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EX-32.2 - CERTIFICATION - AETHLON MEDICAL INCaethlon_ex3202.htm
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EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION - AETHLON MEDICAL INCaethlon_ex3102.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION - AETHLON MEDICAL INCaethlon_ex3101.htm
EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - AETHLON MEDICAL INCaethlon_ex2301.htm

Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(MARK ONE)

 

[X]     ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018

 

OR

 

[_]     TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from ________ to __________

 

COMMISSION FILE NUMBER 001-37487

 

AETHLON MEDICAL, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

NEVADA 13-3632859
(State or other jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization) Identification No.)

 

9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100  
San Diego, California 92123
(Address of principal executive office) (Zip Code)

 

REGISTRANT'S TELEPHONE NUMBER, INCLUDING AREA CODE: (858) 459-7800

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE EXCHANGE ACT:

 

TITLE OF EACH CLASS

COMMON STOCK, $.001 PAR VALUE

NAME OF EACH EXCHANGE ON WHICH REGISTERED

THE NASDAQ STOCK MARKET LLC

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12(g) OF THE EXCHANGE ACT:

NONE

(TITLE OF CLASS)

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes [_]  No [X]

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes [_]  No [X]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes [X]  No [_]

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes [X]  No [_]

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. [X]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one)

 

  Large accelerated filer  [_] Accelerated filer  [_]
  Non-accelerated filer  [_] Smaller reporting company [X]
  Emerging growth company  [_]  

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. [_]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes [_]  No [X]

 

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of September 30, 2017 was approximately $11 million, computed by reference to the closing sale price of the common stock of $1.54 per share on the Nasdaq Capital Market on September 30, 2017. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each person who owns 10% or more of the outstanding common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. The determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

 

The number of shares of the common stock of the registrant outstanding as of June 8, 2018 was 17,761,206.

 

 

 

   

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  

        PAGE  
PART I.
             
Item 1.   Description of Business     1  
             
Item 1A.   Risk Factors     13  
             
Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments     32  
             
Item 2.   Properties     33  
             
Item 3.   Legal Proceedings     33  
           
Item 4.   Mine Safety Disclosures     33  
             
PART II.
             
Item 5.   Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities     34  
             
Item 6.   Selected Financial Data     39  
             
Item 7.   Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations     39  
             
Item 7A   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk     52  
             
Item 8.   Financial Statements     52  
             
Item 9.   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure     52  
             
Item 9A.   Controls and Procedures     52  
             
Item 9B.   Other Information     53  
             
PART III.
             
Item 10.   Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance     54  
             
Item 11.   Executive Compensation     58  
             
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters     63  
             
Item 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence     65  
             
Item 14.   Principal Accounting Fees and Services     65  
             
PART IV.
             
Item 15.   Exhibits, Financial Statements     66  
             
Signatures       74  
             
Certifications            

 

 

 

 

 i 

 

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS

 

Overview and Corporate History

 

We are a therapeutic technology company focused on addressing unmet needs in global health and biodefense. In the field of infectious disease therapeutics, a majority of viruses that transmit human infections are not addressed with approved antiviral therapies. To address this significant unmet need, the Aethlon Hemopurifier® is an affinity hemofiltration device developed for the single-use elimination of life-threatening viruses from the human circulatory system. In the United States, we are advancing the Hemopurifier under a “Breakthrough Device” designation from The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

Under the “Breakthrough Device” program, the FDA has permitted the proposed “Indication for Use” for our device to include: “The Hemopurifier is a single-use device indicated for the treatment of life-threatening glycosylated viruses that are not addressed with an approved therapy.” We are currently in discussions with FDA to determine the pathway to clinically advance this “Indication for Use” under the “Breakthrough Device” program.

 

The “Indication for Use” under the “Breakthrough Device” program also aligns with our goal to fulfill the broad-spectrum countermeasure objective set forth by the U.S. Government to protect citizens from life-threatening bioterror and pandemic threat viruses that are not addressed with approved therapies. Based on previous human treatment outcomes, we believe our Hemopurifier may also augment the benefit of approved antiviral drug agents.

 

In human studies, the Hemopurifier has been administered to individuals infected with the following glycosylated viruses: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis-C Virus (HCV) and Ebola Virus (EBV). Additionally, the Hemopurifier has been validated in vitro to capture a broad-spectrum of glycosylated viral threats including; Marburg virus, Zika virus, Lassa virus, MERS-CoV, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, Herpes Simplex virus, Chikungunya virus, Dengue virus, West Nile virus, Smallpox related viruses, H1N1 Swine Flu virus, H5N1 Bird Flu virus, and the reconstructed Spanish flu virus of 1918. In many cases, these validations were conducted in collaboration with leading government or non-government research institutes.

 

In collaboration with the FDA, we are focused on the clinical advancement of our Hemopurifier in the U.S. In March of 2017, we concluded an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) feasibility study that was previously approved by FDA. The feasibility study demonstrated safety of our device in health-compromised dialysis patients infected with HCV. The protocol of the IDE study was originally recommended by FDA as a surrogate model to advance the Hemopurifier as a broad-spectrum candidate to treat virulent viruses that are often classified as bioterror or pandemic threats. Prior to FDA approval of our IDE feasibility study, we conducted several clinical studies in virally infected individuals outside of the U.S.

 

In September of 2017, our Hemopurifier received an Expedited Access Pathway (EAP) program designation from FDA to support an accelerated clinical advancement of our device. Subsequent to the EAP designation, the Hemopurifier was transitioned to the “Breakthrough Device” program that was established under the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law in December of 2016.

 

We are also investigating the ability of the Hemopurifier to capture glycosylated bacterial toxins and tumor-derived exosomes that promote cancer progression and treatment resistance. Additionally, we are the majority owner of Exosome Sciences, Inc. (ESI), a Company that is focused on the discovery of exosomal biomarkers to diagnose and monitor life-threatening disease conditions that may be current or future therapeutic targets for Aethlon Medical.

 

We (Aethlon Medical, Inc.) were formed on March 10, 1999. Our executive offices are located at 9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92123. Our telephone number is (858) 459-7800. All references to “us” or “we” are references to Aethlon Medical, Inc., combined with its majority-owned subsidiary, Exosome Sciences, Inc.

 

 

 

 1 

 

 

The Mechanism of the Hemopurifier

 

The Aethlon Hemopurifier is an affinity hemofiltration device designed for the single-use removal of life-threatening viruses from the human circulatory system. In the United States, the Hemopurifier is classified as a combination product whose regulatory jurisdiction is The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the branch of FDA responsible for the premarket approval of all medical devices.

 

In application, our Hemopurifier is deployed for use on the established infrastructure of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and dialysis instruments located in hospitals and clinics worldwide. Incorporated within the Hemopurifier is an active affinity lectin that binds to a glycosylated structure with which infectious viruses cloak themselves to evade the surveillance of the immune system as a means to promote replication of progeny viruses. In mechanism, the Hemopurifier eliminates circulatory viruses prior to cell infection as a means to interrupt the replication of progeny viruses.

 

We have demonstrated that the Hemopurifier affinity mechanism provides for the capture of a broad-spectrum of strains, species and families of viral pathogens. We are also investigating the utility of our Hemopurifier to capture glycosylated bacterial toxins as well as circulating tumor-derived exosomes that promote cancer progression and treatment resistance.

 

The Hemopurifier - U.S. Clinical Trials

  

On March 13, 2017, we concluded an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) feasibility study of Hemopurifier therapy. In the study, safety of the Hemopurifier was demonstrated in health-compromised individuals infected with a viral pathogen. Based on guidance from FDA, the study served as a surrogate model to advance our device as a broad-spectrum treatment countermeasure against highly virulent viruses that are often considered bioterror or pandemic threats. The feasibility study was conducted on Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected dialysis patients at DaVita MedCenter Dialysis in Houston, Texas. The principal investigator of the study was Dr. Ronald Ralph. We reported that there were no device-related adverse events in enrolled subjects who met the study inclusion-exclusion criteria. We also reported that an average capture of 154 million copies of HCV (in International Units, I.U.) within the Hemopurifier® during 4-hour treatments. The FDA approved the IDE feasibility study protocol in June of 2013. Prior to this approval, we collected supporting Hemopurifier data through investigational human studies conducted overseas.

 

The Hemopurifier – Clinical Trials Conducted Overseas

 

EBOLA Virus

 

In December of 2014, Time Magazine named the Hemopurifier® a “Top 25 Invention” as the result of treating an ebola-infected physician at Frankfurt University Hospital in Germany. The physician was comatose with multiple organ failure at the time of treatment with the Hemopurifier®. At the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting, Dr. Helmut Geiger, Chief of Nephrology at Frankfurt University Hospital reported that the patient received a single 6.5 hour Hemopurifier® treatment. Prior to treatment, viral load was measured at 400,000 c/ml. Post-treatment viral load at reported to be 1,000 c/ml. Dr. Geiger also reported that 242 million copies of Ebola virus were measured to be captured within the Hemopurifier® during treatment. The patient made a full recovery.

 

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

 

Prior to FDA approval of the IDE feasibility study, we conducted investigational HCV treatment studies at the Apollo Hospital, Fortis Hospital and the Medanta Medicity Institute in India. The treatment protocol of the studies conducted at the Apollo and Fortis Hospital was similar to what had been proposed in our IDE feasibility study submission to FDA. Whereas the Medanta Medicity study was conducted to demonstrate the ability of the Hemopurifier to be combined with an established HCV drug regimen.

 

 

 

 2 

 

 

In the Medanta Medicity Institute study, twelve HCV-infected individuals were enrolled to receive three six-hour Hemopurifier treatments during the first three days of a 48-week peginterferon+ribavirin treatment regimen. The study was conducted under the leadership of Dr. Vijay Kher at the Medanta Medicity Institute. Dr. Kher’s staff reported that Hemopurifier therapy was well tolerated and without device-related adverse events in the twelve treated patients.

 

Of these twelve patients, ten completed the Hemopurifier-peginterferon+ribavirin treatment protocol, including eight genotype-1 patients and two genotype-3 patients. Eight of the ten patients achieved a sustained virologic response, which is the clinical definition of treatment cure and is defined as undetectable HCV in the blood 24 weeks after the completion of the 48-week peginterferon+ribavirin drug regimen. Both genotype-3 patients achieved a sustained virologic response, while six of the eight genotype-1 patients achieved a sustained virologic response.

  

Of the ten patients who completed the full treatment protocol, five also achieved a rapid virologic response, defined as undetectable HCV in the blood at day 30 of therapy. Rapid virologic response represents the clinical endpoint that best predicts sustained virologic response cure rates resulting from peginterferon+ribavirin therapy. As a point of reference, the landmark Individualized Dosing Efficacy vs Flat Dosing to Assess Optimal Pegylated Interferon Therapy study of 3,070 HCV genotype-1 patients documented that 10.35% (n=318/3070) of peginterferon+ribavirin-treated patients achieved a rapid virologic response. Patients who achieved a rapid virologic response had sustained virologic response rates of 86.2% (n=274/318) versus sustained virologic response rates of 32.5% (n=897/2752) in non-rapid virologic response patients.  Two of the genotype-1 patients who achieved a rapid virologic response also achieved an immediate virologic response, defined as undetectable HCV in the blood seven days after initiation of Hemopurifier-peginterferon+ribavirin treatment protocol. The earliest measured report of undetectable HCV in blood in the Individualized Dosing Efficacy vs Flat Dosing to Assess Optimal Pegylated Interferon Therapy study was on day 14 of the study.

 

Data from two patients was not included in the reported Hemopurifier-peginterferon+ribavirin dataset. One of these patients was a genotype-5 patient who discontinued peginterferon+ribavirin therapy at day 180, yet still achieved a sustained virologic response. The second patient was a genotype-3 patient who also achieved a sustained virologic response, yet was unable to tolerate peginterferon+ribavirin therapy and discontinued therapy at day 90. Overall, ten of the twelve patients who enrolled in the study achieved a sustained virologic response and seven of the twelve patients achieved a rapid virologic response.

 

Hemopurifier - Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

 

In addition to treating Ebola and HCV-infected individuals, we also conducted a single proof-of-principle treatment study at the Sigma New Life Hospital related to the treatment of HIV-infected AIDS patient who was not be administered HIV antiviral drug agents. In the study, Hemopurifier therapy reduced viral load by 93% as the result of 12 Hemopurifier treatments (each four hours in duration) that were administered over the course of one month.

 

Exosome Sciences, Inc. – Majority Owned Biomarker Discovery Company

 

We are the majority owner of Exosome Sciences, Inc. (ESI), a Company focused on the discovery of exosomal biomarkers to diagnose and monitor life-threatening disease conditions that may be current or future therapeutic targets for Aethlon Medical. At present, the priority of ESI is directed toward exosomal biomarkers to diagnose and monitor cancer and neurological disorders.

 

Since it began operations in 2013, ESI researchers disclosed the discovery of an exosomal biomarker that may be associated with neurological tauopathies, which involve the abnormal accumulation of tau protein in the brain. Tauopathies are a family of 21 different neurological disorders that include Alzheimer's disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  Related to CTE, the ESI team was invited to participate in an NIH-funded research study with The Boston University CTE Center. In the study, ESI researchers investigated an exosomal tau biomarker (TauSome) as a candidate to diagnose and monitor CTE in living individuals. At present, CTE can only be diagnosed through post-mortem brain autopsy.

 

 

 

 3 

 

 

The results of the study indicated that TauSome levels (in blood) of former professional American football players (high CTE risk group) were significantly higher as compared to same-age group control subjects who did not participate in activities that involved repetitive head trauma. Additionally, high TauSome levels also correlated with poor performance in cognitive decline testing. These results were published in an article entitled “Preliminary Study of Plasma Exosomal Tau as a Potential Biomarker for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy” in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease on April 12, 2016.

 

To further validate these observations, ESI has initiated a follow-on study to evaluate TauSome levels in up to 200 former professional football players and control subjects. If fully enrolled, the study would be the largest study to date related to the advancement of a candidate biomarker to diagnose and monitor CTE in the living. Enrollment of study participants began in March 2018 at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN) in Phoenix, AZ.  Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, Ph.D., Co-Director of TGEN’s Center for Noninvasive Diagnostics is the principal investigator at this site location. Dr. Van Keuren-Jensen is neurodegenerative disease thought leader whose research includes discovery and detection of biomarkers for central nervous system disorders. Additional site locations are anticipated.

 

U.S. GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

 

We are a proven performer under U.S. Government Contracts. We recently completed two Department of Defense (DOD) contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) related to the treatment of sepsis and other disease conditions. In these programs, we completed 29 out of 29 milestone opportunities, which generated approximately $6 million of revenue for our Company.

 

National Institutes of Health (“NIH”)

 

At present, we are operating under a National Institutes of Health (NIH) contract with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) related to the study of our Hemopurifier to capture tumor-derived exosomes. We entered into this contract on September 15, 2017. This contract award is under the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and is entitled: SBIR Topic 359 Phase 1 Device Strategy for Selective Isolation of Oncosomes and Non-Malignant Exosomes. The contract award is a firm, fixed-price contract with potential total payments of $299,250 over the course of nine months.

 

Fixed price contracts require the achievement of multiple, incremental milestones to receive the full award during each period of the contract. The NIH also has the unilateral right to require us to perform additional work under an option period for an additional fixed amount of $49,800. Under the terms of the contract, we must perform certain incremental work towards the achievement of specific milestones against which we will invoice the government for fixed payment amounts.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we performed work under the contract completing the majority of the first two technical objectives of the contract (Aim 1: To validate the Hemopurifier as a device for capture and recovery of melanoma exosomes from plasma and Aim 2: To validate a method of melanoma exosome isolation consisting of the Hemopurifier followed by mab-based immunocapture to select out the tumor-derived exosomes from non-malignant exosomes). As a result we invoiced NIH for $149,625.

 

Upon completion of this contract award, we plan to submit a Phase 2 contract proposal under the program. If awarded, the Phase 2 SBIR would pay $1.5 million over two years.

 

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”)

 

We entered into a contract with DARPA on September 30, 2011. Under the DARPA award, we have been engaged to develop a therapeutic device to reduce the incidence of sepsis, a fatal bloodstream infection that often results in the death of combat-injured soldiers. The award from DARPA was a fixed-price contract with potential total payments to us of $6,794,389 over the course of five years. Fixed price contracts require the achievement of multiple, incremental milestones to receive the full award during each year of the contract. Under the terms of the contract, we performed certain incremental work towards the achievement of specific milestones against which we invoiced the government for fixed payment amounts.

 

 

 

 4 

 

 

Originally, only the base year (year one of the contract) was effective for the parties; however, DARPA subsequently exercised its option on the remaining years of the contract. The milestones were comprised of planning, engineering and clinical targets, the achievement of which in some cases required the participation and contribution of third-party participants under the contract. We commenced work under the contract in October 2011 and completed the contract in September 2016.

 

In February 2014, DARPA reduced the scope of our contract in years three through five of the contract. The reduction in scope focused our research on exosomes, viruses and blood processing instrumentation. This scope reduction reduced the possible payments under the contract by $858,469 over years three through five.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we invoiced the U.S. Government for the final two milestones under our DARPA contract in the aggregate amount of $387,438. As the DARPA contract was completed on September 30, 2016, we do not expect to record any future revenue related to that contract.

 

Subcontract with Battelle Memorial Institute

 

We entered into a subcontract agreement with Battelle in March 2013. Battelle was chosen by DARPA to be the prime contractor on the systems integration portion of the original DARPA contract, and we were one of several subcontractors on that systems integration project. The Battelle subcontract was under a time and materials basis, and we began generating revenues under the subcontract in the three months ended September 30, 2013. That contract has now concluded. The Battelle subcontract was our first cost-reimbursable contract.

 

Our revenue under this contract was a function of cost reimbursement plus an overhead mark-up for hours devoted to the project by specific employees (with specific hourly rates for those employees), for travel expenses related to the project, for any equipment purchased for the project and for the cost of any consultants hired by us to perform work on the project. Each payment required approval by the program manager at Battelle.

 

Research and Development Costs

 

A substantial portion of our operating budget is used for research and development activities. The cost of research and development, all of which has been charged to operations, amounted to approximately $586,000 and $673,000 in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

 

Intellectual Property

 

We currently own or have license rights to a number of U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications and endeavor to continually improve our intellectual property position. We consider the protection of our technology, whether owned or licensed, to the exclusion of use by others, to be vital to our business. While we intend to focus primarily on patented or patentable technology, we may also rely on trade secrets, unpatented property, know-how, regulatory exclusivity, patent extensions and continuing technological innovation to develop our competitive position. We also own certain trademarks.

 

Patents

  

The following table lists all of our issued patents and patent applications, including their ownership status:

 

Patents Issued in the United States

 

PATENT # PATENT NAME

ISSUANCE

DATE

OWNED OR

LICENSED

EXPIRATION

DATE

9,707,333 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles 7/18/17 Owned 1/6/29
9,364,601 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles 6/14/16 Owned 10/2/29
8,288,172 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles (exosomes) (method patent) 10/16/12 Owned 3/30/29
7,226,429 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis 6/5/07 Owned 1/20/24
6,528,057 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood 3/4/03 Licensed 8/30/19

 

 

 

 

 5 

 

 

Patent Applications Pending in the United States

 

APPLICATION # APPLICATION NAME

FILING

DATE

OWNED OR

LICENSED

15/866780 Affinity capture of circulating biomarkers 1/10/18 Owned
15/567500 Methods for delivering regional citrate anticoagulation (RCA) during extracorporeal blood treatments 10/18/17 Owned
15/121736 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies 8/25/16 Owned
62/541538 Multiplex cerebrospinal fluid processing system 8/04/17 Owned
14/856361 Device and method for purifying virally infected blood 9/16/15 Owned
14/490418 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis 9/18/14 Owned
13/808561 Methods and compositions for quantifying exosomes 8/14/13 Owned

 

Foreign Patents

 

PATENT # PATENT NAME

ISSUANCE

DATE

OWNED OR

LICENSED

EXPIRATION

DATE

3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Denmark) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (France) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Germany) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Ireland) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Great Britain) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Sweden) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Netherlands) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
3110977 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Switzerland) 5/16/18 Owned 9/12/36
2353399 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Russia) 4/27/09 Owned 1/20/24
770344 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood (Australia) 6/3/04 Licensed 8/30/19
DE69929986 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood (Germany) 2/22/06 Licensed 8/30/19
1109564 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood (France) 2/22/06 Licensed 8/30/19
1109564 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood (Great Britain) 2/22/06 Licensed 8/30/19
1109564 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood (Italy) 2/22/06 Licensed 8/30/19
2342203 Method for removal of HIV and other viruses from blood (Canada) 3/1/11 Licensed 8/30/19
1624785 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Belgium) 7/17/13 Owned 1/20/24
1624785 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Ireland) 7/17/13 Owned 1/20/24
1624785 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Italy) 7/17/13 Owned 1/20/24
1624785 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Great Britain) 7/17/13 Owned 1/20/24
1624785 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (France) 7/17/13 Owned 1/20/24
1624785 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Germany) 7/17/13 Owned 1/20/24
2516403 Method for removal of viruses from blood by lectin affinity hemodialysis (Canada) 8/12/14 Owned 1/20/24
2591359 Methods for quantifying exosomes (Germany) 3/01/17 Owned 7/07/31
2591359 Methods for quantifying exosomes (France) 3/01/17 Owned 7/07/31
2591359 Methods for quantifying exosomes (Great Britain) 3/01/17 Owned 7/07/31
2591359 Methods for quantifying exosomes (Spain) 3/01/17 Owned 7/07/31

 

 

 

 6 

 

 

Foreign Patent Applications

 

    FILING OWNED OR
APPLICATION # APPLICATION NAME DATE LICENSED
DE 112016001400.7 Methods of delivering regional citrate anticoagulation (RCA) during extracorporeal blood treatments 10/23/17 Owned
EP20070752778 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles (exosomes) (Europe) 3/9/07 Owned
9104740.6 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles (exosomes) (Hong Kong) 3/9/07 Owned
8139/DELNP/2008 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles (exosomes) (India) 3/9/07 Owned
2644855 Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles (Canada) 3/9/07 Owned
       
2939652 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Canada) 8/12/06 Owned
18166085.3 Brain specific exosome based diagnostics and extracorporeal therapies (Europe) 4/6/18 Owned

 

International Patent Applications

 

APPLICATION # APPLICATION NAME

FILING

DATE

OWNED OR

LICENSED

PCT/US2016/062194 Exosomal tau as a biomarker for brain disorders 11/16/16 Owned

PCT/US2016/

028482

Methods for delivering regional citrate anticoagulation during extracorporeal blood treatments 4/20/16 Owned

 

We expect that our ability to enforce our patents and proprietary rights in many countries will be adversely impacted due to possible changes in law, our lack of familiarity with foreign law, or our lack of professional resources in jurisdictions outside the U.S. We cannot guarantee that any patents issued or licensed to us, including within the U.S., will provide us with competitive advantages or will not be challenged by others, or will not expire prior to our successful commercialization of our products. Furthermore, we cannot be certain that others will not independently develop similar products or will not design around patents issued or licensed to us. We cannot guarantee that patents that are issued will not be challenged, invalidated or infringed upon or designed around by others, or that the claims contained in such patents will not infringe the patent claims of others, or provide us with significant protection against competitive products, or otherwise be commercially valuable. We may need to acquire licenses under patents belonging to others for technology potentially useful or necessary to us. If any such licenses are required, we cannot be certain that they will be available on terms acceptable to us, if at all. To the extent that we are unable to obtain patent protection for our products or technology, our business may be materially adversely affected by competitors who develop substantially equivalent technology.

 

Trademarks

 

We have obtained trademark registrations in the U.S. for Hemopurifier, Aethlon Medical, Inc., and the Exosome Sciences Logo and obtained a trademark registration in India for Hemopurifier. Exosome Sciences, Inc. has applied for the Tausome trademark in the U.S., which application is currently pending. We also have common law trademark rights in Aethlon ADAPT™ and ELLSA™.

 

Licensing and Assignment Agreements

 

Effective January 1, 2000, we entered into an agreement with a related party under which an invention and related patent rights for a method of removing Human Immunodeficiency and other viruses from the blood were assigned to us by the inventors in exchange for an 8.75% royalty to be paid on future net sales of the patented product or process and shares of our common stock. On March 4, 2003, the related patent (patent #6,528,057) was issued, and we issued 3,922 shares of unregistered common stock to that related party. The license runs for the life of the patent, which expires in August 2019.

 

 

 

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On November 7, 2006, we entered into an exclusive assignment agreement with the London Health Science Center Research, Inc. under which an invention and related patent rights for a method to treat cancer were assigned to us. The invention provides for the "Extracorporeal removal of microvesicular particles" for which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allowed a patent (patent #8,288,172) in the U.S. as of October 2012. The agreement provides for an upfront payment of 800 shares of unregistered common stock and a 2% royalty on any future net sales. We are also responsible for paying certain patent application and filing costs. Under the assignment agreement, we own the patents outright for the life of the patent, which expires in March 2029. Under certain circumstances, ownership of the patents may revert to the London Health Science Center Research, Inc. if there is an uncured substantial breach of the assignment agreement.

 

Industry & Competition

 

The industry for treating infectious disease and cancer is extremely competitive, and companies developing new treatment procedures face significant capital and regulatory challenges. As our Hemopurifier is a clinical-stage device, we have the additional challenge of establishing medical industry support, which will be driven by treatment data resulting from human clinical studies. Should our device become market cleared by FDA or the regulatory body of another country, we may face significant competition from well-funded pharmaceutical organizations. Additionally, we would likely need to establish large-scale production of our device in order to be competitive. We believe that our Hemopurifier is a first-in-class therapeutic candidate and we are not aware of any affinity hemofiltration device being market cleared in any country for the single-use removal of circulating viruses or tumor-derived exosomes.

 

Government Regulation of Medical Devices

 

The Hemopurifier is subject to regulation by numerous regulatory bodies, primarily the FDA, and comparable international regulatory agencies. These agencies require manufacturers of medical devices to comply with applicable laws and regulations governing the development, testing, manufacturing, labeling, marketing, storage, distribution, advertising and promotion, and post-marketing surveillance reporting of medical devices. Devices are generally subject to varying levels of regulatory control, the most comprehensive of which requires that a clinical evaluation program be conducted before a device receives approval for commercial distribution. Failure to obtain approval or clearance to market our product and products under development and to meet the ongoing requirements of these regulatory authorities could prevent us from commercializing the Hemopurifier and future products in the U.S. and elsewhere.

 

Hemopurifier Investigational Device Exemption and Supplement

 

In 2013, the FDA approved our investigational device exemption to initiate human clinical studies in the U.S. as a feasibility study entitled “A Clinical Safety Study of the Aethlon Hemopurifier® in Chronic ESRD Patients With HCV Infection.” We were required to reach agreement with the internal review board of DaVita MedCenter Dialysis prior to beginning our U.S. clinical trial. We are also required to obtain patients' informed consent that complies with both FDA requirements and state and federal privacy regulations. We, the FDA or the internal review board at each site at which a clinical trial is being performed may suspend a clinical trial at any time for various reasons, including a belief that the risks to study subjects outweigh the benefits. Even if a trial is completed, the results of clinical testing may not demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the device, may be equivocal or may otherwise not be sufficient to obtain approval of the product. The investigational device exemption is part of the FDA’s clearance process. This process is discussed in detail in the “Pre-Marketing Regulations in the U.S.” section below.

