Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Description of Business

v3.21.1
Description of Business
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Description of Business Description of Business
In these notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements, the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refers to Codexis, Inc. and its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis.
We discover, develop and sell enzymes and other proteins that deliver value to our clients in a growing set of industries. We view proteins as a vast, largely untapped source of value-creating products, and we are using our proven technologies, which we have been continuously improving since our inception in 2002, to commercialize an increasing number of novel enzymes, both as proprietary Codexis products and in partnership with our customers.
We are a pioneer in harnessing computational technologies to drive biology advancements. Since 2002, we have made substantial investments in the development of our CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform, the primary source of our competitive advantage. Our technology platform is powered by proprietary, artificial intelligence-based, computational algorithms that rapidly mine the structural and performance attributes of our large and continuously growing library of protein variants. These computational outputs enable increasingly reliable predictions for next generation protein variants to be engineered, enabling time- and cost-efficient delivery of the targeted performance enhancements. In addition to its computational prowess, our CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform integrates additional modular competencies, including robotic high-throughput screening and genomic sequencing, organic chemistry and bioprocess development which are all coordinated to rapidly innovate novel, fit-for-purpose products.
The core historical application of the technology has been in developing commercially viable biocatalytic manufacturing processes for more sustainable production of complex chemicals. This begins by conceptually designing the most cost-effective and practical process for a targeted product. We then develop optimized biocatalysts to enable the designed process, using our CodeEvolver® platform. Engineered biocatalyst candidates, numbering many thousands for each project, are then rapidly screened and validated using high throughput methods under process-relevant operating conditions. This approach results in an optimized biocatalyst that enables cost-efficient processes that are relatively simple to run in conventional manufacturing equipment. This also allows for efficient technical transfer of our processes to our manufacturing partners.
The successful embodiment of our CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform in commercial manufacturing processes requires well-integrated expertise in a number of technical disciplines. In addition to those competencies directly integrated in our CodeEvolver® protein engineering platform, such as molecular biology, enzymology, microbiology, cellular engineering, metabolic engineering, bioinformatics, biochemistry and high throughput analytical chemistry, our process development projects also involve integrated expertise in organic chemistry, chemical process development, chemical engineering, bioprocess development and fermentation engineering. Our integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to product and process development is a critical success factor for the Company.
We initially commercialized our CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform and products in the manufacture of small molecule pharmaceuticals, which remains a primary business focus. Our customers, which include many large, global pharmaceutical companies, use our technology, products and services in their process development and in manufacturing. Additionally, we have licensed our proprietary CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform to global pharmaceutical companies enabling them to use this technology, in house, to engineer enzymes for their own businesses. Most recently, in May 2019, we entered into a Platform Technology Transfer and License Agreement (the “Novartis CodeEvolver® Agreement”) with Novartis. The Novartis CodeEvolver® Agreement (our third such agreement with large pharma companies) allows Novartis to use our proprietary CodeEvolver® protein engineering platform technology in the field of human healthcare.
As evidence of our strategy to extend our technology beyond pharmaceutical manufacturing, we have also used the technology to develop biocatalysts and enzyme products for use in a broader set of industrial markets, including several large verticals, such as food, feed, consumer care and fine chemicals. In addition, we are using our technology to develop enzymes for various life science related applications, such as next generation sequencing (“NGS”) and polymerase chain reaction (“PCR/qPCR”) for in vitro molecular diagnostic and genomic research applications. In December 2019, we entered into a license agreement to provide Roche Sequencing Solutions, Inc. with our first enzyme for this target market: the Company’s EvoT4™ DNA ligase. In June 2020, we entered into a co-marketing and enzyme supply collaboration agreement with Alphazyme LLC for the production and co-marketing of enzymes for life science applications including, initially, high-fidelity DNA polymerase, T7 RNA polymerase and reverse transcriptase enzymes.
We have been using the CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform to develop early stage, novel biotherapeutic product candidates, both in partnership with customers and for our own proprietary Codexis drug candidates. Our first program was for the potential treatment of phenylketonuria ("PKU") in humans. PKU is an inherited metabolic disorder in which the enzyme that converts the essential amino acid phenylalanine into tyrosine is deficient. In October 2017, we entered into a Global Development, Option and License Agreement (the “Nestlé License Agreement”) with Societé des Produits Nestlé S.A., formerly known as Nestec Ltd. (“Nestlé Health Science”) to advance CDX-6114, our enzyme biotherapeutic product candidate for the potential treatment of PKU. In February 2019, Nestlé Health Science exercised its option to obtain an exclusive license to develop and commercialize CDX-6114. Also in October 2017, we entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Nestlé Health Science (“Nestlé SCA”) pursuant to which we and Nestlé Health Science are collaborating to leverage the CodeEvolver® platform technology to develop other novel enzymes for Nestlé Health Science’s established Consumer Care and Medical Nutrition business areas. In January 2020, we entered into a development agreement with Nestlé Health Science to advance a new lead candidate discovered under the Nestlé SCA, CDX-7108, into preclinical development and early clinical studies as a potential treatment for a gastro-intestinal disorder. In parallel, the Nestlé SCA was extended through December 2021 to support the discovery of therapeutic candidates for additional disorders. In March 2020, we entered into a Strategic Collaboration and License Agreement (“Takeda Agreement”) with Shire Human Genetic Therapies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”), for the research and development of novel gene therapies for certain disease indications, including the treatment of lysosomal storage disorders and a blood factor deficiency.
