Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2017
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Nature of the Business

Molecular Templates, Inc. (the “Company” or “Molecular”), is clinical stage a biopharmaceutical company formed in 2001, with a biologic therapeutic platform for the development of novel targeted therapeutics for cancer and other diseases, headquartered in Austin, Texas. The Company’s initial focus is on the research and development of therapeutic compounds for a variety of cancers.  Molecular operates its business as a single segment, as defined by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”).

On August 1, 2017, the Company, formerly known as Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: THLD) (“Threshold”), completed its business combination with the entity then known as Molecular Templates, Inc., a private Delaware Corporation (“Private Molecular”), in accordance with the terms of an Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization, (the “Merger Agreement”), dated as of March 16, 2017, by and among Threshold, Trojan Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Threshold (“Merger Sub”), and Private Molecular, pursuant to which Merger Sub merged with and into Private Molecular, with Private Molecular surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Threshold (the “Merger”). Also on August 1, 2017, in connection with, and prior to the completion of, the Merger, Threshold effected an 11-for-1 reverse stock split of its common stock (the “Reverse Stock Split”) and changed its name to “Molecular Templates, Inc.” Threshold also assumed all of the stock options issued and outstanding under Private Molecular’s 2009 Stock Plan, as amended, and issued and outstanding warrants of Private Molecular, with such stock options and warrants representing, following the Merger, the right to purchase a number of shares of Common Stock equal to 7.7844 multiplied by the number of shares of Private Molecular’s common stock previously represented by such stock options and warrants, as applicable, after taking into account the Reverse Stock Split. Immediately after the Merger, the former Private Molecular stockholders, warrantholders and optionholders owned approximately 65.6% of the fully-diluted Common Stock, with Threshold’s stockholders and warrantholders immediately prior to the Merger, whose warrants and shares of Threshold’s common stock remained outstanding after the Merger, owning approximately 34.4% of the fully-diluted Common Stock, in each case, without giving effect to the issuance of shares of Common Stock in the concurrent financing and the Takeda Financing, and excluding, in each case, out-of-the money securities. Following the completion of the Merger, the business conducted by the Company became primarily the business conducted by Private Molecular as described in the paragraph above.

Basis of Presentation

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and include the accounts of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, and reflect the elimination of intercompany accounts and transactions.

Reverse Stock Split

On August 1, 2017, in connection with, and prior to the completion of, the Merger, Threshold effected a Reverse Stock Split through an amendment to its amended and restated certificate of incorporation as part of the Merger. As of the effective time of the reverse stock split, every eleven shares of the Company’s issued and outstanding common stock were converted into one issued and outstanding share of common stock, without any change in par value per share. The reverse stock split affected all shares of the Company’s common stock outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the reverse stock split, as well as the number of shares of common stock available for issuance under the Company’s equity incentive plans. In addition, the reverse stock split effected a reduction in the number of shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options or warrants outstanding immediately prior to the effectiveness of the reverse stock split. All references to shares of common stock and per share data for all periods presented in the accompanying financial statements and notes thereto have been adjusted to reflect the reverse stock split on a retroactive basis.


Certain amounts in the prior year’s presentations have been reclassified to conform to the current presentation.  These reclassifications had no effect on previously reported net loss.

Accounting Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America as defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect certain reported amounts and disclosures. Accordingly, actual results could differ from those estimates.

Net Loss per Share

Basic net loss per share is calculated by dividing the net loss applicable to common stockholders by the weighted average number of shares of Common Stock outstanding during the period without consideration of Common Stock equivalents. Since the Company was in a loss position for all periods presented, diluted net loss per share is the same as basic net loss per share for all periods, as the inclusion of all potential common shares outstanding is anti-dilutive.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company considers temporary investments with original maturities of three months or less from date of purchase to be cash equivalents.

Concentration of Credit Risk and Other Risks and Uncertainties

Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentrations of risk consist principally of cash and cash equivalents, investments, long term debt and accounts receivable.

The Company’s cash, cash equivalents are with two major financial institutions in the United States.

The Company performs an ongoing credit evaluation of its strategic partners’ financial conditions and generally does not require collateral to secure accounts receivable from its strategic partners. The Company’s exposure to credit risk associated with non-payment will be affected principally by conditions or occurrences within Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. (“Takeda”). Approximately 56% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017, were derived from Takeda. There were no accounts receivable due from Takeda at December 31, 2017 or 2016. See also Note 4, Research and Development Collaboration Agreements, regarding the collaboration agreements with Takeda.

