This use of Vascepa at issue reflected recognized medical practice but was not approved by the FDA and is thus not covered by current FDA-approved labeling for the drug. Promotion of an off-label use has generally been considered by the FDA to be illegal under the FDCA.

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The lawsuit, captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc., et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., 119 F. Supp. 3d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 2015), was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the lawsuit, we contended principally that FDA regulations limiting off-label promotion of truthful and non-misleading information are unconstitutional under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as applied in the case of our proposed promotion of Vascepa. The physicians in the suit regularly treated patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and, as the complaint contended, have First Amendment rights to receive truthful and non-misleading information from Amarin. The suit was based on the principle that better informed physicians make better treatment decisions for their patients. The FDA opposed this lawsuit but did not dispute the veracity of the subject ANCHOR clinical trial data (the safety data from which was already and currently is in FDA-approved labeling of Vascepa) or the peer-reviewed research related to Vascepa and the potential for cardiovascular risk reduction.

In August 2015, we were granted preliminary relief in this lawsuit through the court’s declaratory judgment that confirmed we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of Vascepa to healthcare professionals, i.e., to treat patients with persistently high triglycerides, and that such speech may not form the basis of a misbranding action under the FDCA. In August 2015, we began to communicate promotional information beyond the MARINE indication to healthcare professionals in the United States as permitted by this court declaration. The FDA did not appeal the court’s ruling.

In March 2016, we settled this litigation under terms by which the FDA and the U.S. government agreed to be bound by the conclusions from the federal court order that we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of Vascepa and that certain statements and disclosures that we proposed to make to healthcare professionals were truthful and non-misleading. As part of the settlement, given, as expressed in the court’s opinion, that the dynamic nature of science and medicine is that knowledge is ever-advancing and that a statement that is fair and balanced one day may become incomplete or otherwise misleading in the future as new studies are done and new data is acquired, we agreed that we bear the responsibility to ensure that our communications regarding off-label use of Vascepa remain truthful and non-misleading, consistent with the federal court ruling.

While we believe we are now permitted under applicable law to more broadly promote Vascepa, the FDA-approved labeling for Vascepa did not change as a result of this litigation and settlement, and neither government nor other third-party coverage or reimbursement to pay for the off-label use of Vascepa promoted under the court declaration was required. In addition to claims classically considered to be on-label based on our expanded label for Vascepa based on the REDUCE-IT results, we proactively communicate information related to Vascepa and from the REDUCE-IT trial in a manner that we believe is truthful and non-misleading and thus protected under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Even though we have the benefit of a final settlement in this litigation, our promotion is still subject to a high, perhaps abnormally high, degree of scrutiny to ensure that our promotion remains within the scope covered by the settlement. For example, under the settlement, we remain responsible for ensuring our speech is truthful and non-misleading. We, the FDA, the U.S. government, our competitors and other interested parties may not agree on the truthfulness and non-misleading nature of our promotional materials Federal and state governments or agencies may also seek to find other means to prevent our promotion of unapproved truthful and non-misleading information about Vascepa. If our promotional activities or other operations are found to be in violation of any law or governmental regulation through existing or new interpretations, we may be subject to prolonged litigation, penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. Also, if governmental parties or our competitors view our claims as misleading or false, we could also be subject to liability based on fair competition-based statutes, such as the Lanham Act. Any of such negative circumstances could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

We may not be able to compete effectively against our competitors’ pharmaceutical products.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly competitive. There are many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, public and private universities and research organizations actively engaged in the research and development of products that may be similar to our products. It is probable that the number of companies seeking to develop products and therapies similar to our products will increase. Many of these and other existing or potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do and may be better equipped to develop, manufacture and market products. These companies may develop and introduce products and processes competitive with or superior to ours. In addition, other technologies or products may be developed that have an entirely different approach or means of accomplishing the intended purposes of our products, which might render our technology and products noncompetitive or obsolete.

Our competitors both in the United States and abroad include large, well-established pharmaceutical and generic companies, specialty and generic pharmaceutical sales and marketing companies, and specialized cardiovascular treatment companies. GlaxoSmithKline plc currently sells Lovaza®, a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid indicated for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, which was approved by FDA in 2004 and has been on the market in the United States since 2005. Multiple generic versions of Lovaza are available in the United States. Other large companies with competitive products include AbbVie, Inc., which currently sells Tricor® and Trilipix® for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and Niaspan®, which is primarily used to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL-C, but is also used to lower triglycerides. Multiple generic versions of Tricor, Trilipix and Niaspan are also available in the United States. We compete with these drugs, and in particular, multiple low-cost generic versions of these drugs, in our FDA-approved indicated uses, even though such products do not have FDA approval to reduce CV risk on top of statin therapy.

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In addition, in May 2014, Epanova® (omega-3-carboxylic acids) capsules, a free fatty acid form of omega-3 (comprised of 55% EPA and 20% DHA), was approved by the FDA for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Epanova was developed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is now owned by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, or AstraZeneca. Also, in April 2014, Omtryg, another omega-3-acid fatty acid composition developed by Trygg Pharma AS, received FDA approval for severe hypertriglyceridemia. Neither Epanova nor Omtryg have been commercially launched, but could launch at any time. AstraZeneca has greater resources than we do, including financial, product development, marketing, personnel and other resources.

AstraZeneca had been conducting a long-term outcomes study to assess Statin Residual Risk Reduction With EpaNova in HiGh Cardiovascular Risk PatienTs With Hypertriglyceridemia (STRENGTH). The study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (corn oil), parallel group design that is believed to have enrolled approximately 13,000 patients with hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL and high risk for cardiovascular disease randomized 1:1 to either corn oil plus statin or Epanova plus statin, once daily. On January 13, 2020 following the recommendation of an independent Data Monitoring Committee, AstraZeneca decided to close the STRENGTH trial due to its low likelihood of demonstrating benefit to patients with mixed dyslipidemia who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. AstraZeneca also stated that full data from the STRENGTH trial will be presented at a future medical meeting. In addition, in March 2017, Kowa Research Institute (a subsidiary of the Japanese company Kowa Co., Ltd) initiated a phase III cardiovascular outcomes trial titled PROMINENT examining the effect of pemafibrate (experimental name K-877) in reducing cardiovascular events in Type II diabetic patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Kowa Research Institute has publicly estimated study completion in May 2022, and if successful, U.S. regulatory approval is estimated in mid-2023.

During 2018, two outcomes studies were completed of omega-3 mixtures which both failed to achieve their primary endpoints of cardiovascular risk reduction and two meta-analyses were published showing that omega-3 mixtures are not effective in lowering cardiovascular risk. Results of these failed outcomes studies and analysis, while not done with Vascepa, may negatively affect sales of Vascepa. For example, results of VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL), as announced immediately before the presentation of REDUCE-IT results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018, failed to achieve its primary endpoint of lowering cardiovascular events. VITAL was an NIH funded randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2x2 factorial trial of 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3 and 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acid mixture supplementation (Lovaza) for the primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease in a nationwide USA cohort of 25,874 adults not selected for elevated cardiovascular or cancer risk.

Likewise, in 2018, results from A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes (ASCEND) trial were released and showed negligible results for omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily. ASCEND was a British Heart Foundation funded 2x2 factorial design, randomized study to assess whether aspirin 100 mg daily versus placebo and separately, omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily versus placebo, reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in a nationwide UK cohort of over 15,000 individuals with diabetes who do not have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

In a meta-analysis, presented in 2018 by the Cochran Foundation and separately as published in JAMA, additional omega-3 studies were evaluated. Similar to the VITAL and ASCEND studies, most of the studies in these omega-3 meta-analyses were of omega-3 mixtures, including DHA, and most were studies of relatively low doses of omega-3 as is associated with dietary supplementation and/or they studied relatively low risk patient populations. The exception was the JELIS study, conducted in Japan, of highly pure EPA which showed a positive outcome benefit but had significant limitations in its application to a wider population. The negative results from such omega-3 mixture studies could create misleading impressions about the use of omega-3s generally, including Vascepa, despite REDUCE-IT positive results and the highly-pure and stable EPA active ingredient in Vascepa and its higher dose regimen.

We are also aware of other pharmaceutical companies that are developing products that, if successfully developed, approved and marketed, would compete with Vascepa. Acasti Pharma, or Acasti, a subsidiary of Neptune Technologies & Bioresources Inc., announced in December 2015 that it intends to pursue a regulatory pathway under section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA for its omega-3 prescription drug candidate, CaPre® (omega-3 phospholipid), derived from krill oil, for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. In September 2016, Acasti announced positive results from its pivotal bioavailability bridging study comparing CaPre to Lovaza, establishing a scientific bridge between the two that is expected to support the feasibility of a 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway. In the first quarter of 2018, Acasti initiated a Phase 3 clinical program (TRILOGY 1 & 2) to assess the safety and efficacy of CaPre in patients with very high (≥500 mg/dL) triglycerides. In January 2020, Acasti announced topline results of the Trilogy 1 trial of CaPre. The study did not reach statistical significance and further analysis in underway. In February 2020, Acasti announced their intention to request a meeting with the FDA to discuss the TRILOGY 1 data and will seek guidance about how to conduct the analysis of the TRILOGY 2 data. As a result, Acasti also stated that they expect to announce topline results of TRILOGY 2 in the third quarter of 2020. NDA submission (if any) and resultant review/approval timelines will be announced following completion of Trilogy 1 and 2 data analysis. We believe Micelle BioPharma Inc., or Micelle, is also developing potential treatments for hypertriglyceridemia based on omega-3 fatty acids. To our knowledge, Micelle, after acquiring SC401 from Sancilio & Company, or Sancilio, is pursuing a regulatory pathway under section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA for its product and submitted an Investigational New Drug Application, or IND, in July 2015. Micelle (Sancilio) completed two pharmacokinetic studies and Phase 2 bioavailability studies (FASTR I&II), with one comparing SC401 to Lovaza. We expect the company or a potential partner to initiate a pivotal clinical Phase 3 study as the next step in development.

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Matinas BioPharma, Inc., or Matinas, is developing an omega-3-based therapeutic (MAT9001) for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and mixed dyslipidemia. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Matinas filed an IND with the FDA to conduct a human study in the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and, in June 2015, the company announced topline results for its head-to-head comparative short duration pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of MAT9001 versus Vascepa in patients under conditions inconsistent with the FDA-approved label for Vascepa and presented results based on biomarker modification without outcomes data. In September 2017, Matinas announced that it will be seeking a partner company to develop and commercialize MAT9001. In March 2019, Matinas announced that net proceeds from a public offering of common stock would be used for development activities for MAT9001. In September 2019, Matinas announced that it will begin a comparative clinical bridging bioavailability study in the fourth calendar quarter of 2019, with expected completion in the first half of 2020, and has planned an additional Phase 2 head-to-head pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study (ENHANCE-IT) against Vascepa in patients with elevated triglycerides (150-499 mg/dL). Patient enrollment is expected to commence in early 2020, with topline data expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. Matinas anticipates initiating a Phase 3 placebo-controlled study of MAT9001 in statin-treated patients with high risk hypertriglyceridemia by the end of 2020.

In June 2018, Gemphire Therapeutics (renamed NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. following completion of a merger on December 31, 2019) announced positive topline results from a Phase 2b trial (INDIGO-1) of its drug candidate, gemcabene, in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Gemcabene is an oral, once-daily pill for a number of hypercholesterolemic populations and severe hypertriglyceridemia. In August 2018, the FDA requested that Gemphire conduct an additional long-term toxicity study before commencing any further clinical testing, thereby effectively placing gemcabene on clinical hold. Gemphire expects to submit a request to the FDA to lift the clinical hold in the fourth quarter of 2019. In June 2019, Gemphire announced top-line clinical results from a Phase II trial in Familial Partial Lipodystrophy (FPL)/NASH in which Gemcabene safely met the primary endpoint in a sub-set of patients. Phase III studies for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) and non-familial hypercholesterolemia in ASCVD patients are planned. Afimmune Ltd. has an oral, small molecule drug candidate, epeleuton (DS-102), in development for a number of conditions of the liver and lung, including severe hypertriglyceridemia, Phase 2 clinical trials are currently ongoing for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, in the United States. In November 2019, Afimmune Ltd. announced positive results from an exploratory Phase 2 study of epeleuton in patients with NAFLD in which the molecule decreased triglycerides, improved glycemic control, and decreased markers of inflammation.

Based on prior communications from the FDA, including communications in connection with its review of the ANCHOR indication for Vascepa, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy for treatment of cardiovascular risk based on biomarker modification without outcomes study data, with the potential exception of therapies which lower LDL-cholesterol. In particular, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy based primarily on data demonstrating lowering of triglyceride levels. In our view, this position from the FDA did not change based on the REDUCE-IT study particularly in light of significant independence of the positive benefit demonstrated in the REDUCE-IT study from triglyceride levels and benefit from the REDUCE-IT study supporting that the positive effects of Vascepa are unique to Vascepa and extend beyond triglyceride reduction. If the FDA were to change this position, it could potentially have a negative impact on Amarin by making it easier for other products to achieve a cardiovascular risk reduction indication without the need in advance to conduct a long and expensive cardiovascular outcomes study.

Generic company competitors are seeking FDA approval of generic versions of Vascepa in the United States. We are now engaged in related patent litigation based on our MARINE trial-based indication, expect appeals of any judgment, and expect additional patent litigation given FDA approval of a REDUCE-IT-based indication.

The FDCA, as amended by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, as amended, or the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, permits the FDA to approve ANDAs for generic versions of brand name drugs like Vascepa. We refer to the process of generic drug applications as the “ANDA process.” The ANDA process permits competitor companies to obtain marketing approval for a drug product with the same active ingredient, dosage form, strength, route of administration, and labeling as the approved brand name drug, but without having to conduct and submit clinical studies to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed generic product. In place of such clinical studies, an ANDA applicant needs to submit data demonstrating that its product is bioequivalent to the brand name product, usually based on pharmacokinetic studies.

As an alternate path to FDA approval for modifications of products previously approved by the FDA, an applicant may submit a new drug application, or NDA, under Section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA (enacted as part of the Hatch-Waxman Amendments). This statutory provision permits the filing of an NDA where at least some of the information required for approval comes from studies not conducted by or for the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference from the owner of the data. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit the applicant to rely upon the FDA findings of safety and effectiveness of a drug that has obtained FDA approval based on preclinical or clinical studies conducted by others. In addition to relying on FDA prior findings of safety and effectiveness for a referenced drug product, the FDA may require companies to perform additional preclinical or clinical studies to support approval of the modification to the referenced product.

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If an application for a generic version of a branded product or a Section 505(b)(2) application relies on a prior FDA finding of safety and effectiveness of a previously-approved product including an alternative strength thereof, the applicant is required to certify to the FDA concerning any patents listed for the referenced product in the FDA publication called “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” otherwise known as the “Orange Book.” Specifically, the applicant must certify in the application that:

 

(I)

there is no patent information listed for the reference drug;

 

(II)

the listed patent has expired for the reference drug;

 

(III)

the listed patent for the reference drug has not expired, but will expire on a particular date and approval is sought after patent expiration; or

 

(IV)

the listed patent for the reference drug is invalid, unenforceable, or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use or sale of the product for which the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA is submitted.

The Hatch-Waxman Amendments require an applicant for a drug product that relies, in whole or in part, on the FDA’s prior approval of Vascepa, to notify us of its application, a “paragraph IV” notice, if the applicant is seeking to market its product prior to the expiration of the patents that both claim Vascepa and are listed in the Orange Book. A bona fide paragraph IV notice may not be given under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments until after the generic company receives from the FDA an acknowledgement letter stating that its ANDA is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review.

The paragraph IV notice is required to contain a detailed factual and legal statement explaining the basis for the applicant’s opinion that the proposed product does not infringe our patents, that the relevant patents are invalid, or both. After receipt of a valid notice, the branded product manufacturer has the option of bringing a patent infringement suit in federal district court against any generic company seeking approval for its product within 45 days from the date of receipt of each notice. If such a suit is commenced within this 45-day period, the Hatch-Waxman Amendments provide for a 30-month stay on FDA’s ability to give final approval to the proposed generic product, which period begins on the date the paragraph IV notice is received. Generally, during a period of time in which generic applications may be submitted for a branded product based on a product’s regulatory exclusivity status, if no patents are listed in the Orange Book before the date on which a complete ANDA application for a product (excluding an amendment or supplement to the application) is submitted, an ANDA application could be approved by FDA without regard to a stay. For products entitled to five-year exclusivity status, the Hatch-Waxman Amendments provide that an ANDA application may be submitted after four years following FDA approval of the branded product if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement to a patent listed in the Orange Book. In such a case, the 30-month stay runs from the end of the five-year exclusivity period. Statutory stays may be shortened or lengthened if either party fails to cooperate in the litigation and it may be terminated if the court decides the case in less than 30 months. If the litigation is resolved in favor of the ANDA applicant before the expiration of the 30-month period, the stay will be immediately lifted and the FDA’s review of the application may be completed. Such litigation is often time-consuming and costly, and may result in generic competition if such patents are not upheld or if the generic competitor is found not to infringe such patents.

In the first half of 2014, we received six paragraph IV notices notifying us of accepted ANDAs to the Vascepa 1-gram dose strength under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. These ANDAs were submitted and accepted by FDA under the regulatory scheme adopted under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments based on the FDA’s determination that we were entitled to three, and not five-year exclusivity. As a result, from the first half of 2014 until June 2015, we were engaged in costly litigation with the ANDA applicants to protect our patent rights.

Based on the May 28, 2015, District of Columbia court order granting our motion for summary judgment in the new chemical entity, or NCE, litigation, on June 26, 2015, the parties to the related Vascepa patent litigation that followed acceptance by FDA of ANDAs to Vascepa based on a three-year regulatory exclusivity determination, agreed to a full stay of proceeding in that patent litigation.

