Supreme Court affirmed several of the Chancery Court’s legal determinations on the motion to dismiss, but concluded that Chancery Court itself should independently review the Compensation Committee’s determinations under Delaware law.
The parties are awaiting guidance from the Chancery Court regarding further briefing and/or argument on our motion to dismiss.
In a separate matter, on or about August 17 and 23, 2021, Tony Tontat, who at the time was the Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board, submitted substantially identical reports (the “Complaints”) through the Company’s complaint hotline. These Complaints, alleged, among other topics, risks associated with the Company’s public disclosures in securities filings and in statements made to the public, investors, and potential investors regarding (i) the anticipated timing of the FDA authorization of the IND applications and (ii) the anticipated timing of human clinical trials. These Complaints were subsequently submitted to the Audit Committee of the Board.
After receiving the Complaints, the Audit Committee recommended that the Board form, and the Board did in turn form, a Special Committee comprised of three independent directors (the “Special Committee”) to review the Complaints and other related issues (the “Internal Review”). The Special Committee retained an independent counsel to assist it in conducting the Internal Review.
On February 2, 2022, following the conclusion of the Internal Review, the Company’s Special Committee reported the results of its Internal Review to the Board. The Board approved certain actions to address the fact that the Company had received communications from the FDA on June 16 and June 17, 2021 that the FDA was placing the IND applications that the Company submitted to the FDA on May 14 and May 17, 2021 for the ALEXIS-PRO-1 and ALEXIS-ISO-1 product candidates, respectively, on clinical hold (the “June 16 and 17 FDA Communications”). The Company did not disclose the June 16 and 17, 2021 FDA Communications in the Registration Statement on Form S-1 (Registration No. 333-257427) that was filed on June 25, 2021 and declared effective on June 29, 2021, nor the final prospectus contained therein dated June 29, 2021 (collectively, the “Registration Statement”). The Company then consummated a public offering of $40 million of its common stock pursuant to the Registration Statement on July 2, 2021. On July 13, 2021, the Company received the FDA’s formal clinical hold letters, which asked the Company to address key components regarding the chemical, manufacturing, and control components of the IND applications. On July 16, 2021, the Company issued a press release disclosing that it had received comments from the FDA on the two INDs, but did not use the term “clinical hold.” The Company did not disclose the clinical hold in its Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2021 that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 13, 2021. On August 13, 2021, the Company issued a press release announcing that these INDs were placed on clinical hold.
Upon completion of the Internal Review, the Company voluntarily contacted the SEC to report certain information about the Internal Review. Since that time, the Company has been voluntarily cooperating with requests for information from the SEC and intends to fully cooperate with any further requests from the SEC.
In November 2022, we received a Grand Jury Subpoena (the “Subpoena”) from the U.S. Department of Justice requesting certain information from the company in connection with an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Federal Grand Jury in the Southern District of Texas. The Company is not a target of this investigation at this time.
As a result of the disclosure omission of the June 16 and 17 FDA Communications, on March 7, 2022, entities related to Sabby Management LLC (the “Sabby Entities”) and Empery Asset Management, LP (the “Empery Entities”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York asserting claims against the Company and certain current and former officers and directors of the Company for alleged violations of Sections 11, 12, and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with the purchase of common stock through the Company’s public offering that closed on July 2, 2021. On July 1, 2022, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the complaint. In response, on July 22, 2022, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to, among other things, include the Company’s underwriters on the July 2, 2021 public offering, ThinkEquity LLC, as a defendant. The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages; rescission to the extent they still hold the Company’s securities, or if sold, rescissory damages; reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys’ and experts’ fees; and other unspecified equitable and injunctive relief. The two parties reached a settlement agreement in principle on September 26, 2022, which the Company’s board of directors approved on September 27, 2022. The settlement contained a cash component of $75,000 payable to Sabby Entities and $75,000 to Empery Entities.