 

In December 2014, the FDA approved our request for a supplement to our investigational device exemption to establish a protocol to clinically investigate the use of the Hemopurifier for the treatment of Ebola-infected patients in the U.S. Under the supplement, we may treat up to 20 Ebola-infected persons, at no more than 10 institutions in the U.S., using the supplement protocol; however, this is not a clinical trial. We must clearly distinguish data collected in the supplement protocol from data collected in our IDE feasibility study (discussed above). Prior to treating Ebola-infected patients, we must comply with specified patient protection procedures established by the applicable institution including its institutional review board. Also, we must report any unanticipated device-related adverse events resulting from the supplement protocol to the FDA within 10 working days. Even if the protocol is established, and patients are treated, the results of such treatments may not demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the device.

  

DaVita MedCenter Dialysis treated a total of eight patients per the IDE feasibility study protocol and then notified us that it was unlikely that they would be able to locate additional subjects who would meet the study inclusion criteria. Therefore on April 11, 2017, we notified the FDA that we were concluding the trial with the eight patients treated. The FDA accepted that decision to terminate the trial with eight patients completed. We subsequently submitted preliminary and final clinical study reports, which were accepted by FDA.

 

 

 

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Pre-Marketing Regulations in the U.S.

 

Unless an exemption applies, each medical device distributed commercially in the U.S. requires either prior 510(k) clearance or premarket approval, or PMA, from the FDA. The FDA classifies medical devices into one of three classes. Class I devices are subject to only general controls, such as establishment registration and device listing, labeling, medical device reporting, and prohibitions against adulteration and misbranding. Class II medical devices generally require prior 510(k) clearance before they may be commercially marketed in the U.S. Devices deemed by the FDA to pose the greatest risk, such as life-sustaining, life-supporting or implantable devices, or devices deemed not substantially equivalent to a predicate device, are placed in Class III, generally requiring submission of a PMA supported by clinical trial data.

 

In the United States, our Hemopurifier is classified as a combination product whose regulatory jurisdiction is The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the branch of FDA responsible for the premarket approval of all medical devices. It is anticipated that the Hemopurifier will generally require the submission of a PMA supported by clinical trial data. In the future, we may develop new therapeutic candidates that are considered 510(k), Class II or Class III products.

 

510(k) Clearance Pathway

 

To obtain 510(k) clearance, a premarket notification must be submitted to FDA demonstrating that the proposed device is substantially equivalent to a previously cleared 510(k) device or a device that was in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 for which the FDA has not yet called for the submission of premarket approval applications. FDA’s 510(k) clearance pathway usually takes from three to twelve months, but it can take significantly longer. The FDA may require additional information, including clinical data, to make a determination regarding substantial equivalence.

 

After a device receives 510(k) clearance, any modification that could significantly affect its safety or effectiveness, or that would constitute a new or major change in its intended use, will require a new 510(k) clearance or, depending on the modification, require premarket approval. The FDA requires each manufacturer to determine whether the proposed change requires submission of a 510(k), or a premarket approval, but the FDA can review any such decision and can disagree with a manufacturer’s determination. If the FDA disagrees with a manufacturer’s determination, the FDA can require the manufacturer to cease marketing and/or recall the modified device until 510(k) clearance or premarket approval is obtained. If the FDA requires a 510(k) holder to seek 510(k) clearance or premarket approval for any modifications to a previously cleared product, the 510(k) holder also may be required to cease marketing or recall the modified device until this clearance or approval is obtained.

 

Premarket Approval Pathway

 

A PMA must be supported by extensive data, including but not limited to data obtained from technical, preclinical and clinical studies and relating to manufacturing and labeling to demonstrate to the FDA’s satisfaction the safety and effectiveness of the device.

 

After a PMA submission is sufficiently complete, the FDA will accept the application and begin an in-depth review, which generally takes between one and three years, but may take significantly longer. During this review period, the FDA will typically request additional information or clarification of the information already provided. Also, an advisory panel of experts from outside the FDA may be convened to review and evaluate the application and provide recommendations to the FDA as to the approvability of the device. The FDA may or may not accept the panel’s recommendation. In addition, the FDA will conduct a pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facility to ensure compliance with Quality System Regulation, or QSR. New PMA applications or PMA supplements are required for modifications that affect the safety or effectiveness of the device, including, for example, certain types of modifications to the device’s indication for use, manufacturing process, labeling and design. PMA supplements often require submission of the same type of information as a PMA application, except that the supplement is limited to information needed to support any changes from the device covered by the original PMA application and may not require as extensive clinical data or the convening of an advisory panel.

  

 

 

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Clinical Trials

 

Clinical trials are almost always required to support a PMA. To perform a clinical trial in the U.S. for a significant risk device, FDA requires the device sponsor to file an Investigational Device Exemption, or IDE, application with the FDA and obtain IDE approval prior to commencing the human clinical trial. An IDE amendment or supplement must also be submitted before initiating a significant change to the clinical protocol or device under an existing IDE. The IDE application must be supported by appropriate data, such as animal and laboratory testing results, and any available data on human clinical experience, showing that it is safe to test the device in humans and that the testing protocol is scientifically sound.

 

The IDE must be approved in advance by the FDA for a specific number of patients. Clinical trials conducted in the U.S. for significant risk devices may begin once the IDE application is approved by the FDA and the appropriate institutional review boards, or IRBs, overseeing the welfare of the research subjects and responsible for that particular clinical trial. Under its regulations, the FDA responds to an IDE or an IDE amendment within 30 days. The FDA may approve the IDE or amendment, grant an approval with certain conditions, or identify deficiencies and request additional information. It is common for the FDA to require additional information before approving an IDE or amendment for a new trial, and thus final FDA approval on a submission may require more than the initial 30 days. The FDA may also require that a small-scale feasibility study be conducted before a pivotal trial may commence. In a feasibility trial, the FDA limits the number of patients, sites and investigators that may participate. Feasibility trials are typically structured to obtain information on safety and to help determine how large a pivotal trial should be to obtain statistically significant results.

 

Clinical trials are subject to extensive recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Our clinical trials must be conducted under the oversight of an IRB for the relevant clinical trial sites and must comply with FDA regulations, including but not limited to those relating to good clinical practices. We are also 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 may suspend a clinical trial at any time for various reasons, including a belief that the risks to study subjects outweigh the anticipated benefits. Even if a trial is completed, the results of clinical testing may not adequately demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the device or may otherwise not be sufficient to obtain FDA approval to market the product in the U.S.

 

Post-Marketing Regulations in the U.S.

 

Should our Hemopurifier device be cleared for market use in the U.S. by the FDA, numerous regulatory requirements continue to apply. These include:

 

  · the FDA's Quality System Regulation which requires manufacturers, including third-party manufacturers, to follow stringent design, testing, control, documentation and other quality assurance procedures during all aspects of the manufacturing process;
     
  · labeling regulations and FDA prohibitions against the promotion of products for un-cleared, unapproved or off-label uses;
     
  · clearance or approval of product modifications that could significantly affect safety or efficacy or that would constitute a major change in intended use;
     
  · medical device reporting regulations, which require that manufacturers report to the FDA if their device may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or malfunctioned in a way that would likely cause or contribute to a death or serious injury if the malfunction were to recur;
     
  · product listing and establishment registration, which helps facilitate FDA inspections and other regulatory action; and
     
  · post-market surveillance regulations, which apply when necessary to protect the public health or to provide additional safety and effectiveness data for the device.

 

 

 

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The regulations also require that we report to the FDA any incident in which our product may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or in which our product malfunctioned and, if the malfunction were to recur, would likely cause or contribute to death or serious injury.

  

We will also be required to register with FDA as a medical device manufacturer within 30 days of commercial distribution of our products and must obtain all necessary state permits or licenses to operate our business. As a manufacturer, we are subject to announced and unannounced inspections by FDA to determine our compliance with quality system regulation and other regulations, and these inspections may include the manufacturing facilities of our suppliers. Failure by us or by our suppliers to comply with applicable regulatory requirements can result in enforcement action by the FDA or state authorities, which may include any of the following sanctions:

 

  · 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 premarket approval of new products or modified products;
  · operating restrictions;
  · withdrawing PMA approvals that have already been granted;
  · refusal to grant export approval for our products; or
  · criminal prosecution.

 

Compliance with U.S. Health Care Laws

 

Should our Hemopurifier device be cleared for market use in the U.S. by the FDA, we must comply with various U.S. federal and state laws, rules and regulations pertaining to healthcare fraud and abuse, including anti-kickback regulations, as well as other healthcare laws in connection with the commercialization of our products. Fraud and abuse laws are interpreted broadly and enforced aggressively by various state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services and various state agencies.

 

The U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, as amended, prohibits persons, including a medical device manufacturer (or a party acting on its behalf), from knowingly or willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying remuneration, directly or indirectly, in exchange for or to induce either the referral of an individual for a service or product or the purchasing, ordering, arranging for, or recommending the ordering of, any service or product for which payment may be made by Medicare, Medicaid or any other federal healthcare program. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between medical device manufacturers on one hand and healthcare providers on the other. The term “remuneration” is not defined in the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value, such as cash payments, gifts or gift certificates, discounts, waiver of payments, credit arrangements, ownership interests, the furnishing of services, supplies or equipment, and the provision of anything at less than its fair market value. Courts have broadly interpreted the scope of the law, holding that it may be violated if merely one purpose of an arrangement is to induce referrals, irrespective of the existence of other legitimate purposes. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits many arrangements and practices that are lawful in businesses outside of the healthcare industry. Although there are a number of statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain business arrangements from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchasing or recommending may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exemption or safe harbor. Our practices may not in all cases meet all of the criteria for safe harbor protection from federal Anti-Kickback Statute liability. The reach of the Anti-Kickback Statute was broadened by the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, collectively, the Affordable Care Act or ACA, which, among other things, amends the intent requirement of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute such that a person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. In addition, the ACA provides that the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act (discussed below) or the civil monetary penalties statute, which imposes fines against any person who is determined to have presented or caused to be presented claims to a federal healthcare program that the person knows or should know is for an item or service that was not provided as claimed or is false or fraudulent. In addition to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, many states have their own anti-kickback laws. Often, these laws closely follow the language of the federal law, although they do not always have the same scope, exceptions, safe harbors or sanctions. In some states, these anti-kickback laws apply not only to payments made by government healthcare programs but also to payments made by other third-party payors, including commercial insurance companies.

  

 

 

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We may also be subject to various federal and state marketing laws, such as the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which generally require certain types of expenditures in the U.S. and the particular states to be tracked and reported. The federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act, being implemented as the Open Payments Program, requires certain pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to engage in extensive tracking of payments or transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals, maintenance of a payments database, and public reporting of the payment data. Device manufacturers with products for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program are required to track and report such payments. Moreover, several states have enacted legislation requiring pharmaceutical and medical device companies to establish marketing compliance programs or even prohibit providing meals to prescribers or other marketing related activities. Compliance with such requirements may require investment in infrastructure to ensure that tracking and reporting is performed properly. Although compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, the risks cannot be entirely eliminated.

 

International Regulation

 

International development and sales of medical devices are subject to foreign government regulations, which may vary substantially from country to country. The time required to obtain approval by a foreign country may be longer or shorter than that required for FDA approval, and the requirements may be significantly different. At present, we are not seeking market clearance of our device in any region beyond the United States.

 

Manufacturing

 

Manufacturing of our Hemopurifier occurs in collaboration with a contract manufacturer based in San Diego, California that is compliant with the Good Manufacturing Practice regulations promulgated by the FDA.  Our contract manufacturer is registered with the FDA. Previously, we did receive an export license from FDA that allows for the export of our Hemopurifier to support clinical studies in India. To date, our manufacture of the Hemopurifier has been limited to quantities necessary to support our clinical studies.

 

Sources and Suppliers

 

We are not dependent on any specific vendors for the materials used in our Hemopurifier. The key raw materials in the Hemopurifier include the affinity lectin Galanthus nivalis agglutinin, pharmaceutical grade diatomaceous earth, plasmapheresis cartridges and certain chemical binding agents. The affinity lectin is available from several life science supply companies in the U.S. Diatomaceous earth is available from several life science supply companies in the U.S. To date, we have purchased plasmapheresis cartridges from one vendor in Europe however similar cartridges are commercially available from vendors on a worldwide basis should that European vendor cease to be available for any reason, including prohibitive pricing. The chemical binding agents are available from several life science supply companies on a worldwide basis. We typically purchase our raw materials on purchase order basis. Therefore, we remain subject to risks of supply shortages and price increases that potentially could materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results if and when we begin large-scale manufacture of the Hemopurifier.

 

The key raw materials used by Exosome Sciences, Inc. in its research are blood samples supplied by research partners and a number of chemical and lab products commercially available from vendors on a worldwide basis. Exosome Sciences, Inc. is not dependent on any specific vendors for the materials used in its research activities.

 

Sales and Marketing

 

We do not currently have any sales and marketing capability. With respect to commercialization efforts in the future, we intend to build or contract for distribution, sales and marketing capabilities for any product candidate that is approved. From time to time, we have had and are having strategic discussions with potential collaboration partners for our product candidates, although no assurance can be given that we will be able to enter into one or more collaboration agreements for our product candidates on acceptable terms, if at all.

 

 

 

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Product Liability

 

The risk of product liability claims, product recalls and associated adverse publicity is inherent in the testing, manufacturing, marketing and sale of medical products. We have limited clinical trial liability insurance coverage. We cannot assure you that future insurance coverage will be adequate or available. We may not be able to secure product liability insurance coverage on acceptable terms or at reasonable costs when needed. Any liability for mandatory damages could exceed the amount of our coverage. A successful product liability claim against us could require us to pay a substantial monetary award. Moreover, a product recall could generate substantial negative publicity about our products and business and inhibit or prevent commercialization of other future product candidates.

 

Employees

 

We have six full-time employees consisting of our Chief Executive Officer, our President, our Chief Financial Officer, two research scientists and an executive assistant. We utilize, whenever appropriate, consultants in order to conserve cash and resources.

 

We believe our employee relations are good. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or are subject to collective-bargaining agreements.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below as well as the other information in this Annual Report before deciding to invest in or maintain your investment in our company. The risks described below are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of all of the potential risks relating to an investment in our securities. Any of the risk factors described below could significantly and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known or that are currently considered to be immaterial may also materially and adversely affect our business. As a result, the trading price or value of our securities could be materially adversely affected and you may lose all or part of your investment.

 

Risks Relating to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital

 

We have incurred significant losses and expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future.

 

We have never been profitable. We have generated revenues during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and March 31, 2017, in the amounts of $149,625, and $392,073, respectively, primarily from our contract with the National Institute of Health, or NIH, in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 and from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. However, our revenues continue to be insufficient to cover our cost of operations. Additionally, our contracts with DARPA have now ended, and we cannot be assured when, if at all, we will be able to enter into future government contracts beyond the current NIH contract. Future profitability, if any, will require the successful commercialization of our Hemopurifier technology, other products that may emerge from our potential diagnostic products or from additional government contract or grant income. We cannot assure you when or if we will be able to successfully commercialize one or more of our products, or if commercialization is successful, whether we will ever be profitable.

 

We may require additional financing to sustain our operations, and without it, if such financing becomes necessary, we would not be able to continue operations.

 

We raised $9,628,505 in net proceeds from sales of common stock during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 and we expect those proceeds will support our operations for the ensuing twelve months. However, we will likely require significant additional financing for expected additional future clinical trials in the U.S., as well as fund all of our continued research and development activities for the Hemopurifier and other future products in future fiscal years. In addition, as we expand our activities, our overhead costs to support personnel, laboratory materials and infrastructure will increase. Should the financing we may require to sustain our working capital needs be unavailable to us on reasonable terms, if at all, when we require it, we may be unable to support our research and FDA clearance activities including our planned clinical trials. The failure to implement our research and clearance activities would have a material adverse effect on our ability to commercialize our products.

 

 

 

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We will need to raise additional funds through debt or equity financings in the future to achieve our business objectives and to satisfy our cash obligations, which would dilute the ownership of our existing stockholders.

 

We will need to raise additional funds through debt and/or equity financings in order to complete our ultimate business objectives, including funding working capital to support development and regulatory clearance of our products. We also may choose to raise additional funds in debt or equity financings if they are available to us on reasonable terms to increase our working capital and to strengthen our financial position. Any sales of additional equity or convertible debt securities would result in dilution of the equity interests of our existing stockholders, which could be substantial. Also, new investors may require that we and certain of our stockholders enter into voting arrangements that give them additional voting control or representation on our Board of Directors.

 

Risks Related to Our Business Operations

 

We face intense competition in the medical device industry.

 

We compete with numerous U.S. and foreign companies in the medical device industry, and many of our competitors have greater financial, personnel, operational and research and development resources than we do. Our competitors are developing vaccine candidates, which could compete with the Hemopurifier medical device candidates we are developing. Our commercial opportunities will be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and market products for any of the diseases we target that:

 

  · are more effective;
     
  · have fewer or less severe adverse side effects;
     
  · are better tolerated;
     
  · are more adaptable to various modes of dosing;
     
  · are easier to administer; or
     
  · are less expensive than the products or product candidates we are developing.

 

Even if we are successful in developing the Hemopurifier and potential diagnostic products, and obtain FDA and other regulatory approvals necessary for commercializing them, our products may not compete effectively with other successful products. Researchers are continually learning more about diseases, which may lead to new technologies for treatment. Our competitors may succeed in developing and marketing products that are either more effective than those that we may develop, alone or with our collaborators, or that are marketed before any products we develop are marketed. Our competitors include fully integrated pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies as well as universities and public and private research institutions. Many of the organizations competing with us have substantially greater capital resources, larger research and development staffs and facilities, greater experience in product development and in obtaining regulatory approvals, and greater marketing capabilities than we do. If our competitors develop more effective pharmaceutical treatments for infectious disease or cancer, or bring those treatments to market before we can commercialize the Hemopurifier for such uses, we may be unable to obtain any market traction for our products, or the diseases we seek to treat may be substantially addressed by competing treatments. If we are unable to successfully compete against larger companies in the pharmaceutical industry, we may never generate significant revenue or be profitable.

  

 

 

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We have limited experience in identifying and working with large-scale contracts with medical device manufacturers; manufacture of our devices must comply with good manufacturing practices in the U.S.

 

To achieve the levels of production necessary to commercialize our Hemopurifier and other future products, we will need to secure large-scale manufacturing agreements with contract manufacturers which comply with good manufacturing practice standards and other standards prescribed by various federal, state and local regulatory agencies in the U.S. and any other country of use. We have limited experience coordinating and overseeing the manufacture of medical device products on a large-scale. We cannot assure you that manufacturing and control problems will not arise as we attempt to commercialize our products or that such manufacturing can be completed in a timely manner or at a commercially reasonable cost. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will be able to adequately finance the manufacture and distribution of our products on terms acceptable to us, if at all. If we cannot successfully oversee and finance the manufacture of our products when they have obtained regulatory clearances, we may never generate revenue from product sales and we may never be profitable.

 

Our Aethlon Hemopurifier technology may become obsolete.

 

Our Aethlon Hemopurifier products may be made unmarketable by new scientific or technological developments where new treatment modalities are introduced that are more efficacious and/or more economical than our products. The homeland security industry is growing rapidly with many competitors that are trying to develop products or vaccines to protect against infectious disease. Any one of our competitors could develop a more effective product which would render our technology obsolete. Further, our ability to achieve significant and sustained penetration of our key target markets will depend upon our success in developing or acquiring technologies developed by other companies, either independently, through joint ventures or through acquisitions. If we fail to develop or acquire, and manufacture and sell, products that satisfy our customers’ demands, or we fail to respond effectively to new product announcements by our competitors by quickly introducing competitive products, then market acceptance of our products could be reduced and our business could be adversely affected. We cannot assure you that our products will remain competitive with products based on new technologies.

 

Our use of hazardous materials, chemicals and viruses exposes us to potential liabilities for which we may not have adequate insurance.

 

Our research and development involves the controlled use of hazardous materials, chemicals and viruses. The primary hazardous materials include chemicals needed to construct the Hemopurifier cartridges and the infected plasma samples used in preclinical testing of the Hemopurifier. All other chemicals are fully inventoried and reported to the appropriate authorities, such as the fire department, who inspect the facility on a regular basis. We are subject to federal, state, local and foreign laws governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of such materials. Although we believe that our safety procedures for the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of such materials comply with the standards prescribed by federal, state, local and foreign regulations, we cannot completely eliminate the risk of accidental contamination or injury from these materials. We have had no incidents or problems involving hazardous chemicals or biological samples. In the event of such an accident, we could be held liable for significant damages or fines.

 

We currently carry a limited amount of insurance to protect us from damages arising from hazardous materials. Our product liability policy has a $3,000,000 limit of liability that would cover certain releases of hazardous substances away from our facilities. For our facilities, our property policy provides $25,000 in coverage for contaminant clean-up or removal and $50,000 in coverage for damages to the premises resulting from contamination. Should we violate any regulations concerning the handling or use of hazardous materials, or should any injuries or death result from our use or handling of hazardous materials, we could be the subject of substantial lawsuits by governmental agencies or individuals. We may not have adequate insurance to cover all or any of such claims, if any. If we were responsible to pay significant damages for violations or injuries, if any, we might be forced to cease operations since such payments could deplete our available resources.

 

 

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Our success is dependent in part on a few key executive officers.

 

Our success depends to a critical extent on the continued services of our Chief Executive Officer, James A. Joyce, and our Chief Financial Officer, James B. Frakes. If one or both of these key executive officers were to leave us, we would be forced to expend significant time and money in the pursuit of a replacement, which would result in both a delay in the implementation of our business plan and the diversion of limited working capital. The unique knowledge and expertise of these individuals would be difficult to replace within the biotechnology field. We can give you no assurances that we can find satisfactory replacements for these key executive officers at all, or on terms that are not unduly expensive or burdensome to us. Although Mr. Joyce has signed an employment agreement providing for his continued service to us, that agreement will not preclude him from leaving us should we be unable to compete with offers for employment he may receive from other companies. We do not currently carry key man life insurance policies on any of our key executive officers which would assist us in recouping our costs in the event of the loss of those officers. If either of our key officers were to leave us, it could make it impossible, if not cause substantial delays and costs, to implement our long-term business objectives and growth.

  

Our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could impede our ability to achieve our business objectives.

 

We have six full-time employees consisting of our Chief Executive Officer, our President, our Chief Financial Officer, two research scientists and an executive assistant. We utilize, whenever appropriate, consultants in order to conserve cash and resources.

 

Although we believe that these employees and consultants will be able to handle most of our additional administrative, research and development and business development in the near term, we will nevertheless be required over the longer-term to hire highly skilled managerial, scientific and administrative personnel to fully implement our business plan and growth strategies, including to mitigate the material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting described above. Due to the specialized scientific nature of our business, we are highly dependent upon our ability to attract and retain qualified scientific, technical and managerial personnel. Competition for these individuals, especially in San Diego, California, where many biotechnology companies are located, is intense and we may not be able to attract, assimilate or retain additional highly qualified personnel in the future. We cannot assure you that we will be able to engage the services of such qualified personnel at competitive prices or at all, particularly given the risks of employment attributable to our limited financial resources and lack of an established track record. Also, if we are required to attract personnel from other parts of the U.S. or abroad, we may have significant difficulty doing so due to the high cost of living in the Southern California area and due to the costs incurred with transferring personnel to the area. If we cannot attract and retain qualified staff and executives, we will be unable to develop our products and achieve regulatory clearance, and our business could fail.

 

We plan to grow rapidly which will strain our resources; our inability to manage our growth could delay or derail implementation of our business objectives.

 

We will need to significantly expand our operations to implement our longer-term business plan and growth strategies. We will also be required to manage multiple relationships with various strategic partners, technology licensors, customers, manufacturers and suppliers, consultants and other third parties. This expansion and these expanded relationships will require us to significantly improve or replace our existing managerial, operational and financial systems, procedures and controls; to improve the coordination between our various corporate functions; and to manage, train, motivate and maintain a growing employee base. The time and costs to effectuate these steps may place a significant strain on our management personnel, systems and resources, particularly given the limited amount of financial resources and skilled employees that may be available at the time. We cannot assure you that we will institute, in a timely manner or at all, the improvements to our managerial, operational and financial systems, procedures and controls necessary to support our anticipated increased levels of operations and to coordinate our various corporate functions, or that we will be able to properly manage, train, motivate and retain our anticipated increased employee base. If we cannot manage our growth initiatives, we will be unable to commercialize our products on a large-scale in a timely manner, if at all, and our business could fail.

 

 

 

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As a public company with limited financial resources undertaking the launch of new medical technologies, we may have difficulty attracting and retaining executive management and directors.

 

The directors and management of publicly traded corporations are increasingly concerned with the extent of their personal exposure to lawsuits and stockholder claims, as well as governmental and creditor claims which may be made against them, particularly in view of recent changes in securities laws imposing additional duties, obligations and liabilities on management and directors. Due to these perceived risks, directors and management are also becoming increasingly concerned with the availability of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance to pay on a timely basis the costs incurred in defending such claims. While we currently carry directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, such insurance is expensive and difficult to obtain. If we are unable to continue or provide directors’ and officers’ liability insurance at affordable rates or at all, it may become increasingly more difficult to attract and retain qualified outside directors to serve on our Board of Directors. We may lose potential independent board members and management candidates to other companies in the biotechnology field that have greater directors’ and officers’ liability insurance to insure them from liability or to biotechnology companies that have revenues or have received greater funding to date which can offer greater compensation packages. The fees of directors are also rising in response to their increased duties, obligations and liabilities. In addition, our products could potentially be harmful to users, and we are exposed to claims of product liability including for injury or death. We have limited insurance and may not be able to afford robust coverage even as our products are introduced into the market. As a company with limited resources and potential exposures to management, we will have a more difficult time attracting and retaining management and outside independent directors than a more established public or private company due to these enhanced duties, obligations and potential liabilities.

 

If we fail to comply with extensive regulations of U.S. and foreign regulatory agencies, the commercialization of our products could be delayed or prevented entirely.

 

Our Hemopurifier products are subject to extensive government regulations related to development, testing, manufacturing and commercialization in the U.S. and other countries. The determination of when and whether a product is ready for large-scale purchase and potential use will be made by the U.S. Government through consultation with a number of governmental agencies, including the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security. Our product candidates are in the pre-clinical and clinical stages of development and have not received required regulatory approval from the FDA, or any foreign regulatory agencies, to be commercially marketed and sold. The process of obtaining and complying with FDA and other governmental regulatory approvals and regulations in the U.S. and in foreign countries is costly, time consuming, uncertain and subject to unanticipated delays. Obtaining such regulatory approvals, if any, can take several years. Despite the time and expense exerted, regulatory approval is never guaranteed. We also are subject to the following risks and obligations, among others:

 

  · the FDA may refuse to approve an application if they believe that applicable regulatory criteria are not satisfied;
     
  · the FDA may require additional testing for safety and effectiveness;
     
  · the FDA may interpret data from pre-clinical testing and clinical trials in different ways than we interpret them;
     
  · if regulatory approval of a product is granted, the approval may be limited to specific indications or limited with respect to its distribution; and
     
  · the FDA may change their approval policies and/or adopt new regulations.

 

 

 

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Failure to comply with these or other regulatory requirements of the FDA may subject us to administrative or judicially imposed sanctions, including:

 

  · warning letters;
     
  · civil penalties;
     
  · criminal penalties;
     
  · injunctions;
     
  · product seizure or detention;
     
  · product recalls; and
     
  · total or partial suspension of productions.

 

Delays in successfully completing our planned clinical trials could jeopardize our ability to obtain regulatory approval.