Following the May 28, 2015 District of Columbia court order setting aside FDA’s denial of NCE exclusivity for Vascepa, FDA notified the ANDA filers that FDA had changed the status of their ANDAs to submitted, but no longer accepted, and notified ANDA filers that FDA had ceased review of the pending ANDAs. In rescinding acceptance of the ANDAs, the statutory basis for the patent litigation (accepted ANDAs) no longer existed. Thus, in July 2015, we moved to dismiss the pending patent infringement lawsuits against each of the Vascepa ANDA applicants in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

On January 22, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted our motion to dismiss all patent infringement litigation related to the 2014 acceptance by the FDA of ANDAs to Vascepa. An appeal of the court’s dismissal was filed by one ANDA filer and, after FDA’s May 2016 grant of Vascepa NCE exclusivity, that appeal was withdrawn by the ANDA filer. This dismissal and terminated appeal ended this patent litigation related to Vascepa.

On May 31, 2016, in a reversal that FDA and we view as consistent with the court’s May 28, 2015 summary judgment motion, FDA determined that Vascepa was eligible for five-year, NCE marketing exclusivity. This determination provided Vascepa with the benefits of NCE exclusivity afforded by statute. NCE exclusivity for Vascepa ran from its date of FDA approval on July 26, 2012 and extended until July 26, 2017. The statutory NCE-related 30-month stay triggered by the 1-gram dose patent litigation following generic application submissions permitted on July 26, 2016 expired on January 26, 2020, seven-and-a-half years from FDA approval.

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In September and October 2016, we received paragraph IV certification notices from four companies contending to varying degrees that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of the 1-gram dose strength of Vascepa as described in those companies’ ANDAs. These certifications were expected given the eligibility for submission of ANDAs under the NCE regulatory structure, after the expiration of four years from the July 2012 approval of Vascepa.

We filed patent infringement lawsuits against three of these four ANDA applicants. In October 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit against Roxane Laboratories, Inc. and related parties, collectively, Roxane, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case against Roxane is captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Roxane Laboratories, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02525 (D. Nev.). According to a stipulation filed with the Nevada court, in December 2016, Roxane transferred its ANDA to West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Limited, which then designated West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. (or together with West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Limited, West-Ward) as its agent for FDA communications. In view of the ANDA transfer, in February 2017, West-Ward replaced Roxane and related parties as Defendants in the above-referenced case. The case against West-Ward is now captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02525 (D. Nev.). In November 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit against Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ltd., collectively, DRL, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case against DRL is captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02562 (D. Nev.). In November 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, or collectively, Teva, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case against Teva was captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02658. In all three lawsuits, we are seeking, among other remedies, an order enjoining each defendant from marketing generic versions of the 1-gram dose strength of Vascepa before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030. The three lawsuits have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

The fourth ANDA applicant referenced above is Apotex Inc., or Apotex, which sent us a paragraph IV certification notice in September 2016. The notice reflected that Apotex made a paragraph IV notice as to some, but not all, of the patents listed in the Orange Book for Vascepa. Because Apotex did not make a paragraph IV certification as to all listed patents, Apotex cannot market a generic version of Vascepa before the last to expire of the patents for which Apotex did not make a paragraph IV certification, which is in 2030. At a later date, Apotex may elect to amend its ANDA in order to make a paragraph IV certification as to additional listed patents. If and when Apotex does make such an amendment, it would be required to send Amarin an additional paragraph IV certification notice, and Amarin would then have the ability to file a lawsuit against Apotex pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Amendments.

In October 2016, we introduced to the market a 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa. In August 2017, as anticipated, we received a paragraph IV certification notice from Teva contending that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa, as described in the Teva ANDA. This Teva ANDA was filed as an amendment to the 1-gram Teva ANDA and is related to patents already at issue in the 1-gram Vascepa patent litigation. This certification followed the related listing in the Orange Book of patents associated with the 0.5-gram product in June 2017. This June 2017 listing was within the five-year, post NDA-approval period during which the Hatch-Waxman Amendments require a paragraph IV certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement under the Hatch-Waxman, five-year, NCE regulatory scheme. Accordingly, in October 2017, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Teva in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case was captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:17-cv-2641 (D. Nev.). In this lawsuit, we sought, among other remedies, an order enjoining Teva from marketing generic versions of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030.

On May 24, 2018, we entered into a settlement agreement with Teva that resolves our ANDA patent litigation as it relates to Teva’s as amended ANDA for both the 1-gram and 0.5-gram dose strengths of Vascepa. As part of this settlement agreement, Teva may first begin selling its generic version of Vascepa in the United States on August 9, 2029, or earlier under certain customary circumstances, including commercial launch by another generic manufacturer under certain circumstances, in which event Teva would pay us certain royalties on its generic Vascepa products. The ANDA patent litigation continued in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada with parties West-Ward and DRL. The trial for this litigation took place from mid to late January 2020 and a decision, based on statements by the Court, is expected by the end of March 2020.

In July 2018, as anticipated, we received a paragraph IV certification notice from DRL contending that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa, as described in the DRL ANDA. This DRL ANDA was filed as an amendment to the 1-gram DRL ANDA and is related to patents already at issue in the 1-gram Vascepa patent litigation. This certification followed the related listing in the Orange Book of patents associated with the 0.5-gram product in June 2017. This June 2017 listing was within the five-year, post NDA-approval period during which the Hatch-Waxman Amendments require a paragraph IV certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement under the Hatch-Waxman, five-year, NCE regulatory scheme. Accordingly, in August 2018, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against DRL in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case was captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:18-cv-01596 (D. Nev.). In this lawsuit, we are seeking, among other remedies, an order enjoining DRL from marketing generic versions of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030. In light of the overlap between the cases, DRL and Amarin have stipulated that the final judgment on the merits of the parties’ contentions in the consolidated 1-gram action shall also be binding in the 0.5-gram case.

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We expect to face similar patent litigation related to the patents filed in the Orange Book related to the REDUCE-IT study. In addition, a three-year period of exclusivity under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments is generally granted for a drug product that contains an active moiety that has been previously approved, such as when the application contains reports of new clinical investigations (other than bioavailability studies) conducted by the sponsor that were essential to approval of the application. Accordingly, we received three-year exclusivity in connection the approval of our sNDA for REDUCE-IT study results. Such three-year exclusivity protection precludes the FDA from approving a marketing application for an ANDA, a product candidate that the FDA views as having the same conditions of approval as Vascepa (for example, the same indication and/or other conditions of use), or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted to the FDA with Vascepa as the reference product until December 13, 2022, three years from the date of FDA approval of the REDUCE-IT sNDA. While this three-year exclusivity would prevent such an approval based on our REDUCE-IT indication during such time, it does not preclude tentative or final approval of an ANDA based on our MARINE indication. The FDA may accept and commence review of such REDUCE-IT-related applications during the three-year exclusivity period. Such three-year exclusivity grant does not prevent a company from challenging the validity of REDUCE-IT patents during such period. This three-year form of exclusivity may also not prevent the FDA from approving an NDA that relies only on its own data to support the change or innovation. Regulatory exclusivity is in addition to exclusivity afforded by issued patents related to Vascepa.

We may also face challenges to the validity of our patents through a procedure known as inter partes review. Inter partes review is a trial proceeding conducted through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB, of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Such a proceeding could be introduced against us within the statutory one-year window triggered by service of a complaint for infringement related to an ANDA filing or at any time by an entity not served with a complaint. Such proceedings may review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent on specified substantive grounds such as allegations that a claim is obvious on the basis of certain prior art.

We intend to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights relating to Vascepa, but we cannot predict the outcome of the pending lawsuits or any subsequently filed lawsuits or inter partes review.

If an ANDA filer meets the approval requirements for a generic version of Vascepa to the satisfaction of the FDA under its ANDA, FDA may grant tentative approval to the ANDA during a Hatch-Waxman 30-month stay period and during the Hatch-Waxman 36-month regulatory exclusivity period. A tentative approval is issued to an ANDA applicant when its application is approvable prior to the expiration of any exclusivities applicable to the branded, reference listed drug product. A tentative approval does not allow the applicant to market the generic drug product and postpones the final ANDA approval until applicable exclusivity protections have expired.

The statutory NCE-related 30-month stay triggered by the 1-gram dose patent litigation following generic application submissions permitted on July 26, 2016 expired on January 26, 2020, seven-and-a-half years from our initial FDA approval of Vascepa. However, based on court proceedings, we do not expect an at-risk launch from either generic filer before the court issues a decision on the merits in the pending MARINE-related patent litigation, which decision, based on statements by the Court, is expected by the end of March 2020. Based on historical practice in the field, we expect the final decision by the Court on the merits of this MARINE-related patent litigation to be appealed by the losing parties. The timing of such appeal proceedings and an outcome on the merits is difficult to predict. It is not uncommon for such an appeal to take from several months to approximately one year until judgment. Based on our current understanding of the strength of our position in the litigation, if the Court were to rule against us, we expect we would file an expedited motion for an injunction to prevent any generic launch while the appeal is pending. We believe we would be favorably situated to obtain an injunction against generic launch pending appeal, subject to our posting a bond to secure generics’ lost profits in the event that generics prevail on appeal. There can be no guarantee we would be successful in any of such efforts.

If final approval of a generic ANDA is granted, an ANDA filer is able to supply the product in significant commercial quantities and circumstances described in the preceding paragraph do not maintain the status quo as it existed prior to any adverse Court ruling, generic companies could introduce generic versions of Vascepa in the market. Any such introduction of a generic version of Vascepa would also be subject to current patent infringement claims that may then be subject to an appeal.

Any generic market entry would limit our U.S. sales, which would have a significant adverse impact on our business and results of operations. In addition, even if a competitor’s effort to introduce a generic product is ultimately unsuccessful, the perception that such development is in progress and/or news related to such progress could materially affect the perceived value of our company and our stock price.

Vascepa is a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid product. Omega-3 fatty acids are also marketed by other companies as non-prescription dietary supplements. As a result, Vascepa is subject to non-prescription competition and consumer substitution.

Our only product, Vascepa, is a prescription-only form of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid in ethyl ester form. Mixtures of omega-3 fatty acids in triglyceride form are naturally occurring substances contained in various foods, including fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are marketed by others in a number of chemical forms as non-prescription dietary supplements. We cannot be sure physicians will

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view the pharmaceutical grade purity and proven efficacy and safety of Vascepa as having a superior therapeutic profile to unproven and loosely regulated omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplements. In addition, the FDA has not yet enforced to the full extent of its regulatory authority what we view as illegal claims made by certain omega-3 fatty acid product manufacturers to the extent we believe appropriate under applicable law and regulations, for example, claims that certain of such chemically altered products are dietary supplements and that certain of such products reduce triglyceride levels or could reduce cardiovascular risk.

Also, for more than a decade now, subject to certain limitations, the FDA has expressly permitted dietary supplement manufacturers that sell supplements containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and/or DHA to make the following qualified health claim directly to consumers: Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Such companies are not, however, permitted, based on FDA enforcement activity, to make claims that suggest or imply treatment of cardiovascular disease.

These factors enable dietary supplements to compete with Vascepa to a certain degree. Although we have taken steps to address these competitive issues, and plan to continue to do so vigorously, we may not be successful in such efforts.

For example, on October 29, 2018, Amarin filed two lawsuits in U.S. federal court, each against a different dietary supplement company for unlawfully using the results from the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study to falsely and deceptively claim that their omega-3 dietary supplement products are effective in reducing cardiovascular risk. The defendants in the cases were Omax Health, Inc., or Omax, and The Coromega Company, Inc., or Coromega. In April 2019, based on the strength of our case and available legal remedies, Omax and Coromega settled these litigations under terms by which Omax and Coromega agreed to substantially all the demands in Amarin’s complaints. Under the settlements, Coromega and Omax agreed to publicly correct their prior statements that wrongly suggested the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes trial supports the safety and efficacy of omega-3 dietary supplements. Each dietary supplement company also acknowledged that as a general matter under federal law dietary supplements may be lawfully marketed to supplement the diet, but they cannot be lawfully marketed to treat, mitigate, or prevent disease, such as cardiovascular disease.

Similarly, on August 30, 2017, Amarin filed a lawsuit with the United States International Trade Commission, or the ITC, against manufacturers, importers, and distributors of products containing synthetically produced omega-3 products in ethyl ester or re-esterified triglyceride form that contain more EPA than DHA or any other single component for use in or as dietary supplements. The lawsuit sought an investigation by the ITC regarding potentially unfair methods of competition and unfair acts involving the importation and sale of articles in the United States that injure or threaten injury to a domestic industry. In October 2017, the ITC determined to not institute our requested investigation. We appealed this determination to the U.S. Federal Circuit, but that court upheld ITC’s determination. On July 30, 2019, we filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to appeal the Federal Circuit decision, which petition was denied on December 9, 2019. We have also engaged with FDA on the topic of synthetically produced omega-3 products through the citizen’s petition process and otherwise.

In addition, to the extent the net price of Vascepa after insurance and offered discounts is significantly higher than the prices of commercially available omega-3 fatty acids marketed by other companies as dietary supplements (through that lack of coverage by insurers or otherwise), physicians and pharmacists may recommend these commercial alternatives instead of writing or filling prescriptions for Vascepa or patients may elect on their own to take commercially available omega-3 fatty acids. Also, insurance plans may increasingly impose policies that favor supplement use over Vascepa. While Vascepa is highly price-competitive for patients generally, and in particular when covered by insurance—cheaper in many cases—any of these outcomes may adversely impact our results of operations by limiting how we price our product and limiting the revenue we receive from the sale of Vascepa due to reduced market acceptance.

The commercial value to us of sales of Vascepa outside the United States may be smaller than we anticipate.

There can be no assurance as to the adequacy for commercial success of Vascepa outside the United States. For example, even if we obtain approval to commercialize Vascepa in Europe or we and Eddingpharm obtain marketing approval in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, or the China Territory, applicable regulatory agencies may impose restrictions on the product’s conditions for use, distribution or marketing and in some cases may impose ongoing requirements for post-market surveillance, post-approval studies or clinical trials.

Also, there is a degree of unpredictability with regard to the eventual pricing and reimbursement levels of medications in markets outside the United States. In some foreign countries, including Canada and major markets in the European Union, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take 6 to 12 months or longer after the receipt of regulatory marketing approval for a product. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we may be required to conduct a pharmacoeconomic study that compares the cost-effectiveness of Vascepa to other available therapies. Such pharmacoeconomic studies can be costly and the results uncertain. Our business could be harmed if reimbursement of our products is unavailable or limited in scope or amount or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels. If the pricing and reimbursement levels of Vascepa are lower than we anticipate, then affordability of, and market access to, Vascepa may

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be adversely affected and thus market potential in these territories would suffer. We or our partners may even choose to not proceed with marketing Vascepa in a market, even after a regulatory approval, due to negative commercial dynamics. Furthermore, with regard to any indications for which we may gain approval in territories outside the United States, the number of actual patients with the condition included in such approved indication may be smaller than we anticipate. If any of these market dynamics exist, the commercial potential in these territories for our product would suffer.

Our products and marketing efforts are subject to extensive post-approval government regulation.

Once a product candidate receives FDA marketing approval, numerous post-approval requirements apply. Among other things, the holder of an approved NDA is subject to periodic and other monitoring and reporting obligations enforced by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, including obligations to monitor and report adverse events and instances of the failure of a product to meet the specifications in the approved application. Application holders must also submit advertising and other promotional material to regulatory authorities and report on ongoing clinical trials.

With respect to sales and marketing activities, advertising and promotional materials must comply with FDA rules in addition to other applicable federal and local laws in the United States and in other countries. The result of our First Amendment litigation and settlement may cause the government to scrutinize our promotional efforts or otherwise monitor our business more closely. Industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities also must comply with FDA and other requirements. In the United States, the distribution of product samples to physicians must comply with the requirements of the U.S. Prescription Drug Marketing Act. Manufacturing facilities remain subject to FDA inspection and must continue to adhere to the FDA’s pharmaceutical current good manufacturing practice requirements, or cGMPs. Application holders must obtain FDA approval for product and manufacturing changes, depending on the nature of the change.

We also are subject to the federal transparency requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or collectively the ACA, enacted in March 2010, which require manufacturers of certain drugs, devices, biologics, and medical supplies to report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals and physician ownership and investment interests. We may also be subject, directly or indirectly through our customers and partners, to various fraud and abuse laws, including, without limitation, the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute, U.S. False Claims Act, and similar state laws, which impact, among other things, our proposed sales, marketing, and scientific/educational grant programs. We participate in the U.S. Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the Federal Supply Schedule of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or other government drug programs, and, accordingly, are subject to complex laws and regulations regarding reporting and payment obligations. We must also comply with requirements to collect and report adverse events and product complaints associated with our products. Our activities are also subject to U.S. federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws, non-compliance with which could subject us to significant liability. Similar requirements exist in many of these areas in other countries.

Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet post-approval requirements can result in criminal prosecution, fines or other penalties, injunctions, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, denial or withdrawal of pre-marketing product approvals, or refusal to allow us to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts. We may also be held responsible for the non-compliance of our partners, such as our former co-promotion partner Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. In addition, even if we comply with FDA and other requirements, new information regarding the safety or effectiveness of a product could lead the FDA to modify or withdraw a product approval. Newly discovered or developed safety or effectiveness data may require changes to a drug’s approved labeling and marketing, including the addition of new warnings and contraindications, and also may require the implementation of other risk management measures. Adverse regulatory action, whether pre- or post-approval, can potentially lead to product liability claims and increase our product liability exposure. We must also compete against other products in qualifying for coverage and reimbursement under applicable third-party payment and insurance programs. In addition, all of the above factors may also apply to any regulatory approval for Vascepa obtained in territories outside the United States. Given our inexperience with marketing and commercializing products outside the United States, in certain territories we may need to rely on third parties, such as our partners in Canada, China and the Middle East, to assist us in dealing with any such issues.

