PART II - OTHER INFORMATION
Item 1. Legal Proceedings
On March 17, 2014, a complaint was served on the Company in the following state court action in the District Court for the County of Arapahoe, State of Colorado: Robert Taggart v. Guy Cook, Bacterin International, Inc., a Nevada Corporation and Bacterin International Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, Civil Action No. 14CV30401. The complaint involves claims under an employment agreement between plaintiff and the Company seeking commissions on Company sales, a commission on funds obtained by the Company as a result of a reverse merger and vesting of certain stock options. Plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $5 million. The Company believes this case lacks legal merit and has filed counterclaims for plaintiffs breach of his employment agreement and breach of his duty of loyalty to the Company, asserting the right to recover all compensation paid to Plaintiff during his employment as well as other damages.
On July 9, 2014, a complaint was served on the Company in the following action in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey: Middlebury Securities, LLC v. Bacterin International, Inc., Case Number 2:14-CV-03905-WJM-MF. The complaint alleges that Bacterin owes Middlebury an $80,000 fee, along with $80,000 in warrants, in connection with the March 6, 2014 extension of credit by ROS. Bacterin believes this case lacks merit because there is no agreement between the parties regarding the transaction in question.
On July 14, 2014, a complaint was served on the Company in the following action in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, In re: Rodman & Renshaw, LLC, Debtor, Case No. 13-10087 (REG): YANN GERON, Chapter 7 Trustee of the Estate of Rodman & Renshaw, LLC, Plaintiff, against Bacterin International Holdings, Inc. The complaint alleges that Bacterin owes a $150,000 investment banking fee in connection with Bacterins April 2012 accounts receivable credit facility with MidCap Financial LLC. Bacterin believes this case lack merit because the accounts receivable credit facility was not a debt or equity security covered by the engagement letter.
Item 1A Risk Factors
Our business and an investment in our securities are subject to a variety of risks. The following risk factors describe some of the most significant events, facts or circumstances that could have a material adverse effect upon our business, financial condition, results of operations, ability to implement our business plan and the market price for our securities. Many of these events are outside of our control. If any of these risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations may be materially adversely affected. In such case, the trading price of our common stock could decline and investors in our common stock could lose all or part of their investment.
Our Common Stock may be delisted from the NYSE MKT exchange in the near future.
Our common stock may be delisted from the NYSE MKT in the near future. On May 13, 2013, we received a deficiency notice from the NYSE MKT notifying us that we are not in compliance with Section 1003(a)(iii) of the Company Guide with stockholders equity of less than $6,000,000 and net losses in five of our most recent fiscal years and Section 1003(a)(ii) with stockholders equity of less than $4,000,000 and net losses in three of our four most recent fiscal years. On June 12, 2013 we submitted a plan to regain compliance with the continued listing requirements, and on June 21, 2013 the NYSE MKT informed us of the acceptance of our plan and gave us an extension until November 13, 2014 to regain compliance with the continued listing standards. On November 19, 2013, we received another letter from the NYSE MKT notifying us that we are not in compliance with Section 1003(a)(i) of the Company Guide with stockholders equity of less than $2,000,000 as of September 30, 2013 and net losses in two of three of our most recent fiscal years, and we submitted an amended plan to regain compliance. If we fail to achieve $6,000,000 in shareholder equity by the end of the extension period, our common stock will most likely be delisted from the NYSE MKT. We continue to evaluate various opportunities that may increase our shareholder equity, and we understand there is an appeal process, but as of the date of this filing, we are not in compliance with the NYSE MKT continued listing requirements, and we do not expect to achieve compliance with the NYSE MKT continued listing requirements by November 13, 2014. Therefore, we expect the NYSE MKT to initiate the delisting process in the near future. If our common stock is delisted from the NYSE MKT, our stock price might be negatively affected, some shareholders may sell their shares, and we may not be able to attract institutional investors in future financing transactions.
We may not be able to meet financial or other covenant requirements in our current credit facility, and we may not be able to successfully negotiate waivers or a new credit agreement to cure any covenant violations.
Our debt agreements with ROS contain representations, warranties, fees, affirmative and negative covenants, including a minimum cash balance and minimum revenue amounts by quarter, and default provisions, which include departures in key management, if not remedied within 90 days. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under these agreements. Upon the occurrence of an event of default under our debt agreements, our lender could elect to declare all amounts outstanding to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit. If our lender accelerates the repayment of borrowings, we may not have sufficient assets to repay our indebtedness. Also, should there be an event of default, or should we need to obtain waivers following an event of default, we may be subject to higher borrowing costs and/or more restrictive covenants in future periods. In addition, to secure the performance of our obligations under the ROS facility, we pledged substantially all of our assets, including our intellectual property, to ROS. Our failure to comply with the covenants under the ROS credit facility could result in an event of default, the acceleration of our debt and the loss of our assets.