 

Our business prospects will depend on our ability to complete studies, clinical trials, obtain satisfactory results, obtain required regulatory approvals and successfully commercialize our Hemopurifier product candidates. Completion of our clinical trials, announcement of results of the trials and our ability to obtain regulatory approvals could be delayed for a variety of reasons, including:

 

  · serious adverse events related to our medical device candidates;
     
  · unsatisfactory results of any clinical trial;
     
  · the failure of our principal third-party investigators to perform our clinical trials on our anticipated schedules; and
     
  · different interpretations of our pre-clinical and clinical data, which could initially lead to inconclusive results.

  

Our development costs will increase if we have material delays in any clinical trial or if we need to perform more or larger clinical trials than planned. If the delays are significant, or if any of our product candidates do not prove to be safe or effective or do not receive required regulatory approvals, our financial results and the commercial prospects for our product candidates will be harmed. Furthermore, our inability to complete our clinical trials in a timely manner could jeopardize our ability to obtain regulatory approval.

 

If we or our suppliers fail to comply with ongoing FDA or 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 third-party suppliers may be required to comply with the FDA’s Quality System Regulation, or QSR. These FDA regulations cover the methods and documentation of the design, testing, production, control, quality assurance, labeling, packaging, sterilization, storage and shipping of our products. Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements is subject to continual review and is monitored rigorously through periodic inspections by the FDA. If we, or our manufacturers, fail to adhere to QSR requirements in the U.S., this could delay production of our products and lead to fines, difficulties in obtaining regulatory clearances, recalls, enforcement actions, including injunctive relief or consent decrees, or other consequences, which could, in turn, have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

 

 

 

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In addition, the FDA assesses compliance with the QSR through periodic announced and unannounced inspections of manufacturing and other facilities. The failure by us or one of our suppliers to comply with applicable statutes and regulations administered by the FDA, or the failure to timely and adequately respond to any adverse inspectional observations or product safety issues, could result in 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 or 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 premarket approvals that have already been granted;
  · refusal to grant export approval for our products; or
  · criminal prosecution.

 

Any of these sanctions could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition. 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.

 

If our products, or malfunction of our products, cause or contribute to a death or a serious injury, 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. 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.

  

Our products may in the future be subject to product recalls. A recall of our products, either voluntarily or at the direction of the FDA or another governmental authority, including a third-country authority, or the discovery of serious safety issues with our products, could have a significant adverse impact on us.

 

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 this case, the FDA, the authority to require a recall must be based on an FDA finding that there is 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. The FDA requires that certain classifications of recalls be reported to the FDA within 10 working days after the recall is initiated. A government-mandated or voluntary recall by us or one of our international distributors could occur as a result of an unacceptable risk to health, component failures, malfunctions, 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 reputation, results of operations and financial condition, which could impair our ability to produce our products in a cost-effective and timely manner in order to meet our customers’ demands. We may also be subject to liability claims, be required to bear other costs, or take other actions that may have a negative impact on our future sales and our ability to generate profits. Companies are required to maintain certain records of recalls, even if they are not reportable to the FDA or another third-country competent authority. We may initiate voluntary recalls involving our products in the future that we determine do not require notification of the FDA or another third-country competent authority. 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.

 

 

 

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We are also required to follow detailed recordkeeping requirements for all firm-initiated medical device corrections and removals. In addition, in December of 2012, the FDA issued a draft guidance intended to assist the FDA and industry in distinguishing medical device recalls from product enhancements. Per the guidance, if any change or group of changes to a device addresses a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, that change would generally constitute a medical device recall and require submission of a recall report to the FDA.

 

We outsource almost all of our operational and development activities, and if any party to which we have outsourced certain essential functions fails to perform its obligations under agreements with us, the development and commercialization of our lead product candidate and any future product candidates that we may develop could be delayed or terminated.

 

We generally rely on third-party consultants or other vendors to manage and implement the day-to-day conduct of our operations, including conducting clinical trials and manufacturing our current product candidates and any future product candidates that we may develop. Accordingly, we are and will continue to be dependent on the timeliness and effectiveness of their efforts. Our dependence on third parties includes key suppliers and third-party service providers supporting the development, manufacture and regulatory approval of our products as well as support for our information technology systems and other infrastructure. While our management team oversees these vendors, failure of any of these third parties to meet their contractual, regulatory and other obligations or the development of factors that materially disrupt the performance of these third parties could have a material adverse effect on our business. For example, all of the key oversight responsibilities for the development and manufacture of our lead product candidate are conducted by our management team but all activities are the responsibility of third-party vendors.

 

If a clinical research organization that we utilize is unable to allocate sufficient qualified personnel to our studies in a timely manner or if the work performed by it does not fully satisfy the requirements of the FDA or other regulatory agencies, we may encounter substantial delays and increased costs in completing our development efforts. Any manufacturer that we select may encounter difficulties in the manufacture of new products in commercial quantities, including problems involving product yields, product stability or shelf life, quality control, adequacy of control procedures and policies, compliance with FDA regulations and the need for further FDA approval of any new manufacturing processes and facilities. If any of these occur, the development and commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed, curtailed or terminated because we may not have sufficient financial resources or capabilities to continue such development and commercialization on our own. If we rely on only one source for the manufacture of the clinical or commercial supplies of any of our product candidates or products, any production problems or supply constraints with that manufacturer could adversely impact the development or commercialization of that product candidate or product.

  

If we or our contractors or service providers fail to comply with regulatory laws and regulations, we or they could be subject to regulatory actions, which could affect our ability to develop, market and sell our product candidates and any other or future product candidates that we may develop and may harm our reputation.

 

If we or our manufacturers or other third-party contractors fail to comply with applicable federal, state or foreign laws or regulations, we could be subject to regulatory actions, which could affect our ability to develop, market and sell our current product candidates or any future product candidates under development successfully and could harm our reputation and lead to reduced or non-acceptance of our proposed product candidates by the market. Even technical recommendations or evidence by the FDA through letters, site visits, and overall recommendations to academia or biotechnology companies may make the manufacturing of a clinical product extremely labor intensive or expensive, making the product candidate no longer viable to manufacture in a cost-efficient manner. The mode of administration may make the product candidate not commercially viable. The required testing of the product candidate may make that candidate no longer commercially viable. The conduct of clinical trials may be critiqued by the FDA, or a clinical trial site’s Institutional Review Board or Institutional Biosafety Committee, which may delay or make impossible clinical testing of a product candidate. The Institutional Review Board for a clinical trial may stop a trial or deem a product candidate unsafe to continue testing. This may have a material adverse effect on the value of the product candidate and our business prospects.

 

 

 

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We will need to outsource and rely on third parties for the clinical development and manufacture, sales and marketing of our current product candidates or any future product candidates that we may develop, and our future success will be dependent on the timeliness and effectiveness of the efforts of these third parties.

 

We do not have the required financial and human resources to carry out on our own all the pre-clinical and clinical development for our current product candidates or any other or future product candidates that we may develop, and do not have the capability and resources to manufacture, market or sell our current product candidates or any future product candidates that we may develop. Our business model calls for the partial or full outsourcing of the clinical and other development and manufacturing, sales and marketing of our product candidates in order to reduce our capital and infrastructure costs as a means of potentially improving our financial position. Our success will depend on the performance of these outsourced providers. If such providers fail to perform adequately, our development of product candidates may be delayed and any delay in the development of our product candidates would have a material and adverse effect on our business prospects.

 

We are and will be exposed to product liability risks, and clinical and preclinical liability risks, which could place a substantial financial burden upon us should we be sued.

 

Our business exposes us to potential product liability and other liability risks that are inherent in the testing, manufacturing and marketing of medical devices. We cannot be sure that claims will not be asserted against us. A successful liability claim or series of claims brought against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We cannot give assurances that we will be able to continue to obtain or maintain adequate product liability insurance on acceptable terms, if at all, or that such insurance will provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. Claims or losses in excess of any product liability insurance coverage that we may obtain could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our Hemopurifier products may be used in connection with medical procedures in which it is important that those products function with precision and accuracy. If our products do not function as designed, or are designed improperly, we may be forced by regulatory agencies to withdraw such products from the market. In addition, if medical personnel or their patients suffer injury as a result of any failure of our products to function as designed, or our products are designed inappropriately, we may be subject to lawsuits seeking significant compensatory and punitive damages. The risk of product liability claims, product recalls and associated adverse publicity is inherent in the testing, manufacturing, marketing and sale of medical products. We have recently obtained general clinical trial liability insurance coverage. We cannot give assurances that our insurance coverage will to be adequate or available. We may not be able to secure product liability insurance coverage on acceptable terms or at reasonable costs when needed. Any product recall or lawsuit seeking significant monetary damages may have a material effect on our business and financial condition. Any liability for mandatory damages could exceed the amount of our coverage. Moreover, a product recall could generate substantial negative publicity about our products and business and inhibit or prevent commercialization of other future product candidates.

  

We have not received, and may never receive, approval from the FDA to market a medical device in the United States.

 

Before a new medical device can be marketed in the U.S., it must first receive either premarket approval, or a PMA, or 510(k) clearance from the FDA, unless an exemption exists. A PMA submission, which is a higher standard than a 501(k) clearance, is used to demonstrate to the FDA that a new or modified device is safe and effective. The 510(k) is used to demonstrate that a device is “substantially equivalent” to a predicate device (one that has been cleared by the FDA). We expect that any product we seek regulatory approval for will require a PMA. The FDA approval process involves, among other things, successfully completing clinical trials and filing for and obtaining a PMA. The PMA process requires us to prove the safety and effectiveness of our products to the FDA’s satisfaction. This process, which includes preclinical studies and clinical trials, can take many years and requires the expenditure of substantial resources and may include post-marketing surveillance to establish the safety and efficacy of the product. Notwithstanding the effort and expense incurred, the process may never result in the FDA granting a PMA. Data obtained from preclinical studies and clinical trials are subject to varying interpretations that could delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval. Delays or rejections may also be encountered based upon changes in governmental policies for medical devices during the period of product development. The FDA can delay, limit or deny approval of a PMA application for many reasons, including:

 

  · our inability to demonstrate safety or effectiveness to the FDA’s satisfaction;
  · insufficient data from our preclinical studies and clinical trials to support approval;
  · failure of the facilities of our third-party manufacturer or suppliers to meet applicable requirements;
  · inadequate compliance with preclinical, clinical or other regulations;
  · our failure to meet the FDA’s statistical requirements for approval; and
  · changes in the FDA’s approval policies, or the adoption of new regulations that require additional data or additional clinical studies.

 

 

 

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Modifications to products that are approved through a PMA application generally need FDA approval. Similarly, some modifications made to products cleared through a 510(k) may require a new 510(k). The FDA’s 510(k) clearance process usually takes from three to 12 months, but may last longer. The process of obtaining a PMA is much costlier and uncertain than the 510(k) clearance process and generally takes from one to three years, or even longer, from the time the application is submitted to the FDA until an approval is obtained. Any of our products considered to be a class III device, which are considered to pose the greatest risk and the approval of which is governed by the strictest guidelines, will require the submission and approval of a PMA in order for us to market it in the U.S. We also may design new products in the future that could require the clearance of a 510(k).

 

Although we have received approval to proceed with clinical trials in the U.S. under the investigational device exemption, we cannot assure you that the current approval from the FDA to proceed will not be revoked, that the study will be successful, or that the FDA PMA approval will eventually be obtained and not revoked. Even if we obtain approval, the FDA or other regulatory authorities may require expensive or burdensome post-market testing or controls. Any delay in, or failure to receive or maintain, clearance or approval for our future products could prevent us from generating revenue from these products or achieving profitability. Additionally, the FDA and other regulatory authorities have broad enforcement powers. Regulatory enforcement or inquiries, or other increased scrutiny on us, could dissuade some physicians from using our products and adversely affect our reputation and the perceived safety and efficacy of our products.

 

The approval requirements for medical products used to fight bioterrorism are still evolving, and we cannot be certain any products we develop for such uses would meet these requirements.

 

We are advancing product candidates under governmental policies that regulate the development and commercialization of medical treatment countermeasures against bioterror and pandemic threats.  While we intend to pursue FDA market clearance to treat infectious bioterror and pandemic threats, it is often not feasible to conduct human studies against these deadly high threat pathogens. Thus, we may not be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of our treatment countermeasures through controlled human efficacy studies. Additionally, a change in government policies could impair our ability to obtain regulatory approval and there is no assurance that the FDA will approve any of our product candidates.

  

The results of our clinical trials may not support our product candidate claims or may result in the discovery of adverse side effects.

 

Any research and development, pre-clinical testing and clinical trial activities involving any products that we are or may develop will be subject to extensive regulation and review by numerous governmental authorities both in the U.S. and abroad. In the future, we may conduct clinical trials to support approval of new products. Clinical studies must be conducted in compliance with FDA regulations or the FDA may take enforcement action. The data collected from these clinical studies may ultimately be used to support market clearance for these products. Even if our clinical trials are completed as planned, we cannot be certain that their results will support our product candidate claims or that the FDA will agree with our conclusions regarding them. Success in pre-clinical studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later clinical trials will be successful, and we cannot be sure that the later trials will replicate the results of prior trials and pre-clinical studies. The clinical trial process may fail to demonstrate that our product candidates are safe and effective for the proposed indicated uses, which could cause us to abandon a product candidate and may delay development of others. Any delay or termination of our clinical trials will delay the filing of our product submissions and, ultimately, our ability to commercialize our product candidates and generate revenues. It is also possible that patients enrolled in clinical trials will experience adverse side effects that are not currently part of the product candidate’s profile.

 

U.S. legislative or FDA regulatory reforms may make it more difficult and costly for us to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates and to manufacture, market and distribute our products after approval is obtained.

 

From time to time, legislation is drafted and introduced in Congress that could significantly change the statutory provisions governing the regulatory approval, manufacture and marketing of regulated products or the reimbursement thereof. In addition, FDA regulations and guidance are often revised or reinterpreted by the FDA in ways that may significantly affect our business and our products. Any new regulations or revisions or reinterpretations of existing regulations may impose additional costs or lengthen review times of future products. In addition, FDA regulations and guidance are often revised or reinterpreted by the agency in ways that may significantly affect our business and our products. It is impossible to predict whether legislative changes will be enacted or FDA regulations, guidance or interpretations changed, and what the impact of such changes, if any, may be.

 

 

 

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Should our products be approved for commercialization, lack of third-party coverage and reimbursement for our devices could delay or limit their adoption.

 

In both the U.S. and international markets, the use of medical devices is dependent in part on the availability of reimbursement from third-party payors, such as government and private insurance plans. Healthcare providers that use medical devices generally rely on third-party payors to pay for all or part of the costs and fees associated with the medical procedures being performed or to compensate them for their patient care services. Should our products be approved for commercialization by the FDA, we cannot assure you that our future products will be considered cost-effective, that reimbursement will be available in other sites or in other countries, including the U.S., if approved, or that reimbursement will be sufficient to allow sales of our future products on a profitable basis. The coverage decisions of third-party payors will be significantly influenced by the assessment of our future products by health technology assessment bodies. Such assessments are outside our control and we cannot assure you that such evaluations will be conducted or that they will have a favorable outcome.

  

If approved for use in the U.S., we expect that any products that we develop will be purchased primarily by medical institutions, which will in turn bill various third-party payors for the health care services provided to patients at their facility. Payors may include the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, which administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, other government programs and private insurance plans. The process involved in applying for coverage and incremental reimbursement from CMS is lengthy and expensive. Further, Medicare coverage is based on our ability to demonstrate the treatment is “reasonable and necessary” for Medicare beneficiaries. Even if products utilizing our Aethlon Hemopurifier technology receive FDA and other regulatory clearance or approval, they may not be granted coverage and reimbursement by any payor, including by CMS. For some governmental programs, such as Medicaid, coverage and reimbursement differ from state to state and some state Medicaid programs may not pay adequate amounts for the procedure necessary to utilize products utilizing our technology system, or any payment at all. Moreover, many private payors use coverage decisions and payment amounts determined by CMS as guidelines in setting their coverage and reimbursement policies and amounts. If CMS or other agencies limit coverage or decrease or limit reimbursement payments for doctors and hospitals, this may affect coverage and reimbursement determinations by many private payors.

 

Should our products be approved for commercialization, adverse changes in reimbursement policies and procedures by payors may impact our ability to market and sell our products.

 

Healthcare costs have risen significantly over the past decade, and there have been and continue to be proposals by legislators, regulators and third-party payors to decrease costs. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged for medical products and services and instituting cost containment measures to control or significantly influence the purchase of medical products and services.

 

For example, in the U.S., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively, PPACA, among other things, reduced and/or limited Medicare reimbursement to certain providers. The Budget Control Act of 2011, as amended by subsequent legislation, further reduces Medicare’s payments to providers by 2 percent through fiscal year 2024. These reductions may reduce providers’ revenues or profits, which could affect their ability to purchase new technologies. Furthermore, the healthcare industry in the U.S. has experienced a trend toward cost containment as government and private insurers seek to control healthcare costs by imposing lower payment rates and negotiating reduced contract rates with service providers. Legislation could be adopted in the future that limits payments for our products from governmental payors. In addition, commercial payors such as insurance companies, could adopt similar policies that limit reimbursement for medical device manufacturers’ products. Therefore, we cannot be certain that our product or the procedures or patient care performed using our product will be reimbursed at a cost-effective level. We face similar risks relating to adverse changes in reimbursement procedures and policies in other countries where we may market our products. Reimbursement and healthcare payment systems vary significantly among international markets. Our inability to obtain international reimbursement approval, or any adverse changes in the reimbursement policies of foreign payors, could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

 

 

 

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Should our products be approved for commercialization, our financial performance may be adversely affected by medical device tax provisions in the healthcare reform laws.

 

PPACA currently imposes, among other things, an excise tax of 2.3% on any entity that manufactures or imports medical devices offered for sale in the U.S. Under these provisions, the Congressional Research Service predicts that the total cost to the medical device industry may be up to $20 billion over the next decade. The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations implementing the tax in December 2012, which requires, among other things, bi-monthly payments and quarterly reporting.

 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113), signed into law on Dec. 18, 2015, included a two-year moratorium on the medical device excise tax imposed by Internal Revenue Code section 4191. This moratorium was then extended by an additional two years in January 2018. Currently, the medical device excise tax does not apply to the sale of a taxable medical device by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the device until January 1, 2020. 

 

Once we market products, if this regulation is not repealed, we will be subject to this or any future excise tax on our sales of certain medical devices in the U.S. We anticipate that primarily all of our sales, once commenced, of medical devices in the U.S. will be subject to this 2.3% excise tax.

  

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property and Related Litigation

 

We rely upon licenses and patent rights from third parties which are subject to termination or expiration.

 

We rely upon third-party licenses and ownership rights assigned from third parties for the development of specific uses for our Hemopurifier devices. For example, we are researching, developing and testing cancer-related applications for our devices under patents assigned from the London Health Science Center Research, Inc. Should any of our licenses be prematurely terminated for any reason, or if the patents and intellectual property assigned to us or owned by such entities that we have licensed should be challenged or defeated by third parties, our research efforts could be materially and adversely affected. We cannot assure you that any of our licenses or patents assigned to us will continue in force for as long as we require for our research, development and testing of cancer treatments. We cannot assure you that, should our licenses terminate, should the underlying patents and intellectual property be challenged or defeated, or should patents and intellectual property assigned to us be challenged or defeated, suitable replacements can be obtained or developed on terms acceptable to us, if at all. There is also the related risk that we may not be able to make the required payments under any patent license or assignment agreement, in which case we may lose to ability to use one or more of the licensed or assigned patents.

 

We could become subject to intellectual property litigation that could be costly, result in the diversion of management’s time and efforts, require us to pay damages, prevent us from selling our commercially available products and/or reduce the margins we may realize from our products.

 

The medical devices industry is characterized by extensive litigation and administrative proceedings over patent and other intellectual property rights. Whether a product infringes a patent involves complex legal and factual issues, and the determination is often uncertain. There may be existing patents of which we are unaware that our products under development may inadvertently infringe. The likelihood that patent infringement claims may be brought against us increases as the number of participants in the infectious market increases and as we achieve more visibility in the market place and introduce products to market.

 

Any infringement claim against us, even if without merit, may cause us to incur substantial costs, and would place a significant strain on our financial resources, divert the attention of management from our core business, and harm our reputation. In some cases, litigation may be threatened or brought by a patent holding company or other adverse patent owner who has no relevant product revenues and against whom our patents may provide little or no deterrence. If we were found to infringe any patents, we could be required to pay substantial damages, including triple damages if an infringement is found to be willful. We also could be required to pay royalties and could be prevented from selling our products unless we obtain a license or are able to redesign our products to avoid infringement. We may not be able to obtain a license enabling us to sell our products on reasonable terms, or at all, and we cannot assure you that we would be able to redesign our products in a way that would not infringe those patents. If we fail to obtain any required licenses or make any necessary changes to our technologies or the products that incorporate them, we may be unable to commercialize one or more of our products or may have to withdraw products from the market, all of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

 

 

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If the combination of patents, trade secrets and contractual provisions upon which we rely to protect our intellectual property is inadequate, our ability to commercialize our products successfully will be harmed.

 

Our success depends significantly on our ability to protect our proprietary rights to the technologies incorporated in our products. We currently have five issued U.S. patents and seven pending U.S. patent applications. We also have twenty six issued foreign patents and have applied for nine additional international patents. Our issued patents begin to expire in 2019, with the last of these patents expiring in 2029, although terminal disclaimers, patent term extension or patent term adjustment can shorten or lengthen the patent term. We rely on a combination of patent protection, trade secret laws and nondisclosure, confidentiality and other contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary technology. However, these may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep any competitive advantage.

 

The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its scope, validity or enforceability. The scope, validity or enforceability of our issued patents can be challenged in litigation or proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or foreign patent offices where our applications are pending. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or foreign offices may deny or require significant narrowing of claims in our pending patent applications. Patents issued as a result of the pending patent applications, if any, may not provide us with significant commercial protection or be issued in a form that is advantageous to us. Proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or foreign offices could result in adverse decisions as to the priority of our inventions and the narrowing or invalidation of claims in issued patents. The laws of some foreign countries may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S., if at all. Some of our patents may expire before we receive FDA approval to market our products in the U.S. or we receive approval to market our products in a foreign country. Although we believe that certain patent applications and/or other patents issued more recently will help protect the proprietary nature of the Hemopurifier treatment technology, we cannot assure you that this protection will be sufficient to protect us during the development of that technology.

  

Our competitors may successfully challenge and invalidate or render unenforceable our issued patents, including any patents that may issue in the future, which could prevent or limit our ability to market our products and could limit our ability to stop competitors from marketing products that are substantially equivalent to ours. In addition, competitors may be able to design around our patents or develop products that provide outcomes that are comparable to our products but that are not covered by our patents.

 

We have also entered into confidentiality and assignment of intellectual property agreements with all of our employees, consultants and advisors directly involved in the development of our technology as one of the ways we seek to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary technology. However, these agreements may not be enforceable or may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets or other proprietary information in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure or other breaches of the agreements.

 

In the event a competitor infringes upon any of our patents or other intellectual property rights, enforcing our rights may be difficult, time consuming and expensive, and would divert management’s attention from managing our business. We cannot assure you that we will be successful on the merits in any enforcement effort. In addition, we may not have sufficient resources to litigate, enforce or defend our intellectual property rights.

 

We may rely on licenses for new technology, which may affect our continued operations with respect thereto.

 

As we develop our technology, we may need to license additional technologies to optimize the performance of our products. We may not be able to license these technologies on commercially reasonable terms or at all. In addition, we may fail to successfully integrate any licensed technology into our proposed products. Our inability to obtain any necessary licenses could delay our product development and testing until alternative technologies can be identified, licensed and integrated. The inability to obtain any necessary third-party licenses could cause us to abandon a particular development path, which could seriously harm our business, financial position and results of our operations.

 

New technology may lead to our competitors developing superior products which would reduce demand for our products.

 

Research into technologies similar to ours is proceeding at a rapid pace, and many private and public companies and research institutions are actively engaged in the development of products similar to ours. These new technologies may, if successfully developed, offer significant performance or price advantages when compared with our technologies. There is no assurance that our existing patents or our pending and proposed patent applications will offer meaningful protection if a competitor develops a novel product based on a new technology.

 

 

 

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If we are unable to protect our proprietary technology and preserve our trade secrets, we will increase our vulnerability to competitors which could materially adversely impact our ability to remain in business.

 

Our ability to successfully commercialize our products will depend on our ability to protect those products and our technology with domestic and foreign patents. We will also need to continue to preserve our trade secrets. The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its validity or as to the enforceable scope of the claims of the patent. The patent positions of technology companies, including us, are uncertain and involve complex legal and factual issues. We cannot assure you that our patents will prevent other companies from developing similar products or products which produce benefits substantially the same as our products, or that other companies will not be issued patents that may prevent the sale of our products or require us to pay significant licensing fees in order to market our products.

 

From time to time, we may need to obtain licenses to patents and other proprietary rights held by third parties in order to develop, manufacture and market our products. If we are unable to timely obtain these licenses on commercially reasonable terms, our ability to commercially exploit such products may be inhibited or prevented. Additionally, we cannot assure investors that any of our products or technology will be patentable or that any future patents we obtain will give us an exclusive position in the subject matter claimed by those patents. Furthermore, we cannot assure investors that our pending patent applications will result in issued patents, that patent protection will be secured for any particular technology, or that our issued patents will be valid or enforceable or provide us with meaningful protection.

  

If we are required to engage in expensive and lengthy litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, such litigation could be very costly and the results of such litigation may not be satisfactory.

 

Although we have entered into invention assignment agreements with our employees and with certain advisors, and we routinely enter into confidentiality agreements with our contract partners, if those employees, advisors or contract partners develop inventions or processes independently that may relate to products or technology under development by us, disputes may arise about the ownership of those inventions or processes. Time-consuming and costly litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our rights under these agreements. In addition, we may be required to commence litigation to enforce such agreements if they are violated, and it is certainly possible that we will not have adequate remedies for breaches of our confidentiality agreements as monetary damages may not be sufficient to compensate us. In addition, we may be unable to fund the costs of such litigation to a satisfactory conclusion, which could leave us without recourse to enforce contracts that protect our intellectual property rights.

 

Other companies may claim that our technology infringes on their intellectual property or proprietary rights and commence legal proceedings against us which could be time-consuming and expensive and could result in our being prohibited from developing, marketing, selling or distributing our products.

 

Because of the complex and difficult legal and factual questions that relate to patent positions in our industry, we cannot assure you that our products or technology will not be found to infringe upon the intellectual property or proprietary rights of others. Third parties may claim that our products or technology infringe on their patents, copyrights, trademarks or other proprietary rights and demand that we cease development or marketing of those products or technology or pay license fees. We may not be able to avoid costly patent infringement litigation, which will divert the attention of management away from the development of new products and the operation of our business. We cannot assure investors that we would prevail in any such litigation. If we are found to have infringed on a third-party’s intellectual property rights, we may be liable for money damages, encounter significant delays in bringing products to market or be precluded from manufacturing particular products or using particular technology.

 

Other parties may challenge certain of our foreign patent applications. If such parties are successful in opposing our foreign patent applications, we may not gain the protection afforded by those patent applications in particular jurisdictions and may face additional proceedings with respect to similar patents in other jurisdictions, as well as related patents. The loss of patent protection in one jurisdiction may influence our ability to maintain patent protection for the same technology in other jurisdictions.

 

 

 

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Risks Related to U.S. Government Contracts

 

We may not obtain additional U.S. Government contracts to further develop our technology.