Legislative or regulatory reform of the healthcare system in the United States and foreign jurisdictions may affect our ability to profitably sell Vascepa.

Our ability to commercialize our future products successfully, alone or with collaborators, will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for the products will be available from government and health administration authorities, private health insurers and other third-party payors. The continuing efforts of the U.S. and foreign governments, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce healthcare costs may adversely affect our ability to set prices for our products which we believe are fair, and our ability to generate revenues and achieve and maintain profitability.

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Specifically, in both the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes to the healthcare system in ways that could affect our ability to sell our products profitably. For example, on August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals for spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction, which triggered the legislation’s automatic reductions. In concert with subsequent legislation, this has resulted in aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of, on average, 2% per fiscal year through 2029 unless Congress takes additional action. These cuts reduce reimbursement payments related to our products, which could potentially negatively impact our revenue. Also for example, the ACA has substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers and has significantly impacted the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Among other cost-containment measures, the ACA establishes:

 

an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic agents;

 

a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which pharmaceutical manufacturers who wish to have their drugs covered under Part D must offer discounts to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period; and

 

a new formula that increases the rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extends the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations.

There has been increasing legislative and enforcement interest in the United States with respect to specialty drug pricing practices. Specifically, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug 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 drugs. The Trump administration is currently assessing additional proposals that are designed to affect drug pricing, such as tying U.S. drug prices to prices outside the United States. Congress and the Trump administration have each indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs. At the state level, legislatures have 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, the State of California enacted legislation that requires notice for exceeding specified limits on annual drug price increases and other legislation that seeks to limit the use of co-pay cards in certain situations.

In addition, it is time-consuming and expensive for us to go through the process of seeking coverage and reimbursement from Medicare and private payors. Our products may not be considered cost effective, and government and third-party private health insurance coverage and reimbursement may not be available to patients for any of our future products or sufficient to allow us to sell our products on a competitive and profitable basis. Our results of operations could be adversely affected by ACA and by other healthcare reforms that may be enacted or adopted in the future. In addition, increasing emphasis on managed care in the United States will continue to put pressure on the pricing of pharmaceutical products. For example, proposals are being considered to expand the use of dietary supplements in addition to or in place of drugs in government and private payor plans. In addition, cost control initiatives could decrease the price that we or any potential collaborators could receive for any of our future products and could adversely affect our profitability.

These and similar regulatory dynamics can affect our ability to sell Vascepa on commercially reasonable terms and limit the commercial value of Vascepa.

If we fail to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program or other governmental pricing programs, we could be subject to additional reimbursement requirements, penalties, sanctions and fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

We participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, the 340B drug pricing program, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, Federal Supply Schedule, or FSS, pricing program. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, we are required to pay a rebate to each state Medicaid program for our covered outpatient drugs that are dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries and paid for by a state Medicaid program as a condition of having federal funds being made available to the states for our drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. Those rebates are based on pricing data reported by us on a monthly and quarterly basis to CMS, the federal agency that administers the Medicaid Drug Rebate program. These data include the average manufacturer price and, in the case of innovator products, the best price for each drug which, in general, represents the lowest price available from the manufacturer to any entity in the U.S. in any pricing structure, calculated to include all sales and associated rebates, discounts and other price concessions. Our failure to comply with these price reporting and rebate payment obligations could negatively impact our financial results.

The ACA made significant changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate program. CMS issued a final regulation, which became effective on April 1, 2016, to implement the changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate program under the ACA. The issuance of the final regulation has increased and will continue to increase our costs and the complexity of compliance, has been and will continue to be time-consuming to implement, and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, particularly if CMS challenges the approach we take in our implementation of the final regulation.

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Federal law requires that any company that participates in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program also participate in the Public Health Service’s 340B drug pricing program in order for federal funds to be available for the manufacturer’s drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. The 340B program requires participating manufacturers to agree to charge statutorily defined covered entities no more than the 340B “ceiling price” for the manufacturer’s covered outpatient drugs. These 340B covered entities include a variety of community health clinics and other entities that receive health services grants from the Public Health Service, as well as hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients. The 340B ceiling price is calculated using a statutory formula based on the average manufacturer price and Medicaid rebate amount for the covered outpatient drug as calculated under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, and in general, products subject to Medicaid price reporting and rebate liability are also subject to the 340B ceiling price calculation and discount requirement. Any additional future changes to the definition of average manufacturer price and the Medicaid rebate amount under the ACA, other legislation, or in regulation could affect our 340B ceiling price calculations and negatively impact our results of operations.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA, which administers the 340B program, issued a final regulation regarding the calculation of the 340B ceiling price and the imposition of civil monetary penalties on manufacturers that knowingly and intentionally overcharge covered entities, which became effective on January 1, 2019. It is currently unclear how HRSA will apply its enforcement authority under the new regulation. We also are required to report our 340B ceiling prices to HRSA on a quarterly basis. Implementation of the civil monetary penalties regulation and the issuance of any other final regulations and guidance could affect our obligations under the 340B program in ways we cannot anticipate. In addition, legislation may be introduced that, if passed, would further expand the 340B program to additional covered entities or would require participating manufacturers to agree to provide 340B discounted pricing on drugs used in the inpatient setting.  

Pricing and rebate calculations vary across products and programs, are complex, and are often subject to interpretation by us, governmental or regulatory agencies and the courts. In the case of our Medicaid pricing data, if we become aware that our reporting for a prior quarter was incorrect, or has changed as a result of recalculation of the pricing data, we are obligated to resubmit the corrected data for up to three years after those data originally were due. Such restatements and recalculations increase our costs for complying with the laws and regulations governing the Medicaid Drug Rebate program and could result in an overage or underage in our rebate liability for past quarters. Price recalculations also may affect the ceiling price at which we are required to offer our products under the 340B program or could require us to issue refunds to 340B covered entities.

Significant civil monetary penalties can be applied if we are found to have knowingly submitted any false pricing information to CMS, or if we fail to submit the required price data on a timely basis. Such conduct also could be grounds for CMS to terminate our Medicaid drug rebate agreement, in which case federal payments may not be available under Medicaid or Medicare Part B for our covered outpatient drugs. Significant civil monetary penalties also can be applied if we are found to have knowingly and intentionally charged 340B covered entities more than the statutorily mandated ceiling price. We cannot assure you that our submissions will not be found by CMS or HRSA to be incomplete or incorrect.

In order to be eligible to have our products paid for with federal funds under the Medicaid and Medicare Part B programs and purchased by certain federal agencies and grantees, we participate in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, Federal Supply Schedule, or FSS, pricing program. As part of this program, we are obligated to make our products available for procurement on an FSS contract under which we must comply with standard government terms and conditions and charge a price that is no higher than the statutory Federal Ceiling Price, or FCP, to four federal agencies (VA, U.S. Department of Defense, or DOD, Public Health Service, and U.S. Coast Guard). The FCP is based on the Non-Federal Average Manufacturer Price, or Non-FAMP, which we calculate and report to the VA on a quarterly and annual basis. Pursuant to applicable law, knowing provision of false information in connection with a Non-FAMP filing can subject a manufacturer to significant penalties for each item of false information. These obligations also contain extensive disclosure and certification requirements.

We also participate in the Tricare Retail Pharmacy program, under which we pay quarterly rebates on utilization of innovator products that are dispensed through the Tricare Retail Pharmacy network to Tricare beneficiaries. The rebates are calculated as the difference between the annual Non-FAMP and FCP. We are required to list our covered products on a Tricare Agreement in order for these products to be eligible for DOD formulary inclusion. If we overcharge the government in connection with our FSS contract or Tricare Agreement, whether due to a misstated FCP or otherwise, we are required to refund the difference to the government. Failure to make necessary disclosures and/or to identify contract overcharges can result in allegations against us under the False Claims Act and other laws and regulations. Unexpected refunds to the government, and responding to a government investigation or enforcement action, would be expensive and time-consuming, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

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Changes in reimbursement procedures by government and other third-party payors may limit our ability to market and sell our approved drugs. These changes could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

In the U.S. and abroad, sales of pharmaceutical drugs are dependent, in part, on the availability of reimbursement to the consumer from third-party payors, such as government and private insurance plans. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged for medical products and services. Some third-party payor benefit packages restrict reimbursement, charge copayments to patients, or do not provide coverage for specific drugs or drug classes.

In addition, certain healthcare providers are moving toward a managed care system in which such providers contract to provide comprehensive healthcare services, including prescription drugs, for a fixed cost per person. We are unable to predict the reimbursement policies employed by third-party healthcare payors.

We expect to experience pricing and reimbursement pressures in connection with the sale of our products due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations and additional legislative and executive proposals. In addition, we may confront limitations in insurance coverage for our products. If we fail to successfully secure and maintain reimbursement coverage for our approved drugs or are significantly delayed in doing so, we may have difficulty achieving market acceptance of our approved drugs and investigational drug candidates for which we obtain approval, and our business may be harmed. Congress has enacted healthcare reform and may enact further reform, which could adversely affect the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Ongoing healthcare legislative and regulatory reform measures may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Certain provisions of the ACA have been subject to judicial challenges, as well as efforts to repeal or replace them or to alter their interpretation or implementation. Since January 2017, the Trump administration has signed Executive Orders designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the ACA. One Executive Order directs federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the ACA to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the ACA that would impose a fiscal or regulatory burden on states, individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. The second Executive Order terminated the cost-sharing subsidies under the ACA. Nineteen state Attorneys General filed suit to stop the administration from terminating the subsidies, but on July 18, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the case without prejudice. Further, on June 14, 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that, due to Congressional appropriations riders that prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, from paying out more in risk corridor payments than it collected, HHS was not required to pay more than $12 billion in ACA risk corridor payments owed to insurers under the risk corridor formula. On November 6, 2018, the Federal Circuit declined to rehear the case en banc. The case is currently pending a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Moreover, the Tax Act included a provision that eliminated the tax-based shared responsibility payment for individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage under section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate,” effective January 1, 2019. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, or the BBA, among other things, amends the ACA to create a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 70% (effective as of January 1, 2019) point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period as a condition for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D.

Under the Trump Administration, CMS has issued regulations that give states greater flexibility, starting in 2020, in the identification of the essential health benefits benchmarks for non-grandfathered individual and small group market health insurance coverage, including plans sold through the health insurance exchanges established under the ACA. On December 14, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled (i) that the “individual mandate” was unconstitutional as a result of the associated tax penalty being repealed by Congress as part of the Tax Act; and (ii) the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA, as a result the entire ACA is invalid. On December 18, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but remanded the case to the district court to reconsider the severability question. It is unclear how the ultimate decision in this case, or other efforts to repeal, replace, or invalidate the ACA or its implementing regulations, or portions thereof, will impact our business.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. In August 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals for spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction did not reach required goals, thereby triggering the legislation’s automatic reductions. This has resulted in aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of, on average, 2% per fiscal year through 2027 unless Congress takes additional action.

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We expect that the healthcare reform measures that have been adopted and may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria, and new payment methodologies, and in additional downward pressure on coverage and payment and the price that we receive for any approved product, and could seriously harm our future revenues. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private third-party payors.

There have been, and likely will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals at the foreign, federal and state levels directed at broadening the availability of healthcare and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. The enactment and implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability, or commercialize our product. Such reforms could have an adverse effect on anticipated revenue from product candidates that we may successfully develop and for which we may obtain regulatory approval and may affect our overall financial condition and ability to develop product candidates.

Failure to comply with health and data protection laws and regulations could lead to government enforcement actions (which could include civil or criminal penalties), private litigation, and/or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business.

We and any potential collaborators may be subject to federal, state, and foreign data protection laws and regulations (i.e., laws and regulations that address privacy and data security). In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations, including federal health information privacy laws, 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), that govern the collection, use, disclosure and protection of health-related and other personal information could apply to our operations or the operations of our collaborators. In addition, we may obtain health information from third parties (including research institutions from which we obtain clinical trial data) that are subject to privacy and security requirements under HIPAA. Although we are not directly subject to HIPAA – other than with respect to providing certain employee benefits – we could potentially be subject to criminal penalties if we, our affiliates, or our agents 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, 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.

Compliance with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to collect, use and disclose data, or in some cases, impact our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in government enforcement actions (which could include civil, criminal and administrative penalties), private litigation, and/or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business. Moreover, clinical trial subjects, employees and other individuals about whom we or our potential collaborators obtain personal information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may limit our ability to collect, use and disclose the information. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights, failed to comply with data protection laws, or breached our contractual obligations, even if we are not found liable, could be expensive and time-consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business.

European data collection is governed by restrictive regulations governing the use, processing and cross-border transfer of personal information.

The REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes trial was conducted in part through clinical sites in the European Union, or EU. As a result, we are subject to additional privacy restrictions. The collection and use of personal health data in the EU is governed by the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The GDPR imposes several requirements relating to the legal basis for processing personal data which may include the consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, the information provided to the individuals and the security and confidentiality of the personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the European Union to the United States. Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR, and the related national data protection laws of the European Union Member States may result in restrictions against regulatory approval in the EU or substantial fines for breaches of the data protection rules. The GDPR may impose additional responsibility and liability in relation to personal data that we process and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms ensuring compliance with these and/or new data protection rules. This may be onerous and adversely affect our business, financial condition, prospects and results of operations.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies strictly regulate the promotional claims that may be made about prescription products. If we or our partners are found to have improperly promoted uses, efficacy or safety of Vascepa, we may become subject to significant fines and other liability. The government may seek to find means to prevent our promotion of truthful and non-misleading information beyond the current court ruling and litigation settlement.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies strictly regulate the promotional claims that may be made about prescription products. In particular, in general, the U.S. government’s position has been that a product may not be promoted for uses that are not approved by

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the FDA as reflected in the product’s approved labeling. Even though we received FDA marketing approval for Vascepa for the MARINE indication and for cardiovascular risk reduction based on the REDUCE-IT study, and we believe the First Amendment court ruling and litigation settlement affords us a degree of protection for other promotional efforts, physicians may still prescribe Vascepa to their patients for use in the treatment of conditions that are not included as part of the indication statement in our FDA-approved Vascepa label or our settlement. If we are found to have promoted Vascepa outside the terms of the litigation settlement or in violation of what federal or state government may determine to be acceptable, we may become subject to significant government fines and other related liability, such as under the FDCA, the False Claims Act, or other theories of liability. Government may also seek to hold us responsible for the non-compliance of our former co-promotion partner, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., or our commercialization partners outside the United States. For example, 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. The FDA has also requested that companies enter into consent decrees or permanent injunctions under which specified promotional conduct is changed or curtailed.

In addition, incentives exist under applicable laws that encourage competitors, employees and physicians to report violations of rules governing promotional activities for pharmaceutical products. These incentives could lead to so-called “whistleblower lawsuits” as part of which such persons seek to collect a portion of moneys allegedly overbilled to government agencies due to, for example, promotion of pharmaceutical products beyond labeled claims. These incentives could also lead to suits that we have mischaracterized a competitor’s product in the marketplace and we may, as a result, be sued for alleged damages to our competitors. Such lawsuits, whether with or without merit, are typically time-consuming and costly to defend. Such suits may also result in related shareholder lawsuits, which are also costly to defend.

Even though we have a final settlement in our litigation related to promotion beyond FDA-approved labeling, our promotion would still be subject to a high, perhaps abnormally high, degree of scrutiny to ensure that our promotion remains within the permitted scope. Likewise, federal or state government may seek to find other means to prevent our promotion of truthful and non-misleading information.

We may not be successful in developing and receiving regulatory approval for Vascepa in other jurisdictions or marketing future products if we cannot meet the extensive regulatory requirements of regulatory agencies such as for quality, safety, efficacy and data privacy.

The success of our research and development efforts is dependent in part upon our ability, and the ability of our partners or potential partners, to meet regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions where we or our partners or potential partners ultimately intend to sell such products once approved. The development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products are subject to extensive regulation by governmental authorities in the United States and elsewhere. In the United States, the FDA generally requires preclinical testing and clinical trials of each drug to establish its safety and efficacy and extensive pharmaceutical development to ensure its quality before its introduction into the market. Regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions impose similar requirements. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals is lengthy and expensive and the issuance of such approvals is uncertain. The commencement and rate of completion of clinical trials and the timing of obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities may be delayed by many factors, including but not limited to:

 

the lack of efficacy during clinical trials;

 

the inability to manufacture sufficient quantities of qualified materials under cGMPs for use in clinical trials;

 

slower than expected rates of patient recruitment;

 

the inability to observe patients adequately after treatment;

 

changes in regulatory requirements for clinical trials or preclinical studies;

 

the emergence of unforeseen safety issues in clinical trials or preclinical studies;

 

delay, suspension, or termination of a trial by the institutional review board responsible for overseeing the study at a particular study site;

 

unanticipated changes to the requirements imposed by regulatory authorities on the extent, nature or timing of studies to be conducted on quality, safety and efficacy;

 

compliance with laws and regulations related to patient data privacy;

 

government or regulatory delays or “clinical holds” requiring suspension or termination of a trial; and

 

political instability affecting our clinical trial sites.