We may need to split the proceeds from future offerings with ROS Acquisition Offshore LP
Our credit agreement with ROS includes an obligation on our part to split the net proceeds from equity offerings evenly with ROS above $15 million in the aggregate. So far we have not exceeded the $15 million threshold; however, future offerings may, when combined with previous offerings, take us above the $15 million threshold in the aggregate, at which point we would be obligated to split the net proceeds of any such future offering evenly with ROS. This would reduce the net proceeds to us, which may affect our ability to raise capital in the future.
We are not currently profitable and we will need to raise additional funds in the future; however, additional funds may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all.
We have substantial operating expenses associated with the sales and marketing of our products. The sales and marketing expenses are anticipated to be funded from operating cash flow. There can be no assurance that we will have sufficient access to liquidity or cash flow to meet our operating expenses and other obligations. If we do not increase our revenue or reduce our expenses, we will need to raise additional capital, which would result in dilution to our stockholders, or seek additional loans. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to operating and financial covenants that would restrict our operations. Financing may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Any failure by us to raise additional funds on terms favorable to us, or at all, could result in our inability to pay our expenses as they come due, limit our ability to expand our business operations, and harm our overall business prospects.
We may not be able to raise capital or, if we can, it may not be on favorable terms. We may seek to raise additional capital through public or private equity financings, partnerships, joint ventures, disposition of assets, debt financings or restructuring, bank borrowing or other sources. To obtain additional funding, we may need to enter into arrangements that require us to relinquish rights to certain technologies, products and/or potential markets. If adequate funds are not otherwise available, we would be forced to curtail operations significantly, including reducing our sales and marketing expenses which could negatively impact product sales and we could even be forced to cease operations, liquidate our assets and possibly even seek bankruptcy protection.
The impact of United States healthcare reform legislation remains uncertain.
In 2010 federal legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), to reform the United States healthcare system was enacted into law. The law was upheld by a Supreme Court decision announced in June 2012. The legislation is far-reaching and is intended to expand access to health insurance coverage, improve quality and reduce costs over time. Among other things, the PPACA imposes a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, which applies to United States sales of our medical device products, including our wound drains and OsteoSelect® DBM putty. Due to multi-year pricing agreements and competitive pricing pressure in our industry, there can be no assurance that we will be able to pass the cost of the device tax on to our customers. Other provisions of this legislation, including Medicare provisions aimed at improving quality and decreasing costs, comparative effectiveness research, an independent payment advisory board, and pilot programs to evaluate alternative payment methodologies, could meaningfully change the way healthcare is developed and delivered. We cannot predict the impact of this legislation or other healthcare programs and regulations that may ultimately be implemented at the federal or state level, the effect of any future legislation or regulation in the United States or internationally or whether any changes will have the effect of lowering prices for our products or reducing medical procedure volumes.
We face risks and uncertainties relating to an OIG subpoena.
In February 2013, we received a subpoena from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) seeking documents in connection with an investigation into possible false or otherwise improper claims submitted to Medicare. The subpoena requested documents related to physician referral programs operated by the Company, which we believe refers to the Companys prior practice of compensating physicians for performing certain educational and promotional services on behalf of the Company. This program was discontinued in 2010. We provided an initial response to the OIG subpoena and have not received any further correspondence or requests from the OIG. Although it does not appear that the OIG is actively pursuing the investigation at the present time, we cannot assure you that the OIG will not resume the investigation in the future. Any further investigation by the OIG could divert managements attention from business demands and subject us to significant legal expenses.
Pricing pressure and cost containment measures could have a negative impact on our future operating results.
Pricing pressure has increased in our industry due to continued consolidation among healthcare providers, trends toward managed care, the shift towards government becoming the primary payer of healthcare expenses, and government laws and regulations relating to reimbursement and pricing generally. Pricing pressure, reductions in reimbursement levels or coverage or other cost containment measures could unfavorably affect our future operating results and financial condition.
Competition from former Chief Executive Officer
Our former Chief Executive Officer, Guy Cook, has acquired an ownership interest in a tissue bank that sells competitive products. Because our former CEO has in depth knowledge about our customers, employees, consultants, products, policies, practices and prospects, and is not bound by a non-compete agreement, we may be adversely affected by increased competition with that business.
Many competitive products exist and more will be developed, and we may not be able to successfully compete because we are smaller and have fewer financial resources.
Our business is in a very competitive and evolving field. Rapid new developments in this field have occurred over the past few years, and are expected to continue to occur. Other companies already have competing products available or may develop products to compete with ours. Many of these products have short regulatory timeframes and our competitors, many with more substantial development resources, may be able to develop competing products that are equal to or better than ours. This may make our products obsolete or undesirable by comparison and reduce our revenue. Our success will depend, in large part, on our ability to maintain a competitive position concerning our intellectual property, and to develop new technologies and new applications for our technologies. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial and technical resources, as well as greater production and marketing capabilities, and our ability to compete remains uncertain.