Drug candidates developed by the Company may require approvals or clearances from the FDA or international regulatory agencies prior to commercial sales. There can be no assurance that the Company’s drug candidates will receive any of the required approvals or clearances. If the Company were to be denied approval or clearance or any such approval or clearance were to be delayed, it would have a material adverse impact on the Company.

Property and Equipment

Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation. Major additions and improvements are capitalized while maintenance and repairs that do not improve or extend the useful life of the respective asset are expensed. Depreciation of property and equipment is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which range from five to seven years. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful lives of the assets.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

When events, circumstances and/or operating results indicate that the carrying values of long-lived assets might not be recoverable through future operations, the Company prepares projections of the undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the assets and their eventual disposition. If the projections indicate that the recorded amounts are not expected to be recoverable, such amounts are reduced to estimated fair value. Fair value is estimated based upon internal evaluation of each asset that includes quantitative analyses of net revenue and cash flows, review of recent sales of similar assets and market responses based upon discussions in connection with offers received from potential buyers. Certain factors used for these types of nonrecurring fair value measurements are considered Level 3 inputs. Management determined there was no impairment during the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Revenue Recognition

The Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the related services have been performed, the price is fixed and determinable and collectability is reasonably assured.

The Company receives funds from a state financial assistance program. The state award is a conditional cost reimbursement grant and revenue is recognized as allowable costs are incurred. Amounts collected in excess of revenue recognized are recorded as deferred revenue.

The Company enters into collaboration and option agreements with certain customers. Under the terms of one such agreement, the Company is responsible for providing (i) a license to the Company’s background intellectual property for use in performance of the agreement, and (ii) research and development services. Under ASC 605-25, the agreement is a multiple-element arrangement; under such an arrangement, fixed or determinable contract consideration is allocated to the deliverables with stand-alone value and revenue is recognized for each such deliverable according to the method appropriate for each deliverable. The license to the Company’s background intellectual property for use in performance of the agreement does not have stand-alone value, and thus is combined into one unit of accounting with the research and development services. Revenues are recognized over the period that the research and development services occur. Amounts collected in excess of revenue recognized are recorded as deferred revenue.

Income Taxes

Income taxes are recorded in accordance with ASC 740, Accounting for Income Taxes (“ASC 740”), which provides for deferred taxes using an asset and liability approach. The Company recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements or tax returns. The Company determines its deferred tax assets and liabilities based on differences between financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities, which are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws that will be in effect when the differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are provided if based upon the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.

ASC 740 clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in the financial statements and provides that a tax benefit from an uncertain tax position may be recognized when it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination, including resolutions of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits. This interpretation also provides guidance on measurement, derecognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods and disclosure. The Company’s policy for recording interest and penalties associated with uncertain tax positions is to record such items as a component of tax expense.


Stock-Based Compensation

The Company accounts for its stock-based compensation awards to employees, including grants of employee stock options, to be recognized in the statements of operations based on their grant date fair values. The Company estimates the grant date fair value of each option award using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The use of the Black-Scholes option-pricing model requires management to make assumptions with respect to the expected term of the option, the expected volatility of the common stock consistent with the expected life of the option, risk-free interest rates and expected dividend yields of the common stock. The Company recognizes stock-based compensation expense, equal to the grant date fair value of stock options over the requisite service period.

Preferred Stock

The Company’s Series A, B and C Convertible Preferred Stock (collectively known as “Preferred Stock”) allowed the holders to require the company to redeem their shares after achievement of specified certain milestones. Certain of the redemption features were outside the Company’s control, and as a result, the Preferred Stock were reflected in the balance sheet as mezzanine equity.


In conjunction with certain financing transactions, the Company issued warrants to purchase the Company’s common stock. The Company determines whether the warrants should be classified as a liability or equity. For warrants classified as liabilities, the Company estimates the fair value of the warrants at each reporting period using Level 3 inputs. The estimates in valuation models are based, in part, on subjective assumptions, including but not limited to stock price volatility, the expected life of the warrants, the risk-free interest rate and the fair value of the common stock underlying the warrants, and could differ materially in the future. The Company will continue to adjust the fair value of the warrant liability at the end of each reporting period for changes in fair value from the prior period until the earlier of the exercise or expiration of the applicable warrant.

For warrants classified as equity, the Company records the value of the warrants in additional paid-in capital on the balance sheet. The Company will continue to evaluate the classification of the warrants on a quarterly basis, to determine whether the warrants continue to meet equity classification requirement.