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Even if we obtain positive results from our efforts to seek regulatory approvals, from early stage preclinical studies or clinical trials, we may not achieve the same success in future efforts. Clinical trials that we or potential partners conduct may not provide sufficient safety and efficacy data to obtain the requisite regulatory approvals for product candidates. The failure of clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy for our desired indications could harm the development of that product candidate as well as other product candidates, and our business and results of operations would suffer. For example, during the public advisory committee meeting held by FDA as part of its review of our ANCHOR data and sNDA in October 2013, a discussion regarding observed, nominally statistically significant changes from baseline in an adverse direction, while on background statin therapy, in certain lipid parameters, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, in the placebo group, raised questions about the possibility that the light liquid paraffin oil, or mineral oil, placebo used in the ANCHOR trial and then in use in the REDUCE-IT trial might not be biologically inert and might be viewed as artificially exaggerating the clinical effect of Vascepa when measured against placebo. Ultimately, in 2012, no strong evidence for biological activity of mineral oil was identified by the FDA before its approval of Vascepa after review of the MARINE and ANCHOR trials and consideration of other data regarding mineral oil. It was ultimately concluded that the between-group differences likely provided the most appropriate descriptions of the treatment effect of Vascepa and that whatever factor(s) led to the within-group changes over time in the placebo group were likely randomly distributed to all treatment groups. Thus, the FDA approved Vascepa for use in the MARINE indication in July 2012, FDA did not dispute the veracity of the ANCHOR trial data and, in connection with the March 2016 agreement we reached with the FDA allowing us to promote the results of the ANCHOR study, the FDA did not seek to require that we include any qualification related to this earlier question regarding the mineral oil placebo.

Further, in connection with FDA’s review of REDUCE-IT data and sNDA in 2019, the agency determined that an interaction between mineral oil and statins leading to decreased absorption of statins cannot be excluded when the two are co-administered as could have been the case in some patients in REDUCE-IT and that, in the agency’s view, indirect evidence suggested the presence of a potential inhibitory effect on statin absorption by mineral oil. However, FDA’s exploratory analysis indicated that the effect of LDL cholesterol values on the time to the primary endpoint was numerically small and unlikely to change the overall conclusion of treatment benefit. FDA then relied on this assessment and all data available to it to approve a new indication statement and labeling based on REDUCE-IT results. This matter illustrates that concerns such as this may arise in the future that could affect our product development, regulatory reviews or the public perception of our products and our future prospects including REDUCE-IT results.

Any approvals that are obtained may be limited in scope, may require additional post-approval studies or may require the addition of labeling statements focusing on product safety that could affect the commercial potential for our product candidates. Any of these or similar circumstances could adversely affect our ability to gain approval for new indications and affect revenues from the sale of our products. Even in circumstances where products are approved by a regulatory body for sale, the regulatory or legal requirements may change over time, or new safety or efficacy information may be identified concerning a product, which may lead to the withdrawal of a product from the market or similar use restrictions. The discovery of previously unknown problems with a clinical trial or product, or in connection with the manufacturer of products, may result in regulatory issues that prevent proposed future approvals of a product and/or restrictions on that product or manufacturer, including withdrawal of an indication or the product from the market, which would have a negative impact on our potential revenue stream.

As we continue to evolve from a company primarily involved in research and development to a company also focused on establishing an infrastructure for commercializing Vascepa, we may encounter difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations successfully.

The process of establishing a commercial infrastructure is difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our sales team to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives in the United States. As a result of the FDA’s newly approved indication and label expansion, we are close to completing the expansion of our direct sales force to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives. Hiring, training and deploying approximately 400 new sales representatives is a multi-stage process which commenced in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in early 2020. Most of the expanded sales management team needed to support this sales force expansion was hired, or internally promoted, and trained prior to December 31, 2019. This sales team promotes Vascepa to a limited group of physicians and other healthcare professionals in select geographies in the United States. Even after planned expansion, this sales team is not large enough to call upon all physicians.

In addition to sales force expansion in the United States, Amarin continues to work with its international partners to support regulatory efforts outside the United States based on REDUCE-IT results. As our operations expand with the anticipated growth of our product sales, we expect that we will need to manage additional relationships with various collaborative partners, suppliers and other third parties. Future growth will impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain and integrate additional employees. Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize Vascepa and to compete effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to manage our future growth effectively. To that end, we must be able to manage our development efforts effectively, and hire, train, integrate and retain additional management, administrative and sales and

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marketing personnel. We may not be able to accomplish these tasks, and our failure to accomplish any of them could prevent us from successfully growing our company.

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

Our supply of product for the commercial market and clinical trials is dependent upon relationships with third-party manufacturers and suppliers.

We have no in-house manufacturing capacity and rely on contract manufacturers for our clinical and commercial product supply. We cannot ensure that we will successfully manufacture any product we may develop, either independently or under manufacturing arrangements, if any, with our third-party manufacturers. Moreover, if our manufacturers should cease doing business with us or experience delays, shortages of supply or excessive demands on their capacity, we may not be able to obtain adequate quantities of product in a timely manner, or at all.

Any manufacturing problem, natural disaster affecting manufacturing facilities, government action, or the loss of a contract manufacturer could be disruptive to our operations and result in lost sales. Any reliance on suppliers may involve several risks, including a potential inability to obtain critical materials and reduced control over production costs, delivery schedules, reliability and quality. Any unanticipated disruption to future contract manufacture caused by problems at suppliers could delay shipment of products, increase our cost of goods sold and/or result in lost sales. If our suppliers were unable to supply us with adequate volumes of active pharmaceutical ingredient (drug substance) or encapsulated bulk product (drug product), it would have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue to commercialize Vascepa.  

We have contractual freedom to source the API for Vascepa and to procure other services supporting our supply chain. We have entered into supply agreements with multiple suppliers who also rely on other third-party suppliers to manufacture the API and other elements necessary for the sale of Vascepa. Our strategy in sourcing API and other components in our supply chain from multiple suppliers has been to expand manufacturing capacity, maintain competitive advantages, and mitigate the risk of reliance on any single supplier.

Expanding manufacturing capacity and qualifying such capacity is complex and subject to numerous regulations and other operational challenges. The resources of our suppliers vary and are limited; costs associated with projected expansion and qualification can be significant. There can be no assurance that the expansion plans of any of our suppliers will be successful. Our aggregate capacity to produce API is dependent upon the continued qualification of our API suppliers and, depending on the ability of existing suppliers to meet our supply demands, potentially the qualifications of new suppliers. Each of our API suppliers has outlined plans for potential further capacity expansion. If no additional API supplier is approved by the FDA as part of an sNDA, our API supply will be limited to the API we purchase from previously approved suppliers. If our third-party manufacturing capacity is not expanded and/or compliant with applicable regulatory requirements, we may not be able to supply sufficient quantities of Vascepa to meet anticipated demand. We cannot guarantee that we can contract with any future manufacturer on acceptable terms or that any such alternative supplier will not require capital investment from us in order for them to meet our requirements. Alternatively, our purchase of supply may exceed actual demand for Vascepa.

There can be no guarantee that current suppliers and future suppliers with which we have contracted to encapsulate API will be continually qualified to manufacture the product to our specifications or that current and any future suppliers will have the manufacturing capacity to meet anticipated demand for Vascepa.

We may purchase too much or not enough supply to satisfy actual demand, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial results and financial condition.

Certain of our agreements with our suppliers include minimum purchase obligations and limited exclusivity provisions. These purchases are generally made on the basis of rolling twelve-month forecasts which in part are binding on us and the balance of which are subject to adjustment by us subject to certain limitations. Certain of our agreements also include contractual minimum purchase commitments regardless of the rolling twelve-month forecasts. We may not purchase sufficient quantities of Vascepa to meet actual demand or our purchase of supply may exceed actual demand. In either case, such event could have a material adverse effect on our financial results and financial condition. 

Our dependence on third parties in the distribution channel from our manufacturers to patients subject us to risks that limit our profitability and could limit our ability to supply Vascepa to large market segments.

We sell Vascepa principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers, or collectively, our distributors or our customers, that in turn resell Vascepa to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers. These parties exercise a substantial amount of bargaining power over us given their control over large segments of the market for Vascepa. This bargaining power has led us to bear increasingly higher discounts in the sale of Vascepa. In addition, payors have broad latitude to change individual products’ formulary position or to implement other barriers that

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inhibit patients from receiving therapies prescribed by their healthcare professionals. These payor barriers include requirements that patients try another drug before Vascepa, known as step edits, and the requirement that prior authorization be obtained by a healthcare provider after a prescription is written before a patient will be reimbursed by their health plan for the cost of a Vascepa prescription. Further, pharmacy benefit managers implement plans that act as disincentives for Vascepa use, such as increasingly higher deductibles. One practical impact of higher deductibles is that they cause patients to delay filling prescriptions for asymptomatic, chronic care medications such as hypertriglyceridemia earlier in the year, until patients meet their deductible and the cost of Vascepa is then borne more by their insurance carrier. Collectively, these dynamics negatively affect our profitability for the sale of Vascepa and could increase over time further impacting our operating results. Consolidation among these industry participants could increase the pressure from these market dynamics.

The manufacture, packaging and distribution of pharmaceutical products such as Vascepa are subject to FDA regulations and those of similar foreign regulatory bodies. If we or our third-party manufacturers fail to satisfy these requirements, our product development and commercialization efforts may be materially harmed.

The manufacture, packaging and distribution of pharmaceutical products, such as Vascepa, are regulated by the FDA and similar foreign regulatory bodies and must be conducted in accordance with the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices, or cGMPs, and comparable requirements of foreign regulatory bodies. There are a limited number of manufacturers that operate under these cGMPs as well as the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, or ICH, regulations and guidelines, that are both capable of manufacturing Vascepa and willing to do so. Failure by us or our third-party manufacturers to comply with applicable regulations, requirements, or guidelines could result in sanctions being imposed on us, including fines, injunctions, civil penalties, failure of regulatory authorities to grant marketing approval of our products, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures or voluntary recalls of product, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions and penalties, any of which could significantly and adversely affect our business. If we are not able to manufacture Vascepa to required specifications through our current and potential API suppliers, we may be delayed in successfully supplying the product to meet anticipated demand and our anticipated future revenues and financial results may be materially adversely affected.

Changes in the manufacturing process or procedure, including a change in the location where the product is manufactured or a change of a third-party manufacturer, may require prior FDA review and pre-approval of the manufacturing process and procedures in accordance with the FDA’s cGMPs. Any new facility may be subject to a pre-approval inspection by the FDA and would again require us to demonstrate product comparability to the FDA. There are comparable foreign requirements under ICH guidelines. This review may be costly and time consuming and could delay or prevent the launch of a product.

Furthermore, the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies require that we be able to consistently produce the API and the finished product in commercial quantities and of specified quality on a repeated basis, including demonstrated product stability, and document our ability to do so. This requirement is referred to as process validation. This includes stability testing, measurement of impurities and testing of other product specifications by validated test methods. If the FDA does not consider the result of the process validation or required testing to be satisfactory, the commercial supply of Vascepa may be delayed, or we may not be able to supply sufficient quantities of Vascepa to meet anticipated demand.

The FDA and similar foreign regulatory bodies may also implement new requirements, or change their interpretation and enforcement of existing requirements, for manufacture, packaging or testing of products at any time. If we or our approved suppliers are unable to comply, we may be subject to regulatory, civil actions or penalties, or we may be prevented from manufacturing or selling Vascepa, all of which could significantly and adversely affect our business.

Our commercialization of Vascepa outside the United States is substantially dependent on third parties.

We have expanded our Vascepa commercialization activities outside of the United States through several contractual arrangements in territories including China, the Middle East, North Africa and Canada. We continue to assess other opportunities to develop Vascepa commercialization outside of the United States through similar arrangements.

In February 2015, we entered into a Development, Commercialization and Supply Agreement, or the DCS Agreement, with Eddingpharm related to the development and commercialization of Vascepa in the China Territory. Under the DCS Agreement, Eddingpharm is responsible for development and commercialization activities in the China Territory and associated expenses. Additionally, Eddingpharm is required to conduct clinical trials in the China Territory to secure regulatory approval in certain territories. For example, in December 2017, Eddingpharm commenced a pivotal clinical trial aimed to support the regulatory approval of the first indication of Vascepa in a patient population with severe hypertriglyceridemia in Mainland China. Additional clinical development efforts may be necessary in this market. Any efforts in the China Territory may be negatively impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, which outbreak initially surfaced in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Although the effects of the coronavirus are expected to be temporary, and are not limited to the China territory, the concentration of the outbreak in China could cause disruptions or delays in Eddingpharm’s development activities, including with the enrollment or monitoring of patients in Eddingpharm’s clinical trials, particularly at clinical trial sites located in impacted jurisdictions, or with the ability to obtain sufficient and timely clinical supplies if the production capabilities of suppliers is disrupted. Further, regulatory oversight and actions may be disrupted or delayed in this region if regulators and industry professionals are expending significant and unexpected resources addressing the coronavirus outbreak. If Eddingpharm is not able to effectively develop and commercialize Vascepa in the China Territory, we may not be able to generate revenue from the DCS Agreement resulting from the sale of Vascepa in the China Territory.

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In March 2016, we entered into an agreement with Biologix FZCo, or Biologix, to register and commercialize Vascepa in several Middle Eastern and North African countries. Under the terms of the distribution agreement, we granted to Biologix a non-exclusive license to use our trademarks in connection with the importation, distribution, promotion, marketing and sale of Vascepa in the Middle East and North Africa territory. Biologix obtained approval of Vascepa in Lebanon on March 2018, in United Arab Emirates on July 2018 and in Qatar in January 2020. Vascepa was launched in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates on June 2018 and February 2019, respectively. Vascepa is under registration in additional countries in the MENA region. Commercialization across the Middle East and North Africa is subject to similar risks as in the China Territory.

In September 2017, we entered into an agreement with HLS Therapeutics Inc., or HLS, to register, commercialize and distribute Vascepa in Canada. Under the agreement, HLS is responsible for regulatory and commercialization activities and associated costs. Amarin is responsible for providing assistance towards local filings, supplying finished product under negotiated supply terms, maintaining intellectual property, and continuing the development and funding of REDUCE-IT-related activities. In December 2019, Vascepa was approved for use in Canada to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides, who are at high risk of cardiovascular events due to established cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. In January 2020, HLS obtained an extended regulatory exclusivity designation. However, if HLS Therapeutics is not able to effectively commercialize Vascepa in Canada through effective pricing (initially and over time) or otherwise we may not be able to generate revenue from the sale of Vascepa in Canada.  

We have limited experience working with partners outside the United States to develop and market our products in non-U.S. jurisdictions. In order for our partners to market and sell Vascepa in any country outside of the United States for any indication, it will be necessary to obtain regulatory approval from the appropriate regulatory authorities. The requirements and timing for regulatory approval, which may include conducting clinical trials, vary widely from country to country and may in some cases be different than or more rigorous than requirements in the United States. Any failure by us or our partners to obtain approval for Vascepa in non-U.S. jurisdictions in a timely manner may limit the commercial success of Vascepa and our ability to grow our revenues.

Our relationships with healthcare providers and physicians and third-party payors are subject to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose use to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm and diminished profits and future earnings.

Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of pharmaceutical products. Arrangements with third-party payors and customers can expose pharmaceutical manufacturers to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which such companies sell, market and distribute pharmaceutical products. In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services, as well as a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, structuring and commission(s), certain customer incentive programs and other business arrangements, are subject to extensive laws designed to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. The applicable federal and state healthcare laws and regulations laws that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:

 

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe or rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce, or in return for, either the referral of an individual, or the purchase, lease, order or recommendation of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Liability may be established without a person or entity having actual knowledge of the federal anti-kickback statute or specific intent to violate it. 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. Although there are a number of statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain activities from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchases, or recommendations may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exemption or safe harbor. Our practices may not in all cases meet all of the criteria for safe harbor protection from anti-kickback liability. Moreover, there are no safe harbors for many common practices, such as educational and research grants or patient or product support programs;

 

the federal Civil False Claims Act, or FCA, which prohibits, among other things, any person from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment of government funds, or knowingly making or using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay money to the government or knowingly concealing, or knowingly and improperly avoiding, decreasing, or concealing an obligation to pay money to the federal government. The FCA also permits a private individual acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the statute and to share in any monetary recovery. Recently, several pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have been investigated or faced enforcement actions under the FCA for a variety of alleged improper marketing activities, including allegations that they caused false claims to be submitted because of the company’s marketing of the product for unapproved, and thus allegedly non-reimbursable, uses. Federal enforcement agencies also have showed increased interest in pharmaceutical companies’ product and patient assistance programs, including reimbursement and co-pay support services, and a number of investigations into these programs have resulted in significant civil and criminal settlements. Pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies also are subject to other federal

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false claims laws, including, among others, federal criminal healthcare fraud and false statement statutes that extend to non-government health benefit programs;

 

HIPAA, which, among other things, imposes criminal and civil liability for knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payor and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up 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;

 

HIPAA, and its implementing regulations, which impose, among other things, requirements on certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information without appropriate authorization. HITECH also created 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;

 

the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act, being implemented as the Open Payments Program, which requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics, 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 related to direct or indirect payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held in the company by physicians and their immediate family members. Beginning in 2022, applicable manufacturers also will be required to report information regarding payments and transfers of value provided to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives;

 

federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers; and

 

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers; and other state or local 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 or otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers; restrict the ability of manufacturers to offer co-pay support to patients for certain prescription drugs; require drug manufacturers to report information related to clinical trials, or information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures; and/or require identification or licensing of sales representatives; and state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts

The distribution of pharmaceutical products is subject to additional requirements and regulations, including extensive record-keeping, licensing, storage and security requirements intended to prevent the unauthorized sale of pharmaceutical products.

The scope and enforcement of each of these laws is uncertain and subject to rapid change in the current environment of healthcare reform, especially in light of the lack of applicable precedent and regulations. Federal and state enforcement bodies continue to give regular and close scrutiny to interactions between healthcare companies and healthcare providers, and such scrutiny often leads to investigations, prosecutions, convictions and settlements in the healthcare industry. Ensuring business arrangements comply with applicable healthcare laws, as well as responding to possible investigations by government authorities, can be time- and resource-consuming and can divert a company’s attention from the business.