 

We can give no assurances that we will be successful in obtaining additional government grants or contracts. The process of obtaining government contracts is lengthy with the uncertainty that we will be successful in obtaining announced grants or contracts for therapeutics as a medical device technology. Accordingly, we cannot be certain that we will be awarded any additional U.S. Government grants or contracts utilizing our Hemopurifier platform technology.

 

U.S. Government agencies have special contracting requirements including a right to audit us which create additional risks; a negative audit would be detrimental to us.

 

Our business plan to utilize the Aethlon Hemopurifier technology is likely to continue to involve contracts with the U.S. Government. Such contracts typically contain unfavorable termination provisions and are subject to audit and modification by the government at its sole discretion, which subjects us to additional risks. These risks include the ability of the U.S. Government to unilaterally:

 

  · suspend or prevent us for a period of time from receiving new contracts or extending existing contracts based on violations or suspected violations of laws or regulations;
     
  · audit and object to our contract-related costs and fees, including allocated indirect costs;
     
  · control and potentially prohibit the export of our products; and
     
  · change certain terms and conditions in our contracts.

  

As a U.S. Government contractor, we are required to comply with applicable laws, regulations and standards relating to our accounting practices and would be subject to periodic audits and reviews. As part of any such audit or review, the U.S. Government may review the adequacy of, and our compliance with, our internal control systems and policies, including those relating to our purchasing, property, estimating, compensation and management information systems. Based on the results of its audits, the U.S. Government may adjust our contract-related costs and fees, including allocated indirect costs. In addition, if an audit or review uncovers any improper or illegal activity, we would possibly be subject to civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of our contracts, forfeiture of profits, suspension of payments, fines and suspension or prohibition from doing business with the U.S. Government. We could also suffer serious harm to our reputation if allegations of impropriety were made against us. Although we have not had any government audits and reviews to date, future audits and reviews could cause adverse effects. In addition, under U.S. Government purchasing regulations, some of our costs, including most financing costs, amortization of intangible assets, portions of our research and development costs, and some marketing expenses, would possibly not be reimbursable or allowed under such contracts. Further, as a U.S. Government contractor, we would be subject to an increased risk of investigations, criminal prosecution, civil fraud, whistleblower lawsuits and other legal actions and liabilities to which purely private sector companies are not.

 

As a U.S. Government contractor, we are subject to a number of procurement rules and regulations.

 

Government contractors must comply with specific procurement regulations and other requirements. These requirements, although customary in government contracts, impact our performance and compliance costs. In addition, current U.S. Government budgetary constraints could lead to changes in the procurement environment, including the Department of Defense’s recent initiative focused on efficiencies, affordability and cost growth and other changes to its procurement practices. If and to the extent such changes occur, they could impact our results of operations and liquidity, and could affect whether and, if so, how we pursue certain opportunities and the terms under which we are able to do so.

 

In addition, failure to comply with these regulations and requirements could result in reductions of the value of contracts, contract modifications or termination, and the assessment of penalties and fines, which could negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition. Our failure to comply with these regulations and requirements could also lead to suspension or debarment, for cause, from government contracting or subcontracting for a period of time. Among the causes for debarment are violations of various statutes, including those related to procurement integrity, export control, government security regulations, employment practices, protection of the environment, accuracy of records and the recording of costs, and foreign corruption. The termination of our government contract as a result of any of these acts could have a negative impact on our results of operations and financial condition and could have a negative impact on our reputation and ability to procure other government contracts in the future.

 

 

 

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Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and Our Corporate Governance

 

Historically we have not paid dividends on our common stock, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

 

We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock. We intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to fund operational and capital expenditure needs of our business, and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, future financing instruments may do the same. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock will be the sole source of gain for our common stockholders in the foreseeable future.

 

Our stock price is speculative, and there is a risk of litigation.

 

The trading price of our common stock has in the past and may in the future be subject to wide fluctuations in response to factors such as the following:

 

  · revenue or results of operations in any quarter failing to meet the expectations, published or otherwise, of the investment community;
     
  · reduced investor confidence in equity markets, due in part to corporate collapses in recent years;
     
  · speculation in the press or analyst community;
     
  · wide fluctuations in stock prices, particularly with respect to the stock prices for other medical device companies;
     
  · announcements of technological innovations by us or our competitors;
     
  · new products or the acquisition of significant customers by us or our competitors;
     
  · changes in interest rates;
     
  · changes in investors’ beliefs as to the appropriate price-earnings ratios for us and our competitors;
     
  · changes in recommendations or financial estimates by securities analysts who track our common stock or the stock of other medical device companies;
     
  · changes in management;
     
  · sales of common stock by directors and executive officers;
     
  · rumors or dissemination of false or misleading information, particularly through Internet chat rooms, instant messaging, and other rapid-dissemination methods;
     
  · conditions and trends in the medical device industry generally;
     
  · the announcement of acquisitions or other significant transactions by us or our competitors;
     
  · adoption of new accounting standards affecting our industry;
     
  · general market conditions;
     
  · domestic or international terrorism and other factors; and
     
  · the other factors described in this section.

 

 

 

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Fluctuations in the price of our common stock may expose us to the risk of securities class action lawsuits. Although no such lawsuits are currently pending against us and we are not aware that any such lawsuit is threatened to be filed in the future, there is no assurance that we will not be sued based on fluctuations in the price of our common stock. Defending against such suits could result in substantial cost and divert management’s attention and resources. In addition, any settlement or adverse determination of such lawsuits could subject us to significant liability.

 

If at any time our common stock is subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s penny stock rules, broker-dealers may experience difficulty in completing customer transactions and trading activity in our securities may be adversely affected.

 

If at any time our common stock is not listed on a national securities exchange or we have net tangible assets of $5,000,000 or less and our common stock has a market price per share of less than $5.00, transactions in our common stock will be subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s, or SEC’s, “penny stock” rules. If our common stock is subject to the “penny stock” rules promulgated under the Exchange Act, broker-dealers may find it difficult to effectuate customer transactions and trading activity in our securities may be adversely affected. For any transaction involving a penny stock, unless exempt, the rules require:

 

  · that a broker or dealer approve a person’s account for transactions in penny stocks; and
     
  · the broker or dealer receive from the investor a written agreement to the transaction, setting forth the identity and quantity of the penny stock to be purchased.

  

In order to approve a person’s account for transactions in penny stocks, the broker or dealer must:

 

  · obtain financial information and investment experience objectives of the person; and
     
  · make a reasonable determination that the transactions in penny stocks are suitable for that person and the person has sufficient knowledge and experience in financial matters to be capable of evaluating the risks of transactions in penny stocks.

 

The broker or dealer must also deliver, prior to any transaction in a penny stock, a disclosure schedule prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the penny stock market, which, in highlight form:

 

  · sets forth the basis on which the broker or dealer made the suitability determination; and
     
  · that the broker or dealer received a signed, written agreement from the investor prior to the transaction.

 

Generally, brokers may be less willing to execute transactions in securities subject to the “penny stock” rules. This may make it more difficult for investors to dispose of our common stock and cause a decline in the market value of our stock.

 

Disclosure also has to be made about the risks of investing in penny stocks in both public offerings and in secondary trading and about the commissions payable to both the broker-dealer and the registered representative, current quotations for the securities and the rights and remedies available to an investor in cases of fraud in penny stock transactions. Finally, monthly statements have to be sent disclosing recent price information for the penny stock held in the account and information on the limited market in penny stocks.

 

 

 

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Our common stock has had an unpredictable trading volume which means you may not be able to sell our shares at or near trading prices or at all.

 

Trading in our common shares historically has been volatile and often has been thin, meaning that the number of persons interested in purchasing our common shares at or near trading prices at any given time may be relatively small or non-existent. This situation is attributable to a number of factors, including the fact that we are a small company which is relatively unknown to stock analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors and others in the investment community that generate or influence sales volume, and that even if we came to the attention of such persons, they tend to be risk-averse and would be reluctant to follow an unproven company such as ours or purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares until such time as we became more seasoned and viable. As a consequence, there may be periods of several days or more when trading activity in our shares is minimal, as compared to a seasoned issuer which has a large and steady volume of trading activity that will generally support continuous sales without an adverse effect on share price. We cannot give you any assurance that a broader or more active public trading market for our common shares will develop or be sustained, or that current trading levels will be sustained.

 

The market price for our common stock is volatile; you may not be able to sell our common stock at or above the price you have paid for them, which may result in losses to you.

 

The market for our common shares is characterized by significant price volatility when compared to seasoned issuers, and we expect that our share price will continue to be more volatile than a seasoned issuer for the indefinite future. In fact, during the 52-week period ended March 31, 2018, the high and low closing sale prices of a share of our common stock were $3.03 and $0.80, respectively. The volatility in our share price is attributable to a number of factors. First, as noted above, trading in our common shares often has been thin. As a consequence of this lack of liquidity, the trading of relatively small quantities of shares by our stockholders may disproportionately influence the price of those shares in either direction. The price for our shares could, for example, decline precipitously in the event that a large number of our common shares are sold on the market without commensurate demand, as compared to a seasoned issuer which could better absorb those sales without adverse impact on its share price. Secondly, we are a speculative investment due to our limited operating history, limited amount of revenue, lack of profit to date, and the uncertainty of future market acceptance for our potential products. As a consequence of this enhanced risk, more risk-adverse investors may, under the fear of losing all or most of their investment in the event of negative news or lack of progress, be more inclined to sell their shares on the market more quickly and at greater discounts than would be the case with the stock of a seasoned issuer. The following factors may add to the volatility in the price of our common shares: actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly or annual operating results; acceptance of our proprietary technology as a viable method of augmenting the immune response of clearing viruses and toxins from human blood; government regulations, announcements of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships or joint ventures; our capital commitments and additions or departures of our key personnel. Many of these factors are beyond our control and may decrease the market price of our common shares regardless of our operating performance. We cannot make any predictions or projections as to what the prevailing market price for our common shares will be at any time, including as to whether our common shares will sustain their current market prices, or as to what effect the sale of shares or the availability of common shares for sale at any time will have on the prevailing market price.

   

Our directors and officers own or control approximately 6.0% of our outstanding common shares which may limit your ability to propose new management or influence the overall direction of the business; this concentration of control may also discourage potential takeovers that could otherwise provide a premium to you.

 

As of June 8, 2018, our officers and directors beneficially own or control approximately 6.0% of our outstanding common shares (assuming the exercise of all outstanding options, restricted stock units and warrants held by our officers and directors). These persons will have the ability to substantially influence all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval and to control our management and affairs, including extraordinary transactions such as mergers and other changes of corporate control, and going private transactions.

  

 

 

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A large number of our common shares are issuable upon exercise of outstanding convertible securities which, if exercised or converted, would be dilutive to your holdings.

 

As of March 31, 2018, there are outstanding purchase options and warrants entitling the holders to purchase 6,331,618 common shares at a weighted average exercise price of $1.96 per share. This includes 26,105 warrants that are conditional upon the exercise of other warrants. As of March 31, 2018, there are 349,431 shares underlying promissory notes convertible into common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $3.00. Additionally, as of March 31, 2018, we had reserved 369,000 shares of common stock for issuance under our restricted stock unit program.

 

The exercise price for all of our outstanding options and warrants, or the conversion price of our convertible notes, may be less than your cost to acquire our common shares. In the event of the exercise or conversion of these securities, you could suffer substantial dilution of your investment in terms of your percentage ownership in us as well as the book value of your common shares. In addition, the holders of the convertible notes, common share purchase options or warrants may sell common shares in tandem with their exercise or conversion of those securities to finance that exercise or conversion, or may resell the shares purchased in order to cover any income tax liabilities that may arise from their exercise of the options or warrants or conversion of the notes.

 

Our issuance of additional common shares, or convertible securities, would be dilutive to your holdings.

 

We are entitled under our Articles of Incorporation to issue up to 30,000,000 shares of common stock. We have reserved for issuance 7,160,004 shares of common stock for existing restricted stock units, options, warrants and convertible notes. As of March 31, 2018, we have issued and outstanding 17,739,511 shares of common stock. As a result, as of March 31, 2018 we had 5,100,485 common shares available for issuance to new investors or for use to satisfy indebtedness or pay service providers.

 

Our Board of Directors may generally issue shares of common stock, restricted stock units or options or warrants to purchase those shares, without further approval by our stockholders based upon such factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant at that time. It is likely that we will be required to issue a large amount of additional securities to raise capital to further our development. It is also likely that we will be required to issue a large amount of additional securities to directors, officers, employees and consultants as compensatory grants in connection with their services, both in the form of stand-alone grants or under our stock plans. We cannot give you any assurance that we will not issue additional shares of common stock, or options or warrants to purchase those shares, under circumstances we may deem appropriate at the time.

 

Our issuance of additional shares of common stock in satisfaction of services, or to repay indebtedness, would be dilutive to your holdings.

 

Our Board of Directors may generally issue shares of common stock to pay for debt or services, without further approval by our stockholders based upon such factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant at that time. For the past four fiscal years (ending March 31, 2018), we issued a total of 1,102,741 shares of common stock to pay for debt to reduce our obligations. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 we issued 120,922 shares of common stock to pay for debt to reduce our obligations.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we issued 15,000 shares to pay for services valued at $33,600. While we did not issue any shares as payment for services in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, it is likely that we will issue additional securities to pay for services and to reduce debt in the future. We cannot give you any assurance that we will not issue additional shares of common stock at various discounts under circumstances we may deem appropriate at the time.

 

Our officers and directors are entitled to indemnification from us for liabilities under our articles of incorporation, which could be costly to us and may discourage the exercise of stockholder rights.

 

Our Articles of Incorporation contains provisions which eliminate the liability of our directors for monetary damages to our company and stockholders. Our by-laws also require us to indemnify our officers and directors. We may also have contractual indemnification obligations under our agreements with our directors, officers and employees. The foregoing indemnification obligations could result in our company incurring substantial expenditures to cover the cost of settlement or damage awards against directors, officers and employees that we may be unable to recoup. These provisions and resultant costs may also discourage our company from bringing a lawsuit against directors, officers and employees for breaches of their fiduciary duties, and may similarly discourage the filing of derivative litigation by our stockholders against our directors, officers and employees even though such actions, if successful, might otherwise benefit our company and stockholders.

  

 

 

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Our by-laws and Nevada law may discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our management, would have the result of depressing the trading price of our common stock.

 

Provisions of Nevada anti-takeover law (NRS 78.378 et seq.) could have the effect of delaying or preventing a third-party from acquiring us, even if the acquisition arguably could benefit our stockholders. Various provisions of our by-laws may delay, defer or prevent a tender offer or takeover attempt of us that a stockholder might consider in his or her best interest. Our by-laws may be adopted, amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least a majority of our outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote for the election of directors, and except as provided by Nevada law, our Board of Directors shall have the power to adopt, amend or repeal the by-laws by a vote of not less than a majority of our directors. The interests of these stockholders and directors may not be consistent with your interests, and they may make changes to the by-laws that are not in line with your concerns.

 

Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock are available for our Board or Directors to issue without stockholder approval. We may use these additional shares for a variety of corporate purposes, however, faced with an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a proxy context, tender offer, merger or other transaction our Board of Directors acting alone and without approval of our stockholders can issue large amounts of capital stock as part of a defense to a take-over challenge.

 

The existence of the foregoing provisions and other potential anti-takeover measures could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock. They could also deter potential acquirers of our company, thereby reducing the likelihood that you could receive a premium for your common stock in an acquisition.

 

We incur substantial costs as a result of being a public company and our management expects to devote substantial time to public company compliance programs.

 

As a public company, we incur significant legal, insurance, accounting and other expenses, including costs associated with public company reporting. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment will result in increased general and administrative expenses and may divert management’s time and attention from product development and commercialization activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us, and our business may be harmed. These laws and regulations could make it more difficult and costly for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance for our directors and officers, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified executive officers and qualified members of our Board of Directors, particularly to serve on our audit and compensation committees. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet the legal, regulatory and other requirements related to being a public company, we may not be able to maintain the quotation of our common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market or on any other senior market to which we may apply for listing, which would likely have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.

 

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they change their recommendations regarding our stock adversely, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

 

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. Our research coverage by industry and financial analysts is currently limited. Even if our analyst coverage increases, if one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our stock, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

 

 

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

We currently lease approximately 2,600 square feet of executive office space at 9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92123 under a 39-month gross plus utilities lease that commenced on December 1, 2014 and was extended in May 2018. The initial rental rate under the lease extension is $7,986 per month. Such lease expires in on August 31, 2021. We believe this leased facility will be satisfactory for our office needs over the term of the lease.

  

We also lease approximately 1,700 square feet of laboratory space at 11585 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite 109, San Diego, California 92121 at the rate of $4,548 per month on a one-year lease that expires on November 30, 2018. We presently intend to renew this lease as we believe this leased facility will be satisfactory for our laboratory needs over the near term.

  

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

We may be involved from time to time in various claims, lawsuits, and/or disputes with third parties or breach of contract actions incidental to the normal course of our business operations. We are currently not involved in any litigation or any pending legal proceedings.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

We have no disclosure applicable to this item.

  

 

 

 

 

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PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

MARKET PRICE FOR COMMON EQUITY AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

Our common stock is quoted on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the trading symbol "AEMD." Trading in our common stock historically has been volatile and often has been thin. On July 7, 2015, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC approved our application for listing our common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AEMD,” and we commenced trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market on July 13, 2015. Previously, our common stock was quoted on the OTCQB Marketplace under the trading symbol “AEMD.”

 

The following table sets forth for the calendar periods indicated the quarterly high and low closing or bid, as applicable, prices for our common stock as reported by the Nasdaq Capital Market and/or the OTCQB Marketplace. The prices represent quotations between dealers, without adjustment for retail markup, mark down or commission, and do not necessarily represent actual transactions.

 

   CLOSING/BID PRICE 
PERIOD  HIGH   LOW 
         
Calendar 2018:          
First Quarter  $1.90   $1.13 
           
Calendar 2017:          
Fourth Quarter  $1.45   $0.80 
Third Quarter   2.70    1.14 
Second Quarter   3.03    1.60 
First Quarter   4.75    3.19 
           
Calendar 2016:          
Fourth Quarter  $5.14   $4.11 
Third Quarter   7.70    4.77 
Second Quarter   6.14    4.70 
First Quarter   7.01    4.34 

 

There were approximately 89 record holders of our common stock at June 8, 2018. The number of registered stockholders includes any beneficial owners of common shares held in street name.

 

The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Computershare Investor Services, located at 350 Indiana Street, Suite 800, Golden, Colorado 80401.

 

We have not paid any dividends on our common stock to date and do not anticipate that we will pay dividends in the foreseeable future. Any payment of cash dividends on our common stock in the future will be dependent upon the amount of funds legally available, our earnings, if any, our financial condition, our anticipated capital requirements and other factors that the board of directors may think are relevant. However, we currently intend for the foreseeable future to follow a policy of retaining all of our earnings, if any, to finance the development and expansion of our business and, therefore, do not expect to pay any dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

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Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

We have sold or issued the following equity securities not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, or Securities Act, in reliance upon the exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act or Regulation D of the Securities Act during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 and subsequent thereto through the date of filing this report. Except as stated below, no underwriting discounts or commissions were payable with respect to any of the following transactions.

  

Aethlon Medical, Inc. Equity Transactions in the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2018.

 

Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright

 

On June 28, 2016, we entered into a Common Stock Sales Agreement (the “Agreement”) with H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“H.C. Wainwright”) which establishes an at-the-market equity program pursuant to which we may offer and sell shares of our common stock from time to time as set forth in the Agreement. The Agreement provides for the sale of shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $12,500,000 (the “Shares”).

 

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement, H.C. Wainwright will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell the Shares from time to time, based upon our instructions. We have provided H.C. Wainwright with customary indemnification rights, and H.C. Wainwright will be entitled to a commission at a fixed rate equal to three percent (3.0%) of the gross proceeds per Share sold. In addition, we have agreed to pay certain expenses incurred by H.C. Wainwright in connection with the Agreement, including up to $50,000 of the fees and disbursements of their counsel. The Agreement will terminate upon the sale of all of the Shares under the Agreement unless terminated earlier by either party as permitted under the Agreement.

  

Sales of the Shares, if any, under the Agreement shall be made in transactions that are deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions, including on the Nasdaq Capital Market, at market prices or as otherwise agreed with H.C. Wainwright. We have no obligation to sell any of the Shares, and, at any time, we may suspend offers under the Agreement or terminate the Agreement.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we raised aggregate net proceeds of $2,104,968 (net of $65,280 in commissions to H.C. Wainwright and $5,748 in other offering expenses) under this agreement through the sale of 941,504 shares at an average price of $2.24 per share of net proceeds.

 

October 2017 Public Offering

 

On October 4, 2017, we consummated a public offering of 5,454,546 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5,454,546 shares of common stock, for total gross proceeds of $6.0 million. The offering was priced at $1.10 per unit with each unit comprised of one share of common stock and one common stock purchase warrant. Neither the warrants nor the units are listed on an exchange and therefore do not trade. The warrants carry a five-year term with an exercise price of $1.10 per share. The net proceeds of the offering were $5,289,735. H.C. Wainwright & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent for the offering.

 

Warrant Exercises

 

In fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, investors that participated in the October 2017 Public Offering exercised 2,160,350 warrants for aggregate cash proceeds to us of $2,160,350 before expenses.

 

Restricted Shares Issued for Services

 

During the nine months ended December 31, 2017, we issued 15,000 shares of restricted common stock at a price of $2.24 per share, the market price at time of issuance, in payment for investor relations consulting services valued at $33,600 based on the grant date closing market price of our common stock.

 

 

 

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Share for Warrant Exchanges

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we agreed with two individual investors to exchange 11,497 restricted shares for the cancellation of 22,993 warrants and we entered into an Exchange Agreement with two institutional investors under which we issued 57,844 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 77,125 warrants held by those investors. We also agreed with those institutional investors that they would extend the expiration dates of convertible notes held by those investors from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share.

 

Additionally, we entered into an agreement with a former placement agent to issue 5,500 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 11,000 warrants held by that placement agent. We measured the fair value of the shares issued and the fair value of the warrants exchanged for those shares and recorded losses for each of those exchanges based on the changes in fair value between the instruments exchanged. Based upon the fair value of the shares issued and warrants exchanged, we recorded a loss of $130,215 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 for all of the above share for warrant exchanges.

 

Stock Option Issuances

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we issued options to four of our employees to purchase 34,500 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $1.68 per share, the closing price on the date of the approval of the option grants by our compensation committee.

 

Termination of Restricted Share Grant

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we terminated a previously recorded but unissued share issuance of 68,000 shares under a fully vested restricted stock grant to our CEO and issued to him 32,674 shares as a net settlement of shares and the Company paid the withholding taxes associated with that share issuance in return for the cancellation of 35,326 shares. The compensation cost of that restricted stock grant had been fully recorded during prior fiscal years, therefore no expense was recorded regarding this net issuance.

 

Restricted Stock Unit Grants to Directors and Executive Officers

 

On August 9, 2016, our Board of Directors granted RSUs to certain of our officers and directors and during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 168,309 additional RSUs were granted to our directors pursuant to the 2012 Non-Employee Directors Compensation Program. The RSUs represent the right to be issued on a future date shares of our common stock for vested RSUs.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 184,500 vested RSUs held by our executives were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As our executives elected to net settle a portion of their RSU’s in exchange for the Company paying the related withholding taxes on the share issuance, 97,238 of the RSUs were cancelled and we issued a net 87,262 shares to our executives (see Note 9).

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 168,309 RSUs held by our outside directors were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As three of our four outside directors elected to return 40% of their RSUs in exchange for cash in order to pay their withholding taxes on the share issuances, 44,983 of the RSUs were cancelled and we paid $52,998 in cash to those outside directors.

 

 

 

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EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS

 

SUMMARY EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN DATA

 

Equity Compensation Plans

 

Summary equity compensation plan data

 

The following table sets forth information, as of March 31, 2018, about our equity compensation plans (including the potential effect of debt instruments convertible into common stock) in effect as of that date:

 

Plan category  (a)
Number of securities
to be issued
upon exercise
of outstanding
options, warrants
and rights
(1)(2)
   (b)
Weighted-average
exercise price of
outstanding options
   (c)
Number of securities
remaining available
for future issuance
under equity
compensation plans
(excluding securities
reflected in column
(a))
 
             
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders (3)(4)(5)   396,000   $1.68    2,272,393 
                
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders (1)(3)(4)   295,470   $10.07    9,800 
                
Totals   691,470   $10.07    2,282,193 

_____________

(1) The description of the material terms of non-plan issuances of equity instruments is discussed in Note 5 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.

 

(2) Net of equity instruments forfeited, exercised or expired.

 

(3) Includes restricted stock unit grants to our officers and directors in August 2016, and to our directors during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

 

(4) On March 31, 2018 we had 2,272,393 shares available under our 2010 Stock Incentive Plan.

 

(5) 3,000,000 share increase to the 2010 Stock Incentive Plan approved by shareholders.

  

2000 Stock Option Plan

 

Our 2000 Stock Option Plan provides for the grant of incentive stock options to our full-time employees (who may also be directors) and nonstatutory stock options to non-employee directors, consultants, customers, vendors or providers of significant services. The exercise price of any incentive stock option may not be less than the fair market value of the common stock on the date of grant or, in the case of an optionee who owns more than 10% of the total combined voting power of all classes of our outstanding stock, not be less than 110% of the fair market value on the date of grant. The exercise price, in the case of any nonstatutory stock option, must not be less than 75% of the fair market value of the common stock on the date of grant. The amount reserved under the 2000 Stock Option Plan is 10,000 options.

 

 

 

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At March 31, 2018, all of the grants previously made under the 2000 Stock Option Plan had expired and 200 common shares had been issued under the plan, with 9,800 available for future issuance.

 

2010 Stock Incentive Plan

 

In August 2010, we adopted the 2010 Stock Incentive Plan, which provides incentives to attract, retain and motivate employees and directors whose present and potential contributions are important to our success by offering them an opportunity to participate in our future performance through awards of options, the right to purchase common stock, stock bonuses and stock appreciation rights and other awards. We initially reserved a total of 70,000 common shares for issuance under the 2010 Stock Incentive Plan.

 

In August 2010, we filed a registration statement on Form S-8 for the purpose of registering 70,000 common shares issuable under this plan under the Securities Act, and in July 2012, we filed a registration statement on Form S-8 for the purpose of registering 100,000 common shares issuable under this plan under the Securities Act.

 

On January 26, 2016, our Board of Directors approved an amendment to the 2010 Stock Incentive Plan to increase the total number of shares of common stock reserved for issuance under the plan to 3,170,000 shares, subject to amendment of our Articles of Incorporation to increase our authorized common stock. On March 29, 2016, we held an annual stockholders meeting, at which our stockholders approved the Amended 2010 Stock Incentive Plan and an amendment of our Articles of Incorporation to increase our authorized common stock to 30,000,000 shares. On March 31, 2016, we filed a Certificate of Amendment to our Articles of Incorporation to effect the increase in our authorized common stock. As a result of such amendment, the Amended 2010 Stock Incentive Plan became effective on March 31, 2016.

 

At March 31, 2018, we had 2,272,393 shares available under this plan.

 

2012 Directors Compensation Program

 

In July 2012, our Board of Directors approved a board compensation program that modified and superseded the 2005 Directors Compensation Program, which was previously in effect. Under the 2012 program, in which only non-employee directors may participate, an eligible director will receive a grant of $35,000 worth of ten-year options to acquire shares of common stock, with such grant being valued at the exercise price based on the average of the closing bid prices of the common stock for the five trading days preceding the first day of the fiscal year. In addition, under this program, eligible directors will receive cash compensation equal to $500 for each committee meeting attended and $1,000 for each formal board meeting attended.