The medical community and the general public may perceive synthetic materials and growth factors as safer, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Members of the medical community and the general public may perceive synthetic materials and growth factors as safer than our allograft-based bone tissue products. Our products may be incapable of competing successfully with synthetic bone graft substitutes and growth factors developed and commercialized by others, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Negative publicity concerning methods of human tissue recovery and screening of donor tissue in the industry in which we operate may reduce demand for our allografts and impact the supply of available donor tissue.
Media reports or other negative publicity concerning both improper methods of tissue recovery from donors and disease transmission from donated tissue may limit widespread acceptance of our allografts. Unfavorable reports of improper or illegal tissue recovery practices, both in the United States and internationally, as well as incidents of improperly processed tissue leading to transmission of disease, may broadly affect the rate of future tissue donation and market acceptance of allograft technologies. Potential patients may not be able to distinguish our allografts, technologies and the tissue recovery and the processing procedures from those of our competitors or others engaged in tissue recovery. In addition, families of potential donors may become reluctant to agree to donate tissue to for-profit tissue processors.
We are highly dependent on the availability of human donors; any disruptions could cause our customers to seek alternative providers or technologies.
We are highly dependent on our ability to obtain donor cadavers as the raw material for many of our products. The availability of acceptable donors is relatively limited and we compete with many other companies for this limited availability. The availability of donors is also impacted by regulatory changes, general public opinion of the donor process and our reputation for our handling of the donor process. In addition, due to seasonal changes in the mortality rates, some scarce tissues are at times in short supply. Any disruption in the supply of this crucial raw material could have significant consequences for our revenue, operating results and continued operations.
We will need to continue to innovate and develop new products to be desirable to our customers.
The markets for our products and services are characterized by rapid technological change, frequent new introductions, changes in customers demands and evolving industry standards. Accordingly, we will need to continue to innovate and develop additional products. These efforts can be costly, subject to long development and regulatory delays and may not result in products approved for sale. These costs may hurt operating results and may require additional capital. If additional capital is not available, we may be forced to curtail development activities. In addition, any failure on our behalf to react to changing market conditions could create an opportunity for other market participants to capture a critical share of the market within a short period of time.
Our success will depend on our ability to engage and retain qualified technical personnel who are difficult to attract.
Our success will depend on our ability to attract and retain qualified technical personnel to assist in research and development, testing, product implementation, low-scale production and technical support. The demand for such personnel is high and the supply of qualified technical personnel is limited. A significant increase in the wages paid by competing employers could result in a reduction of our technical work force and increases in the wage rates that we must pay or both. If either of these events were to occur, our cost structure could increase and our growth potential could be impaired.
Loss of key members of our management who we need to succeed could adversely affect our business.
We are highly dependent on the services of key members of our management team, and the loss of any of their services could have an adverse effect on our future operations. We do not currently maintain key-man life insurance policies insuring the life of any member of our management team.
We are highly dependent on the continued availability of our facilities and would be harmed if they were unavailable for any prolonged period of time.
Any failure in the physical infrastructure of our facilities or services could lead to significant costs and disruptions that could reduce our revenues and harm our business reputation and financial results. We are highly reliant on our Belgrade, Montana facilities. Any natural or man-made event that impacts our ability to utilize these facilities could have a significant impact on our operating
results, reputation and ability to continue operations. The regulatory process for approval of facilities is time-consuming and our ability to rebuild facilities would take a considerable amount of time and expense and cause a significant disruption in service to our customers. Further, the FDA or some other regulatory agency could identify deficiencies in future inspections of our facilities or our supplies that could disrupt our business, reducing profitability.
We will be required to invest in facilities and equipment on a continuing basis, which will put pressure on us to finance these investments.
We have invested, and intend to continue to invest, in facilities and state-of-the-art equipment in order to increase, expand or update our capabilities and facilities. Changes in technology or sales growth beyond currently established production capabilities, which we anticipate, will require further investment. We currently anticipate that we will need to spend between $4 and $5 million over the next five years in order to increase, expand or update our existing facilities to meet our expected growth over that period. However, there can be no assurance that we will generate sufficient funds from operations to maintain our existing facilities and equipment or to finance any required capital investments or that other sources of funding will be available. Additionally, there can be no guarantee that any future expansion will not negatively affect earnings.
Future revenue will depend on our ability to increase sales.
We currently sell our products through direct sales by our employees and indirectly through distributor relationships. We incurred increased sales and marketing expenses in building and expanding our direct sales force, and there can be no assurance that we will generate increased sales as a result of this effort.