The failure to comply with any of these laws or regulatory requirements subjects entities to possible legal or regulatory action. Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet applicable regulatory requirements can result in significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, individual imprisonment, exclusion from participation in federal and state funded healthcare programs (such as Medicare and Medicaid), contractual damages and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, as well as additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. Any action for violation of these laws, even if successfully defended, could cause a pharmaceutical manufacturer to incur significant legal expenses and divert management’s attention from the operation of the business. If any of the physicians or other healthcare providers or entities with whom we expect to do business is found not to be in compliance with applicable laws, that person or entity may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government funded healthcare programs. Prohibitions or restrictions on sales or withdrawal of future marketed products could materially affect business in an adverse way.

Although compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent inappropriate conduct

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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.

In addition, the approval and commercialization of any of our products outside the United States will also likely subject us to foreign equivalents of the healthcare laws mentioned above, among other foreign laws.

We rely on third parties to conduct our clinical trials, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet established deadlines for the completion of such clinical trials.

Our reliance on third parties for clinical development activities reduces our control over these activities. However, if we sponsor clinical trials, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trials. Moreover, the FDA requires us to comply with requirements, commonly referred to as good clinical practices, for conducting, recording, and reporting the results of clinical trials to ensure that data and reported results are credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of trial participants are protected. Our reliance on third parties does not relieve us of these responsibilities and requirements. Furthermore, these third parties may also have relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may be delayed in obtaining regulatory approvals for our product candidates and may be delayed in our efforts to successfully commercialize our product candidates for targeted diseases.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

We are dependent on patents, proprietary rights and confidentiality to protect the commercial potential of Vascepa.

Our success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our drug candidates, technology and know-how, and to operate without infringing the proprietary rights of others. Our ability to successfully implement our business plan and to protect our products with our intellectual property will depend in large part on our ability to:

 

obtain, defend and maintain patent protection and market exclusivity for our current and future products;

 

preserve any trade secrets relating to our current and future products;

 

acquire patented or patentable products and technologies; and

 

operate without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties.

We have prosecuted, and are currently prosecuting, multiple patent applications to protect the intellectual property developed during the Vascepa development program. As of the date of this report, we had 92 patent applications in the United States that have been either issued or allowed and more than 30 additional patent applications are pending in the United States. Such 92 allowed and issued applications include the following:

 

2 issued U.S. patents directed to a pharmaceutical composition of Vascepa in a capsule that have terms that expire in 2020 and 2030, respectively;

 

1 issued U.S. patent covering a composition containing highly pure EPA that expires in 2021;

 

49 U.S. patents covering or related to the use of Vascepa in either the MARINE or ANCHOR populations that have terms that expire in 2030 or later;

 

14 U.S. patents covering or related to the use of Vascepa in the REDUCE-IT population with terms expiring in 2033 or later;

 

1 additional US patent directed to a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids with a term that expires in 2030;

 

4 additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the ANCHOR patient population with a term that expires in 2030 or later;

 

2 additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the MARINE patient population with a term that expires in 2030;

 

3 additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033;

 

3 additional patent related to a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids and uses thereof to treat both the MARINE and ANCHOR patient populations with a term that expires in 2030;

 

1 additional patent related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of re-esterified EPA triglyceride to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033;  

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3 additional patents related to a formulation of EPA/DHA and uses thereof with a term that expires in 2030;

 

2 additional patents related to the use of Vascepa to treat obesity with a term that expires in 2034;

 

3 additional patents covering a pharmaceutical composition comprised of EPA and a hydroxyl compound with a term that expires in 2034; and

 

4 additional patents covering a new combination therapy comprised of EPA and another drug.

A Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent can be granted from an application. A Notice of Allowance does not afford patent protection until the underlying patent is issued by the USPTO. No assurance can be given that applications with issued notices of allowance will be issued as patents or that any of our pending patent applications will issue as patents. No assurance can be given that, if and when issued, our patents will prevent competitors from competing with Vascepa. For example, we may choose to not assert all issued patents in patent litigation and patents or claims within patents may be determined to be invalid.

We are the owner of the above-listed patents. We are also the exclusive licensee of certain patents owned by others covering products and products in development. To secure our debt under our outstanding royalty-like instrument, we have granted the holders of such instrument a security interest in our Vascepa-related patents.  

We are also pursuing patent applications related to Vascepa in multiple jurisdictions outside the United States. We may be dependent in some cases upon third-party licensors to pursue filing, prosecution and maintenance of patent rights or applications owned or controlled by those parties, including, for example, under our collaboration with Mochida. It is possible that third parties will obtain patents or other proprietary rights that might be necessary or useful to us. In cases where third parties are first to invent a particular product or technology, or first to file after various provisions of the America Invents Act of 2011 went into effect on March 16, 2013, it is possible that those parties will obtain patents that will be sufficiently broad so as to prevent us from utilizing such technology or commercializing our current and future products.

Although we intend to make reasonable efforts to protect our current and future intellectual property rights and to ensure that any proprietary technology we acquire or develop does not infringe the rights of other parties, we may not be able to ascertain the existence of all potentially conflicting claims. Therefore, there is a risk that third parties may make claims of infringement against our current or future products or technologies. In addition, third parties may be able to obtain patents that prevent the sale of our current or future products or require us to obtain a license and pay significant fees or royalties in order to continue selling such products.

We may in the future discover the existence of products that infringe patents that we own or that have been licensed to us. If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to stop such an infringement, such proceedings could be costly and time consuming, regardless of the outcome. No assurances can be given that we would prevail, and it is possible that, during such a proceeding, our patent rights could be held to be invalid, unenforceable or both. Although we intend to protect our trade secrets and proprietary know-how through confidentiality agreements with our manufacturers, employees and consultants, we may not be able to prevent parties subject to such confidentiality agreements from breaching these agreements or third parties from independently developing or learning of our trade secrets.

We anticipate that competitors may from time to time oppose our efforts to obtain patent protection for new technologies or to submit patented technologies for regulatory approvals. Competitors may seek to oppose our patent applications to delay the approval process or to challenge our granted patents, for example, by requesting a reexamination of our patent at the USPTO, or by filing an opposition in a foreign patent office, even if the opposition or challenge has little or no merit. For example, one of our patents was revoked in an opposition proceeding in Europe due to a determination of improper claim amendments under a provision of law not applicable in the United States. Such proceedings are generally highly technical, expensive, and time consuming, and there can be no assurance that such a challenge would not result in the narrowing or complete revocation of any patent of ours that was so challenged.

Our issued patents may not prevent competitors from competing with Vascepa, even if we seek to enforce our patent rights.

We plan to vigorously defend our rights under issued patents. For example, in March 2014, we filed a patent infringement suit against Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and its parent company, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP. The suit sought injunctive relief and monetary damages for infringement of our U.S. Patent No. 8,663,662. The complaint alleged infringement of the patent arising from the then expected launch of Epanova, a product that, in 2014, was expected to compete with Vascepa in the United States. In November 2014, based on a representation from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in the court proceedings that the commercial launch of Epanova was not imminent, the court dismissed our complaint, without prejudice (i.e., preserving our ability to later re-file the suit). The court required the defendant to notify us before any product launch. While we no longer expect a launch of Epanova due to the clinical failure of the STRENGTH cardiovascular outcomes trial announced in January 2020, we intend to pursue this litigation vigorously and aggressively protect our intellectual property rights should the product be launched. We likewise plan to engage in similar patent litigation should other competitors arise with products that infringe our intellectual property rights.

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Patent litigation is a time-consuming and costly process. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in enforcing this patent or that it will not be successfully challenged and invalidated. Even if we are successful in enforcing this patent, the process could take years to reach conclusion.

Other drug companies may challenge the validity, enforceability, or both of our patents and seek to design its products around our issued patent claims and gain marketing approval for generic versions of Vascepa or branded competitive products based on new clinical studies. The pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive and many of our competitors have greater experience and resources than we have. Any such competition could undermine sales, marketing and collaboration efforts for Vascepa, and thus reduce, perhaps materially, the revenue potential for Vascepa.

Even if we are successful in enforcing our issued patents, 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. Patent litigation is costly and time consuming, and we may not have sufficient resources to bring these actions to a successful conclusion.

There can be no assurance that any of our pending patent applications relating to Vascepa or its use will issue as patents.

We have filed and are prosecuting numerous families of patent applications in the United States and internationally with claims designed to protect the proprietary position of Vascepa. For certain of these patent families, we have filed multiple patent applications. Collectively the patent applications include numerous independent claims and dependent claims. Several of our patent applications contain claims that are based upon what we believe are unexpected and favorable findings from the MARINE, ANCHOR and REDUCE-IT trials. If granted, many of the resulting granted patents would expire in 2030 or beyond. However, no assurance can be given that these additional patents or any of our pending patent applications intended to cover the indication based on results from the REDUCE-IT clinical trial will be granted or, if they grant, that they will prevent competitors from competing with Vascepa.

Securing patent protection for a product is a complex process involving many legal and factual questions. The patent applications we have filed in the United States and internationally are at varying stages of examination, the timing of which is outside our control. The process to getting a patent granted can be lengthy and claims initially submitted are often modified in order to satisfy the requirements of the patent office. This process includes written and public communication with the patent office. The process can also include direct discussions with the patent examiner. There can be no assurance that the patent office will accept our arguments with respect to any patent application or with respect to any claim therein. The timing of the patent review process is independent of and has no effect on the timing of the FDA’s review of our NDA or sNDA submissions. We cannot predict the timing or results of any patent application. In addition, we may elect to submit, or the patent office may require, additional evidence to support certain of the claims we are pursuing. Furthermore, third parties may attempt to submit publications for consideration by the patent office during examination of our patent applications. Providing such additional evidence and publications could prolong the patent office’s review of our applications and result in us incurring additional costs. We cannot be certain what commercial value any granted patent in our patent estate will provide to us.

Despite the use of confidentiality agreements and/or proprietary rights agreements, which themselves may be of limited effectiveness, it may be difficult for us to protect our trade secrets.

In addition to our patent portfolio and strategy, we will also rely upon trade secrets and know-how to help protect our competitive position. We rely on trade secrets to protect technology in cases when we believe patent protection is not appropriate or obtainable. However, trade secrets are difficult to protect. While we require certain of our academic collaborators, contractors and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements, we may not be able to adequately protect our trade secrets or other proprietary information.

Risks Related to Our Business

If the estimates we make, or the assumptions on which we rely, in preparing our projected guidance prove inaccurate, our actual results may vary from those reflected in our projections and accruals.

In January 2020, we issued financial and business guidance, including expected fiscal year 2020 total net revenue and expectations regarding inventory build, and 2020 operating expenses. All such guidance and updates are based on estimates and the judgment of management. Because of the inherent nature of estimates, there could be significant differences between our estimates and the actual amount of product demand. If, for any reason, we are unable to realize our currently projected 2020 revenue, we may not realize our publicly announced financial guidance. If we fail to realize or if we change or update any element of our publicly disclosed financial guidance as we have done in the past or other expectations about our business change, our stock price could decline in value.

Potential technological changes in our field of business create considerable uncertainty.

We are engaged in the pharmaceutical field, which is characterized by extensive research efforts and rapid technological progress. New developments in research are expected to continue at a rapid pace in both industry and academia. We cannot assure you that research and discoveries by others will not render some or all of our programs or product candidates uncompetitive or obsolete. Our business strategy is based in part upon new and unproven technologies to the development of therapeutics to improve cardiovascular health. We cannot assure you that unforeseen problems will not develop with these technologies or applications or that any commercially feasible products will ultimately be developed by us.

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Our internal computer systems, or those of our third‑party clinical research organizations or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our research and development programs.

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our third‑party clinical research organizations and other contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war, and telecommunication and electrical failures. Any such incident could cause interruptions in our operations or a material disruption of our programs. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss of or damage to our data or applications or other data or applications relating to our technology or products candidates, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liabilities and our research and development program could be delayed.

We could be subject to risks caused by misappropriation, misuse, leakage, falsification or intentional or accidental release or loss of information maintained in the information systems and networks of our company and our vendors, including personal information of our employees and patients, and company and vendor confidential data. In addition, outside parties may attempt to penetrate our systems or those of our vendors or fraudulently induce our personnel or the personnel of our vendors to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our data and/or systems. We may experience threats to our data and systems, including malicious codes and viruses, phishing and other cyber-attacks. The number and complexity of these threats continue to increase over time. For instance, in June 2019, a report published by security researchers claimed that a database, which we are informed did not include social security numbers or credit card information, belonging to one of our vendors containing information about individuals who use or have expressed interest in Vascepa was accessible to unauthorized users. If a material breach of our information technology systems or those of our vendors occurs, the market perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed and our reputation and credibility could be damaged. We could be required to expend significant amounts of money and other resources to repair or replace information systems or networks and to repair reputational costs. In addition, we could be subject to regulatory actions and/or claims made by individuals and groups in private litigation involving privacy issues related to data collection and use practices and other data privacy laws and regulations, including claims for misuse or inappropriate disclosure of data, as well as unfair or deceptive practices. We may incur significant costs or divert significant internal resources as a result of any regulatory actions or private litigation. Any of the foregoing consequences may adversely affect our business and financial condition.

Although we develop and maintain systems and controls designed to prevent these events from occurring, and we have a process to identify and mitigate threats, the development and maintenance of these systems, controls and processes is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies change and efforts to overcome security measures become increasingly sophisticated. Moreover, despite our efforts, the possibility of these events occurring cannot be eliminated entirely. As we outsource more of our information systems to vendors, engage in more electronic transactions with payors and patients, and rely more on cloud-based information systems, the related security risks will increase and we will need to expend additional resources to protect our technology and information systems. In addition, there can be no assurance that our internal information technology systems or those of our third-party contractors, or our consultants’ efforts to implement adequate security and control measures, will be sufficient to protect us against breakdowns, service disruption, data deterioration or loss in the event of a system malfunction, or prevent data from being stolen or corrupted in the event of a cyberattack, security breach, industrial espionage attacks or insider threat attacks which could result in financial, legal, business or reputational harm.

We are subject to potential product liability.

We are subject to the potential risk of product liability claims relating to the manufacturing and marketing of Vascepa. Any person who is injured as a result of using Vascepa may have a product liability claim against us without having to prove that we were at fault.

In addition, we could be subject to product liability claims by persons who took part in clinical trials involving our current or former development stage products. A successful claim brought against us could have a material adverse effect on our business. We cannot guarantee that a product liability claim will not be asserted against us in the future.

A change in our tax residence could have a negative effect on our future profitability.

We expect that our tax jurisdiction will remain in Ireland. Under current UK legislation, a company incorporated in England and Wales, or which is centrally managed and controlled in the UK, is regarded as resident in the UK for taxation purposes. Under current Irish legislation, a company is regarded as resident for tax purposes in Ireland if it is centrally managed and controlled in Ireland, or, in certain circumstances, if it is incorporated in Ireland. Up to December 31, 2019, where a company was treated as tax resident under the domestic laws of both the UK and Ireland, then the provisions of article 4(3) of the Double Tax Agreement, or DTA, between the UK and Ireland provided that such enterprise would be treated as resident only in the jurisdiction in which its place of effective management is situated. We had at all times sought to conduct our affairs in such a way so as to be solely resident in Ireland for tax purposes by virtue of having our place of effective management situated in Ireland.

 

These rules regarding determination of tax residence changed effective January 1, 2020, when a modified Ireland-UK DTA came into effect pursuant to the OECD’s Multilateral Instrument, or MLI. Under the modified Ireland-UK DTA, from January 1, 2020, we would be solely tax resident in Ireland and not tax resident in the UK if we continued to be centrally managed and controlled in Ireland and if it were mutually agreed between the Irish and UK tax authorities under the MLI “tie-breaker rule” that we are solely tax resident in Ireland. Having made the relevant submission under the amended provisions, we received confirmation effective

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January 1, 2020 of the mutual agreement of Irish and UK tax authorities that we are solely tax resident in Ireland for the purposes of the modified DTA.

 

However, we cannot assure you that we are or will continue to be solely resident in Ireland for tax purposes. It is possible that in the future, whether as a result of a change in law or the practice of any relevant tax authority or as a result of any change in the conduct of our affairs, we could become, or be regarded as having become resident in a jurisdiction other than Ireland. Should we cease to be an Irish tax resident, we may be subject to a charge to Irish capital gains tax on our assets and the basis on which our income is taxed may also change. Similarly, if the tax residency of our Irish or UK subsidiaries were to change from their current jurisdiction, they may be subject to a charge to local capital gains tax on their assets and the basis on which their income is taxed may also change.

 

The rules regarding determination of tax residence outlined above will change effective January 1, 2020, when a modified Ireland-UK DTA comes into effect pursuant to the MLI, which has recently entered into force in Ireland. Under the modified Ireland-UK DTA, from January 1, 2020, we will be tax resident in Ireland only and not tax resident in the UK if we continue to be centrally managed and controlled in Ireland and if it is mutually agreed between the Irish and UK tax authorities under the MLI “tie-breaker rule” that we are tax resident in Ireland only. Both the Irish and UK tax authorities have issued guidance on how companies impacted by this rule change under the MLI should submit to such tax authorities to obtain confirmation of their mutual agreement of a single jurisdiction of tax residence. We have made a submission to the Irish tax authority, or the Irish Revenue Commissioners, requesting that they provide confirmation of the mutual agreement of the two tax authorities that we continue to be tax resident in Ireland only.

Our and our subsidiaries’ income tax returns are periodically examined by various tax authorities, including the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, and states. We recently completed the audits by the IRS for the years 2013 to 2014, with no material changes to the filed income tax returns. In addition, we were notified by the IRS in January 2020 that it will be auditing our 2018 US income tax return and the examination is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020. Although the outcome of tax audits is always uncertain and could result in significant cash tax payments, we do not believe the outcome of any future audits will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

The effect on us of comprehensive U.S. tax reform legislation whether adverse or favorable, is uncertain.