 

On June 6, 2014, our Board of Directors approved certain changes to the 2012 program. Under this modified program, a new eligible director will receive an initial grant of $50,000 worth of options to acquire shares of common stock, with such grant being valued at the exercise price based on the average of the closing bid prices of the common stock for the five trading days preceding the first day of the fiscal year. These options will have a term of ten years and will vest 1/3 upon grant and 1/3 upon each of the first two anniversaries of the date of grant. In addition, at the beginning of each fiscal year, each existing director eligible to participate in the modified 2012 program also will receive a grant of $35,000 worth of options valued at the exercise price based on the average of the closing bid prices of the common stock for the five trading days preceding the first day of the fiscal year. Such options will vest on the first anniversary of the date of grant. In lieu of per meeting fees, eligible directors will receive an annual board retainer fee of $30,000. The modified 2012 program also provides for the following annual retainer fees: Audit Committee Chair - $5,000, Compensation Committee chair - $5,000, Nominating Committee Chair - $5,000, Audit Committee member - $4,000, Compensation Committee member - $4,000, Nominating Committee member $4,000 and lead independent director - $15,000.

 

On August 9, 2016, the Board approved further modifications to the program. Under the modified 2012 Program, in which only non-employee directors may participate, a new eligible director will receive an initial grant of $50,000 worth of RSUs or, at the discretion of the Board, options to acquire shares of Common Stock. RSUs granted under this provision will be valued based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the date of grant and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion. Options granted under this provision will be valued at the exercise price, which will be based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the date of grant. Such options will have a term of ten years and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion.

 

 

 

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At the beginning of each fiscal year, each existing director eligible to participate in the 2012 Program will receive a grant of $35,000 worth of RSUs or, at the discretion of the Board, options to acquire shares of Common Stock. RSUs granted under this provision will be valued based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the first day of the fiscal year (or preceding and including the date of grant, if such grant is not made on the first day of the fiscal year) and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion. Options granted under this provision will be valued at the exercise price, which will be based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the first day of the fiscal year (or preceding and including the date of grant, if such grant is not made on the first day of the fiscal year). Such options will have a term of ten years and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion.

 

The RSU grants and the changes to the 2012 Program were approved and recommended by our Compensation Committee prior to approval by the Board.

 

Dr. Fisher will be compensated $90,000 per year for his services as Chairman of the Board, which the Company’s Board considers to be fees payable as a member of the Board or a Committee of the Board for purposes of Section 10A-3 of the rules promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent payment of such fees are construed to not be fees payable as a member of the Board or a Committee of the Board, then the Board considers that Dr. Fisher may act as a member of its Audit Committee under Nasdaq Rule 5605(c)(2)(B) as the Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders for Dr. Fisher to continue to serve on its Audit Committee.

 

Stand-alone grants

 

From time to time our Board of Directors grants common stock or common share purchase options or warrants to selected directors, officers, employees and consultants as equity compensation to such persons on a stand-alone basis outside of any of our formal stock plans. The terms of these grants are individually negotiated. There were no stock option grants on a stand-alone basis to either employees or directors during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and March 31, 2017.

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

As a Smaller Reporting Company, we are not required to furnish information under this Item 6.

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report.

 

Overview

 

We are a medical device company focused on creating innovative devices that address unmet medical needs in global health and biodefense. The Aethlon Hemopurifier® is a clinical-stage therapeutic device that eliminates life-threatening viruses from the circulatory system of infected individuals.

 

In June 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved our investigational device exemption application to initiate a ten-patient human clinical trial in one location in the U.S. to treat dialysis patients who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Successful outcomes of that human trial as well as at least one follow-on human trial will be required by the FDA in order to commercialize our products in the U.S. The regulatory agencies of certain foreign countries where we intend to sell this device will also require one or more human clinical trials.

 

Some of our patents may expire before we receive FDA approval to market our products in the U.S. or we receive approval to market our products in a foreign country. However, we believe that certain patent applications and/or other patents issued more recently will help protect the proprietary nature of the Hemopurifier treatment technology.

 

Through our majority-owned subsidiary, Exosome Sciences, Inc., or Exosome, we are also studying potential diagnostic techniques for identifying and monitoring neurological conditions and cancer. We consolidate Exosome’s activities in our consolidated financial statements.

  

 

 

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Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2018 and 2017

 

Results of Operations

 

Revenues

 

We recorded government contract revenue in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.  This revenue arose from work performed under our government contracts with the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA and our subcontract with Battelle Memorial Institute, or Battelle (both of which are now completed), as follows:

 

   Fiscal Year
Ended
3/31/18
   Fiscal year
Ended
3/31/17
   Change in
Dollars
 
NCI contract  $149,625   $   $149,625 
DARPA contract       387,438    (387,438)
Battelle subcontract       4,635    (4,635)
Total government contract revenue  $149,625   $392,073   $(242,448)

 

NCI Contract

 

We entered into a contract with the NIH on September 15, 2017. This award is under the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which is designed to fund early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. The title of the award is SBIR Topic 359 Phase 1 Device Strategy for Selective Isolation of Oncosomes and Non-Malignant Exosomes.

 

The award from NIH is a firm, fixed-price contract with potential total payments to us of $299,250 over the course of nine months.

 

Fixed price contracts require the achievement of multiple, incremental milestones to receive the full award during each period of the contract. The NIH also has the unilateral right to require us to perform additional work under an option period for an additional fixed amount of $49,800.

 

Under the terms of the contract, we must perform certain incremental work towards the achievement of specific milestones against which we will invoice the government for fixed payment amounts.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we performed work under the contract completing the majority of the first two technical objectives of the contract (Aim 1: To validate the Hemopurifier as a device for capture and recovery of melanoma exosomes from plasma and Aim 2: To validate a method of melanoma exosome isolation consisting of the Hemopurifier followed by mab-based immunocapture to select out the tumor-derived exosomes from non-malignant exosomes). As a result we invoiced NIH for $149,625.

 

DARPA Contract

 

We entered into a contract with DARPA on September 30, 2011. Under the DARPA award, we were engaged to develop a therapeutic device to reduce the incidence of sepsis, a fatal bloodstream infection that often results in the death of combat-injured soldiers. The award from DARPA was a fixed-price contract with potential total payments to us of $6,794,389 over the course of five years. Fixed price contracts require the achievement of multiple, incremental milestones to receive the full award during each year of the contract. Under the terms of the contract, we performed certain incremental work towards the achievement of specific milestones against which we invoiced the government for fixed payment amounts.

 

 

 

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Originally, only the base year (year one of the contract) was effective for the parties; however, DARPA subsequently exercised its option on the remaining years of the contract. The milestones were comprised of planning, engineering and clinical targets, the achievement of which in some cases required the participation and contribution of third-party participants under the contract. We commenced work under the contract in October 2011 and completed the contract in September 2016.

 

In February 2014, DARPA reduced the scope of our contract in years three through five of the contract. The reduction in scope focused our research on exosomes, viruses and blood processing instrumentation. This scope reduction reduced the possible payments under the contract by $858,469 over years three through five.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we invoiced the U.S. Government for the final two milestones under our DARPA contract in the aggregate amount of $387,438. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, we invoiced the U.S. Government for four milestones under our DARPA contract in the amount of $863,011.

 

Battelle Subcontract

 

We entered into a subcontract agreement with Battelle in March 2013. Battelle was chosen by DARPA to be the prime contractor on the systems integration portion of the original DARPA contract, and we are one of several subcontractors on that systems integration project. The Battelle subcontract is under a time and materials basis and we began generating revenues under the subcontract in the three months ended September 30, 2013. That contract has now concluded. The Battelle subcontract was our first cost-reimbursable contract.

 

Our revenue under this contract was a function of cost reimbursement plus an overhead mark-up for hours devoted to the project by specific employees (with specific hourly rates for those employees), for travel expenses related to the project, for any equipment purchased for the project and for the cost of any consultants hired by us to perform work on the project. Each payment required approval by the program manager at Battelle.

 

Operating Costs and Expenses

 

Consolidated operating expenses were $4,980,741 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 compared to $6,490,430 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, a decrease of $1,509,689. The $1,509,689 decrease was due to reductions in payroll and related expenses of $844,410, in professional fees of $608,388 and in general and administrative expense of $56,891.

  

The $844,410 decrease in payroll and related expenses was principally driven by a $925,540 decrease in our stock-based compensation due to the vesting of restricted stock units granted during the fiscal year, which was partially offset by an $81,130 increase in cash payroll and related expenses due to headcount additions in our scientific staff.

 

The $608,388 decrease in our professional fees was due to reductions in our non-DARPA-related professional fees of $545,694, in our DARPA-related professional fees of $38,928 and in Exosome’s professional fees of $23,766. The primary factors in the $545,694 decrease in our non-DARPA-related professional fees were a $223,636 reduction in legal fees due to a reduction in registration statement and financing activity in FY’18 compared to FY’17, a $145,692 reduction in clinical trial expense due to the conclusion of our clinical trial and a $114,000 reduction in business development expense. The primary factor in our $38,928 decrease in our DARPA-related professional fees was the completion of our DARPA contract in September 2016.

 

The $56,891 decrease in general and administrative expenses primarily arose from reductions in the general and administrative expenses in our DARPA-related activities of $101,757 and in the general and administrative expenses at Exosome of $29,664, which were partially offset by increases in our non-DARPA-related activities of $74,530.

 

 

 

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Other Expense

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we recognized other expenses of $868,721 compared to $1,208,369 of other expense in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. The following table breaks out the various components of our other expense over the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017:

 

   Components of Other Expense
in Fiscal Year Ended
 
   March 31,
2018
   March 31,
2017
   Change 
             
Loss on debt extinguishment  $376,909   $558,198   $(181,289)
                
Loss on share for warrant exchanges   130,215        130,215 
                
Interest and other debt expenses   361,597    304,330    57,267 
                
Warrant repricing expense       345,841    (345,841)
                
Total other expense  $868,721   $1,208,369   $(339,648)

 

Loss on Debt Extinguishment

 

Our loss on debt extinguishment for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 arose from a $376,909 loss associated with the June 2017 amendments to our convertible notes. This compared to a loss of debt extinguishment of $558,198 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 - see below for additional information.

 

June 2017 Amendments – The $376,909 loss on debt extinguishment in the six months ended September 30, 2017 arose from an Exchange Agreement with two institutional investors under which we issued 57,844 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 77,125 warrants held by those investors (see Loss on Share for Warrant Exchanges below). Additionally, we agreed with those investors that they would extend the expiration dates of the convertible notes held by those investors from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share. The modification of the notes was evaluated under FASB Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic No. 470-50-40, “Debt Modification and Extinguishments”. Therefore, according to the guidance, the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting.

 

June 2016 Amendments - This loss on debt extinguishment arose from the Amendments (the “Amendments”) to our November 2014 convertible notes The Amendments provided that the maturity date of the notes was extended from June 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017 and that the conversion price was reduced from $5.60 per share of common stock to $5.00 per share of common stock. In addition, we reduced the purchase price of warrants issued in connection with the notes from $8.40 per share to $5.00 per share. In connection with these modifications, each of the Investors signed a consent and waiver providing its consent under certain restrictive provisions, and waiving certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under a securities purchase agreement dated June 23, 2015, (the “2015 SPA”) to which we, the Investors and certain other investors are parties, in order to facilitate an at-the-market equity program described in the liquidity and capital resources section of this report below. This loss also included an $80,000 fee to extend the November 2014 convertible notes from June 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017. The $80,000 amount was not a cash payment but rather was added to the principal of the notes.

 

This modification of the notes was also evaluated under ASC Topic No. 470-50-40, “Debt Modification and Extinguishments”. Therefore, according to the guidance, the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting.

 

 

 

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Loss on Share for Warrant Exchanges

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we agreed with two individual investors to exchange 11,497 restricted shares for the cancellation of 22,993 warrants and we entered into an Exchange Agreement with two institutional investors under which we issued 57,844 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 77,125 warrants held by those investors. Additionally, we entered into an agreement with a former placement agent to issue 5,500 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 11,000 warrants held by that placement agent. We measured the fair value of the shares issued and the fair value of the warrants exchanged for those shares and recorded losses for each of those exchanges based on the changes in fair value between the instruments exchanged.

Loss on Warrant Repricing

 

On June 27, 2016, we and certain investors (the “Unit Investors”) entered into Consent and Waiver and Amendment agreements (the “CWAs”), relating to an aggregate of 264,000 Warrants to Purchase Common Stock (the “Unit Warrants”) we had issued to the Unit Investors on December 2, 2014 pursuant to a Securities Purchase Agreement dated November 26, 2014 (the “2014 SPA”). In the CWAs, each of the Unit Investors provided its consent under certain restrictive provisions, and waived certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under the 2014 SPA in order to facilitate the at-the-market equity program described in the notes to the Financial Statements. Pursuant to the CWAs, we reduced the Exercise Price (as defined in the Unit Warrants) from $15.00 per share of common stock to $5.00 per share of common stock.

 

On June 27, 2016, each of the Unit Investors also entered into a Consent and Waiver providing its consent under certain provisions, and waiving certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under the 2015 SPA in order to facilitate the at-the market equity program described in the notes to the Financial Statements.

 

We measured the change in fair value that arose from the reduction in exercise price from $15.00 to $5.00 and recorded a charge of $345,841 to our other expense to reflect this change.

Interest and other debt expenses

 

Our interest and other debt expense increased by $57,267 from the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. The following table breaks out the various components of our interest expense over the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017:

 

   Components of Interest Expense and Other Debt
Expenses in Fiscal Year Ended
 
   March 31,
2018
   March 31,
2017
   Change 
             
Interest expense  $115,934   $83,891   $32,043 
                
Amortization of deferred financing costs       27,641    (27,641)
                
Amortization of note discounts   245,663    192,798    52,865 
                
Total interest and other debt expenses  $361,597   $304,330   $57,267 

 

As noted in the above table, the primary factors in the $57,267 overall increase in interest and other debt expenses were a $52,865 increase in the amortization of note discounts and a $32,043 increase in interest expense, which were partially offset by decrease of $27,641 in the amortization of deferred financing costs.

 

As a result of the above factors, our net loss before noncontrolling interests decreased from $7,306,726 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 to $5,699,837 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

 

 

 

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

At March 31, 2018, we had a cash balance of $6,974,070 and working capital of $6,752,293. This compares to a cash balance of $1,559,701 and working capital of $985,496 at March 31, 2017. While we expect our current cash levels to support our operations for the ensuing twelve months, beyond that timeframe significant additional financing must be obtained in order to provide a sufficient source of operating capital and to allow us to continue to operate as a going concern. In addition, we will need to raise capital to complete anticipated future human clinical trials in the U.S. We anticipate the primary sources of this additional financing will be from proceeds of our at-the-market offering program, debt financing and other forms of equity placements.

 

Our primary sources of capital during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 were the Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright, our October 2017 Public Offering and exercises of certain of the warrants from the October 2017 Public Offering for cash. The cash raised from those activities is noted below:

 

Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright

 

On June 28, 2016, we entered into a Common Stock Sales Agreement (the “Agreement”) with H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“H.C. Wainwright”) which establishes an at-the-market equity program pursuant to which we may offer and sell shares of our common stock from time to time as set forth in the Agreement. The Agreement provides for the sale of shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $12,500,000 (the “Shares”).

 

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement, H.C. Wainwright will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell the Shares from time to time, based upon our instructions. We have provided H.C. Wainwright with customary indemnification rights, and H.C. Wainwright will be entitled to a commission at a fixed rate equal to three percent (3.0%) of the gross proceeds per Share sold. In addition, we have agreed to pay certain expenses incurred by H.C. Wainwright in connection with the Agreement, including up to $50,000 of the fees and disbursements of their counsel. The Agreement will terminate upon the sale of all of the Shares under the Agreement unless terminated earlier by either party as permitted under the Agreement.

  

Sales of the Shares, if any, under the Agreement shall be made in transactions that are deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions, including on the Nasdaq Capital Market, at market prices or as otherwise agreed with H.C. Wainwright. We have no obligation to sell any of the Shares, and, at any time, we may suspend offers under the Agreement or terminate the Agreement.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we raised aggregate net proceeds of $2,104,968 (net of $65,280 in commissions to H.C. Wainwright and $5,748 in other offering expenses) under this agreement through the sale of 941,504 shares at an average price of $2.24 per share of net proceeds. As of the date of the filing of this Form 10-K, we had approximately $5.2 million available under this Agreement.

 

October 2017 Public Offering

 

On October 4, 2017, we consummated a public offering of 5,454,546 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5,454,546 shares of common stock, for total gross proceeds of $6.0 million. The offering was priced at $1.10 per unit with each unit comprised of one share of common stock and one common stock purchase warrant. Neither the warrants nor the units are listed on an exchange and therefore do not trade. The warrants carry a five-year term with an exercise price of $1.10 per share. The net proceeds of the offering were $5,289,735. H.C. Wainwright & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent for the offering.

 

Warrant Exercises

 

In fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, investors that participated in the October 2017 Public Offering exercised 2,160,350 warrants for aggregate cash proceeds to us of $2,160,350 before expenses.

 

 

 

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Future capital requirements will depend upon many factors, including progress with pre-clinical testing and clinical trials, the number and breadth of our clinical programs, the time and costs involved in preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining and enforcing patent claims and other proprietary rights, the time and costs involved in obtaining regulatory approvals, competing technological and market developments, as well as our ability to establish collaborative arrangements, effective commercialization, marketing activities and other arrangements. We expect to continue to incur increasing negative cash flows and net losses for the foreseeable future.

  

Cash Flows

 

Cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities, as reflected in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows, are summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

   (In thousands)
For the year ended
 
   March 31,
2018
   March 31,
2017
 
Cash (used in) provided by:          
Operating activities  $(3,911)  $(3,506)
Investing activities   (25)   (16)
Financing activities   9,350    2,958 
Net increase (decrease) in cash  $5,414   $(564)

  

Net Cash from Operating Activities.

 

We used cash in our operating activities due to our losses from operations. Net cash used in operating activities was approximately $3,911,000 in fiscal 2018 compared to net cash used in operating activities of approximately $3,506,000 in fiscal 2017, an increase of approximately $405,000.

Net Cash from Investing Activities.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we purchased approximately $25,000 of equipment while in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we purchased approximately $16,000 of equipment, an increase of approximately $9,000 in our investing activities.

 

Net Cash from Financing Activities.

 

Net cash generated from financing activities increased from approximately $2,958,000 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 to approximately $9,350,000 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. In fiscal 2018, we raised approximately $9,629,000 from the issuance of common stock. That source of cash from our financing activities was partially offset by the use of approximately $279,000 to pay for the tax withholding on restricted stock units.

 

In fiscal 2017, we raised approximately $2,759,000 from the issuance of common stock and approximately $577,000 from the issuance of convertible notes. That source of cash from our financing activities was partially offset by the use of approximately $379,000 to pay for the tax withholding on restricted stock units.

 

At the date of this filing, we plan to invest significantly into purchases of our raw materials and into our contract manufacturing arrangement.

 

Current Events

 

NIH Contract -- In April 2018, we invoiced NIH for $74,813 under the NIH contract and received $74,813 related to an invoice that we billed in the March 2018 quarter. In May 2018, we invoiced NIH an additional $37,406 and also received the $74,813 that we billed in April.

 

 

 

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Restricted Stock Unit (“RSU”) Issuances – In April 2018, 46,125 RSUs held by our executives were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As our executives elected to net settle a portion of their RSUs in exchange for the Company paying the related withholding taxes on the share issuance, 24,430 of the RSUs were cancelled, and we issued a net 21,695 shares to our executives.

 

Office Lease Extension – In May 2018, we extended our office lease for an additional 39 months (see Note 12). The initial rental rate under the lease extension is $7,986 per month. Such lease expires in on August 31, 2021. We believe this leased facility will be satisfactory for our office needs over the term of the lease.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

Use of Estimates

 

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) requires us to make a number of estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements. Such estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate estimates and assumptions based upon historical experience and various other factors and circumstances. We believe our estimates and assumptions are reasonable in the circumstances; however, actual results may differ from these estimates under different future conditions. We believe that the estimates and assumptions that are most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations, in that they require the most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, form the basis for the accounting policies deemed to be most critical to us. These critical accounting estimates relate to revenue recognition, stock purchase warrants issued with notes payable, beneficial conversion feature of convertible notes payable, impairment of intangible assets and long lived assets, stock compensation, deferred tax asset valuation allowance, and contingencies.

 

Fair Value Measurements

 

We measure the fair value of applicable financial and non-financial instruments based on the following fair value hierarchy:

 

  · Level 1: Quoted market prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
     
  · Level 2: Observable market based inputs or unobservable inputs that are corroborated by market data.
     
  · Level 3: Unobservable inputs that are not corroborated by market data.

 

The hierarchy noted above requires us to minimize the use of unobservable inputs and to use observable market data, if available, when determining fair value.

 

The fair value of derivative liabilities was determined based on unobservable inputs that are not corroborated by market data, which is a Level 3 classification. We recorded derivative liabilities on our balance sheet at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in our consolidated statements of operations. At March 31, 2018, we had no derivative liabilities.

 

Revenue Recognition

 

With respect to revenue recognition, we entered into government contracts with NCI and DARPA and have recognized revenue during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 of $149,625 and $387,438, respectively, under such contract. We adopted the Milestone method of revenue recognition for the DARPA contract under Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 605-28 “Revenue Recognition – Milestone Method” and we believe we meet the requirements under ASC 605-28 for reporting contract revenue under the Milestone Method for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.

 

 

 

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Stock Purchase Warrants

 

We grant warrants in connection with the issuance of certain notes payable and other financing transactions. When such warrants are classified as equity, we measure the relative estimated fair value of such warrants which represents a discount from the face amount of the notes payable. Such discounts are amortized to interest expense over the term of the notes. We analyze such warrants for classification as either equity or derivative liabilities and value them based on binomial lattice models.

 

Beneficial Conversion Feature of Notes Payable

 

The convertible feature of certain notes payable provides for a rate of conversion that is below market value. Such feature is normally characterized as a "beneficial conversion feature” of which we measure the estimated fair value in circumstances in which the conversion feature is not required to be separated from the host instrument and accounted for separately, and record that value in the consolidated financial statements as a discount from the face amount of the notes. Such discounts are amortized to interest expense over the term of the notes.

  

Share-based Compensation

 

We account for share-based compensation awards using the fair-value method and record such expense based on the grant date fair value in the consolidated financial statements over the requisite service period.

 

Derivative Instruments

 

We evaluate free-standing derivative instruments (or embedded derivatives) to properly classify such instruments within equity or as liabilities in our financial statements. Our policy is to settle instruments indexed to our common shares on a first-in-first-out basis.

 

The classification of a derivative instrument is reassessed at each reporting date. If the classification changes as a result of events during a reporting period, the instrument is reclassified as of the date of the event that caused the reclassification. There is no limit on the number of times a contract may be reclassified.

 

Instruments classified as derivative liabilities are remeasured each reporting period (or upon reclassification) and the change in fair value is recorded on our consolidated statement of operations in other expense (income). We had no derivative instruments at March 31, 2018 and at March 31, 2017.

 

Income Taxes

 

Deferred tax assets are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to the difference between the consolidated financial statements and their respective tax basis. Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of (a) temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts reported for income tax purposes, and (b) tax credit carryforwards. We record a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets when, based on our best estimate of taxable income (if any) in the foreseeable future, it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax assets may not be realized.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We have not entered into any off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have a current or future effect on our financial condition, changes in financial condition, revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures or capital resources that is material to investors.

 

 

 

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Convertible Notes Payable and Warrants

 

NOVEMBER 2014 10% CONVERTIBLE NOTES

 

In November 2014, we entered into a subscription agreement with two accredited investors providing for the issuance and sale of (i) convertible promissory notes in the aggregate principal amount of $527,780 (the “Notes”) and (ii) five year warrants to purchase up to 47,125 shares of common stock at a fixed exercise price of $8.40 per share (the “Warrants”). These Notes bear interest at the annual rate of 10% and originally matured on April 1, 2016.

 

The aggregate gross cash proceeds to us were $415,000 after subtracting legal fees of $35,000, a $27,780 due diligence fee and an original issuance discount of $50,000. We recorded deferred financing costs of $112,780 to reflect the legal fees, due diligence fee and original issuance discount and will amortize those costs over the life of the Notes using the effective interest method.

 

These Notes are convertible at the option of the holders into shares of our common stock at a fixed price of $5.60 per share, for up to an aggregate of 94,246 shares of common stock. There are no registration requirements with respect to the shares of common stock underlying the Notes or the Warrants.

 

The estimated relative fair value of Warrants issued in connection with the Notes was recorded as a debt discount and is amortized as additional interest expense over the term of the underlying debt. We recorded debt discount of $240,133 based on the relative fair value of these Warrants. In addition, as the effective conversion price of the Notes was less than market price of the underlying common stock on the date of issuance, we recorded an additional debt discount of $287,647 related to the beneficial conversion feature.

   

Initial Amendment of the November 2014 10% Convertible Note Terms

 

On November 12, 2015, we entered into an amendment of terms (“Amendment of Terms”) with the two investors that participated in the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes. The Amendment of Terms modified the terms of the subscription agreement, Notes and Warrants held by those investors to, among other things, extended the maturity date of the Notes from April 1, 2016 to June 1, 2016, temporarily reduced the number of shares that we must reserve with respect to conversion of the Notes, and temporarily suspended the time period during which one of the investors may exercise its Warrants. In exchange for the investors’ agreements in the Amendment of Terms, we paid one of the investors a cash fee of $90,000, which we recorded as deferred financing costs and amortized over the remaining term of the notes.

  

Second Amendment and Extension of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

On June 27, 2016, we and certain investors entered into further Amendments (the “Amendments”) to the Notes and the Warrants. The Amendments provide that the Maturity Date (as defined in the Notes) was extended from June 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017 and that the conversion price per share of the Notes was reduced from $5.60 per share of common stock to $5.00 per share of common stock. In addition, we reduced the purchase price (as defined in the Warrants) from $8.40 per share to $5.00 per share of common stock. In connection with these modifications, each of the investors signed a Consent and Waiver providing its consent under certain restrictive provisions, and waiving certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under a Securities Purchase Agreement dated June 23, 2015, (the “2015 SPA”) to which we, the investors and certain other investors are parties, in order to facilitate an at-the-market equity program (see Note 6).

 

The Amendments also increase the principal amount of the Notes to $692,811 (in the aggregate) to (i) include accrued and unpaid interest through June 15, 2016, and (ii) increase the principal amount by $80,000 (in the aggregate) as an extension fee for the extended maturity date of the Notes. With respect to each Note, we entered into an Allonge to Convertible Promissory Note (each, an “Allonge”) reflecting the changes in the principal amount, Maturity Date and conversion price of the Note.

 

We also issued to the investors new warrants (the “New Warrants”) to purchase an aggregate of 30,000 shares of common stock with a Purchase Price (as defined in the New Warrants) of $5.00 per share of common stock. We issued the New Warrants in substantially the same form as the prior Warrants, and the New Warrants will expire on November 6, 2019, the same date on which the prior Warrants will expire.