There may be fluctuations in our operating results, which will impact our stock price.
Significant annual and quarterly fluctuations in our results of operations may be caused by, among other factors, our volume of revenues, the timing of new product or service announcements, releases by us and our competitors in the marketplace of new products or services, seasonality and general economic conditions. There can be no assurance that the level of revenues achieved by us in any particular fiscal period will not be significantly lower than in other comparable fiscal periods. Our expense levels are based, in part, on our expectations as to future revenues. As a result, if future revenues are below expectations, net income or loss may be disproportionately affected by a reduction in revenues, as any corresponding reduction in expenses may not be proportionate to the reduction in revenues.
We are dependent on the ability of our licensees and development partners for obtaining regulatory approvals and market acceptance of their products, for which we may have no control.
Our success may depend on our ability, or that of our licensees, to obtain timely regulatory approval for products employing our technology. Moreover, our success may also depend on whether, and how quickly, our licensees gain market acceptance of products incorporating our technology, compared to competitors using competing technologies.
Our revenues will depend upon prompt and adequate reimbursement from public and private insurers and national health systems.
Political, economic and regulatory influences are subjecting the healthcare industry in the United States to fundamental change. The ability of hospitals to pay fees for allograft bone tissue products depends in part on the extent to which reimbursement for the costs of such materials and related treatments will continue to be available from governmental health administration authorities, private health coverage insurers and other organizations. We may have difficulty gaining market acceptance for our products if government and third-party payors do not provide adequate coverage and reimbursement to hospitals. Major third-party payors of hospital services and hospital outpatient services, including Medicare, Medicaid and private healthcare insurers, annually revise their payment methodologies, which can result in stricter standards for reimbursement of hospital charges for certain medical procedures or the elimination of reimbursement. Further, Medicare, Medicaid and private healthcare insurer cutbacks could create downward price pressure on our products.
Our operating results will be harmed if we are unable to effectively manage and sustain our future growth.
We might not be able to manage our future growth efficiently or profitably. Our business is unproven on a large scale and actual revenue and operating margins, or revenue and margin growth, may be less than expected. If we are unable to scale our production capabilities efficiently, we may fail to achieve expected operating margins, which would have a material and adverse effect on our operating results. Growth may also stress our ability to adequately manage our operations, quality of products, safety and regulatory compliance. In order to grow, we may be required to obtain additional financing, which may increase our indebtedness or result in dilution to our stockholders. Further, there can be no assurance that we would be able to obtain any additional financing.
Future business combinations or acquisitions may be difficult to integrate and cause our attention to be diverted.
We may pursue various business combinations with other companies or strategic acquisitions of complementary businesses, product lines or technologies. There can be no assurance that such acquisitions will be available at all, or on terms acceptable to us. These transactions may require additional financing which may increase our indebtedness or outstanding shares, resulting in dilution to stockholders. The inability to obtain such future financing may inhibit our growth and operating results. Integration of acquisitions or additional products can be time consuming, difficult and expensive and may significantly impact operating results. Furthermore, the integration of any acquisition may divert managements time and resources from our core business. We may sell some or all of our product lines to other companies or may agree to combine with another company. Selling some of our product lines may inhibit our ability to generate positive operating results going forward.
We may be subject to future product liability litigation that could be expensive and our insurance coverage may not be adequate in a catastrophic situation.
Although we are not currently subject to any product liability proceedings, and we have no reserves for product liability disbursements, we may incur material liabilities relating to product liability claims in the future, including product liability claims arising out of the usage of our products. We currently carry product liability insurance, however, our insurance coverage and any reserves we may maintain in the future for product related liabilities may not be adequate and our business could suffer material adverse consequences.
U.S. governmental regulation could restrict the use of our products or our procurement of tissue.
In the United States, the procurement and transplantation of allograft bone tissue is subject to federal law pursuant to the National Organ Transplant Act, or NOTA, a criminal statute which prohibits the purchase and sale of human organs used in human transplantation, including bone and related tissue, for valuable consideration. NOTA permits reasonable payments associated with the removal, transportation, processing, preservation, quality control, implantation and storage of human bone tissue. We provide services in all of these areas in the United States, with the exception of removal and implantation, and receive payments for all such services. We make payments to certain of our clients and tissue banks for their services related to recovering allograft bone tissue on our behalf. If NOTA is interpreted or enforced in a manner which prevents us from receiving payment for services we render or which prevents us from paying tissue banks or certain of our clients for the services they render for us, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
We are engaged through our marketing employees, independent sales agents and sales representatives in ongoing efforts designed to educate the medical community as to the benefits of our products, and we intend to continue our educational activities. Although we believe that NOTA permits payments in connection with these educational efforts as reasonable payments associated with the processing, transportation and implantation of our products, payments in connection with such education efforts are not exempt from NOTAs restrictions and our inability to make such payments in connection with our education efforts may prevent us from paying our sales representatives for their education efforts and could adversely affect our business and prospects. No federal agency or court has determined whether NOTA is, or will be, applicable to every allograft bone tissue-based material which our processing technologies may generate. Assuming that NOTA applies to our processing of allograft bone tissue, we believe that we comply with NOTA, but there can be no assurance that more restrictive interpretations of, or amendments to, NOTA will not be adopted in the future which would call into question one or more aspects of our method of operations.