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1, “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018”, or informally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among a number of significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces the marginal U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, limits the deduction for net interest expense, shifts the United States toward a more territorial tax system, and imposes new taxes to combat erosion of the U.S. federal income tax base. The effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on our company and our affiliates, whether adverse or favorable, is uncertain, and may not become evident for some period of time. You are urged to consult your tax adviser regarding the implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for an investment in our ADSs.

The loss of key personnel could have an adverse effect on our business.

We are highly dependent upon the efforts of our senior management. The loss of the services of one or more members of senior management could have a material adverse effect on us. As a small company with a streamlined management structure, the departure of any key person could have a significant impact and would be potentially disruptive to our business until such time as a suitable replacement is hired. Furthermore, because of the specialized nature of our business, as our business plan progresses we will be highly dependent upon our ability to attract and retain qualified scientific, technical and key management personnel. As we evolve from a development stage company to a commercial stage company we may experience turnover among members of our senior management team. We may have difficulty identifying and integrating new executives to replace any such losses. There is intense competition for qualified personnel in the areas of our activities. In this environment, we may not be able to attract and retain the personnel necessary for the development of our business, particularly if we do not achieve profitability. The failure to recruit key scientific, technical and management personnel would be detrimental to our ability to implement our business plan.

We could be adversely affected by our exposure to customer concentration risk.

A significant portion of our sales are to wholesalers in the pharmaceutical industry. Three customers individually accounted for 10% or more of our gross product sales. Customers A, B, and C accounted for 36%, 29%, and 25%, respectively, of gross product sales for the year ended December 31, 2019 and represented 35%, 20%, and 37%, respectively, of the gross accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2019. Customers A, B, and C accounted for 31%, 30%, and 27%, respectively, of gross product sales for the year ended December 31, 2018 and represented 26%, 24%, 39% and, respectively, of the gross accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2018. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to sustain our accounts receivable or gross sales levels from our key customers. If, for any reason, we were to lose, or experience a decrease in the amount of business with our largest customers, whether directly or through our distributor relationships, our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively affected.

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Legal, political and economic uncertainty surrounding the exit of the UK from the EU may be a source of instability in international markets, create significant currency fluctuations, adversely affect our operations in the UK and pose additional risks to our business, revenue, financial condition, and results of operations.

On June 23, 2016, the UK held a referendum in which a majority of the eligible members of the electorate voted to leave the EU, commonly referred to as Brexit. Pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK ceased being a Member State of the EU on January 31, 2020. However, the terms of the withdrawal have yet to be fully negotiated. The implementation period began February 1, 2020 and will continue until December 31, 2020. During this 11-month period, the UK will continue to follow all of the EU’s rules, the EU’s pharmaceutical law remains applicable to the UK and the UK’s trading relationship will remain the same. However, regulations (including financial laws and regulations, tax and free trade agreements, intellectual property rights, data protection laws, supply chain logistics, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations medicine licensing and regulations, immigration laws and employment laws), have yet to be addressed. This lack of clarity on future UK laws and regulations and their interaction with the EU laws and regulations may negatively impact foreign direct investment in the UK, increase costs, depress economic activity and restrict access to capital.

The uncertainty concerning the UK’s legal, political and economic relationship with the EU after Brexit may be a source of instability in the international markets, create significant currency fluctuations, and/or otherwise adversely affect trading agreements or similar cross-border co-operation arrangements (whether economic, tax, fiscal, legal, regulatory or otherwise) beyond the date of Brexit.

These developments, or the perception that any of them could occur, may have a significant adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets, and could significantly reduce global market liquidity and limit the ability of key market participants to operate in certain financial markets. In particular, it could also lead to a period of considerable uncertainty in relation to the UK financial and banking markets, as well as on the regulatory process in Europe. Asset valuations, currency exchange rates and credit ratings may also be subject to increased market volatility.

If the UK and the EU are unable to negotiate acceptable agreements or if other EU member states pursue withdrawal, barrier-free access between the UK and other EU member states or among the European Economic Area overall could be diminished or eliminated. The long-term effects of Brexit will depend on any agreements (or lack thereof) between the UK and the EU and, in particular, any arrangements for the UK to retain access to EU markets either during a transitional period or more permanently.

Such a withdrawal from the EU is unprecedented, and it is unclear how the UK’s access to the European single market for goods, capital, services and labor within the EU, or single market, and the wider commercial, legal and regulatory environment, will impact our current and future operations (including business activities conducted by third parties and contract manufacturers on our behalf) and clinical activities in the UK In addition to the foregoing, our UK operations support our current and future operations and clinical activities in other countries in the EU and European Economic Area, or EEA, and these operations and clinical activities could be disrupted by Brexit.

We may also face new regulatory costs and challenges that could have an adverse effect on our operations. Depending on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the UK could lose the benefits of global trade agreements negotiated by the EU on behalf of its members, which may result in increased trade barriers that could make our doing business in the EU and the EEA more difficult. Since the regulatory framework in the UK covering quality, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, clinical trials, marketing authorization, commercial sales and distribution of pharmaceutical products is derived from EU directives and regulations, Brexit could materially impact the future regulatory regime with respect to the approval of our product candidates in the UK For instance, in November 2017, EU member states voted to move the EMA, the EU’s regulatory body, from London to Amsterdam. Operations in Amsterdam commenced in March 2019, and the move itself may cause significant disruption to the regulatory approval process in Europe. It remains to be seen how, if at all, Brexit will impact regulatory requirements for product candidates and products in the UK Any delay in obtaining, or an inability to obtain, any regulatory approvals, as a result of Brexit or otherwise, would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates in the UK and/or the EU and restrict our ability to generate revenue and achieve and sustain profitability. If any of these outcomes occur, we may be forced to restrict or delay efforts to seek regulatory approval in the UK and/or EU for our product candidates, which could significantly and materially harm our business Even prior to any change to the UK’s relationship with the EU, the announcement of Brexit has created economic uncertainty surrounding the terms of Brexit and its consequences could adversely impact customer confidence resulting in customers reducing their spending budgets on our solutions, which could adversely affect our business, revenue, financial condition, results of operations and could adversely affect the market price of our ADSs.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Capital Requirements

We have a history of operating losses and anticipate that we will incur continued losses for an indefinite period of time.

We have not yet reached sustained profitability. For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, we reported losses of approximately $22.6 million, $116.4 million, and $67.9 million, respectively, and we had an accumulated deficit as of December 31, 2019 of $1.4 billion. Substantially all of our operating losses resulted from costs incurred in connection with our research and development programs, from general and administrative costs associated with our operations, and costs related to the commercialization of Vascepa. Additionally, as a result of our significant expenses relating to research and development and to

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commercialization, we expect to continue to incur significant operating losses for an indefinite period. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products, we are unable to predict the magnitude of these future losses. Our historic losses, combined with expected future losses, have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our cash resources, shareholders’ deficit and working capital.

Although we began generating revenue from Vascepa in January 2013, we may never be profitable.

Our ability to become profitable on a sustained basis depends upon our ability to generate revenue. We have been generating product revenue from sales of Vascepa since January 2013, but we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to achieve a steady state of profitability. Our ability to generate profits on sales of Vascepa is subject to the market acceptance and commercial success of Vascepa and our ability to manufacture commercial quantities of Vascepa through third parties at acceptable cost levels, and may also depend upon our ability to effectively market and sell Vascepa through our strategic collaborations.

Even though Vascepa has been approved by the FDA for marketing in the United States for two important indications, it may not gain enough market acceptance to support profitability. We anticipate continuing to incur significant costs associated with expanding the commercialization of Vascepa. We may not achieve profitability on a sustained basis in the near term due to high costs associated with our expanded commercialization efforts, for example. If we are unable to continue to generate robust product revenues, we will not become profitable on a sustained basis in the near term, if ever, and may be unable to continue operations without continued funding.

Our operating results are unpredictable and may fluctuate. If our operating results are below the expectations of securities analysts or investors, the trading price of our stock could decline.

Our operating results are difficult to predict and will likely fluctuate from quarter to quarter and year to year, and Vascepa prescription figures will likely fluctuate from month to month. Vascepa sales are difficult to predict from period to period and as a result, you should not rely on Vascepa sales results in any period as being indicative of future performance, and sales of Vascepa may be below the expectation of securities analysts or investors in the future. We believe that our quarterly and annual results of operations may be affected by a variety of factors, including:

 

the continuing evolution of the medical community’s and the public’s perception of the REDUCE-IT study results;

 

the level of demand for Vascepa, due to changes in prescriber sentiment, quarterly changes in Distributor purchases, and other factors;

 

the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for Vascepa is available from government and health administration authorities, private health insurers, managed care programs and other third-party payers and the timing and extent to which such coverage and reimbursement changes;

 

the timing, cost and level of investment in our sales and marketing efforts to support Vascepa sales and the resulting effectiveness of those efforts;

 

disruptions or delays in our or our partners’ commercial or development activities, including as a result of political instability, civil unrest, terrorism, pandemics or other natural disasters, such as the recent outbreak of coronavirus;

 

the timing and ability of efforts outside the United States, to develop, register and commercialize Vascepa in the EU, China Territory, several Middle Eastern and North African countries, and Canada, for example, including obtaining necessary regulatory approvals, favorable pricing and establishing marketing channels;

 

additional developments regarding our intellectual property portfolio and regulatory exclusivity protections, if any;

 

outcomes of litigation and other legal proceedings; and

 

our ongoing regulatory dialogue.

We may require substantial additional resources to fund our operations. If we cannot find additional capital resources, we will have difficulty in operating as a going concern and growing our business.

We currently operate with limited resources. We believe that our cash and cash equivalents balance of $644.6 million as of December 31, 2019, will be sufficient to fund our projected operations for at least twelve months. Depending on the level of cash generated from operations, and depending in part on the rate of prescription growth for Vascepa, additional capital may be required to support planned expansion of Vascepa promotion and potential Vascepa promotion beyond which we are currently executing. If additional capital is required and we are unable to obtain additional capital, we may be forced to delay, limit or eliminate certain promotional activities. We anticipate that quarterly net cash outflows in future periods will be variable.

In order to fully realize the market potential of Vascepa, we may need to enter into a new strategic collaboration or raise additional capital.

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Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

 

the timing, amount and consistency of revenue generated from the commercial sale of Vascepa;

 

the costs associated with commercializing Vascepa in the United States, including expenditures such as potential direct-to-consumer advertising and increased sales force sizing, and for additional regulatory approvals internationally, if any, the cost and timing of securing commercial supply of Vascepa and the timing of entering into any new strategic collaboration with others relating to the commercialization of Vascepa, if at all, and the terms of any such collaboration;

 

continued costs associated with litigation and other legal proceedings;

 

the time and costs involved in obtaining additional regulatory approvals for Vascepa based on REDUCE-IT results internationally;

 

the extent to which we continue to develop internally, acquire or in-license new products, technologies or businesses; and

 

the cost of filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights.

If we require additional funds and adequate funds are not available to us in amounts or on terms acceptable to us or on a timely basis, or at all, our commercialization efforts for Vascepa may suffer materially.

The potential future benefit of our substantial net operating loss carryforwards could be lost and our prospects for profitability could be materially diminished if tax regulations or rates change or if we are deemed to not have active operations in Ireland.

Tax law and policies in the United States and Ireland are subject to change based on adjustments in political perspectives. In the United States and internationally, how to tax entities with international operations, like Amarin, has been subject to significant re-evaluation. We believe we developed Vascepa in and from Ireland based on understanding of applicable requirements. In recent years, particularly since 2013 when commercial sale of Vascepa commenced in the United States, the majority of our consolidated operations have been in the United States. Ownership of Vascepa continues to reside with our wholly-owned Ireland-based subsidiary, Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd., and oversight and operations of that entity are structured to be maintained in Ireland. In order to effectively utilize our accumulated net operating loss carryforwards for tax purposes in Ireland, our operations, particularly for this subsidiary, need to be active in Ireland under applicable requirements. In addition, utilization of these accumulated net operating loss carryforwards assumes that tax treaties between Ireland and other countries, particularly the United States, do not change in a manner that limit our future ability to offset earnings with these operating loss carryforwards for tax purposes.

Similarly, a change in our Irish tax residence could materially affect our ability to obtain and maintain profitability, if otherwise achievable. Changes in tax law and tax rates, particularly in the United States and Ireland, could also impact our assessment of deferred taxes. Any change in our assessment of the realizability or the timing for realizing deferred taxes could have a negative impact our future profitability.

Negative economic conditions would likely have a negative effect on our ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms.

While we may seek additional funding through public or private financings, we may not be able to obtain financing on acceptable terms, or at all. There can be no assurance that we will be able to access equity or credit markets in order to finance our current operations or expand development programs for Vascepa, or that there will not be deterioration in financial markets and confidence in economies. We may also have to scale back or further restructure our operations. If we are unable to obtain additional funding on a timely basis, we may be required to curtail or terminate some or all of our research or development programs or our commercialization strategies.

Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our existing shareholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights.

To the extent we are permitted under our December 2012 Purchase and Sale Agreement with CPPIB Credit Europe S.à r.l., or CPPIB, as successor in interest to BioPharma Secured Debt Fund II Holdings Cayman LP, we may seek additional capital through a combination of private and public equity offerings, debt financings and collaboration, strategic 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 may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a shareholder.

Debt financing, if available, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends. If we raise additional funds through collaboration, strategic alliance and licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, Vascepa or product candidates beyond the rights we have already relinquished, or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us.

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Potential business combinations or other strategic transactions may disrupt our business or divert management’s attention.

On a regular basis, we explore potential business combination transactions, including an acquisition of us by a third party, exclusive licenses of Vascepa or other strategic transactions or collaborations with third parties. The consummation and performance of any such future transactions or collaborations will involve risks, such as:

 

diversion of managerial resources from day-to-day operations;

 

exposure to litigation from the counterparties to any such transaction, other third parties or our shareholders;

 

misjudgment with respect to the value;

 

higher than expected transaction costs; or

 

an inability to successfully consummate any such transaction or collaboration.

As a result of these risks, we may not be able to achieve the expected benefits of any such transaction or collaboration or deliver the value thereof to our shareholders. If we are unsuccessful in consummating any such transaction or collaboration, we may be required to reevaluate our business only after we have incurred substantial expenses and devoted significant management time and resources.

Risks Related to Ownership of our ADSs and Common Shares

The price of our ADSs and common shares may be volatile.

The stock market has from time to time experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that may be unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. In addition, the market prices of the securities of many pharmaceutical and medical technology companies have been especially volatile in the past, and this trend is expected to continue in the future.

As of February 21, 2020, we had 361,201,553 common shares outstanding including 360,999,820 shares held as ADSs and 201,733 held as ordinary shares (which are not held in the form of ADSs). There is a risk that there may not be sufficient liquidity in the market to accommodate significant increases in selling activity or the sale of a large block of our securities. Our ADSs have historically had limited trading volume, which may also result in volatility. If any of our large investors seek to sell substantial amounts of our ADSs, particularly if these sales are in a rapid or disorderly manner, or other investors perceive that these sales could occur, the market price of our ADSs could decrease significantly.

The market price of our ADSs and common shares may also be affected by factors such as:

 

developments or disputes concerning ongoing patent prosecution efforts and any future patent or proprietary rights;

 

litigation and regulatory developments in the United States affecting our Vascepa promotional rights, and regulatory developments in other countries;

 

actual or potential medical results relating to our products or our competitors’ products;

 

interim failures or setbacks in product development;

 

innovation by us or our competitors;

 

currency exchange rate fluctuations; and

 

period-to-period variations in our results of operations.

 

Further, the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the European Union on January 31, 2020 (commonly referred to as “Brexit”). The effects of Brexit are uncertain and may have a negative effect on global economic conditions, financial markets and our business, which could reduce the price of our ADSs and common shares. In particular, Brexit could lead to a period of considerable uncertainty in relation to the UK financial and banking markets, as well as on the regulatory process in Europe, which could cause the broader global financial markets to experience significant volatility. Asset valuations, currency exchange rates and credit ratings may also be subject to increased market volatility. Lack of clarity about future UK laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU rules and regulations to replace or replicate, including regulatory and financial laws and regulations, tax and free trade agreements, IP rights, supply chain logistics, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, immigration laws and employment laws, could decrease foreign direct investment in the UK, increase costs, disrupt our business, depress economic activity and restrict our access to capital, any of which could negatively impact the price of our ADSs and common shares.

The number of our ordinary shares, or ADSs representing such ordinary shares, outstanding may increase substantially as a result of our March 2015 private placement and the later consolidation and redesignation of the Series A Preference Shares

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represented by Preference ADSs issued thereunder, and some of the investors may then beneficially own significant blocks of our ordinary shares; the ordinary shares and Series A Preference Shares resulting from the private placement will be generally available for resale in the public market upon registration under the Securities Act.

In March and July 2015, we completed a private placement of American Depositary Shares in two tranches representing 352,150,790 and 38,867,180 Series A Preference Shares, respectively, each ten (10) of which may be consolidated and redesignated into one (1) ordinary share in our capital. During 2015, 62,833,330 preferred shares were converted, resulting in the issuance of 6,283,333 ordinary shares and during 2018, the entire tranche completed in July 2015 of 38,867,180 preferred shares were converted, resulting in the issuance of 3,886,718 ordinary shares. The consolidation and redesignation of the Series A Preference Shares currently outstanding would result in an additional 28,931,746 ordinary shares outstanding, resulting in substantial dilution to shareholders. Although the Series A Preference Shares do not have voting rights, in general, upon consolidation and redesignation into ordinary shares some of the investors in the private placement could then have significant influence over the outcome of any shareholder vote, including the election of directors and the approval of mergers or other business combination transactions.

Pursuant to the securities subscription agreements that we entered into with the investors in the private placement, we agreed to file with the SEC a registration statement to register the resale of the Series A Preference Shares represented by American Depositary Shares issued in the private placement and the ordinary shares issuable upon the consolidation and consolidation and redesignation of such Series A Preference Shares. Upon such registration and subsequent consolidation and redesignation, these securities will become generally available for immediate resale in the public market. The market price of our ordinary shares could fall as a result of an increase in the number of shares available for sale in the public market.  