  

 

 

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The modification of the Notes was evaluated under FASB Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic No. 470-50-40, “Debt Modification and Extinguishments” (“ASC 470-50-40”). Therefore, according to the guidance, the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. As a result, we recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $536,889 and recognized an extension fee expense of $80,000, which are included in other (income) expenses in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations. The debt extinguishment is comprised from the fair value of prior warrants issued in connection with the Notes of $287,676, as well as $325,206 related to beneficial conversion feature and offset by debt discount of $75,993. The beneficial conversion feature is a result of the effective conversion price of the new Notes being less than the market price of the underlying common stock on the date of modification.

 

Third Amendment and Extension of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

In connection with the issuance of the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes, the conversion price of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes was reduced from $5.00 to $4.00 per share and the expiration date of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes was extended from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.

 

The modification of the Notes was evaluated under ASC 470-50-40 and the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. As a result, we recorded a gain on debt extinguishment of $58,691, which is included in other (income) expenses in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations. The recording of the modified Notes resulted in a beneficial conversion of $233,748 which is the result of the effective conversion price of the new Notes being less than the market price of the underlying common stock on the date of modification.

  

June 2017 Amendment to the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

In June 2017, we agreed with the holders of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes to an extension of the expiration dates of the notes from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share. The modification of the Notes was evaluated under ASC 470-50-40 and the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. Under the extinguishment accounting we recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $178,655 and recalculated a revised debt discount on the notes.

 

The following table shows the changes to the principal balance of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes:

 

Activity in the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes
Initial principal balance  $527,780 
Increase in principal balance under the second amendment (see above)   165,031 
Conversions during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017   (80,000)
Balance as of March 31, 2018  $612,811 

  

DECEMBER 2016 10% CONVERTIBLE NOTES

 

In December 2016, we entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “Securities Purchase Agreement”) with two accredited investors (collectively, the “Holders”), pursuant to which the Holders purchased an aggregate of $680,400 principal amount of Notes (inclusive of due diligence fee of $30,000 deemed paid as a subscription amount in the form of a Note in the principal amount of $32,400) for an aggregate cash subscription amount of $600,000 and (b) warrants to purchase 127,575 shares of Common Stock (collectively, the “Warrants”).

 

The Notes bear interest at the rate of 10% per annum, and the principal amount and all accrued and unpaid interest thereon is convertible into shares of our common stock at a $4.00 per share conversion price, which is subject to customary adjustment provisions for stock splits, dividends, recapitalizations and the like. The Notes mature on July 1, 2018 and are subject to customary and usual terms for events of default and the like. Each Holder has contractually agreed to restrict its ability to convert its Note such that the number of shares of the Common Stock held by the Holder and its affiliates after such exercise does not exceed 4.99% of our then issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock.

 

 

 

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The Warrants issued to the Holders are exercisable for a period of five years from the date of issuance at an exercise price of $4.50, subject to adjustment. A Holder may exercise a Warrant by paying the exercise price in cash or by exercising the Warrant on a cashless basis. In the event a Holder exercises a Warrant on a cashless basis, we will not receive any proceeds. The exercise price of the Warrants is subject to customary adjustments provision for stock splits, stock dividends, recapitalizations and the like. Each Holder has contractually agreed to restrict its ability to exercise its Warrant such that the number of shares of the Common Stock held by the Holder and its affiliates after such exercise does not exceed 4.99% of our then issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock.

 

The estimated relative fair value of Warrants issued in connection with the Notes was recorded as a debt discount and is being amortized as additional interest expense over the term of the underlying debt. We recorded debt discount of $232,718 based on the relative fair value of these Warrants. In addition, as the effective conversion price of the Notes was less than market price of the underlying common stock on the date of issuance, we recorded an additional debt discount of $262,718 related to the beneficial conversion feature. We also recorded deferred financing costs of $102,940, which was composed of an 8% original issue discount of $50,400, a $30,000 due diligence fee (which was paid in the form of a note), $22,500 in legal fees, and a $40 bank charge. The combination of the above items led to a combined discount against the convertible notes of $598,376.

 

June 2017 Amendment to the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes

 

In June 2017, we agreed with the holders of the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes to an extension of the expiration dates of the notes from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share. The modification of the notes was evaluated under ASC 470-50-40 and the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. Under the extinguishment accounting we recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $198,254 and recalculated a revised debt discount on the notes.

 

The following table shows the changes to the principal balance of the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes:

 

Activity in the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes
Initial principal balance  $680,400 
Conversions during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018   (300,620)
Balance as of March 31, 2018  $379,780 

 

Aethlon Medical, Inc. Equity Transactions in the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2018.

 

Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright

 

On June 28, 2016, we entered into a Common Stock Sales Agreement (the “Agreement”) with H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“H.C. Wainwright”) which establishes an at-the-market equity program pursuant to which we may offer and sell shares of our common stock from time to time as set forth in the Agreement. The Agreement provides for the sale of shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $12,500,000 (the “Shares”).

 

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement, H.C. Wainwright will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell the Shares from time to time, based upon our instructions. We have provided H.C. Wainwright with customary indemnification rights, and H.C. Wainwright will be entitled to a commission at a fixed rate equal to three percent (3.0%) of the gross proceeds per Share sold. In addition, we have agreed to pay certain expenses incurred by H.C. Wainwright in connection with the Agreement, including up to $50,000 of the fees and disbursements of their counsel. The Agreement will terminate upon the sale of all of the Shares under the Agreement unless terminated earlier by either party as permitted under the Agreement.

  

Sales of the Shares, if any, under the Agreement shall be made in transactions that are deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions, including on the Nasdaq Capital Market, at market prices or as otherwise agreed with H.C. Wainwright. We have no obligation to sell any of the Shares, and, at any time, we may suspend offers under the Agreement or terminate the Agreement.

 

 

 

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In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we raised aggregate net proceeds of $2,104,968 (net of $65,280 in commissions to H.C. Wainwright and $5,748 in other offering expenses) under this agreement through the sale of 941,504 shares at an average price of $2.24 per share of net proceeds.

 

October 2017 Public Offering

 

On October 4, 2017, we consummated a public offering of 5,454,546 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5,454,546 shares of common stock, for total gross proceeds of $6.0 million. The offering was priced at $1.10 per unit with each unit comprised of one share of common stock and one common stock purchase warrant. Neither the warrants nor the units are listed on an exchange and therefore do not trade. The warrants carry a five-year term with an exercise price of $1.10 per share. The net proceeds of the offering were $5,289,735. H.C. Wainwright & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent for the offering.

 

Warrant Exercises

 

In fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, investors that participated in the October 2017 Public Offering exercised 2,160,350 warrants for aggregate cash proceeds to us of $2,160,350 before expenses.

 

Restricted Shares Issued for Services

 

During the nine months ended December 31, 2017, we issued 15,000 shares of restricted common stock at a price of $2.24 per share, the market price at time of issuance, in payment for investor relations consulting services valued at $33,600 based on the grant date closing market price of our common stock.

 

Share for Warrant Exchanges

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we agreed with two individual investors to exchange 11,497 restricted shares for the cancellation of 22,993 warrants and we entered into an Exchange Agreement with two institutional investors under which we issued 57,844 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 77,125 warrants held by those investors. We also agreed with those institutional investors that they would extend the expiration dates of convertible notes held by those investors from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share.

 

Additionally, we entered into an agreement with a former placement agent to issue 5,500 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 11,000 warrants held by that placement agent. We measured the fair value of the shares issued and the fair value of the warrants exchanged for those shares and recorded losses for each of those exchanges based on the changes in fair value between the instruments exchanged. Based upon the fair value of the shares issued and warrants exchanged, we recorded a loss of $130,215 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 for all of the above share for warrant exchanges.

 

Stock Option Issuances

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we issued options to four of our employees to purchase 34,500 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $1.68 per share, the closing price on the date of the approval of the option grants by our compensation committee.

 

Termination of Restricted Share Grant

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we terminated a previously recorded but unissued share issuance of 68,000 shares under a fully vested restricted stock grant to our CEO and issued to him 32,674 shares as a net settlement of shares and the Company paid the withholding taxes associated with that share issuance in return for the cancellation of 35,326 shares. The compensation cost of that restricted stock grant had been fully recorded over prior fiscal years, therefore no expense was recorded regarding this net issuance.

 

 

 

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Restricted Stock Unit Grants to Directors and Executive Officers

 

On August 9, 2016, our Board of Directors granted RSUs to certain of our officers and directors and during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 168,309 additional RSUs were granted to our directors pursuant to the 2012 Non-Employee Directors Compensation Program. The RSUs represent the right to be issued on a future date shares of our common stock for vested RSUs.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 184,500 vested RSUs held by our executives were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As our executives elected to net settle a portion of their RSU’s in exchange for the Company paying the related withholding taxes on the share issuance, 97,238 of the RSUs were cancelled and we issued a net 87,262 shares to our executives.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 168,309 RSUs held by our outside directors were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As three of our four outside directors elected to return 40% of their RSUs in exchange for cash in order to pay their withholding taxes on the share issuances, 44,983 of the RSUs were cancelled and we paid $52,998 in cash to those outside directors.

 

Securities Issued for Debt

 

Historically, we have issued securities for debt to reduce our obligations to avoid using our cash resources. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 we issued 120,922 unregistered common shares for repayment in full of notes, including accrued interest, in the aggregate amount of $362,763. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 we issued 33,091 unregistered common shares for repayment in full of notes, including accrued interest, in the aggregate amount of $144,718.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

As a Smaller Reporting Company, we are not required to furnish information under this Item 7A.

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

The consolidated financial statements listed in the accompanying Index to Financial Statements are attached hereto and filed as a part of this Report under Item 15.

 

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

We maintain “disclosure controls and procedures,” (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act)),, that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed, in our Exchange Act reports is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosures.

 

 

 

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In designing and evaluating the disclosure controls and procedures, we recognized that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving the desired control objectives, and we were required to apply our judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. We have carried out an evaluation as of the end of the period covered by this report under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures.

 

Based on such evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that, as of the end of the period covered by this report, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective.

  

Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

(a) Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

 

Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2017. According to the guidelines established by Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, one or more material weaknesses renders a company’s internal control over financial reporting ineffective. Based on this evaluation, we have concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of March 31, 2018.

 

(b) Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

We have no disclosure applicable to this item.

 

  

 

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PART III

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance

 

Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires our officers, directors, and persons who own more than 10% of a registered class of our equity securities to file reports of ownership and changes in ownership with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Officers, directors, and greater than 10% beneficial owners are required by Securities and Exchange Commission regulation to furnish the Company with copies of all Section 16(a) forms they file. Based solely on our review of copies of the Section 16(a) reports filed for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we believe that all filing requirements applicable to our officers, directors, and greater than 10% beneficial owners were complied with.

 

DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

The names, ages and positions of our directors and executive officers as of June 8, 2018 are listed below:

 

NAMES  TITLE OR POSITION (6)  AGE 
James A. Joyce (1)  Chief Executive Officer and Secretary  56 
        
Charles J. Fisher, Jr. (4)  Chairman and Director  71 
        
Rodney S. Kenley (2)  President and Director  68 
        
James B. Frakes (3)  Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President - Finance  61 
        
Sabrina Martucci Johnson (5)  Director  51 
        
Edward G. Broenniman  Director  81 
        
Chetan S. Shah, MD  Director  49 

______________

(1) Effective June 1, 2001, Mr. Joyce was appointed our President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Joyce resigned from the position of President upon the appointment of Mr. Kenley to such position on October 27, 2010 and as Chairman upon the appointment of Dr. Fisher to such position as of November 27, 2017.

 

(2) Effective October 27, 2010, Mr. Kenley was appointed as our President.

 

(3) Effective September 27, 2010, Mr. Frakes was appointed as our Chief Financial Officer.

 

(4) Charles J. Fisher, Jr., M.D. was appointed to our Board on November 6, 2017 and was appointed as our new Chairman on November 27, 2017.

 

(5) Ms. Johnson was appointed to our Board on January 4, 2018.

 

(6) The Board has determined that Mr. Broenniman, Drs. Fisher and Shah and Ms. Johnson meet the requirements to be determined as “independent directors” for all purposes, including compensation committee and audit committee purposes, under the NASDAQ rules and for federal securities law purposes. Messrs. Joyce and Kenley are not independent as they also function as our executive officers.

 

Certain additional information concerning the individuals named above is set forth below. This information is based on information furnished us by each individual noted.

 

 

 

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James A. Joyce, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary

 

Mr. Joyce is the founder of Aethlon Medical, Inc. and had been the Chairman of the Board and Secretary since March 1999 and resigned as Chairman in November 2017 upon appointment of Dr. Fisher to the position. On June 1, 2001, our Board of Directors appointed Mr. Joyce to the additional role of Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Joyce also serves as the Executive Chairman of Exosome Sciences, Inc. In 1992, Mr. Joyce founded and was the sole stockholder of James Joyce & Associates, an organization that provided management consulting and corporate finance advisory services to CEOs and CFOs of publicly traded companies. Previously, from 1989 to 1991, Mr. Joyce was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Labs, Inc. Prior to that Mr. Joyce was a principal in charge of U.S. operations for London Zurich Securities, Inc. Mr. Joyce is a graduate of the University of Maryland. We believe that Mr. Joyce is qualified to serve as our director because of his role in founding our company and his prior experience, including his experience in the extracorporeal industry and in the financial markets.

 

Charles J. Fisher, Jr., M.D., Chairman and Director

 

Dr. Fisher has been Executive Chairman of CytoPherx, Inc. since 2013 and CEO of Margaux Biologics, Inc. since 2110. Prior to founding Margaux Biologics, he was Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Cardiome Pharma Corp. from 2005 to 2010 where he led the team that invented, developed, registered vernakalant, a novel, first in class, multi-ion channel drug for atrial fibrillation (Brinavess). Dr. Fisher served as Head, Section of Critical Care Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and has held Professor, Division Chief and Director positions at the University of California at Davis Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. His research in sepsis, inflammation, host defense and endothelial dysfunction led to his recruitment to Eli Lilly & Co., where he led the Xigris (activated Protein C) Global Product Team and successfully registered the first drug approved for the treatment of sepsis. Previously, he was Vice President for Global Pharmaceutical Development at Abbott Laboratories where, among other accomplishments, he guided the registration of Humira. Additionally, Fisher is a multi-tour combat veteran, with extensive military experience in Special Operations. He has served as a member of the Defense Science Research Council and on DARPA panels, including one focused on universal host defense. We believe Dr. Fisher is qualified to serve as our director because of his strong background and experience in the life sciences industry and with public companies.

 

Rodney S. Kenley, President and Director

 

Mr. Kenley has been President and a Director since October 2010. He has 38 years of experience in healthcare, most of which have been spent in the extracorporeal blood purification arena. Mr. Kenley held several positions at Baxter Healthcare (Travenol) from 1977 through 1990 including International Marketing Manager, Business Unit Manager for Peritoneal and Hemodialysis products, Manager of New Business Development, Director of Worldwide Product Planning, Director of Advanced Product Development, and VP of Electronic Drug Infusion. Mr. Kenley founded Aksys Ltd. in January 1991 to develop and commercialize his concept of a daily home hemodialysis system which was commercially launched in 2002 as the PHD system. In 2004, Mr. Kenley initiated the development of a second-generation home hemodialysis system in partnership with DEKA Research & Development Corporation in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 2007, the assets of Aksys Ltd. were acquired by DEKA, where Mr. Kenley was employed prior to joining Aethlon Medical, Inc. Mr. Kenley received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Chemistry from Wabash College, a Master’s of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Northwestern University and a Masters of Management from the Kellogg School of Management, also at Northwestern University. We believe that Mr. Kenley is qualified to serve as our director as a result of his experience in developing extracorporeal blood purification products.

 

James B. Frakes, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President – Finance

 

Mr. Frakes joined Aethlon Medical, Inc. in January 2008 and brought 16 consecutive years of financial responsibility for publicly traded companies, as well as specific knowledge and experience in equity and debt transactions, acquisitions, public reporting and Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 internal control requirements. Mr. Frakes also serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Exosome Sciences, Inc. He previously served as the CFO for Left Behind Games Inc., a start-up video game company. Prior to 2006, he served as CFO of NTN Buzztime, Inc., an interactive entertainment company. Mr. Frakes received an MBA from the University of Southern California and completed his BA with Honors at Stanford University.

 

 

 

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Sabrina Martucci Johnson, Director

 

Ms. Johnson founded Daré Science Operations, Inc. in 2015 and has served as President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors since its inception. This company was acquired through a reverse merger by Cerulean Pharma Inc. on July 19, 2017, and Ms. Johnson assumed the roles of President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of the renamed company, Daré Bioscience, Inc. Prior to founding Daré, Ms. Johnson was President of WomanCare Global Trading, a specialty pharmaceutical company in female reproductive healthcare with commercial product distribution in over 100 countries, from October of 2014 to May of 2015. Before serving as President of WomanCare Global Trading, Ms. Johnson provided financial consulting services to the WomanCare Global family of companies, including the for-profit Trading division as well as the United Kingdom-based non-profit division, from November of 2012 to July of 2013, when she joined full time as WomanCare’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer until becoming President of the Trading division. In addition, Ms. Johnson served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Cypress Bioscience, Inc. until its sale in 2010. Ms. Johnson also held marketing and sales positions with Advanced Tissue Sciences and Clonetics Corporation. She began her career in the biotechnology industry as a research scientist with Baxter Healthcare, Hyland Division, working on their recombinant factor VIII program. Ms. Johnson currently serves on the YWCA of San Diego County Board of Directors as Past President, PPPSW Board of Directors, Athena San Diego Board of Directors as Vice Chair, Tulane University School of Science & Engineering Board of Advisors, University of California San Diego (UCSD) Librarian’s Advisory Board as Chair and Project Concern International Audit Committee. Ms. Johnson is also Immediate Past Co-President of Women Give San Diego, which funds non-profit organizations serving women and girls in San Diego.​ She holds an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) with honors, a MSc. in Biochemical Engineering from the University of London, University College London, and a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University, where she graduated magna cum laude. We believe Ms. Johnson is qualified to serve as our director due to her public company and life sciences background.

 

Edward G. Broenniman, Director

 

Mr. Broenniman became a director of Aethlon Medical, Inc. in March 1999. He has been the Managing Director of The Piedmont Group, LLC, a venture advisory firm, since 1978. Mr. Broenniman recently served on the Board of Directors of publicly traded QuesTech (acquired by CACI International), and currently serves on the Boards of two privately held firms. His nonprofit Boards are the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship's Board of Advisors at the University of Maryland, the National Association of Corporate Directors, National Capital Chapter (Founder, Chair from 2003 to 2005 and Director from 2001 to 2014) and the Board of the Association for Corporate Growth, National Capital Chapter. We believe that Mr. Broenniman is qualified to serve as our director because of his extensive management experience.

 

Chetan S. Shah, MD, Director

 

Dr. Shah became a director of Aethlon Medical, Inc. in June 2013. Dr. Shah is a board certified Otolaryngologist. He is an Advisory Board Member at The Bank of Princeton, and a partner and Board member of the Surgery Center at Hamilton as well as Physician Management Systems and Princeton Eye & Ear, which he founded in 2009. Dr. Shah serves on the board of two other private companies. He holds teaching positions and serves on multiple hospital committees in the area and is on the Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Committee for the State of New Jersey. He also is a member of the Board of Medical Examiners for the State of New Jersey. Dr. Shah received his Bachelor’s degree and Medical Degree from Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. We believe that Dr. Shah is qualified to serve as our director because of his medical background as both a board certified Otolaryngologist and a member of various medical boards and hospital committees in New Jersey.

 

Board of Directors

 

Our Board of Directors has the responsibility for establishing broad corporate policies and for overseeing our overall performance. Members of the Board of Directors are kept informed of our business activities through discussions with the CEO, President and other officers, by reviewing analyses and reports sent to them, and by participating in Board and committee meetings. Our bylaws provide that each of the directors serves for a term that extends to our next annual meeting of stockholders. Our Board of Directors presently has an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee and a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, on each of which Mr. Broenniman and Dr. Shah serve. Mr. Broenniman is Chairman of the Audit Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and Dr. Shah is Chairman of the Compensation Committee.

 

 

 

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2012 DIRECTORS COMPENSATION PROGRAM

 

In July 2012, our Board of Directors approved a board compensation program that modified and superseded the 2005 Directors Compensation Program, which was previously in effect. Under the 2012 program, in which only non-employee directors may participate, an eligible director will receive a grant of $35,000 worth of ten-year options to acquire shares of common stock, with such grant being valued at the exercise price based on the average of the closing bid prices of the common stock for the five trading days preceding the first day of the fiscal year. In addition, under this program, eligible directors will receive cash compensation equal to $500 for each committee meeting attended and $1,000 for each formal board meeting attended.

 

On June 6, 2014, our Board of Directors approved certain changes to the 2012 program. Under this modified program, a new eligible director will receive an initial grant of $50,000 worth of options to acquire shares of common stock, with such grant being valued at the exercise price based on the average of the closing bid prices of the common stock for the five trading days preceding the first day of the fiscal year. These options will have a term of ten years and will vest 1/3 upon grant and 1/3 upon each of the first two anniversaries of the date of grant. In addition, at the beginning of each fiscal year, each existing director eligible to participate in the modified 2012 program also will receive a grant of $35,000 worth of options valued at the exercise price based on the average of the closing bid prices of the common stock for the five trading days preceding the first day of the fiscal year. Such options will vest on the first anniversary of the date of grant. In lieu of per meeting fees, eligible directors will receive an annual board retainer fee of $30,000. The modified 2012 program also provides for the following annual retainer fees: Audit Committee Chair - $5,000, Compensation Committee chair - $5,000, Nominating Committee chair - $5,000, Audit Committee member - $4,000, Compensation Committee member - $4,000, Nominating Committee member - $4,000 and lead independent director - $15,000.

 

On August 9, 2016, the Board approved further modifications to the program. Under the modified 2012 Program, in which only non-employee directors may participate, a new eligible director will receive an initial grant of $50,000 worth of RSUs or, at the discretion of the Board, options to acquire shares of Common Stock. RSUs granted under this provision will be valued based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the date of grant and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion. Options granted under this provision will be valued at the exercise price, which will be based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the date of grant. Such options will have a term of ten years and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion.

 

At the beginning of each fiscal year, each existing director eligible to participate in the 2012 Program will receive a grant of $35,000 worth of RSUs or, at the discretion of the Board, options to acquire shares of Common Stock. RSUs granted under this provision will be valued based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the first day of the fiscal year (or preceding and including the date of grant, if such grant is not made on the first day of the fiscal year) and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion. Options granted under this provision will be valued at the exercise price, which will be based on the average of the closing prices of the Common Stock for the five trading days preceding and including the first day of the fiscal year (or preceding and including the date of grant, if such grant is not made on the first day of the fiscal year). Such options will have a term of ten years and will vest at a rate determined by the Board in its discretion.

 

The RSU grants and the changes to the 2012 Program were approved and recommended by our Compensation Committee prior to approval by the Board.

 

Family Relationships

 

There are no family relationships between or among the directors, executive officers or persons nominated or chosen by us to become directors or executive officers.

 

There are no arrangements or understandings between any two or more of our directors or executive officers or between any of our directors or executive officers and any other person pursuant to which any director or officer was or is to be selected as a director or officer, and there is no arrangement, plan or understanding as to whether non-management stockholders will exercise their voting rights to continue to elect the current Board of Directors. There are also no arrangements, agreements or understandings between non-management stockholders that may directly or indirectly participate in or influence the management of our affairs.

 

 

 

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Involvement in Legal Proceedings

 

To the best of our knowledge, during the past ten years, none of the following occurred with respect to a present or former director or executive officer of our company: (1) any bankruptcy petition filed by or against such person or any business of which such person was a general partner or executive officer either at the time of the bankruptcy or within two years prior to that time; (2) any conviction in a criminal proceeding or being subject to a pending criminal proceeding (excluding traffic violations and other minor offenses); (3) being subject to any order, judgment or decree, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, of any court of any competent jurisdiction, permanently or temporarily enjoining, barring, suspending or otherwise limiting his involvement in any type of business, securities or banking activities; (4) being found by a court of competent jurisdiction (in a civil action), the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to have violated a federal or state securities or commodities law, and the judgment has not been reversed, suspended or vacated; and (5) being the subject of, or a party to, any federal or state judicial or administrative order, judgment, decree or finding, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, relating to an alleged violation of any federal or state securities or commodities law or regulation, law or regulation respecting financial institutions or insurance companies or law or regulation prohibiting mail or wire fraud or fraud in connection with any business entity; or (6) being the subject of, or a party to, any sanction or order, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, of any self-regulatory organization (as defined in Section 3(a)(26) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), any registered entity (as defined in Section 1(a)(29) of the Commodity Exchange Act), or any equivalent exchange, association, entity or organization that has disciplinary authority over its members or associated persons.

  

Code of Ethics

 

On February 23, 2005, the Board of Directors approved a "Code of Business Conduct and Ethics,” which applies to our principal executive officer, our principal financial officer, our principal accounting officer and persons performing similar tasks. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is available on our company website at www.aethlonmedical.com.

 

Audit Committee and Audit Committee Financial Expert

 

Our Board of Directors formed an Audit Committee in May of 1999. Mr. Edward Broenniman (the Chairman of the Audit Committee), Dr. Charles J. Fisher, Jr., Ms. Sabrina Martucci Johnson and Dr. Chetan S. Shah serve as members of the Audit Committee. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Broenniman and Ms. Johnson are "audit committee financial experts" as that term is defined by Item 407 of Regulation S-K. Mr. Broenniman, Ms. Johnson and Dr. Shah meets the NASDAQ Stock Market's independence standards for members of such audit committees.

 

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

The following executive compensation disclosure reflects all compensation awarded to, earned by or paid to the executive officers below for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and March 31, 2017. The following table summarizes all compensation for fiscal years 2018 and 2017 received by our Chief Executive Officer, and our three most highly compensated executive officers who earned more than $100,000 in fiscal year 2018.

 

 

 

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SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE FOR 2018 AND 2017 FISCAL YEARS

 

NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND PRINCIPAL POSITION  YEAR   SALARY
($)
   BONUS
($)
  

STOCK
AWARDS

($) (4)

  

OPTION
AWARDS

($)

   NON-
EQUITY
INCENTIVE PLAN
COMPEN-
SATION
($)
   NON- QUALIFIED DEFERRED COMPEN-
SATION
EARNINGS
($)
  

ALL
OTHER

COMP.
($)

  

TOTAL

($)

 
James A. Joyce (1)   2018   $385,000   $   $231,806   $   $   $   $   $616,806 
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER   2017   $385,000   $   $678,380   $   $   $   $   $1,063,380 
                                              
James B. Frakes (2)   2018   $235,000   $   $19,013   $   $   $   $   $254,013 
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND SVP-FINANCE   2017   $235,000   $   $55,640   $   $   $   $   $290,640 
                                              
Rodney S. Kenley (3)   2018   $275,000   $   $19,013   $   $   $   $   $294,013 
PRESIDENT   2017   $275,000   $   $55,640   $   $   $   $   $330,640 

 _______________

(1) The aggregate number of stock awards and stock option awards issued to Mr. Joyce and outstanding as of March 31, 2018 is 160,000 and 317,000, respectively.

 

(2) Mr. Frakes was appointed as Chief Financial Officer on September 27, 2010 after previously serving as Senior Vice President-Finance on a part-time basis. The aggregate number of stock awards and stock option awards issued to Mr. Frakes and outstanding as of March 31, 2018 is 26,000 and 25,000, respectively.

 

(3) Mr. Kenley was appointed President on October 27, 2011.  The aggregate number of stock awards and stock option awards issued to Mr. Kenley and outstanding as of March 31, 2018 is 26,000 and 35,000, respectively.