If we fail to maintain regulatory approvals and clearances, or are unable to obtain, or experience significant delays in obtaining, FDA clearances or approvals for our future products or product enhancements, our ability to commercially distribute and market these products could suffer.
Our products are subject to rigorous regulation by the FDA and numerous other federal, state and foreign governmental authorities. The process of obtaining regulatory clearances or approvals to market a medical device can be costly and time consuming, and we may not be able to obtain these clearances or approvals on a timely basis, if at all. In particular, the FDA permits commercial distribution of a new medical device only after the device has received clearance under Section 510(k) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or is the subject of an approved premarket approval application, or PMA unless the device is specifically exempt from those requirements.
The FDA will clear marketing of a lower risk medical device through the 510(k) process if the manufacturer demonstrates that the new product is substantially equivalent to other 510(k)-cleared products. High risk devices deemed to pose the greatest risk, such as life-sustaining, life-supporting, or implantable devices, or devices not deemed substantially equivalent to a previously cleared device, require the approval of a PMA. The PMA process is more costly, lengthy and uncertain than the 510(k) clearance process. A PMA application must be supported by extensive data, including, but not limited to, technical, preclinical, clinical trial, manufacturing and labeling data, to demonstrate to the FDAs satisfaction the safety and efficacy of the device for its intended use.
Our failure to comply with U.S. federal, state and foreign governmental regulations could lead to the issuance of warning letters or untitled letters, the imposition of injunctions, suspensions or loss of regulatory clearance or approvals, product recalls, termination of distribution, product seizures or civil penalties. In the most extreme cases, criminal sanctions or closure of our manufacturing facility are possible.
Modifications to our products may require new regulatory clearances or approvals or may require us to recall or cease marketing our products until clearances or approvals are obtained.
Modifications to our products may require new regulatory approvals or clearances, including 510(k) clearances, premarket approvals, or require us to recall or cease marketing the modified devices until these clearances or approvals are obtained. The FDA requires device manufacturers to initially make and document a determination of whether or not a modification requires a new approval, supplement or clearance. A manufacturer may determine that a modification could not significantly affect safety or efficacy and does not represent a major change in its intended use, so that no new 510(k) clearance is necessary. However, the FDA can review a manufacturers decision and may disagree. The FDA may also on its own initiative determine that a new clearance or approval is required. We have made modifications to our products in the past and may make additional modifications in the future that we believe do not or will not require additional clearances or approvals. If the FDA disagrees and requires new clearances or approvals for the modifications, we may be required to recall and to stop marketing our products as modified, which could require us to redesign our products and harm our operating results. In these circumstances, we may be subject to significant enforcement actions.
If a manufacturer determines that a modification to an FDA-cleared device could significantly affect its safety or efficacy, or would constitute a major change in its intended use, then the manufacturer must file for a new 510(k) clearance or possibly a premarket approval application. Where we determine that modifications to our products require a new 510(k) clearance or premarket approval, we may not be able to obtain those additional clearances or approvals for the modifications or additional indications in a timely manner, or at all. Obtaining clearances and approvals can be a time consuming process, and delays in obtaining required future clearances or approvals would adversely affect our ability to introduce new or enhanced products in a timely manner, which in turn would harm our future growth.
There is no guarantee that the FDA will grant 510(k) clearance or PMA approval of our future products and failure to obtain necessary clearances or approvals for our future products would adversely affect our ability to grow our business.
Future products may require FDA clearance of a 510(k) or approval of a PMA. In addition, future products may require clinical trials to support regulatory approval and we may not successfully complete these clinical trials. The FDA may not approve or clear these products for the indications that are necessary or desirable for successful commercialization. Indeed, the FDA may refuse our requests for 510(k) clearance or premarket approval of new products. Failure to receive clearance or approval for our new products would have an adverse effect on our ability to expand our business.
Clinical trials can be long, expensive and ultimately uncertain which could jeopardize our ability to obtain regulatory approval and market our products.