Failure to comply with our obligations under the March 2015 securities subscription agreements could result in our becoming liable for damages to certain investors under these agreements, including specified liquidated damages, which could be material in amount.

Under the terms of the March 2015 securities subscription agreements, we are subject to various obligations, failure to comply with which could result in our becoming liable to certain investors under these agreement for damages, which could be material in amount.

For example, under each of these agreements we have agreed to file and maintain the effectiveness of certain resale registration statements for ADSs representing the ordinary shares underlying the Series A Preference shares we issued and sold under these agreements. Specifically, we have agreed to pay liquidated damages to the investors in the respective private placements if (a) the applicable resale registration statements we are required to file are not declared effective within 120 days after the closing of the applicable private placement, or (b) after effectiveness and subject to certain specified exceptions, we suspend the use of the applicable registration statement or the registration statement ceases to remain continuously effective as to all the securities for which it is required to be effective. We refer to each of these events as a registration default. Subject to the specified exceptions, for each 30-day period or portion thereof during which a registration default remains uncured, we are obligated to pay liquidated damages to each investor in cash in an amount equal to 1% of the aggregate subscription price paid by each such investor in the private placement, up to a maximum of 8% of such aggregate subscription price. These amounts could be material, and any liquidated damages we are required to pay could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.

In addition, under the securities subscription agreement dated as of March 5, 2015, we are required to not publicly disclose the identity of the investors party to that agreement, subject to certain exceptions for disclosures required in securities filings and under applicable law. If we fail to comply with these obligations we could become liable to these investors for damages, including specified liquidated damages. For example, following certain public statements made by us on a quarterly conference call concerning the 2015 private placement, we agreed to specified liquidated damages in the event we are found to have violated the confidentiality provisions of the subscription agreement in the future.

Actual or potential sales of our common shares by our employees, including members of our senior management team, pursuant to pre-arranged stock trading plans could cause our stock price to fall or prevent it from increasing for numerous reasons, and actual or potential sales by such persons could be viewed negatively by other investors.

In accordance with the guidelines specified under Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and our policies regarding stock transactions, a number of our directors and employees, including members of our senior management team, have adopted and may continue to adopt pre-arranged stock trading plans to sell a portion of our common stock. Generally, sales under such plans by members of our senior management team and directors require public filings. Actual or potential sales of our ADSs by such persons could cause the price of our ADSs to fall or prevent it from increasing for numerous reasons. For example, a substantial amount of our ADSs becoming available (or being perceived to become available) for sale in the public market could cause the market price of our ADSs to fall or prevent it from increasing. Also, actual or potential sales by such persons could be viewed negatively by other investors.

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If we were to be characterized as a passive foreign investment company there could be adverse consequences to U.S. investors.

A non-U.S. corporation will be classified as a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes for any taxable year, if either (i) 75% or more of its gross income for such year consists of certain types of “passive” income or (ii) 50% or more of the value of its assets (determined on the basis of a quarterly average) during such year produce or are held for the production of passive income. Passive income generally includes dividends, interest, royalties, rents, annuities, net gains from the sale or exchange of property producing such income and net foreign currency gains. In addition, a non-U.S. corporation will be treated as owning its proportionate share of the assets and earning its proportionate share of the income of any other corporation in which it owns, directly or indirectly, no more than 25% (by value) of the stock.

Based on certain estimates of our gross income and gross assets, the latter determined by reference to the expected value of our ADSs and shares, we believe that we will not be classified as a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2019 and we do not expect to be treated as a PFIC in any future taxable year for the foreseeable future. However, because PFIC status is based on our income, assets and activities for the entire taxable year, which we expect may vary substantially over time, it is not possible to determine whether we will be characterized as a PFIC for any taxable year until after the close of the taxable year. Moreover, we must determine our PFIC status annually based on tests that are factual in nature, and our status in future years will depend on our income, assets and activities in each of those years. There can be no assurance that we will not be considered a PFIC for any taxable year.

Failure to meet our obligations under our December 2012 Purchase and Sale Agreement could adversely affect our financial results and liquidity.

Pursuant to our December 2012 Purchase and Sale Agreement with CPPIB, which was assigned to CPPIB by BioPharma Secured Debt Fund II Holdings Cayman LP in December 2017, we are obligated to make payments based on the amount of our net product sales of Vascepa and any future products based on ethyl-EPA, or covered products, subject to certain quarterly caps.

Pursuant to this agreement, we may not, among other things: (i) incur indebtedness greater than a specified amount, which we refer to as the Indebtedness Covenant; (ii) pay a dividend or other cash distribution, unless we have cash and cash equivalents in excess of a specified amount after such payment; (iii) amend or restate our memorandum and articles of association unless such amendments or restatements do not affect CPPIB’s interests under the transaction; (iv) encumber any of the collateral securing our performance under the agreement; and (v) abandon certain patent rights, in each case without the consent of CPPIB.

Upon a transaction resulting in a change of control of Amarin, as defined in the agreement, CPPIB will be automatically entitled to receive any amounts not previously paid, up to our maximum repayment obligation. As defined in the agreement, “change of control” includes, among other things, (i) a greater than 50 percent change in the ownership of Amarin, (ii) a sale or disposition of any collateral securing our debt with CPPIB and (iii), unless CPPIB has been paid a certain amount under the indebtedness, certain licensings of Vascepa to a third party for sale in the United States. The acceleration of the payment obligation in the event of a change of control transaction may make us less attractive to potential acquirers, and the payment of such funds out of our available cash or acquisition proceeds would reduce acquisition proceeds for our shareholders.  

To secure our obligations under the agreement, we granted CPPIB a security interest in our rights in patents, trademarks, trade names, domain names, copyrights, know-how and regulatory approvals related to the covered products, all books and records relating to the foregoing and all proceeds of the foregoing, which we refer to as the collateral. If we (i) fail to deliver a payment when due and do not remedy that failure within specific notice period, (ii) fail to maintain a first-priority perfected security interest in the collateral in the United States and do not remedy that failure after receiving notice of such failure or (iii) become subject to an event of bankruptcy, then CPPIB may attempt to collect the maximum amount payable by us under this agreement (after deducting any payments we have already made).

There can be no assurance that we will not breach the covenants or other terms of, or that an event of default will not occur under, this agreement and, if a breach or event of default occurs, there can be no assurance that we will be able to cure the breach within the time permitted. Any failure to pay our obligations when due, any breach or default of our covenants or other obligations, or any other event that causes an acceleration of payment at a time when we do not have sufficient resources to meet these obligations, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and future viability.

Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition.

Our indebtedness and the related annual debt service requirements, if any, may adversely impact our business, operations and financial condition in the future. For example, they could:

 

increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

limit our ability to raise additional funds by borrowing or engaging in equity sales in order to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, research and development and other general corporate requirements;

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require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash to service payments on our debt or to restructure our debt; or

 

limit our flexibility to react to changes in our business and the industry in which we operate or to pursue certain strategic opportunities that may present themselves.

We do not intend to pay cash dividends on the ordinary shares in the foreseeable future.

We have never paid dividends on ordinary shares and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on the ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. Under English law, any payment of dividends would be subject to relevant legislation and our Articles of Association, which requires that all dividends must be approved by our Board of Directors and, in some cases, our shareholders, and may only be paid from our distributable profits available for the purpose, determined on an unconsolidated basis.

The rights of our shareholders may differ from the rights typically offered to shareholders of a U.S. corporation.

We are incorporated under English law. The rights of holders of ordinary shares and, therefore, certain of the rights of holders of ADSs, are governed by English law, including the provisions of the Companies Act 2006, and by our Articles of Association. These rights differ in certain respects from the rights of shareholders in typical U.S. corporations. The principal differences include the following:

 

Under English law and our Articles of Association, each shareholder present at a meeting has only one vote unless demand is made for a vote on a poll, in which case each holder gets one vote per share owned. Under U.S. law, each shareholder typically is entitled to one vote per share at all meetings.

 

Under English law, it is only on a poll that the number of shares determines the number of votes a holder may cast. You should be aware, however, that the voting rights of ADSs are also governed by the provisions of a deposit agreement with our depositary bank.

 

Under English law, subject to certain exceptions and disapplications, each shareholder generally has preemptive rights to subscribe on a proportionate basis to any issuance of ordinary shares or rights to subscribe for, or to convert securities into, ordinary shares for cash. Under U.S. law, shareholders generally do not have preemptive rights unless specifically granted in the certificate of incorporation or otherwise.

 

Under English law and our Articles of Association, certain matters require the approval of 75% of the shareholders who vote (in person or by proxy) on the relevant resolution (or on a poll of shareholders representing 75% of the ordinary shares voting (in person or by proxy)), including amendments to the Articles of Association. This may make it more difficult for us to complete corporate transactions deemed advisable by our board of directors. Under U.S. law, generally only majority shareholder approval is required to amend the certificate of incorporation or to approve other significant transactions.

 

In the United Kingdom, takeovers may be structured as takeover offers or as schemes of arrangement. Under English law, a bidder seeking to acquire us by means of a takeover offer would need to make an offer for all of our outstanding ordinary shares/ADSs. If acceptances are not received for 90% or more of the ordinary shares/ADSs under the offer, under English law, the bidder cannot complete a “squeeze out” to obtain 100% control of us. Accordingly, acceptances of 90% of our outstanding ordinary shares/ADSs will likely be a condition in any takeover offer to acquire us, not 50% as is more common in tender offers for corporations organized under Delaware law. By contrast, a scheme of arrangement, the successful completion of which would result in a bidder obtaining 100% control of us, requires the approval of a majority of shareholders voting at the meeting and representing 75% of the ordinary shares voting for approval.

 

Under English law and our Articles of Association, shareholders and other persons whom we know or have reasonable cause to believe are, or have been, interested in our shares may be required to disclose information regarding their interests in our shares upon our request, and the failure to provide the required information could result in the loss or restriction of rights attaching to the shares, including prohibitions on certain transfers of the shares, withholding of dividends and loss of voting rights. Comparable provisions generally do not exist under U.S. law.

 

The quorum requirement for a shareholders’ meeting is a minimum of two shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting and present in person or by proxy or, in the case of a shareholder which is a corporation, represented by a duly authorized officer. Under U.S. law, a majority of the shares eligible to vote must generally be present (in person or by proxy) at a shareholders’ meeting in order to constitute a quorum. The minimum number of shares required for a quorum can be reduced pursuant to a provision in a company’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, but typically not below one-third of the shares entitled to vote at the meeting.

Shareholder protections found in provisions under the U.K. City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, or the Takeover Code, do not apply to us.

The Takeover Code provides a framework within which takeovers of certain companies organized in the United Kingdom are regulated and conducted. However, because our place of central management and control is currently outside of the United Kingdom,

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we are not subject to the Takeover Code. As a result, our shareholders are not entitled to the benefit of certain takeover offer protections provided under the Takeover Code. The following is a brief summary of some of the most important rules of the Takeover Code which, as noted, does not apply to us:

 

In connection with a potential offer, if following an approach by or on behalf of a potential bidder, the company is “the subject of rumor or speculation” or there is an “untoward movement” in the company’s share price, there is a requirement for the potential bidder to make a public announcement about a potential offer for the company, or for the company to make a public announcement about its review of a potential offer.

 

When a person or group (a) acquires interests in shares carrying 30% or more of the voting rights of a company (which percentage is treated by the Takeover Code as the level at which effective control is obtained) or (b) increases the aggregate percentage interest they have when they are already interested in not less than 30% and not more than 50%, they must make a cash offer to all other shareholders at the highest price paid by them in the 12 months before the offer was announced.

 

When interests in shares carrying 10% or more of the voting rights of a class have been acquired by an offeror (i.e., a bidder) in the offer period (i.e., before the shares subject to the offer have been acquired) and the previous 12 months, the offer must be in cash or be accompanied by a cash alternative for all shareholders of that class at the highest price paid by the offeror in that period. Further, if an offeror acquires any interest in shares during the offer period, the offer for the shares must be in cash or accompanied by a cash alternative at a price at least equal to the price paid for such shares during the offer period.

 

If after an announcement is made, the offeror acquires an interest in shares in an offeree company (i.e., a target) at a price higher than the value of the offer, the offer must be increased accordingly.

 

The offeree company must appoint a competent independent adviser whose advice on the financial terms of the offer must be made known to all the shareholders, together with the opinion of the board of directors of the offeree company.

 

Favorable deals for selected shareholders are not permitted, except in certain circumstances where independent shareholder approval is given and the arrangements are regarded as fair and reasonable in the opinion of the financial adviser to the offeree.

 

All shareholders must be given the same information.

 

Those issuing takeover circulars must include statements taking responsibility for the contents thereof.

 

Profit forecasts, quantified financial benefits statements and asset valuations must be made to specified standards and must be reported on by professional advisers.

 

Misleading, inaccurate or unsubstantiated statements made in documents or to the media must be publicly corrected immediately.

 

Actions during the course of an offer by the offeree company, which might frustrate the offer are generally prohibited unless shareholders approve these plans. Frustrating actions would include, for example, lengthening the notice period for directors under their service contract or agreeing to sell off material parts of the target group.

 

Stringent requirements are laid down for the disclosure of dealings in relevant securities during an offer, including the prompt disclosure of positions and dealing in relevant securities by the parties to an offer and any person who is interested (directly or indirectly) in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities.

 

Employees of both the offeror and the offeree company and the trustees of the offeree company’s pension scheme must be informed about an offer. In addition, the offeree company’s employee representatives and pension scheme trustees have the right to have a separate opinion on the effects of the offer on employment appended to the offeree board of directors’ circular or published on a website.

U.S. shareholders may not be able to enforce civil liabilities against us.

We are incorporated under the laws of England and Wales, and our subsidiaries are incorporated in various jurisdictions, including foreign jurisdictions. A number of the officers and directors of each of our subsidiaries are non-residents of the United States, and all or a substantial portion of the assets of such persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may not be possible for investors to affect service of process within the United States upon such persons or to enforce against them judgments obtained in U.S. courts predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States. We have been advised by our English solicitors that there is doubt as to the enforceability in England in original actions, or in actions for enforcement of judgments of U.S. courts, of civil liabilities to the extent predicated upon the federal securities laws of the United States.

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U.S. holders of the ADSs or ordinary shares may be subject to U.S. federal income taxation at ordinary income tax rates on undistributed earnings and profits.

There is a risk that we will be classified as a controlled foreign corporation, or CFC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If we are classified as a CFC, any ADS holder or shareholder that is a U.S. person that owns directly, indirectly or by attribution, 10% or more of the voting power of our outstanding shares may be subject to U.S. income taxation at ordinary income tax rates on all or a portion of our undistributed earnings and profits attributable to “subpart F income.” Such 10% holder may also be taxable at ordinary income tax rates on any gain realized on a sale of ordinary shares or ADS, to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits attributable to such shares. The CFC rules are complex and U.S. holders of the ordinary shares or ADSs are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the possible application of the CFC rules to them in their particular circumstances.

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.

Properties

The following table lists the location, use and ownership interest of our principal properties as of February 21, 2020:

 

Location

Use

 

Ownership

 

Size (sq. ft.)

 

Dublin, Ireland

 

Offices

 

Leased

 

 

4,983

 

Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA

 

Offices

 

Leased

 

 

67,747

 

 

Effective November 1, 2011, we leased 320 square feet of office space in Dublin, Ireland. The office space was subsequently reduced to 270 square feet, effective November 1, 2013. The lease was terminated on May 1, 2019. Effective May 1, 2019 and October 1, 2019, we entered into Office Centre Sharing Agreements, leasing 4,983 square feet, to replace the office space with new office space in Dublin, Ireland which terminate on April 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020, respectively, and can be extended automatically for successive one year periods.

On July 1, 2011, the Company leased 9,747 square feet of office space in Bedminster, New Jersey. The lease, as amended, terminated on September 15, 2019. On January 26, 2019, the Company leased an additional 5,988 square feet in another building in Bedminster, New Jersey, effective February 1, 2019 which also terminated on September 15, 2019.

Effective February 5, 2019, we entered into a lease agreement for approximately 67,747 square feet of office space in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The lease commenced on August 15, 2019 for an 11-year period.

Item 3.

On February 22, 2019, a purported investor in our publicly traded securities filed a putative class action lawsuit against Amarin Corporation plc, our chief executive officer and chief scientific officer in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Debendra Sharma v. Amarin Corporation plc, John F. Thero and Steven Ketchum, No. 2:19-cv-06601 (D.N.J. Feb. 22, 2019). On March 12, 2019, another purported investor filed a substantially similar lawsuit captioned Richard Borghesi v. Amarin Corporation plc, John F. Thero and Steven Ketchum, No. 3:19-cv-08423 (D.N.J. March 12, 2019). On May 14, 2019 the court consolidated the cases under the caption In re Amarin Corporation PLC Securities Litigation, No. 3:19-cv-06601 and appointed two other purported shareholders, Dan Kotecki and the Gaetano Cecchini Living Trust, as Co-Lead Plaintiffs.

Co-Lead Plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint, or Amended Complaint, on July 22, 2019 that adds as defendants our current chief medical officer and our former chief executive officer, who is a current director. The Amended Complaint alleges that from September 24, 2018 to November 9, 2018 we misled investors by releasing topline results for the REDUCE-IT study without disclosing data on biomarker increases in the placebo group as compared with baseline measurement. The Amended Complaint alleges that these data suggest that the mineral oil placebo used in the REDUCE-IT study may have interfered with statin absorption in the placebo group, which they allege may have increased adverse outcomes in the placebo group. The Amended Complaint further allege that these purported misrepresentations and omissions inflated our share price. Based on these allegations, the suit asserts claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks unspecified monetary damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.