 

(4) See note 5 to our financial statements for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 regarding the assumptions made in valuing the restricted stock unit awards in the above table.

  

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

 

We entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Joyce effective April 1, 1999. The agreement, which is cancelable by either party upon sixty days’ notice, will be in effect until the Mr. Joyce retires or ceases to be employed by us. Under the terms of the agreement, if Mr. Joyce is terminated without cause, he will receive a payment equal to twelve months' base salary, which was increased to $385,000 per year in September 2015 and has not since been adjusted.

 

Aethlon did not pay any bonus compensation to Mr. Joyce during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017. Mr. Joyce received bonus compensation totaling $60,000 from Exosome for services rendered during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017. That bonus was based upon targets established by our compensation committee.

 

Mr. Joyce's employment agreement provides for medical insurance and disability benefits, and one year of severance pay if his employment is terminated by us without cause or due to change in our control before the expiration of the agreement, and allows for bonus compensation and stock option grants as determined by our Board of Directors. The agreement also contains restrictive covenants preventing competition with us and the use of confidential business information, except in connection with the performance of his duties for us, for a period of two years following the termination of his employment with us.

 

On September 27, 2010, Mr. Frakes was appointed our Chief Financial Officer. We have not entered into a written employment agreement with Mr. Frakes. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Frakes received an annual salary initially set at $180,000 and medical insurance benefits. In June 2014, his salary was increased from $180,000 to $210,000 per year. In September 2015, Mr. Frakes received a $25,000 salary increase from $210,000 to $235,000.

 

 

 

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Aethlon did not pay any bonuses to Mr. Frakes during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.

 

Mr. Kenley was appointed our President on October 27, 2010. Pursuant to a written offer of employment executed by us and Mr. Kenley, he received an annual salary initially set at $240,000 and medical insurance benefits. In June 2014, his salary was increased from $240,000 to $260,000 per year. In September 2015, Mr. Kenley received a $15,000 salary increase from $260,000 to $275,000.

 

Aethlon did not pay any bonuses to Mr. Kenley during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.

 

Restricted Stock Unit Compensation Program

 

On August 9, 2016, our Board of Directors (the “Board”) granted RSUs to certain of our officers and directors as set forth below. The RSUs represent the right to be issued on a future date shares of our common stock for vested RSUs. Our Compensation Committee recommended the grants based on a compensation assessment provided by a third-party compensation consulting firm engaged by us that developed a peer group of companies for market assessment and analyzed compensation at such companies. That compensation assessment also recommended annual cash bonus targets of 50% of base salary.

  

The consultant recommended beneficial ownership targets, which we previously disclosed in our Proxy Statement filed on February 23, 2016, in connection with our Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on March 29, 2016. In connection with the Annual Meeting, our stockholders approved our Amended 2010 Stock Incentive Plan, which included an increase in the number of shares available for grant under the plan in part to accommodate equity awards recommended by the Compensation Committee, and our stockholders approved our executive compensation as disclosed in the Proxy Statement pursuant to Item 402 paragraphs (m) through (q) of Regulation S-K as shown below:

 

To Mr. James A. Joyce, an aggregate of 634,000 RSUs of which 158,500 were deemed vested upon grant and an additional 39,625 RSUs will vest each quarter beginning on January 1, 2017. This grant is intended to increase Mr. Joyce’s beneficial ownership of our common stock to 9.0%, which long term target was recommended in 2015 and in June 2016 by an independent compensation consulting organization and then subsequently approved by our Board. Previously, in 2004, our Board approved a long term beneficial ownership target of 15% for Mr. Joyce. However, Mr. Joyce agreed to forgo the 15% ownership target in exchange for the Company’s agreement to maintain Mr. Joyce’s long-term beneficial ownership target at 9% of our outstanding shares.

 

To Mr. Rodney S. Kenley, an aggregate of 52,000 RSUs of which 13,000 were deemed vested upon grant and an additional 3,250 RSUs will vest each quarter beginning on January 1, 2017. This grant is intended to increase Mr. Kenley’s beneficial ownership of our common stock to 0.5%, which long term target was recommended in 2015 and in June 2016 by the compensation consultant engaged by us.

 

To Mr. James B. Frakes, an aggregate of 52,000 RSUs of which 13,000 were deemed vested upon grant and an additional 3,250 RSUs will vest each quarter beginning on January 1, 2017. This grant is intended to increase Mr. Frakes’ beneficial ownership of our common stock to 0.5%, which long term target was recommended in 2015 and in June 2016 by the compensation consultant engaged by us.

 

Outstanding Equity Awards at 2018 Fiscal Year-End

 

The following table sets forth certain information concerning stock option awards granted to our named executive officers.

 

 

 

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OUTSTANDING EQUITY AWARDS AT 2018 FISCAL YEAR END

 

OPTIONS AWARDS
NAME   NUMBER OF
SECURITIES
UNDERLYING
UNEXERCISED
OPTIONS
EXERCISABLE
(#)
    RESTRICTED
STOCK
UNITS
EXERCISED
(#)
    RESTRICTED STOCK UNITS UNEXERCISABLE
(#)
    OPTION
EXERCISE
PRICE
($)
   DATE OF
OPTION
EXPIRATION
James A. Joyce   40,000(1)          $12.50   02/21/19
    50,000(2)          $12.50   09/27/20
    40,000(3)          $5.00   07/01/23
    30,000(4)          $9.50   06/06/24
        317,000    317,000    N/A   N/A
                        
James B. Frakes   10,000(2)          $12.50   09/27/20
    10,000(3)          $5.00   07/01/23
    5,000(4)           $9.50   06/06/24
        26,000    26,000    N/A   N/A
                        
Rodney S. Kenley   20,000(5)          $12.50   10/27/20
    10,000(3)          $5.00   7/01/23
    5,000(4)          $9.50   06/06/24
        26,000    26,000    N/A   N/A

 

Note: All our stock options are fully vested or will completely vest within 60 days of this report.

 

(1) This option was fully vested as of December 15, 2010.

 

(2) This option was fully vested as of September 27, 2013.

 

(3) This option was fully vested as of July 1, 2017.

 

(4) This option was fully vested as of June 6, 2016.

 

(5) This option was fully vested as of October 27, 2014.

 

 

 

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Director Compensation for 2018 Fiscal Year

 

The following director compensation disclosure reflects all compensation awarded to, earned by or paid to the directors below for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

 

   Fees Earned
or Paid in Cash
($)
   Stock
Awards
($)
   Option
Awards
($)
   Non-Equity
Incentive
Plan
Compensation
($)
   Nonqualified
Deferred
Compensation
Earnings
($)
   All
Other
Compensation
($)
   Total
($)
 
James A. Joyce (1)  $                       $ 
Rodney S. Kenley (2)  $                       $ 
Charles J. Fisher, Jr., MD (3)  $44,600   $50,000                   $94,600 
Edward G. Broenniman (4)  $42,000    35,000                   $77,000 
Chetan S. Shah, MD (5)  $41,000    35,000                   $76,000 
Sabrina M. Johnson (6)  $8,500   $50,000                       $58,500 

 

(1) All compensation received by Mr. Joyce in fiscal year 2018 is disclosed in the Summary Compensation Table above. Mr. Joyce received no compensation as a director in fiscal year 2018.

 

(2) All compensation received by Mr. Kenley in fiscal year 2018 is disclosed in the Summary Compensation Table above. Mr. Kenley received no compensation as a director in fiscal year 2018.

 

(3) In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, Dr. Fisher earned $31,000 in cash compensation for his services to us as non-executive Chairman and $13,600 in Board fees related to his role as a director and a member of our Audit Committee for an aggregate amount of $44,600. Dr. Fisher also received RSU’s valued at $50,000 for joining our Board per the 2012 Directors Compensation Program.

 

(4) In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, Mr. Broenniman earned $42,000 related to his role as a director, a member of our Compensation Committee, and as the chair of our Audit Committee and of our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The aggregate number of stock awards and options awards issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2018 are 0 and 43,431, respectively. Mr. Broenniman received stock option grants of 3,684 shares on June 6, 2014, 8,537 shares on March 14, 2014, and 9,211 shares on July 24, 2012 for his service as an outside director. The June 2014 option vested 3,684 shares on March 31, 2015, the March 2014 option vested all 8,537 shares at grant and the 2012 option vested 3,961 at grant, with 5,250 vesting in the June 2013 quarter.

 

(5) In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, Dr. Shah earned $41,000 related to his role as a director, a member of our Audit Committee, and as the chair of our Compensation Committee. The aggregate number of stock awards and options awards issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2018 are 0 and 11,205, respectively. Dr. Shah received stock option grants of 3,684 on June 6, 2014 and 7,520 shares on July 24, 2012 for his service as an outside director. The June 2014 option vested 3,684 shares on March 31, 2015, and the 2014 option vested all 7,520 shares at grant.

 

(6) In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, Ms. Johnson earned $8,500 for her roles as a director and a member of our audit committee. Ms. Johnson also received RSU’s valued at $50,000 for joining our Board per the 2012 Directors Compensation Program.

  

Directors Compensation Program

 

We maintain a board compensation program, in which only non-employee directors may participate. Please see the “Equity Compensation Plans – 2012 Directors Compensation Program” section of this Report for more information on the program.

 

Dr. Fisher will be compensated $90,000 per year for his services as Chairman of the Board, which the Company’s Board considers to be fees payable as a member of the Board or a Committee of the Board for purposes of Section 10A-3 of the rules promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent payment of such fees are construed to not be fees payable as a member of the Board or a Committee of the Board, then the Board considers that Dr. Fisher may act as a member of its Audit Committee under Nasdaq Rule 5605(c)(2)(B) as the Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders for Dr. Fisher to continue to serve on its Audit Committee.

 

 

 

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ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

The following table sets forth information as of June 8, 2018, with respect to the ownership of our common stock, by (i) each person known by us to be the beneficial owner of more than five percent (5%) of the outstanding shares of each class of our capital stock, (ii) each of our directors and director nominees (if any), (iii) each of our named executive officers and (iv) all of our executive officers and directors as a group. As of such date, we had 17,761,206 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding. The term "executive officer" is defined as the President/Chief Executive Officer, Secretary, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, any vice-president in charge of a principal business function (such as administration or finance), or any other person who performs similar policy making functions for us. We believe that each individual or entity named has sole investment and voting power with respect to shares of common stock indicated as beneficially owned by them, subject to community property laws where applicable, excepted where otherwise noted:

 

TITLE OF CLASS   NAME AND ADDRESS   AMOUNT AND NATURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP (1)(2)   PERCENT OF
BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP
 
Common Stock   James A. Joyce, Chief Executive Officer and Director
9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
  410,539 shares (3)     2.3%  
Common Stock   Rodney S. Kenley, President and Director
9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
  53,789 shares (4)     *  
Common Stock   James B. Frakes, Chief Financial Officer
9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
  41,311 shares (5)     *  
Common Stock   Charles J. Fisher, Jr., M.D., Non-Executive Chairman
9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
  31,915 shares     *  
Common Stock   Edward G. Broenniman, Director
9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
  96,168 shares (6)     *  
Common Stock   Chetan Shah, MD, Director
9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
  434,047 shares (7)     2.4%  
Common Stock  

Sabrina Martucci Johnson, Director

9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100

San Diego, CA 92123

  24,390 shares     *  
Common Stock   Sachs Investment Group, LLC (8)
1346 S. Third St., Louisville, KY 40208
  1,908,113 shares     10.7%  

Common Stock
  All Current Directors and Executive Officers as a Group (7 members)   1,092,159 shares     6.0%  

 

*  Less than 1%

 

 

 

 63 

 

 

(1) Based on 17,761,206 shares of common stock outstanding on our transfer records as of June 8, 2018.

 

(2) Calculated pursuant to Rule 13d-3(d)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Under Rule 13d-3(d)(1), shares not outstanding that are subject to options, warrants, rights or conversion privileges exercisable by a person within 60 days are deemed outstanding for the purpose of calculating the number and percentage owned by such person but not deemed outstanding for the purpose of calculating the percentage owned by each other person listed. Except where otherwise noted, we believe that each individual or entity named has sole investment and voting power with respect to the shares of common stock indicated as beneficially owned by such person, subject to community property laws, where applicable.

 

(3)  Includes 90,000 stock options exercisable at $12.50 per share, 40,000 stock options exercisable at $5.00 per share and 30,000 stock options exercisable at $9.50 per share. Also includes shares underlying 39,625 restricted stock units that will vest and issue on July 31, 2018.

 

(4) Includes 20,000 stock options exercisable at $12.50 per share, 10,000 stock options exercisable at $5.00 per share and 5,000 stock options exercisable at $9.50 per share. Also includes shares underlying 3,250 restricted stock units that will vest and issue on July 31, 2018.

 

(5)  Includes 10,000 stock options exercisable at $12.50 per share, 10,000 stock options exercisable at $5.00 per share and 5,000 stock options exercisable at $9.50 per share. Also includes shares underlying 3,250 restricted stock units that will vest and issue on July 31, 2018.

 

(6) Includes 10,000 stock options exercisable at $20.50 per share, 12,000 stock options exercisable at $12.50 per share, 9,211 stock options exercisable at $3.80 per share, 8,537 stock options exercisable at $4.10 per share and 3,684 stock options exercisable at $9.50 per share.

 

(7) Includes warrants to purchase 109,322 shares of common stock at exercise prices ranging from $4.65 per share to $6.60 per share, and 7,521 stock options exercisable at $4.10 per share and 3,684 stock options exercisable at $9.50 per share.

 

(8) More-than-5% stockholder.

 

 

 

 

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ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

The following describes all transactions since April 1, 2016, and all proposed transactions, in which we were or are to be a participant and the amount involved exceeds the lesser of $120,000 or one percent of the average of our total assets at year-end for the last two completed fiscal years, and in which any related person had or will have a direct or indirect material interest.

 

Other Transactions

 

Mr. Joyce received aggregate bonus payments of $60,000 from Exosome throughout the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and March 31, 2017 per targets set by the Compensation Committee.

 

Director Independence

 

Ms. Johnson, Dr. Fisher, Mr. Broenniman and Dr. Shah are independent directors as that term is defined by NASDAQ Stock Market Rule 5605(a)(2). We currently have a compensation committee, a nominating and corporate governance committee and an audit committee. Of the members of our Board of Directors, Ms. Johnson, Dr. Fisher, Mr. Broenniman and Dr. Shah meet the NASDAQ Stock Market's independence standards for members of such committees.

  

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

The following table presents fees for professional services billed by Squar Milner LLP ("Squar Milner") during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017:

 

   Fiscal Year   Fiscal Year 
   2018   2017 
Audit Fees (1)  $111,780   $110,946 
Audit Related Fees (2)   61,407    30,500 
Tax Fees (3)   7,818    7,265 
All Other Fees (4)        
   $181,005   $148,711 

 

(1) Audit Fees include fees and expenses for professional services rendered in connection with the audit of our financial statements for fiscal 2018 and 2017 and for reviews of the financial statements included in each of our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q during fiscal 2018 and 2017.

 

(2) Audit Related Fees consist of fees billed for assurance and related services that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of our financial statements and are not reported under “Audit Fees.” Included in Audit Related Fees for fiscal 2018 and 2017 are fees and expenses related to reviews of registration statements and SEC filings other than Forms 10-K and 10-Q.

 

(3) Tax Fees include the aggregate fees billed during fiscal year 2018 and 2017 for professional services for preparation of income tax returns.

 

(4) All Other Fees consist of fees paid for products and services other than the services reported above.  No such fees were billed by Squar Milner for fiscal 2018 or 2017.

 

Policy on Audit Committee Pre-approval of Audit and Permissible Non-audit Services of Independent Auditor

 

Our audit committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for pre-approving all audit, audit-related, tax and other permitted non-audit services to be performed for us by our independent auditor. The audit committee approved all of the services for which Squar Milner billed us as set forth in the above table. 

 

 

 

 

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PART IV

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

The following documents are filed as part of this report on Form 10-K:

 

1. Consolidated Financial Statements for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

Consolidated Balance Sheets

Consolidated Statements of Operations

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders' Equity

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

 

2. Exhibits

 

2.1 Agreement and Plan of Reorganization Between Aethlon Medical, Inc. (formerly, Bishop Equities, Inc.) and Aethlon, Inc. dated March 10, 1999 (1)
   
2.2 Agreement and Plan of Reorganization Between Aethlon Medical, Inc. (formerly, Bishop Equities, Inc.) and Hemex, Inc. dated March 10, 1999 (1)
   
3.1 Articles of Incorporation of Aethlon Medical, Inc., as amended (2)
   
3.2 Bylaws of Aethlon Medical, Inc., as amended (35)
   
4.1 Form of Common Stock Certificate (3)
   
4.2 Form of Amended and Restated Warrant dated June 14, 2010 (12)
   
4.3 Form of Amended and Restated Warrant dated June 14, 2010 (QB) (12)
   
4.4 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated March 29, 2012 and April 15, 2012 (14)
   
4.5 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated June 19, 2012 (15)
   
4.6 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated August 29, 2012 (16)
   
4.7 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated October, November and December 2012 (17)
   
4.8 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated June 14, 2013 (18)
   
4.9 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant October 30, 2013 (19)
   
4.10 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant November 12, 2013 (20)
   
4.11 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant December 10, 2013 (21)
   
4.12 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant December 30, 2013 (22)

 

4.13 Form of Amendment to Notes and Warrants dated March 31, 2014 (23)
   
4.14 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated June 24, 2014 (24)

 

 

 

 66 

 

 

   
4.15 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated July 8, 2014 (25)
   
4.16 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated July 24, 2014 (26)
   
4.17 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant issued August and September 2014 (27)
   
4.18 Form of Class A Common Stock Purchase Warrant dated November 6, 2014 (27)
   
4.19 Form of Convertible Promissory Note dated November 6, 2014 (27)
   
4.20 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant issued December 2, 2014 (29)
   
4.21 Form of Purchase Agent Warrant dated December 2, 2014 (30)
   
4.22 Form of Warrant to Purchase Common Stock issued June 25, 2015 (32)
   
4.23 Form of Purchase Agent Warrant issued June 25, 2015 (33)
   
4.24 Form of Amendment to Notes and Warrants dated June 27, 2016 (40)
   
4.25 Form of Allonge to Convertible Promissory Note dated June 27, 2016 (40)
   
4.26 Form of Class A Common Stock Purchase Warrant issued June 27, 2016 (40)
   
4.27 Form of Consent and Waiver and Amendment dated June 27, 2016 (40)
   
4.28 Form of Warrant Agreement issued March 22, 2017 (43)
 
4.29 Form of Warrant  (48)
   
4.30 Form of Placement Agent Warrant (49)
   
4.31 Form of Pre-Funded Warrant (49)
   
10.1 2000 Stock Option Plan (34)++
   
10.2 Amended 2010 Stock Incentive Plan (4)
   
10.3 2005 Directors Compensation Program (34)++
   
10.4 2012 Directors Compensation Program, as amended on June 6, 2014 (34)++
   
10.5 Employment Agreement between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James A. Joyce dated April 1, 1999 (5)++
   
10.6 Patent License Agreement by and amongst Aethlon Medical, Inc., Hemex, Inc., Dr. Julian L. Ambrus and Dr. David O. Scamurra (6)
   
10.7 Employment Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Dr. Richard H. Tullis dated January 10, 2000 (6)++
   
10.8 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James A Joyce dated February 23, 2005 (7)++
   
10.9 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated February 23, 2005 (7)++
   
10.10 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Franklyn S. Barry, Jr. dated February 23, 2005 (7)++
   
10.11 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Ed Broenniman dated February 23, 2005 (7)++
   
10.12 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James A. Joyce dated September 9, 2005 (8)++

 

 

 

 67 

 

 

10.13 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James A. Joyce dated June 13, 2007 (9)++
   
10.14 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James A. Joyce dated December 15, 2008 (10)++
   
10.15 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Franklyn S. Barry dated December 15, 2008 (10)++
   
10.16 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Edward G. Broenniman dated December 15, 2008 (10)++
   
10.17 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard H. Tullis dated December 15, 2008 (10)++

 

10.18 Standard Industrial Net Lease by and between Sorrento Business Complex and Aethlon Medical, Inc. dated September 28, 2009 (11)
   
10.19 Offer of Employment by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Rodney S. Kenley dated October 27, 2010 (13)++
   
10.20 Stock Option Agreement of Rodney S. Kenley dated October 27, 2010 (13)++
   
10.21 Unit Subscription Agreement dated March 29, 2012 and April 5, 2012 (14)
   
10.22 Unit Subscription Agreement dated June 19, 2012 (15)
   
10.23 Unit Subscription Agreement dated August 29, 2012 (16)
   
10.24 Unit Subscription Agreement dated October, November and December 2012 (17)
   
10.25 Unit Subscription Agreement dated June 14, 2013 (18)
   
10.26 Form of Unit Purchase Agreement dated October 30, 2013 (19)
   
10.27 Form of Subscription Agreement October 30, 2013 (19)
   
10.28 Form of Unit Purchase Agreement dated November 12, 2013 (20)
   
10.29 Form of Subscription Agreement November 12, 2013 (20)
   
10.30 Form of Unit Purchase Agreement dated December 10, 2013 (21)
   
10.31 Form of Subscription Agreement December 10, 2013 (21)
   
10.32 Form of Unit Purchase Agreement dated December 30, 2013 (22)
   
10.33 Form of Subscription Agreement December 30, 2013 (22)
   
10.34 Form of Restructuring Agreement dated June 24, 2014 (24)
   
10.35 Form of Restructuring Agreement dated June 24, 2014 (24)
   
10.36 Form of Restructuring Agreement dated July 8, 2014 (25)
   
10.37 Second Amendment to Standard Industrial Net Lease by and between Sorrento Business Complex and Aethlon Medical, Inc. dated October 10, 2014 (3)
   
10.38 Form of Subscription Agreement dated November 6, 2014 (27)
   
10.39 Office Lease between T-C Stonecrest LLC and Aethlon Medical, Inc. dated November 13, 2014 (28)

 

 

 

 68 

 

 

   
10.40 Securities Purchase Agreement dated November 26, 2014 (29)
   
10.41 Registration Rights Agreement dated November 26, 2014 (29)
   
10.42 DARPA Contract dated September 30, 2011 (3) (Portions of this exhibit have been omitted pursuant to a request for confidential treatment.)
   
10.43 DARPA Contract Extension dated August 8, 2012 (3)
   
10.44 DARPA Contract Extension dated September 15, 2013 (3)
   
10.45 DARPA Contract Extension dated September 29, 2014 (3)
   
10.46 DARPA Contract Modification dated March 12, 2015 (34) (Portions of this exhibit have been omitted pursuant to a request for confidential treatment.)

 

10.47 UCI Clinical Trial Agreement signed April 9, 2015 (31)
   
10.48 Protocol for UCI Clinical Trial (31)
   
10.49 Budget for UCI Clinical Trial (31)
   
10.50 DaVita Master Services Agreement (35)
   
10.51 First Amendment to DaVita Master Services Agreement (35)
   
10.52 Work Order #1 under DaVita Master Services Agreement (35) (Portions of this exhibit have been omitted pursuant to a request for confidential treatment.)
   
10.53 Securities Purchase Agreement dated June 23, 2015 (32)
   
10.54 Registration Rights Agreement dated June 23, 2015 (32)
   
10.55 DARPA Contract Extension dated September 25, 2015 (36)
   
10.56 Amendment No. 1 to Joyce Employment Agreement dated October 16, 2015 (37)++
   
10.57 Amendment No. 1 to Kenley Offer Letter dated October 16, 2015 (37)++
   
10.58 Retention Bonus Agreement dated October 16, 2015 (37)++
   
10.59 Third Amendment to Standard Industrial Net Lease dated October 21, 2015 (38)
   
10.60 Amendment of Terms dated November 12, 2015 (38)
   
10.61 Consulting Agreement dated February 9, 2016 (39)
   
10.62 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated September 27, 2010 (44)++
   
10.63 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated July 1, 2013 (44)++

 

 

 

 69 

 

 

10.64 Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated June 6, 2014 (44)++
   
10.65 Amendment No. 1 to Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated December 15, 2008 (44)++
   
10.66 Amendment No. 1 to Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated September 27, 2010 (44)++
   
10.67 Amendment No. 1 to Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated July 1, 2013 (44)++
   
10.68 Amendment No. 1 to Stock Option Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Richard Tullis dated June 6, 2014 (44)++
   
10.69 Common Stock Sales Agreement dated June 28, 2016 between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (40)
   
10.70 Form of Consent and Waiver dated June 27, 2016 (40)
   
10.71 Aethlon Medical, Inc. 2012 Non-Employee Directors Compensation Program, as Modified on August 9, 2016 (41) ++
   
10.72 DARPA Contract dated September 30, 2011 (42)
   
10.73 2012 Non-Employee Directors Compensation Program, as amended August 9, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.74 Stock Unit Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James A. Joyce dated August 29, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.75 Stock Unit Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Rodney S. Kenley dated August 29, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.76 Stock Unit Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and James B. Frakes dated August 29, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.77 Stock Unit Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Franklyn S. Barry, Jr. dated August 29, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.78 Stock Unit Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Edward G. Broenniman dated August 29, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.79 Stock Unit Agreement by and between Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Chetan S. Shah, MD dated August 29, 2016 (45) ++
   
10.80 Fourth Amendment to Standard Industrial Net Lease by and between AGP Sorrento Business Complex, L.P. and Aethlon Medical, Inc. dated October 5, 2016 (45)
   
10.81 Form of Securities Purchase Agreement, dated March 22, 2017 (43)
   
10.82 Form of Engagement Letter, dated March 15, 2017 (43)
   
10.83 Form of Exchange Agreement (45)
   
10.84 Form of Securities Purchase Agreement (50)
   
10.85 Fifth Amendment to Standard Industrial Net Lease (51)
   
14 Code of Ethics (45)
   
21.1 List of subsidiaries (3)
   
23.1 Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (Squar Milner LLP) *

 

 

 

 70 

 

 

31.1 Certification of our Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to Securities Exchange Act rules 13a-14(a) and 15d-14(a) as adopted pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002.*
   
31.2 Certification of our Chief Financial Officer, pursuant to Securities Exchange Act rules 13a-14(a) and 15d-14(a) as adopted pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002.*
   
32.1 Statement of our Chief Executive Officer under Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (18 U.S.C. Section 1350)*
   
32.2 Statement of our Chief Financial Officer under Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (18 U.S.C. Section 1350)*
   
99.1 Letter from FDA to Registrant dated September 8, 2018 (47)

 

101.INS XBRL Instance Document*
101.SCH XBRL Schema Document*
101.CAL XBRL Calculation Linkbase Document*
101.DEF XBRL Definition Linkbase Document*
101.LAB XBRL Label Linkbase Document*
101.PRE XBRL Presentation Linkbase Document*

 

* Filed herewith

++ Indicates a management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement

 

(1) Filed with the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K/A dated March 26, 1999 and incorporated by reference.

 

(2) Filed with the Company's Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-211151) filed on May 5, 2016 and incorporated by reference.

 

(3) Filed with the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-201334) filed on December 31, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(4) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated March 30, 2016 and incorporated by reference.

 

(5) Filed with the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-KSB filed on July 15, 1999 for the year ended March 31, 1999 and incorporated by reference.

 

(6) Filed with the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-KSB/A filed on September 10, 2004 for the year ended March 31, 2004 and incorporated by reference.

 

(7) Filed with the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-KSB filed on July 14, 2005 for the year ended March 31, 2005 and incorporated by reference.

 

(8) Filed with the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K filed on September 12, 2005 and incorporated by reference.