Clinical trials are generally required to support a PMA application and are sometimes required for 510(k) clearance. Such trials generally require an investigational device exemption application, or IDE, approved in advance by the FDA for a specified number of patients and study sites, unless the product is deemed a nonsignificant risk device eligible for more abbreviated IDE requirements. Clinical trials are subject to extensive monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Clinical trials must be conducted under the oversight of an institutional review board, or IRB, for the relevant clinical trial sites and must comply with FDA regulations, including but not limited to those relating to good clinical practices. To conduct a clinical trial, we also are required to obtain the patients informed consent in form and substance that complies with both FDA requirements and state and federal privacy and human subject protection regulations. We, the FDA or the IRB could suspend a clinical trial at any time for various reasons, including a belief that the risks to study subjects outweigh the anticipated benefits. In addition, the commencement or completion of any clinical trial may be delayed or halted for numerous reasons, including, but not limited to patients not enrolling in clinical trials at the rate we expect, patients experiencing adverse side effects, third party contractors failing to perform in accordance with our anticipated schedule or consistent with good clinical practices, inclusive or negative interim trial results or our inability to obtain sufficient quantities of raw materials to produce our products. Clinical trials often take several years to execute. The outcome of any
trial is uncertain and may have a significant impact on the success of our current and future products and future profits. Our development costs may increase if we have material delays in clinical trials or if we need to perform more or larger clinical trials than planned. If this occurs, our financial results and the commercial prospects for our products may be harmed. Even if a trial is completed, the results of clinical testing may not adequately demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the device or may otherwise not be sufficient to obtain FDA approval to market the product in the United States.
Even if our products are approved by regulatory authorities, if we or our suppliers fail to comply with ongoing FDA or other foreign regulatory authority requirements, or if we experience unanticipated problems with our products, these products could be subject to restrictions or withdrawal from the market.
Any product for which we obtain clearance or approval, and the manufacturing processes, reporting requirements, post-approval clinical data and promotional activities for such product, will be subject to continued regulatory review, oversight and periodic inspections by the FDA and other domestic and foreign regulatory bodies. In particular, we and our suppliers are required to comply with FDAs Quality System Regulations, or QSR, and International Standards Organization, or ISO, regulations for the manufacture of our products and other regulations which cover the methods and documentation of the design, testing, production, control, quality assurance, labeling, packaging, storage and shipping of any product for which we obtain clearance or approval. Regulatory bodies, such as the FDA, enforce the QSR and other regulations through periodic inspections. The failure by us or one of our suppliers to comply with applicable statutes and regulations administered by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, or the failure to timely and adequately respond to any adverse inspectional observations or product safety issues, could result in, among other things, any of the following enforcement actions:
untitled letters, warning letters, fines, injunctions, consent decrees and civil penalties;
unanticipated expenditures to address or defend such actions;
customer notifications for repair, replacement, refunds;
recall, detention or seizure of our products;
operating restrictions or partial suspension or total shutdown of production;
refusing or delaying our requests for 510(k) clearance or premarket approval of new products or modified products;
withdrawing 510(k) clearances or HDE or PMA approvals that have already been granted;
refusal to grant export approval for our products; or
If any of these actions were to occur it would harm our reputation and cause our product sales and profitability to suffer and may prevent us from generating revenue. Furthermore, our key component suppliers may not currently be or may not continue to be in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements which could result in our failure to produce our products on a timely basis and in the required quantities, if at all.
Even if regulatory clearance or approval of a product is granted, such clearance or approval may be subject to limitations on the intended uses for which the product may be marketed and reduce our potential to successfully commercialize the product and generate revenue from the product. If the FDA determines that our promotional materials, labeling, training or other marketing or educational activities constitute promotion of an unapproved use, it could request that we cease or modify our training or promotional materials or subject us to regulatory enforcement actions. It is also possible that other federal, state or foreign enforcement authorities might take action if they consider our training or other promotional materials to constitute promotion of an unapproved use, which could result in significant fines or penalties under other statutory authorities, such as laws prohibiting false claims for reimbursement.
In addition, we may be required to conduct costly post-market testing and surveillance to monitor the safety or effectiveness of our products, and we must comply with medical device reporting requirements, including the reporting of adverse events and malfunctions related to our products. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with our products, including unanticipated
adverse events or adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, manufacturing problems, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements such as QSR, may result in changes to labeling, restrictions on such products or manufacturing processes, withdrawal of the products from the market, voluntary or mandatory recalls, a requirement to repair, replace or refund the cost of any medical device we manufacture or distribute, fines, suspension of regulatory approvals, product seizures, injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties which would adversely affect our business, operating results and prospects.
We face risks and uncertainties relating to an ongoing inspection and Warning Letter.