We believe that we have valid defenses and we will vigorously defend against the claims, but cannot predict the outcome. We are unable to reasonably estimate the loss exposure, if any, associated with these claims. We have insurance coverage that is anticipated to cover any significant loss exposure that may arise from this action after payment by us of the associated deductible obligation.

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In September and October 2016, we received paragraph IV certification notices from four companies contending to varying degrees that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of Vascepa as described in those companies’ abbreviated new drug applications, or ANDAs. We filed patent infringement lawsuits against three of these four ANDA applicants. In October 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit against Roxane Laboratories, Inc. and related parties (collectively, “Roxane”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case against Roxane is captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Roxane Laboratories, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02525 (D. Nev.). According to a stipulation filed with the Nevada court, in December 2016, Roxane transferred its ANDA to West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Limited, which then designated West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. (or together with West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Limited, West-Ward) as its agent for FDA communications. In view of the ANDA transfer, in February 2017, West-Ward replaced Roxane and related parties as Defendants in the above-referenced case. The case against West-Ward is now captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02525 (D. Nev.). In November 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit against Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ltd. (collectively, “DRL”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case against DRL is captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02562 (D. Nev.). In November 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited (collectively, “Teva”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case against Teva is captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:16-cv-02658. In all three lawsuits, Amarin is seeking, among other remedies, an order enjoining each defendant from marketing generic versions of Vascepa before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030. The three lawsuits have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings. As a result of the statutory stay associated with the filing of these lawsuits under the Hatch-Waxman Act, the FDA was restricted from granting final approval to West-Ward, DRL, or Teva’s respective ANDA before January 2020, unless there was an earlier court decision holding that the subject patents are not infringed and/or are invalid.

The fourth ANDA applicant referenced above is Apotex Inc., or Apotex, which sent Amarin a paragraph IV certification notice in September 2016. The notice reflected that Apotex made a paragraph IV notice as to some, but not all, of the patents listed in the Orange Book for Vascepa. Because Apotex did not make a paragraph IV certification as to all listed patents, Apotex cannot market a generic version of Vascepa before the last to expire of the patents for which Apotex did not make a paragraph IV certification, which is in 2030. At a later date, Apotex may elect to amend its ANDA in order to make a paragraph IV certification as to additional listed patents. If and when Apotex does make such an amendment, it would be required to send Amarin an additional paragraph IV certification notice, and Amarin would then have the ability to file a lawsuit against Apotex pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act.

In October 2016, we introduced to the market a 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa. In August 2017, as anticipated, we received a paragraph IV certification notice from Teva contending that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa, as described in the Teva ANDA. This Teva ANDA was filed as an amendment to the 1-gram Teva ANDA and is related to patents already at issue in the 1-gram Vascepa patent litigation. This certification followed the related listing in the Orange Book of patents associated with the 0.5-gram product in June 2017. This June 2017 listing was within the five-year, post NDA-approval period during which the Hatch-Waxman Amendments require a paragraph IV certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement under the Hatch-Waxman, five-year, NCE regulatory scheme. Accordingly, in October 2017, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Teva in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case was captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:17-cv-2641 (D. Nev.). In this lawsuit, we sought, among other remedies, an order enjoining Teva from marketing generic versions of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030.

On May 24, 2018, we entered into a settlement agreement with Teva that resolves our ANDA patent litigation as it relates to Teva’s as amended ANDA for both the 1-gram and 0.5-gram dose strengths of Vascepa. As part of this settlement agreement, Teva may first begin selling its generic version of Vascepa in the United States on August 9, 2029, or earlier under certain customary circumstances, including commercial launch by another generic manufacturer under certain circumstances, in which event Teva would pay us certain royalties on its generic Vascepa products.

In July 2018, as anticipated, we received a paragraph IV certification notice from DRL contending that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa, as described in the DRL ANDA. This DRL ANDA was filed as an amendment to the 1-gram DRL ANDA and is related to patents already at issue in the 1-gram Vascepa patent litigation. This certification followed the related listing in the Orange Book of patents associated with the 0.5-gram product in June 2017. This June 2017 listing was within the five-year, post NDA-approval period during which the Hatch-Waxman Amendments require a paragraph IV certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement lawsuit against DRL in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The case is captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc. et al. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. et al., Civ. A. No. 2:18-cv-01596 (D. Nev.). In this lawsuit, we are seeking, among other remedies, an order enjoining DRL from marketing generic versions of the 0.5-gram dose strength of Vascepa before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030. In light of the overlap between the cases, DRL and Amarin have stipulated that the final judgment on the merits of the parties’ contentions in the consolidated 1-gram action shall also be binding in the 0.5-gram case.

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The ANDA patent litigation referenced above is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada with parties DRL and West-Ward, now known as Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc, or Hikma (Case No.: 2:16-cv-02525-MMD-NJK (consolidated with 2:16-cv-02562-MMD-NJK). The trial in this litigation took place from mid to late January 2020. Based on Court statements, judgment is expected by the end of March 2020.

We intend to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights relating to Vascepa, but we cannot predict the outcome of these lawsuits or any subsequently filed lawsuits.

In addition to the above, in the ordinary course of business, we are from time to time involved in lawsuits, claims, investigations, proceedings, and threats of litigation relating to intellectual property, commercial arrangements and other matters.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

Item 5.

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

Market Information

The following table sets forth the high and low prices for our ADSs in each of the quarters over the past two fiscal years, as quoted on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “AMRN.”

 

 

 

Common Stock Price

 

 

 

Fiscal 2019

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

First Quarter

 

$

23.25

 

 

$

12.44

 

 

$

4.60

 

 

$

2.91

 

Second Quarter

 

$

20.97

 

 

$

16.20

 

 

$

3.52

 

 

$

2.66

 

Third Quarter

 

$

23.91

 

 

$

13.76

 

 

$

16.34

 

 

$

2.35

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

26.12

 

 

$

13.87

 

 

$

23.34

 

 

$

11.78

 

Shareholders

As of January 31, 2020, there were approximately 350 holders of record of our ordinary shares. Because many ordinary shares are held by broker nominees, we are unable to estimate the total number of shareholders represented by these record holders. Our depositary, Citibank, N.A., constitutes a single record holder of our ordinary shares.

Dividends

We have never paid dividends on common shares and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on the common shares in the foreseeable future. Under English law, any payment of dividends would be subject to relevant legislation and our Articles of Association, which requires that all dividends must be approved by our Board of Directors and, in some cases, our stockholders, and may only be paid from our distributable profits available for the purpose, determined on an unconsolidated basis.

Under our Purchase and Sale Agreement with CPPIB Credit Europe S.à r.l., or CPPIB, as successor in interest to BioPharma Secured Debt Fund II Holdings Cayman LP, we are restricted from paying a dividend on our common shares, unless we have cash and cash equivalents in excess of a specified amount after such payment.

 

Performance Graph—5 Year

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

The following graph compares the cumulative 5-year return provided to stockholders of Amarin’s ADSs relative to the cumulative total returns of the NASDAQ Composite Index and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index. We believe these indices are the most appropriate indices against which the total shareholder return of Amarin should be measured. The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index has been selected because it is an index of U.S. quoted biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. An investment of $100 (with reinvestment of all dividends) is assumed to have been made in our ADSs and in each of the indices on January 1, 2015 and its relative performance is tracked through December 31, 2019.

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Included in this 5-year time period is the substantial positive impact on the price of Amarin’s ADSs in 2018 following presentation and publication of positive REDUCE-IT results and, in late 2019, following approval by the FDA of a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa to reduce cardiovascular risk. During this entire 5-year time period, cumulative total return for Amarin’s ADSs approximated or exceeded both the NASDAQ Composite Index and NASDAQ Biotechnology Index.

 

 

 

Company/Market/Peer Company

 

12/31/2015

 

 

12/31/2016

 

 

12/31/2017

 

 

12/31/2018

 

 

12/31/2019

 

Amarin Corporation PLC

 

$

169.91

 

 

$

272.57

 

 

$

354.87

 

 

$

1,171.68

 

 

$

1,897.35

 

NASDAQ Composite Index

 

$

106.81

 

 

$

113.88

 

 

$

146.05

 

 

$

139.30

 

 

$

189.82

 

NASDAQ Biotechnology Index

 

$

110.96

 

 

$

86.54

 

 

$

104.77

 

 

$

93.18

 

 

$

118.19

 

 

Performance Graph—3 Year

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

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The following graph compares the cumulative 3-year return provided to stockholders of Amarin’s ADSs relative to the cumulative total returns of the NASDAQ Composite Index and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index. We believe these indices are the most appropriate indices against which the total shareholder return of Amarin should be measured. The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index has been selected because it is an index of U.S. quoted biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. An investment of $100 (with reinvestment of all dividends) is assumed to have been made in our ADSs and in each of the indices on January 1, 2017 and its relative performance is tracked through December 31, 2019.

Included in this 3-year time period is the substantial positive impact on the price of Amarin’s ADSs in 2018 following presentation and publication of positive REDUCE-IT results and, in late 2019, following approval by the FDA of a new indication and label expansion for Vascepa to reduce cardiovascular risk.  

 

 

 

Company/Market/Peer Company

 

12/31/2017

 

 

12/31/2018

 

 

12/31/2019

 

Amarin Corporation PLC

 

$

130.19

 

 

$

441.88

 

 

$

696.10

 

NASDAQ Composite Index

 

$

128.24

 

 

$

123.26

 

 

$

166.68

 

NASDAQ Biotechnology Index

 

$

121.06

 

 

$

109.77

 

 

$

136.56

 

 

Information about Our Equity Compensation Plans

Information regarding our equity compensation plans is incorporated by reference in Item 12 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Shares purchased in the fourth quarter of 2019 are as follows:

 

Period

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased (1)

 

 

Average Price

Paid per Share

 

October 1 – 31, 2019

 

 

1,069,377

 

 

$

14.37

 

November 1 – 30, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 1 – 31, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

1,069,377

 

 

$

14.37

 

 

 

(1)

Represents shares withheld to satisfy tax withholding amounts due from employees related to the exercise or vesting of equity awards.

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TAXATION

The following summary contains a description of material U.S., U.K. and Irish federal income tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of our ordinary shares or ADSs. This summary should not be considered a comprehensive description of all the tax considerations that may be relevant to beneficial owners of ADSs.

Certain Material U.S. Tax Considerations

The following is a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations with respect to the ownership and disposition of ordinary shares or ADSs by a U.S. Holder (as defined below). This summary applies to you only if you hold ordinary shares or ADSs as a capital asset. This summary is based upon the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which is referred to herein as the Code, regulations promulgated under the Code and administrative rulings and judicial decisions as in effect on the date of this report, all of which are subject to change and to differing interpretations, possibly with retroactive effect, which could result in U.S. federal income tax considerations different from those summarized below.

This summary is general in nature and does not address the effects of any state or local taxes, the tax consequences in jurisdictions other than the United States or any U.S. federal taxes other than income tax (such as estate or gift tax). In addition, it does not address U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to you in your particular circumstances, including alternative minimum tax consequences, nor does it apply to you if you are a holder with a special status, such as:

a person that owns, or is treated as owning under certain ownership attribution rules, 10% or more of the voting power or value of the stock of Amarin;

a broker, dealer or trader in securities or currencies;

a bank, mutual fund, life insurance company or other financial institution;

a tax-exempt entity;

a qualified retirement plan or individual retirement account;

a person that holds ordinary shares or ADSs as part of a straddle, hedge, constructive sale or other integrated transaction for tax purposes;

a partnership, S corporation or other pass-through entity;

an investor in a partnership, S corporation or other pass-through entity;

a person that is required to report income with respect to ordinary shares or ADSs no later than such income is reported on an “applicable financial statement;”

a person who received ordinary shares or ADSs in connection with the performance of services; and

a person whose functional currency for U.S. federal income tax purposes is not the U.S. dollar.

 

If an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds ordinary shares or ADSs, the tax treatment of a partner will generally depend upon the status of the partner and upon the activities of the partnership. A partner of a partnership that owns or disposes of ADSs should consult the partner’s tax advisor regarding the specific tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of ordinary shares or ADSs.

YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR OWN ADVISOR REGARDING THE TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE OWNERSHIP AND DISPOSITION OF ORDINARY SHARES AND ADSS IN LIGHT OF YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

U.S. holders

For purposes of this discussion, a U.S. Holder is any beneficial owner of an ordinary share or ADS that is, for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;

corporation created or organized under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;

an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or,

a trust (1) that validly elects to be treated as a U.S. person for U.S. federal income tax purposes, or (2) the administration over which a U.S. court can exercise primary supervision and all of the substantial decisions of which one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control.

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Distributions

Subject to the discussion under “—Passive Foreign Investment Company,” below, the gross amount of distributions, if any, payable on ordinary shares and ADSs generally would be treated as dividend income to the extent paid out of current or accumulated earnings and profits (as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes). A U.S. Holder would be required to include the amount of such distribution in gross income as a dividend (without reduction for any income tax withheld from such distribution). Because Amarin does not maintain calculations of its earnings and profits in accordance with U.S. federal income tax principles, U.S. Holders should assume that any distribution by Amarin with respect to the ordinary shares and ADSs will constitute ordinary dividend income.

Subject to the discussion under “—Passive Foreign Investment Company,” below, as long as our ordinary shares or ADSs (as applicable) are treated as publicly traded on an established securities market, or we are eligible for the benefits of the U.S.-Irish Tax Treaty, any distributions treated as dividends will generally be qualified dividend income in the hands of non-corporate U.S. Holders, provided that certain significant holding period and other requirements are met. Any dividends that are qualified dividend income will generally be taxed at preferential rates to a non-corporate U.S. Holder. Any dividends paid to a corporate holder will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction.

U.S. Holders generally may claim the amount of Irish withholding tax withheld either as a deduction from gross income or as a credit against U.S. federal income tax liability. However, the foreign tax credit is subject to numerous complex limitations that must be determined and applied on an individual basis. Generally, the credit cannot exceed the proportionate share of a U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability that such U.S. Holder’s foreign source taxable income bears to such U.S. Holder’s worldwide taxable income. In applying this limitation, a U.S. Holder’s various items of income and deduction must be classified, under complex rules, as either foreign source or U.S. source. In addition, this limitation is calculated separately with respect to specific categories of income. The amount of a distribution with respect to the ordinary shares or ADSs that is treated as a dividend may be lower for U.S. federal income tax purposes than it is for Irish income tax purposes, potentially resulting in a reduced foreign tax credit for the U.S. Holder. Each U.S. Holder should consult its own tax advisors regarding the foreign tax credit rules.

The amount of a distribution paid to a U.S. Holder of ordinary shares or ADSs in foreign currency generally will be equal to the U.S. dollar value of such distribution based on the exchange rate applicable on the date of receipt. A U.S. Holder that does not convert foreign currency received as a distribution into U.S. dollars on the date of receipt generally will have a tax basis in such foreign currency equal to the U.S. dollar value of such foreign currency on the date of receipt. Such a U.S. Holder generally will recognize ordinary income or loss on the subsequent sale or other taxable disposition of such foreign currency (including an exchange for U.S. dollars).

Sale or other disposition of ordinary shares or ADSs

Subject to the discussion under “—Passive Foreign Investment Company,” below, in general, if you sell or otherwise dispose of ordinary shares or ADSs in a taxable disposition:

you will recognize gain or loss equal to the difference (if any) between the U.S. dollar value of the amount realized on such sale or other taxable disposition and your adjusted tax basis in such ordinary shares or ADSs;

any gain or loss will be capital gain or loss and will be long-term capital gain or loss if your holding period for the ordinary shares or ADSs sold or otherwise disposed of is more than one year at the time of such sale or other taxable disposition; and,

any gain or loss will generally be treated as U.S.-source income for U.S. foreign tax credit purposes, although special rules apply to U.S. Holders who have a fixed place of business outside the United States to which this gain is attributable.

 

Under current law, long-term capital gains of non-corporate U.S. Holders are taxed at reduced rates. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to limitations.

In certain circumstances, amounts received by a U.S. Holder upon the redemption of ordinary shares or ADSs may be treated as a dividend with respect to such ordinary shares or ADSs, rather than as a payment in exchange for such ordinary shares or ADSs that results in the recognition of capital gain or loss. In these circumstances, the redemption payment would be included in a U.S. Holder’s gross income as a dividend to the extent such payment is made out of our earnings and profits (as described above). The determination of whether redemption of ordinary shares or ADSs will be treated as a dividend, rather than as a payment in exchange for such ordinary shares or ADSs, will depend, in part, on whether and to what extent the redemption reduces the U.S. Holder’s ownership in us (including as a result of certain constructive ownership attribution rules). The rules applicable to redemptions are complex, and each U.S. Holder should consult its own tax adviser to determine the consequences of any redemption.

Passive foreign investment company

PFIC Rules Generally.    U.S. Holders of ordinary shares and ADSs should be aware that each of Amarin and certain of its subsidiaries could constitute a passive foreign investment company, or a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The tests for

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determining PFIC status for a taxable year depend upon the relative values of certain categories of assets and the relative amounts of certain kinds of income. The application of these factors depends upon our financial results for the year, which are beyond our ability to predict or control, and the application of the relevant rules is subject to legal and factual uncertainties. Based on certain estimates of our gross income and gross assets, the latter determined by reference to the expected value of our ADSs and shares, we believe that we will not be classified as a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2019 and we do not expect to be treated as a PFIC in any future taxable year for the foreseeable future. However, there can be no assurance that we will be classified as a PFIC for any taxable year.

In general terms, Amarin will be a PFIC for any taxable year in which either (i) 75% or more of its gross income is passive income, or the income test, or (ii) the average percentage, by fair market value, of its assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income is 50% or more, or the asset test. “Passive income” includes, for example, dividends, interest, certain rents and royalties, certain gains from the sale of stock and securities, and certain gains from commodities transactions.