Research and Development Costs

Research and development expenses consist of costs such as salaries and benefits, laboratory supplies, facility costs, consulting fees and fees paid to contract research organizations, clinical trial sites, laboratories, other clinical service providers and contract manufacturing organizations. Research and development costs are expensed as incurred.

In-process Research & Development

In-process research and development, or IPR&D, represents the fair value assigned to acquired research and development assets that were not fully developed as of the completion of the Merger. IPR&D acquired in a business combination is capitalized on the Company’s balance sheet at its acquisition-date fair value. Until the project is completed, the asset is accounted for as an indefinite-lived intangible asset subject to impairment testing. Upon completion of a project, the carrying value of the related IPR&D is reclassified to intangible assets and is amortized over the estimated useful life of the asset. The Company evaluates the potential impairment of its intangible assets if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the asset may not be fully recoverable.

Comprehensive loss

Comprehensive loss is comprised of the Company’s net loss and other comprehensive income (loss). Unrealized gain (loss) on available-for-sale marketable securities represents the only component of other comprehensive income (loss).

Clinical Trial Accruals

The Company’s preclinical and clinical trials are performed by third party contract research organizations (CROs) and/or clinical investigators, and clinical supplies are manufactured by contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs). Invoicing from these third parties may be monthly based upon services performed or based upon milestones achieved. The Company accrues these expenses based upon its assessment of the status of each clinical trial and the work completed, and upon information obtained from the CROs and CMOs. The Company’s estimates are dependent upon the timeliness and accuracy of data provided by the CROs and CMOs regarding the status and cost of the studies, and may not match the actual services performed by the organizations. This could result in adjustments to the Company’s research and development expenses in future periods. To date the Company has had no significant adjustments.

Bonus Accruals

The Company has bonus programs for eligible employees. Bonuses are determined based on various criteria, including the achievement of corporate, departmental and individual goals. Bonus accruals are estimated based on various factors, including target bonus percentages per level of employee and probability of achieving the goals upon which bonuses are based. The Company’s management periodically reviews the progress made towards the goals under the bonus programs. As bonus accruals are dependent upon management’s judgments of the likelihood of achieving the various goals, it is possible for bonus expense to vary significantly in future periods if changes occur in those management estimates.


The Company has one reportable segment and uses one measurement of results of operations to manage its business. All long-lived assets are maintained in the United States of America.

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

In November 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an accounting standard update for the presentation of deferred income taxes. Under this new guidance, deferred tax liabilities and assets should be classified as noncurrent in a classified balance sheet. The update is effective for the Company beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 with early adoption permitted as of the beginning of an interim or annual reporting period. Additionally, this guidance may be applied either prospectively or retrospectively to all periods presented. We adopted the standard in the first quarter of 2017 and it did not have a material impact to our consolidated financial statements.

In May 2014, the FASB issued a new accounting standard that amends the guidance for the recognition of revenue from contracts with customers to transfer goods and services. The FASB has subsequently issued additional, clarifying standards to address issues arising from implementation of the new revenue recognition standard. The new revenue recognition standard and clarifying standards are effective for interim and annual periods beginning on January 1, 2018. We will adopt the standard using the modified-retrospective approach beginning in 2018. We have completed our assessment of the impact and we do not expect a material impact to total revenue in our consolidated statement of operation and comprehensive loss. We do expect additional disclosures upon the adoption of the standard.

In March 2016, the FASB issued an accounting standard update regarding Improvements to Employee – Share Based Payment Accounting that simplifies several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. The Company adopted the standard effective January 1, 2017 and the adoption did not have a material effect on its consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued a new accounting standard that amends the guidance for the accounting and disclosure of leases. This new standard requires that lessees recognize the assets and liabilities that arise from leases on the balance sheet, including leases classified as operating leases under current GAAP, and disclose qualitative and quantitative information about leasing arrangements. The new standard requires a modified-retrospective approach to adoption and is effective for interim and annual periods beginning on January 1, 2019. The Company is in the process of evaluating the impact the adoption of this standard would have on its financial statements and disclosures.

In May 2017, the FASB issued a new accounting standard update on stock compensation and the scope of modification accounting to clarify when to account for a change to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award as a modification. Under this new guidance, modification accounting is required if the fair value, vesting conditions, or classification of the award changes as a result of the change in terms or conditions. The standard is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim reporting periods within each annual reporting period. The Company does not expect the adoption of this guidance to have a material impact on its financial statements or disclosures.