We received a Warning Letter from the FDA on January 28, 2013 concerning the facility located at 600 Cruiser Lane, Belgrade, MT (Site 600). The Warning Letter addressed issues regarding aspects of Bacterins quality system with a focus on OsteoSelect DBM Putty which is both a tissue and a device. We responded to the Warning Letter on February 22, 2013, and provided periodic response updates on March 20, 2013, April 15, 2013 and May 20, 2013. We developed and implemented a corrective action strategy that we believed addressed all of FDAs concerns. While we believe that we have developed and have implemented a corrective action strategy that we believe addresses all of FDAs concerns, there is a chance that FDA will not agree with our completed corrective actions. If FDA does not agree with our actions, they could issue another Warning Letter, request that we take additional actions, or take additional enforcement actions. FDA conducted a re-inspection of Site 600 from July 8, 2013 to July 12, 2013, which evaluated the completion of the corrective actions and resulted in the issuance of an unrelated FDA-Form 483 on July 12, 2013. We responded to the FDA-Form 483 on August 1, 2013, and provided periodic response updates on August 13, 2013, September 26, 2013, October 31, 2013 and December 4, 2013. On October 29, 2013, we received an Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) for this re-inspection. At this time, we do not know whether or when FDA will conduct an additional follow up inspection. In addition, from July 22, 2013 to August 2, 2013, FDA conducted a tissue-focused inspection of Site 600 which resulted in an FDA-Form 483. We responded to the FDA-Form 483 on August 22, 2013. At this time, we do not know whether this inspection will lead to an enforcement action or when FDA will close out this inspection.
If our products cause or contribute to a death or a serious injury, or malfunction in certain ways, we will be subject to medical device reporting regulations, which can result in voluntary corrective actions or agency enforcement actions.
Under the FDA medical device reporting regulations, medical device manufacturers are required to report to the FDA information that a device has or may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or has malfunctioned in a way that would likely cause or contribute to death or serious injury if the malfunction of the device or one of our similar devices were to recur. Under FDA HCT/P reporting regulations, we are required to report all adverse reactions involving a communicable disease if it is fatal, life threatening, or results in permanent impairment of a body function or permanent damage to body structure. If we fail to report these events to the FDA within the required timeframes, or at all, FDA could take enforcement action against us. Any such adverse event involving our products also could result in future voluntary corrective actions, such as recalls or customer notifications, or agency action, such as inspection or enforcement action. Any corrective action, whether voluntary or involuntary, as well as defending ourselves in a lawsuit, will require the dedication of our time and capital, distract management from operating our business, and may harm our reputation and financial results.
We may implement a product recall or voluntary market withdrawal due to product defects or product enhancements and modifications, which would significantly increase our costs.
The FDA and similar foreign governmental authorities have the authority to require the recall of commercialized products in the event of material deficiencies or defects in design or manufacture. In the case of the FDA, the authority to require a recall must be based on an FDA finding that there is a reasonable probability that the device would cause serious injury or death. In addition, foreign governmental bodies have the authority to require the recall of our products in the event of material deficiencies or defects in design or manufacture. Manufacturers may, under their own initiative, recall a product if any material deficiency in a device is found. A government-mandated or voluntary recall by us or one of our distributors could occur as a result of component failures, manufacturing errors, design or labeling defects or other deficiencies and issues. Recalls of any of our products would divert managerial and financial resources and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The FDA requires that certain classifications of recalls be reported to FDA within 10 working days after the recall is initiated. Companies are required to maintain certain records of recalls, even if they are not reportable to the FDA. We may initiate voluntary recalls involving our products in the future that we determine do not require notification of the FDA. If the FDA disagrees with our determinations, they could require us to report those actions as recalls. A future recall announcement could harm our reputation with customers and negatively affect our sales. In addition, the FDA could take enforcement action for failing to report the recalls when they were conducted.
We may be subject to fines, penalties or injunctions if we are determined to be promoting the use of our products for unapproved or off-label uses.
Our promotional materials and training methods for physicians must comply with FDA and other applicable laws and regulations. We believe that the specific surgical procedures for which our products are marketed fall within the scope of the surgical applications that have been cleared by the FDA. However, the FDA could disagree and require us to stop promoting our products for those specific procedures until we obtain FDA clearance or approval for them. In addition, if the FDA determines that our promotional materials or training constitutes promotion of an unapproved use, it could request that we modify our training or promotional materials or subject us to regulatory or enforcement actions, including the issuance of an untitled letter, a warning letter, injunction, seizure, civil fine and criminal penalties. It is also possible that other federal, state or foreign enforcement authorities might take action if they consider our promotional or training materials to constitute promotion of an unapproved use, which could result in significant fines or penalties under other statutory authorities, such as laws prohibiting false claims for reimbursement. In that event, our reputation could be damaged and adoption of the products would be impaired.
If we or our suppliers fail to comply with ongoing FDA or other regulatory authority requirements pertaining to Human Tissue Products, these products could be subject to restrictions or withdrawal from the market.
