0001447028 False 0001447028 2023-07-11 2023-07-11 iso4217:USD xbrli:shares iso4217:USD xbrli:shares



Washington, D.C. 20549





Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported):  July 11, 2023


Arbutus Biopharma Corporation

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)


British Columbia, Canada001-3494998-0597776
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation)(Commission File Number)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

701 Veterans Circle

Warminster, Pennsylvania 18974

(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

(267) 469-0914

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)


(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)


Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)
Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

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

Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Shares, without par valueABUSThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

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. ☐

Item 5.02. Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On July 11, 2023, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (the “Company”) (a) increased the size of the Board by one member such that the Board will thereafter consist of seven directors and (b) appointed Melissa V. Rewolinski, PhD to the Board, to serve until the Company’s 2024 annual general meeting of shareholders or until her successor is duly appointed and qualified, or until her earlier death, resignation or removal. Dr. Rewolinski was also appointed as a member of the Board’s Executive Compensation and Human Resources Committee (“Compensation Committee").

Dr. Rewolinski’s cash compensation will be consistent with the cash compensation provided to all of the Company’s non-employee directors. Under the Company’s current non-employee director compensation policy, Dr. Rewolinski will receive an annual cash retainer of $40,000 for general availability and participation in meetings of the Board and will receive an additional annual retainer of $7,500 for her service as a member of the Compensation Committee. Dr. Rewolinski was granted an initial option to acquire 110,000 common shares of the Company, which option grant will vest over a 3-year period with one-third vesting each year on the annual anniversary date of the grant, subject to Dr. Rewolinski ’s continued service on the Board. The option is exercisable for 10 years from the date of grant, at a price equal to the closing price of the Company’s common shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market on July 12, 2023. The option will also be subject to the terms and conditions of the Arbutus Biopharma Corporation 2016 Omnibus Share and Incentive Plan, as supplemented and amended, which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on May 30, 2023.

The Company also entered into an indemnity agreement with Dr. Rewolinski in connection with her appointment to the Board. The indemnity agreement is in substantially the same form as the indemnity agreement for the other directors of the Company that was filed as Exhibit 10.4 to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on March 3, 2022.

No arrangement or understanding exists between Dr. Rewolinski and any other person pursuant to which Dr. Rewolinski was appointed as a director, and there are no transactions in which Dr. Rewolinski has an interest which would require disclosure under Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

On July 12, 2023, the Company issued a press release announcing Dr. Rewolinski ’s appointment to the Board. A copy of the press release is filed herewith as Exhibit 99.1 and is incorporated by reference herein.

Item 9.01. Financial Statements and Exhibits.

(d) Exhibits.

Exhibit Number Description
99.1 Press Release dated July 12, 2023
104 Cover Page Interactive Data File (embedded within the Inline XBRL document)


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 Arbutus Biopharma Corporation
Date: July 12, 2023By: /s/ David C. Hastings        
  David C. Hastings
  Chief Financial Officer



Arbutus Appoints Melissa V. Rewolinski, PhD to its Board of Directors

WARMINSTER, Pa., July 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq: ABUS) (“Arbutus” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its extensive virology expertise to develop novel therapeutics that target specific viral diseases, today announced the appointment of Melissa V. Rewolinski, PhD, to its board of directors, effective July 12, 2023.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Rewolinski to the Arbutus Board,” said William Collier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arbutus. “Dr. Rewolinski brings more than 20 years of strategic, operational and drug development experience within the pharmaceutical industry. We look forward to relying on her counsel and expertise as we continue to advance our pipeline of assets directed towards a functional cure for HBV and novel treatment options for coronavirus.”

Dr. Rewolinski currently serves as principal of MVR Consulting, where she specializes in providing counsel to small and mid-size biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Earlier she held a number of senior level R&D positions for Intercept, rising to Senior Vice President, Head of Technical Operations, and member of the Executive Team. Previously, she served as Senior Director, Development for Amira Pharmaceuticals, and before that as a Chemical Development Group Leader and a Pharmaceutical Sciences Project Team Leader for Pfizer Global R&D. Dr. Rewolinski began her career at Pharmacia & Upjohn as a post-doctoral research scientist. She currently serves as a board member for Lannett Company, Inc., and American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Dr. Rewolinski earned a doctorate degree in organic chemistry and Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, magna cum laude, from Rice University.

Dr. Rewolinski, commented, “This is an exciting time to join the Board of Arbutus. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members to support Arbutus in its continued efforts to develop treatments for HBV and coronaviruses.”  

About Arbutus

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq: ABUS) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its extensive virology expertise to develop novel therapeutics that target specific viral diseases. Our current focus areas include Hepatitis B virus (HBV), SARS-CoV-2, and other coronaviruses. To address HBV, we are developing a RNAi therapeutic, an oral PD-L1 inhibitor, and an oral RNA destabilizer to potentially identify a combination regimen with the aim of providing a functional cure for patients with chronic HBV by suppressing viral replication, reducing surface antigen and reawakening the immune system. We believe our lead compound, AB-729, is the only RNAi therapeutic with evidence of immune re-awakening. AB-729 is currently being evaluated in multiple phase 2 clinical trials. We also have an ongoing drug discovery and development program directed to identifying novel, orally active agents for treating coronaviruses, (including SARS-CoV-2), for which we have nominated a compound and have begun IND-enabling pre-clinical studies. In addition, we are also exploring oncology applications for our internal PD-L1 portfolio. For more information, visit www.arbutusbio.com.

Forward-Looking Statements and Information

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, forward-looking statements). Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about our future development plans for our product candidates.

With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Arbutus has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: the effectiveness and timeliness of preclinical studies and clinical trials, and the usefulness of the data; the timeliness of regulatory approvals; the continued demand for Arbutus’ assets; and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Arbutus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies, including uncertainties and contingencies related to patent litigation matters.

Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus’ actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: anticipated pre-clinical studies and clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested product candidate; Arbutus may elect to change its strategy regarding its product candidates and clinical development activities; Arbutus may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of Arbutus’ products; economic and market conditions may worsen; uncertainties associated with litigation generally and patent litigation specifically; Arbutus and its collaborators may never realize the expected benefits of the collaborations; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus.

A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus’ Annual Report on Form 10-K, Arbutus’ Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Arbutus’ continuous and periodic disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.

Contact Information

Investors and Media

Lisa M. Caperelli
Vice President, Investor Relations
Phone: 215-206-1822
Email: lcaperelli@arbutusbio.com

Jul. 11, 2023
Cover [Abstract]  
Document Type 8-K
Amendment Flag false
Document Period End Date Jul. 11, 2023
Entity File Number 001-34949
Entity Registrant Name Arbutus Biopharma Corporation
Entity Central Index Key 0001447028
Entity Tax Identification Number 98-0597776
Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code A1
Entity Address, Address Line One 701 Veterans Circle
Entity Address, City or Town Warminster
Entity Address, State or Province PA
Entity Address, Postal Zip Code 18974
City Area Code 267
Local Phone Number 469-0914
Written Communications false
Soliciting Material false
Pre-commencement Tender Offer false
Pre-commencement Issuer Tender Offer false
Title of 12(b) Security Common Shares, without par value
Trading Symbol ABUS
Security Exchange Name NASDAQ
Entity Emerging Growth Company false

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