In June 2020, we also entered into a Master Collaboration and Research Agreement (the “MAI Agreement”) with Molecular Assemblies, Inc ("MAI") pursuant to which we are leveraging our CodeEvolver® platform technology to improve the DNA polymerase enzymes that are critical for enzymatic DNA synthesis. Concurrently with the MAI Agreement, we entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with MAI pursuant to which we purchased 1,587,050 shares of MAI's Series A preferred stock for $1.0 million and, in connection with the transaction, John Nicols, our President and Chief Executive Officer, also joined MAI’s board of directors. See Note 14, "Subsequent Event" for additional information.
Below are brief descriptions of our business segments:
Performance Enzymes
We initially commercialized our CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology platform and products in the manufacture of small molecule pharmaceuticals and, to date, this continues to be our largest market served. Our customers, which include many large global pharmaceutical companies, use our technology, products and services in their manufacturing processes and process development. We have also used the technology to develop customized enzymes for use in other industrial markets. These markets consist of several large industrial verticals, including food, feed, consumer care, and fine chemicals. We also use our technology in the life sciences markets to develop enzymes for customers using NGS and PCR/qPCR for in vitro molecular diagnostic and molecular biology research applications, as well DNA/RNA synthesis and health monitoring applications.
Novel Biotherapeutics
We are also targeting new opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry to discover, improve, and/or develop biotherapeutic drug candidates. We believe that our CodeEvolver® protein engineering platform technology can be used to discover novel biotherapeutic drug candidates that will target human diseases that are in need of improved therapeutic interventions. Similarly, we believe that we can deploy our platform technology to improve specific characteristics of a customer’s pre-existing biotherapeutic drug candidate, such as its activity, stability or immunogenicity.
Our first lead program was for the potential treatment of hyperphenylalaninemia (“HPA”) (also referred to as PKU) in humans. PKU is an inherited metabolic disorder in which the enzyme that converts the essential amino acid phenylalanine into tyrosine is deficient. In October 2017, we announced a global development, option and license agreement with Nestlé Health Science to advance CDX-6114, our own novel orally administrable enzyme therapeutic candidate for the potential treatment of PKU. In February 2019, Nestlé Health Science exercised its option to obtain an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing, sub-licensable license for the global development and commercialization of CDX-6114 for the management of PKU. As a result of the option exercise, we earned a milestone and recognized $3.0 million in revenues in the first quarter of 2019. Upon exercising its option, Nestlé Health Science assumed all responsibilities for future clinical development and commercialization of CDX-6114.
In October 2017, we entered into the Nestlé SCA pursuant to which we and Nestlé Health Science are collaborating to leverage the CodeEvolver® platform technology to develop other novel enzymes for Nestlé Health Science’s established Consumer Care and Medical Nutrition business areas. In January 2020, we and Nestlé Health Science entered into a development agreement pursuant to which we and Nestlé Health Science are collaborating to advance into pre-clinical and early
clinical studies a lead candidate targeting a gastro-intestinal disorder, CDX-7108, discovered through the Nestlé SCA. The Nestlé SCA was extended through December 2021. During 2020, we, together with Nestlé Health Science, continued to advance CDX-7108 towards initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial which we anticipate will begin in 2021. Additionally, the parties initiated two new programs under the Nestlé SCA targeting a gastro-intestinal disorder.
In March 2020, we entered into the Takeda Agreement pursuant to which we are collaborating to research and develop protein sequences for use in gene therapy products for certain disease indications in accordance with the respective program plans for Fabry Disease, Pompe Disease, and an undisclosed blood factor deficiency. In March 2020, we received a one-time, non-refundable cash payment of $8.5 million. Of these programs, the Fabry disease program is the most advanced, with multiple sequences, including CDX-6311, having been provided to Takeda.
Business Update Regarding COVID-19
We are subject to risks and uncertainties as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a substantial public health and economic challenge around the world and is affecting our employees, communities and business operations, as well as the U.S. economy and other economies worldwide. The full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will directly or indirectly impact our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and may not be accurately predicted, including the duration and severity of the pandemic and the extent and severity of the impact on our customers, new information that may emerge concerning COVID-19, the actions taken to contain it or treat its impact and the economic impact on local, regional, national and international markets.
To date, we and our collaboration partners have been able to continue to supply our enzymes to our customers worldwide. However, we are dependent on our manufacturing and logistics partners and consequently, disruptions in operations of our partners and customers may affect our ability to supply enzymes to our customers. Furthermore, our ability to provide future research and development ("R&D") services will continue to be impacted as a result of governmental orders and any disruptions in operations of our customers with whom we collaborate. We believe that these disruptions have had a minimal impact on revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2021. The extent to which the pandemic may impact our business operations and operating results will continue to remain highly dependent on future developments, which are uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence.
In the U.S., the impact of COVID-19, including governmental orders ("Orders") governing the operation of businesses during the pandemic, caused the temporary closure of our Redwood City, California facilities and has disrupted our R&D operations. R&D operations for several projects were temporarily suspended from mid-March 2020 through the end of April 2020 in accordance with these Orders. In May 2020, we initiated limited R&D operations and have ramped up operations such that we are currently utilizing the majority of our normal R&D capacity while following county, state and federal COVID-19 guidance for the protection of our employees. Additionally, we resumed small scale manufacturing at our Redwood City pilot plant in May 2020.
Our future results of operations and liquidity could be adversely impacted by delays in payments of outstanding receivable amounts beyond normal payment terms, supply chain disruptions and uncertain demand, and the impact of any initiatives or programs that we may undertake to address financial and operations challenges faced by our customers. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may materially impact our financial condition, liquidity, or results of operations in the future is uncertain. For additional information on the various risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, please read Item 1A. Risk Factors included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.