Human tissues intended for transplantation have been regulated by the FDA since 1993. Over the course of several years, the FDA issued comprehensive regulations that address manufacturer activities associated with human cells, tissues and cellular and tissue-based products, or HCT/Ps. The first requires that companies that produce and distribute HCT/Ps register with the FDA. This set of regulations also includes the criteria that must be met in order for the HCT/P to be eligible for marketing solely under Section 361 of the PHS Act and the regulations in 21 CFR Part 1271, rather than under the drug or device provisions of the FD&C Act or the biological product licensing provisions of the PHS Act. The second set of regulations provides criteria that must be met for donors to be eligible to donate tissues and is referred to as the Donor Eligibility rule. The third rule governs the processing and distribution of the tissues and is often referred to as the Current Good Tissue Practices rule. The Current Good Tissue Practices rule covers all stages of allograft processing, from procurement of tissue to distribution of final allografts. Together these regulations are designed to ensure that sound, high quality practices are followed to reduce the risk of tissue contamination and of communicable disease transmission to recipients.
These regulations increased regulatory scrutiny within the industry in which we operate and have led to increased enforcement action which affects the conduct of our business. In addition, these regulations can increase the cost of tissue recovery activities. The FDA periodically inspects tissue processors to determine compliance with these requirements. Violations of applicable regulations noted by the FDA during facility inspections could adversely affect the continued marketing of our products. We believe we comply with all aspects of the Current Good Tissue Practices, although there can be no assurance that we will comply, or will comply on a timely basis, in the future. Entities that provide us with allograft bone tissue are responsible for performing donor recovery, donor screening and donor testing and our compliance with those aspects of the Current Good Tissue Practices regulations that regulate those functions are dependent upon the actions of these independent entities. If our suppliers fail to comply with applicable requirements, our products and our business could be negatively affected. If the FDA determines that we have failed to comply with applicable regulatory requirements, it can impose a variety of enforcement actions from public warning letters, fines, injunctions, consent decrees and civil penalties to suspension or delayed issuance of approvals, seizure of our products, total or partial shutdown of our production, withdrawal of approvals, and criminal prosecutions. If any of these events were to occur, it could materially adversely affect us.
In addition, the FDA could disagree with our conclusion that some of our HCT/Ps meet the criteria for marketing solely under Section 361 of the PHS Act, and therefore do not require approval or clearance of a marketing application. For our HCT/Ps that are not combined with another article, the FDA could conclude that the tissue is more than minimally manipulated, that the product is intended for a non-homologous use, or that the product has a systemic effect or is dependent on the metabolic activity of living cells for its effect. If the FDA were to draw these conclusions, it would likely require the submission and approval or clearance of a marketing application in order for us to continue to market the product. Such an action by the FDA could cause negative publicity, decreased or discontinued product sales, and significant expense in obtaining required marketing approval or clearance.
Other regulatory entities include state agencies with statutes covering tissue banking. Regulations issued by Florida, New York, California and Maryland will be particularly relevant to our business. Most states do not currently have tissue banking regulations. It is possible that others may make allegations against us or against donor recovery groups or tissue banks about non-compliance with applicable FDA regulations or other relevant statutes or regulations. Allegations like these could cause regulators or other authorities to take investigative or other action, or could cause negative publicity for our business and the industry in which we operate.
Our products may be subject to regulation in the EU as well should we enter that market. In the European Union, or EU, regulations, if applicable, differ from one EU member state to the next. Because of the absence of a harmonized regulatory framework and the proposed regulation for advanced therapy medicinal products in the EU, as well as for other countries, the approval process for human derived cell or tissue based medical products may be extensive, lengthy, expensive and unpredictable. Some of our products may be subject to European Union member states regulations that govern the donation, procurement, testing, coding, traceability, processing, preservation, storage, and distribution of human tissues and cells and cellular or tissue-based products. Some EU member states have their own tissue banking regulations.
Many companies to which we supply our products also are subject to extensive regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their failure to meet strict regulatory requirements could adversely affect our business.
Medical devices that incorporate coatings technology are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA and equivalent foreign regulatory authorities. Generally, any medical device manufacturer that wishes to incorporate our coatings technology into its products will be responsible for obtaining FDA clearance or approval for the medical devices it intends to market though we will assist in the 510(k) or PMA filing submitted by licensees. Some of these products may require clinical trials to support regulatory approval and we may not successfully complete these clinical trials. The FDA process can take several months to several years in the United States. The time required to obtain approval for international sales may be longer or shorter, depending on the laws of the particular country. There can be no assurance that our licensees will be able to obtain FDA or international approval on a timely basis. The FDA may not approve or clear these customer products for the indications that are necessary or desirable for successful commercialization. Indeed, the FDA may refuse our licensees requests for 510(k) clearance or premarket approval of their products. Failure to receive clearance or approval for our licensees products would have an adverse effect on our ability to expand our business.