 

(9) Filed with the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-8 (File No. 333-168483) filed on August 2, 2010 and incorporated by reference.

 

(10) Filed with the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K dated December 19, 2008 and incorporated by reference.

 

(11) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 16, 2009 for the period ended September 30, 2009 and incorporated by reference.

 

(12) Filed with the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on July 2, 2010 for the year ended March 31, 2010 and incorporated by reference.

 

(13) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated November 1, 2010 and incorporated by reference.

 

(14) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated April 6, 2012 and incorporated by reference.

 

 

 

 71 

 

 

 

(15) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated June 27, 2012 and incorporated by reference.

 

(16) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated September 6, 2012 and incorporated by reference.

 

(17) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on February 12, 2013 for the period ended December 31, 2012 and incorporated by reference.

 

(18) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on August 13, 2013 for the period ended June 30, 2013 and incorporated by reference.

 

(19) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated November 6, 2013 and incorporated by reference.

 

(20)  Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated November 20, 2013 and incorporated by reference.

 

(21) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated December 16, 2013 and incorporated by reference.

 

(22) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated January 7, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(23) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated April 4, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(24) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated June 30, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(25) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated July 10, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(26) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated July 28, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(27) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 10, 2014 for the period ended September 30, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(28) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K/A dated November 19, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(29) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated November 28, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(30) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated December 3, 2014 and incorporated by reference.

 

(31) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated April 15, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(32) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated June 24, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(33) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated June 26, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(34) Filed with the Company's Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-203487) filed on April 17, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(35) Filed with the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on June 26, 2015 for the year ended March 31, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(36) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated September 28, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(37) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated October 22, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(38) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 16, 2015 for the period ended September 30, 2015 and incorporated by reference.

 

(39) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated February 16, 2016 and incorporated by reference.

 

(40) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated June 28, 2016 and incorporated by reference.

 

 

 

 72 

 

 

 

(41) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated August 10, 2016 and incorporated by reference.

 

(42) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 dated November 10, 2016 and incorporated by reference.

 

(43) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated March 22, 2017 and incorporated by reference.

 

(44) Filed with the Company’s Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2016, dated June 29, 2016 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

(45) Filed with the Company’s Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2017, dated June 28, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

(46) Intentionally Omitted.

 

(47) Filed with the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated September 12, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

(48) Filed with the Company’s Amendment No. 1 to Registration Statement on Form S-1, dated September 18, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

(49) Filed with the Company’s Amendment No. 2 to Registration Statement on Form S-1, dated September 22, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

(50) Filed with the Company’s Amendment No. 4 to Registration Statement on Form S-1, dated September 29, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

(51) Filed with the Company’s Quarterly Report for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, dated November 2, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 73 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, on the 8th day of June, 2018.

 

  By: /s/ JAMES A. JOYCE  
    James A. Joyce  
    Chairman, Chief Executive Officer  

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

Signature   Title   Date
         
/s/ JAMES A. JOYCE   Chief Executive Officer and Principal Executive Officer   June 8, 2018
James A. Joyce        
         
/s/ JAMES B. FRAKES   Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer   June 8, 2018
James B. Frakes        
         
/s/ EDWARD G. BROENNIMAN   Director   June 8, 2018
Edward G. Broenniman        
         
/s/ RODNEY S. KENLEY   Director   June 8, 2018
Rodney S. Kenley        
         
/s/ CHETAN S. SHAH   Director   June 8, 2018
Chetan S. Shah        
         
/s/ CHARLES J. FISHER, JR., MD   Chairman and Director   June 8, 2018
Charles J. Fisher, Jr., MD        
         
/s/ SABRINA MARTUCCI JOHNSON   Director   June 8, 2018
Sabrina Martucci Johnson        
                   

 

 

 

 74 

 

 

AETHLON MEDICAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

  Page
Consolidated Financial Statements  
   
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm F-2
   
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of March 31, 2018 and 2017 F-3
   
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years Ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 F-4
   
Consolidated Statements of Equity for the Years Ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 F-5
   
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 F-6
   
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements F-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 F-1 

 

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of Aethlon Medical, Inc.

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Aethlon Medical, Inc. and its subsidiary (the Company) as of March 31, 2018 and 2017, the related consolidated statements of operations, equity and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes to the consolidated financial statements (collectively, the financial statements). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of March 31, 2018 and 2017, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ Squar Milner LLP

 

We have served as the Company's auditor since 2001.

 

San Diego, California

June 8, 2018

 

 

 

 F-2 

 

 

 

AETHLON MEDICAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 

   March 31, 2018   March 31, 2017 
ASSETS          
CURRENT ASSETS          
Cash  $6,974,070   $1,559,701 
Accounts receivable   74,813     
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   181,367    37,551 
           
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS   7,230,250    1,597,252 
           
Property and equipment, net   27,552    29,223 
Patents, net   75,832    84,996 
Deposits   18,270    14,897 
           
TOTAL ASSETS  $7,351,904   $1,726,368 
           
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY          
           
CURRENT LIABILITIES          
Accounts payable  $124,450   $484,423 
Due to related parties   90,366    57,866 
Other current liabilities   263,141    69,467 
           
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES   477,957    611,756 
           
Convertible notes payable, net   841,153    519,200 
           
TOTAL LIABILITIES   1,319,110    1,130,956 
           
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES (Note 12)          
           
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY          
Common stock, $0.001 par value, 30,000,000 shares authorized at March 31, 2018 and 2017; 17,739,511 and 8,797,086 issued and outstanding at March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively   17,740    8,796 
Additional paid-in capital   105,574,014    94,445,739 
Accumulated deficit   (99,457,714)   (93,778,156)
           
TOTAL AETHLON MEDICAL, INC. STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY BEFORE NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS   6,134,040    676,379 
           
NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS   (101,246)   (80,967)
           
TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY   6,032,794    595,412 
           
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY  $7,351,904   $1,726,368 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 F-3 

 

 

AETHLON MEDICAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

 

   Years Ended March 31, 
   2018   2017 
REVENUES:        
Government contract revenue  $149,625   $392,073 
Total revenues   149,625    392,073 
           
OPERATING COSTS AND EXPENSES          
Professional fees   1,553,204    2,161,592 
Payroll and related expenses   2,634,937    3,479,347 
General and administrative   792,600    849,491 
Total operating expenses   4,980,741    6,490,430 
           
OPERATING LOSS   (4,831,116)   (6,098,357)
           
OTHER EXPENSE          
Loss on debt extinguishment   376,909    558,198 
Warrant repricing expense       345,841 
Loss on share for warrant exchanges   130,215     
Interest and other expenses   361,597    304,330 
Total other expense   868,721    1,208,369 
           
NET LOSS BEFORE NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS   (5,699,837)   (7,306,726)
           
LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS   (20,279)   (30,613)
           
NET LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON STOCKHOLDERS  $(5,679,558)  $(7,276,113)
           
Basic and diluted net loss per share available to common stockholders  $(0.46)  $(0.94)
           
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding - basic and diluted   12,317,074    7,764,237 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 F-4 

 

 

AETHLON MEDICAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EQUITY

FOR THE YEARS ENDED MARCH 31, 2018 AND 2017

 

   ATTRIBUTABLE TO AETHLON MEDICAL, INC.           
   COMMON STOCK  

ADDITIONAL

PAID IN

   ACCUMULATED    NON-
CONTROLLING
    TOTAL 
   SHARES   AMOUNT   CAPITAL   DEFICIT    INTERESTS    EQUITY 
BALANCE - MARCH 31, 2016   7,622,393   $7,621   $88,047,142   $(86,502,043)   $(50,354)   $1,502,366 
                                 
Issuances of common stock for cash under at the market program   216,078    216    954,889              955,105 
                                 
Issuances of common stock and warrants under registered direct financing   773,000    773    1,803,477              1,804,250 
                                 
Issuances of common stock under conversions of convertible notes and related accrued interest   33,091    33    144,686              144,719 
                                 
Warrant repricing expense           345,841              345,841 
                                 
Loss on debt extinguishment           558,198              558,198 
                                 
Debt discount on convertible notes payable           783,868              783,868 
                                 
Issuance of common shares for repurchase of restricted stock units.   149,864    150    (378,668)             (378,518)
                                 
Exercise of cashless warrants   2,660    3    (3)              
                                 
Stock-based compensation expense           2,186,309              2,186,309 
                                 
Net loss               (7,276,113)    (30,613)    (7,306,726)
                                 
BALANCE - MARCH 31, 2017   8,797,086   $8,796   $94,445,739   $(93,778,156)   $(80,967)   $595,412 
                                 
Issuances of common stock for cash under at the market program   941,504    941    2,104,027              2,104,968 
                                 
Issuances of common stock for cash under warrant exercises   2,160,350    2,160    2,231,642              2,233,802 
                                 
Issuances of common stock under conversions of convertible notes and related accrued interest   120,922    121    362,642              362,763 
                                 
Issuance of common stock in public offering   5,454,546    5,455    5,284,280              5,289,735 
                                 
Issuance of common shares for repurchase of restricted stock units.   175,262    175    (278,808)             (278,633)
                                 
Common stock issued for services   15,000    15    33,585              33,600 
                                 
Issuance of common shares pursuant to warrant exchanges   74,841    77    130,138              130,215 
                                 
Stock-based compensation expense           1,260,769              1,260,769 
                                 
Net loss               (5,679,558)    (20,279)    (5,699,837)
                                 
BALANCE - MARCH 31, 2018   17,739,511   $17,740   $105,574,014   $(99,457,714)   $(101,246)   $6,032,794 

  

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 F-5 

 

 

AETHLON MEDICAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

FOR THE YEARS ENDED MARCH 31, 2018 AND 2017

 

   2018   2017 
Cash flows from operating activities:          
Net loss  $(5,699,837)  $(7,306,726)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:          
Depreciation and amortization   35,658    32,413 
Warrant repricing expense       345,841 
Loss on share for warrant exchanges   130,215     
Loss on debt extinguishment   376,909    558,198 
Stock based compensation   1,260,769    2,186,309 
Amortization of debt discount and deferred financing costs   245,663    220,439 
Fair market value of common stock issued for services   33,600     
           
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:          
Accounts receivable   (74,813)   199,471 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   (143,816)   15,743 
Other assets   (3,374)   7,518 
Accounts payable and other current liabilities   (104,154)   322,140 
Due to related parties   32,500    (87,246)
Net cash used in operating activities   (3,910,680)   (3,505,900)
           
Cash flows from investing activities:          
Purchases of property and equipment   (24,823)   (16,433)
Net cash used in investing activities   (24,823)   (16,433)
           
Cash flows from financing activities:          
Cash paid for repurchase of restricted stock units   (278,633)   (378,518)
Proceeds from the issuance of convertible notes payable       577,460 
Net proceeds from the issuance of common stock and warrants   9,628,505    2,759,355 
Net cash provided by financing activities   9,349,872    2,958,297 
           
Net increase (decrease) in cash   5,414,369    (564,036)
           
Cash at beginning of year   1,559,701    2,123,737 
           
Cash at end of year  $6,974,070   $1,559,701 
           
Supplemental information of non-cash investing and financing activities:          
Conversion of debt, accrued liabilities and accrued interest to common stock  $362,763   $144,719 
Reclassification of accrued interest to convertible notes payable  $   $85,031 
Issuance of shares for warrants  $   $198 
Issuance of shares under vested restricted stock units  $211   $150 
Issuance of shares under cashless warrant exercises  $   $3 
Debt discount on convertible notes payable  $   $783,868 

  

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 F-6 

 

 

Aethlon Medical, Inc. and Subsidiary

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

 

1. ORGANIZATION, LIQUIDITY AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

ORGANIZATION

 

Aethlon Medical, Inc. and subsidiary (collectively, “Aethlon”, the “Company”, “we” or “us”) is a medical technology company focused on addressing unmet needs in global health and biodefense. The Aethlon Hemopurifier® is an early clinical-stage therapeutic device designed for the single-use removal of life-threatening viruses from the circulatory system of infected individuals. We believe the Hemopurifier can be a part of the broad-spectrum treatment of life-threatening highly glycosylated viruses that are not addressed with an already approved treatment countermeasure objectives set forth by the U.S. Government to protect citizens from bioterror and pandemic threats. In small-scale or early feasibility human studies, the Hemopurifier has been administered to individuals infected with HIV, Hepatitis-C, and Ebola. Additionally, the Hemopurifier has been validated to capture Zika virus, Lassa virus, MERS-CoV, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, Herpes Simplex virus, Chikungunya virus, Dengue virus, West Nile virus, Smallpox-related viruses, H1N1 Swine Flu virus, H5N1 Bird Flu virus, and the reconstructed Spanish flu virus of 1918. In several cases, these validations were conducted in collaboration with leading government or non-government research institutes. Domestically, we are focused on the clinical advancement of the Hemopurifier through investigational device exemptions (IDEs) approved by FDA. We recently concluded a feasibility study to demonstrate the safety of our device in health-compromised individuals infected with a viral pathogen.

 

We are also the majority owner of Exosome Sciences, Inc. (ESI), a company focused on the discovery of exosomal biomarkers to diagnose and monitor life-threatening diseases. Included among ESI’s endeavors is the advancement of a TauSomeTM biomarker candidate to diagnose Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in the living. ESI previously documented that TauSome levels in former NFL players to be nine times higher than same age-group control subjects.

 

Successful outcomes of human trials will also be required by the regulatory agencies of certain foreign countries where we intend to sell this device. Some of our patents may expire before FDA approval or approval in a foreign country, if any, is obtained. However, we believe that certain patent applications and/or other patents issued more recently will help protect the proprietary nature of the Hemopurifier treatment technology.

 

Our executive offices are located at 9635 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92123. Our telephone number is (858) 459-7800. Our website address is www.aethlonmedical.com.

 

Our common stock is quoted on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AEMD.”

 

LIQUIDITY AND GOING CONCERN

 

Management expects existing cash as of March 31, 2018 to be sufficient to fund the Company’s operations for at least twelve months from the issuance date of these consolidated financial statements.

 

PRINCIPLES OF CONSOLIDATION

 

The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Aethlon Medical, Inc. and its majority-owned (80% ownership) and controlled subsidiary, Exosome Sciences, Inc. (ESI). All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The Company has classified the (20% ownership) noncontrolling interests in ESI as part of consolidated net loss in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 and includes the accumulated amount of noncontrolling interests as part of equity.

 

The losses at ESI during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 reduced the noncontrolling interests on our consolidated balance sheet by $20,279 from $(80,967) at March 31, 2017 to $(101,246) at March 31, 2018.

 

 

 

 F-7 

 

 

RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

 

We operate in an industry that is subject to intense competition, government regulation and rapid technological change. Our operations are subject to significant risk and uncertainties including financial, operational, technological, regulatory, and including the potential risk of business failure.

 

USE OF ESTIMATES

 

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”), which requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Significant estimates made by management include, among others, realization of long-lived assets, estimating fair value associated with debt and equity transactions and valuation of deferred tax assets. Actual results, whether in the near, medium or long-term future, could differ from those estimates.

 

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

 

Accounting standards define “cash and cash equivalents” as any short-term, highly liquid investment that is both readily convertible to known amounts of cash and so near their maturity that they present insignificant risk of changes in value because of changes in interest rates. For the purpose of financial statement presentation, we consider all highly liquid investment instruments with original maturities of three months or less when purchased, or any investment redeemable without penalty or loss of interest to be cash equivalents. As of March 31, 2018 and 2017, we had no assets that were classified as cash equivalents.

 

FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

 

The carrying amount of our cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other current liabilities approximates their estimated fair values due to the short-term maturities of those financial instruments. The carrying amount of the notes payable approximates their fair value due to the short maturity of the notes and since the interest rates approximate current market interest rates for similar instruments.

  

Management has concluded that it is not practical to determine the estimated fair value of amounts due to related parties because the transactions cannot be assumed to have been consummated at arm's length, the terms are not deemed to be market terms, there are no quoted values available for these instruments, and an independent valuation would not be practicable due to the lack of data regarding similar instruments, if any, and the associated potential costs.

 

We follow Financial Accounting Standard Board’s (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) FASB ASC 820, “Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures” (“ASC 820”) in connection with financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis subsequent to initial recognition.

 

ASC 820 requires that assets and liabilities carried at fair value will be classified and disclosed in one of the following three categories:

 

Level 1: Quoted market prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

 

Level 2: Observable market based inputs or unobservable inputs that are corroborated by market data.

 

Level 3: Unobservable inputs that are not corroborated by market data.

 

The hierarchy noted above requires us to minimize the use of unobservable inputs and to use observable market data, if available, when determining fair value.

 

We do not have any assets or liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis and, during the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, and did not have any assets or liabilities that were measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis.

 

 

 

 F-8 

 

 

CONCENTRATIONS OF CREDIT RISKS

 

Cash is maintained at one financial institution in checking accounts. Accounts at this institution are secured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $250,000. Our March 31, 2018 cash balances were approximately $6,722,000 over such insured amount. We do not believe that the Company is exposed to any significant risk with respect to its cash.

 

All of our accounts receivable at March 31, 2018 and 2017 and all of our revenue in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 were directly from the National Cancer Institute or the U.S. Department of Defense or from a subcontract under Battelle, which is a prime contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

 

Property and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets, which range from two to five years. Repairs and maintenance are charged to expense as incurred while improvements are capitalized. Upon the sale or retirement of property and equipment, the accounts are relieved of the cost and the related accumulated depreciation with any gain or loss included in the consolidated statements of operations.

 

INCOME TAXES

 

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to the difference between the consolidated financial statements and their respective tax basis. Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of (a) temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts reported for income tax purposes, and (b) tax credit carryforwards. We record a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets when, based on our best estimate of taxable income (if any) in the foreseeable future, it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax assets may not be realized.

 

LONG-LIVED ASSETS

 

Long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying amounts may not be recoverable. If the cost basis of a long-lived asset is greater than the projected future undiscounted net cash flows from such asset, an impairment loss is recognized. We believe no impairment charges were necessary during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.

  

LOSS PER SHARE

 

Basic loss per share is computed by dividing net income available to common stockholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period of computation. Diluted loss per share is computed similar to basic loss per share except that the denominator is increased to include the number of additional common shares that would have been outstanding if potential common shares had been issued, if such additional common shares were dilutive. Since we had net losses for all periods presented, basic and diluted loss per share are the same, and additional potential common shares have been excluded as their effect would be antidilutive.

 

As of March 31, 2018 and 2017, a total of 7,160,004 and 3,908,292 potential common shares, consisting of shares underlying outstanding stock options, restricted stock units, warrants and convertible notes payable were excluded as their inclusion would be antidilutive.

 

SEGMENTS

 

Historically, we operated in one segment that was based on our development of therapeutic devices. However, in the December 2013 quarter, we initiated the operations of ESI to develop diagnostic tests. As a result, we now operate in two segments, Aethlon for therapeutic applications and ESI for diagnostic applications (See Note 10).

 

We record discrete financial information for ESI and our chief operating decision maker reviews ESI’s operating results in order to make decisions about resources to be allocated to the ESI segment and to assess its performance.

 

 

 

 F-9 

 

 

 

DEFERRED FINANCING COSTS

 

Costs related to the issuance of debt are capitalized as a deduction to our convertible notes based on the new accounting standard on imputation of interest, and amortized to interest expense over the life of the related debt using the effective interest method. We recorded amortization expense related to our deferred financing costs of $27,641 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. There was no amortization related to our deferred financing costs in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

 

REVENUE RECOGNITION

 

For our contracts with the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) and with DARPA, we adopted the Milestone method of revenue recognition under ASC 605-28 “Revenue Recognition – Milestone Method” (“ASC 605-28”) and we believe we met the requirements under ASC 605-28 for reporting contract revenue under the Milestone Method for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.

 

We identify the deliverables included within the contract and evaluate which deliverables represent separate units of accounting based on if certain criteria are met, including whether the delivered element has standalone value to the collaborator. The consideration received is allocated among the separate units of accounting, and the applicable revenue recognition criteria are applied to each of the separate units.

 

A milestone is an event having all of the following characteristics:

 

(1) There is substantive uncertainty at the date the arrangement is entered into that the event will be achieved. A vendor’s assessment that it expects to achieve a milestone does not necessarily mean that there is not substantive uncertainty associated with achieving the milestone.

 

(2) The event can only be achieved based in whole or in part on either: (a) the vendor’s performance; or (b) a specific outcome resulting from the vendor’s performance.

 

(3) If achieved, the event would result in additional payments being due to the vendor.

 

A milestone does not include events for which the occurrence is either: (a) contingent solely upon the passage of time; or (b) the result of a counterparty’s performance.

  

The policy for recognizing deliverable consideration contingent upon achievement of a milestone must be applied consistently to similar deliverables.

 

The assessment of whether a milestone is substantive is performed at the inception of the arrangement. The consideration earned from the achievement of a milestone must meet all of the following for the milestone to be considered substantive:

 

(1) The consideration is commensurate with either: (a) the vendor’s performance to achieve the milestone; or (b) the enhancement of the value of the delivered item or items as a result of a specific outcome resulting from the vendor’s performance to achieve the milestone;

 

(2) The consideration relates solely to past performance; and

 

(3) The consideration is reasonable relative to all of the deliverables and payment terms (including other potential milestone consideration) within the arrangement.

 

A milestone is not considered substantive if any portion of the associated milestone consideration relates to the remaining deliverables in the unit of accounting (i.e., it does not relate solely to past performance). To recognize the milestone consideration in its entirety as revenue in the period in which the milestone is achieved, the milestone must be substantive in its entirety. Milestone consideration cannot be bifurcated into substantive and nonsubstantive components. In addition, if a portion of the consideration earned from achieving a milestone may be refunded or adjusted based on future performance, the related milestone is not considered substantive.

 

NIH Contract - We entered into a contract with the NIH on September 15, 2017. This award is under the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which is designed to fund early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. The title of the award is SBIR Topic 359 Phase 1 Device Strategy for Selective Isolation of Oncosomes and Non-Malignant Exosomes.

 

The award from NIH is a firm, fixed-price contract with potential total payments to us of $299,250 over the course of nine months.

 

 

 

 F-10 

 

 

Fixed price contracts require the achievement of multiple, incremental milestones to receive the full award during each period of the contract. The NIH also has the unilateral right to require us to perform additional work under an option period for an additional fixed amount of $49,800.

 

Under the terms of the contract, we must perform certain incremental work towards the achievement of specific milestones against which we will invoice the government for fixed payment amounts.

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we completed the first two milestones on this contract and invoiced NIH for two milestones in the amount of $149,625. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we performed work under the contract completing the majority of the first two technical objectives of the contract (Aim 1: To validate the Hemopurifier as a device for capture and recovery of melanoma exosomes from plasma and Aim 2: To validate a method of melanoma exosome isolation consisting of the Hemopurifier followed by mab-based immunocapture to select out the tumor-derived exosomes from non-malignant exosomes). As a result we invoiced NIH for $149,625.

 

DARPA Contract -- We entered into a government contract with DARPA and recognized revenue of $387,438 under that contract during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

 

Battelle Subcontract -- We entered into a subcontract agreement with Battelle Memorial Institute (“Battelle”) in March 2013. Battelle was chosen by DARPA to be the prime contractor on the systems integration portion of the original DARPA contract and we are one of several subcontractors on that systems integration project. The Battelle subcontract is cost-reimbursable under a time and materials basis. We began generating revenues under the subcontract during the three months ended September 30, 2013 and for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we recorded revenue of $4,635, under the Battelle subcontract.

 

Our revenue under this contract was a function of cost reimbursement plus an overhead mark-up for hours devoted to the project by specific employees (with specific hourly rates for those employees). Battelle engaged us as needed. Each payment required approval by the program manager at Battelle.

 

STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION

 

Employee stock options and rights to purchase shares under stock participation plans are accounted for under the fair value method. Accordingly, share-based compensation is measured when all granting activities have been completed, generally the grant date, based on the fair value of the award. The exercise price of options is generally equal to the market price of the Company's common stock (defined as the closing price as quoted on the Nasdaq Capital Market or OTCBB on the date of grant). Compensation cost recognized by the Company includes (a) compensation cost for all equity incentive awards granted prior to April 1, 2006, but not yet vested, based on the grant-date fair value estimated in accordance with the original provisions of the then current accounting standards, and (b) compensation cost for all equity incentive awards granted subsequent to March 31, 2006, based on the grant-date fair value estimated in accordance with the provisions of subsequent accounting standards. We use a Binomial Lattice option pricing model for estimating fair value of options granted (see Note 5).

 

The following table summarizes share-based compensation expenses relating to shares and options granted and the effect on loss per common share during the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017:

 

Our total stock-based compensation for fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 included the following:

  

   Fiscal Years Ended 
   March 31, 2018   March 31, 2017 
Vesting of Stock Options and Restricted Stock Units  $1,212,794   $2,076,535 
    47,975    109,773 
Total Stock-Based Compensation Expense  $1,260,769   $2,186,309 
           
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding – basic and diluted   12,317,074    7,764,237 
           
Basic and diluted loss per common share  $(0.10)  $(0.28)

 

 

 

 F-11 

 

 

We account for transactions involving services provided by third parties where we issue equity instruments as part of the total consideration using the fair value of the consideration received (i.e. the value of the goods or services) or the fair value of the equity instruments issued, whichever is more reliably measurable. In transactions, when the value of the goods and/or services are not readily determinable and (1) the fair value of the equity instruments is more reliably measurable and (2) the counterparty receives equity instruments in full or partial settlement of the transactions, we use the following methodology:

 

a) For transactions where goods have already been delivered or services rendered, the equity instruments are issued on or about the date the performance is complete (and valued on the date of issuance).

 

b) For transactions where the instruments are issued on a fully vested, non-forfeitable basis, the equity instruments are valued on or about the date of the contract.

 

c) For any transactions not meeting the criteria in (a) or (b) above, we re-measure the consideration at each reporting date based on its then current stock value.

 

We review share-based compensation on a quarterly basis for changes to the estimate of expected award forfeitures based on actual forfeiture experience. The effect of adjusting the forfeiture rate for all expense amortization after March 31, 2007 is recognized in the period the forfeiture estimate is changed. The effect of forfeiture adjustments for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 was insignificant.

 

PATENTS

 

Patents include both foreign and domestic patents. We capitalize the cost of patents, some of which were acquired, and amortize such costs over the shorter of the remaining legal life or their estimated economic life, upon issuance of the patent. The unamortized costs of patents are subject to our review for impairment under our long-lived asset policy above.

 

STOCK PURCHASE WARRANTS

 

We grant warrants in connection with the issuance of convertible notes payable and the issuance of common stock for cash. When such warrants are classified as equity and issued in connection with debt, we measure the relative estimated fair value of such warrants and record it as a discount from the face amount of the convertible notes payable. Such discounts are amortized to interest expense over the term of the notes using the effective interest method. Warrants issued in connection with common stock for cash, if classified as equity, are considered issued in connection with equity transactions and the warrant fair value is recorded to additional paid-in-capital.

 

BENEFICIAL CONVERSION FEATURE OF CONVERTIBLE NOTES PAYABLE

 

The convertible feature of certain notes payable provides for a rate of conversion that is below market value. Such feature is normally characterized as a "Beneficial Conversion Feature" ("BCF"). We measure the estimated fair value of the BCF in circumstances in which the conversion feature is not required to be separated from the host instrument and accounted for separately, and record that value in the consolidated financial statements as a discount from the face amount of the notes. Such discounts are amortized to interest expense over the term of the notes.

  

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT EXPENSES

 

Our research and development costs are expensed as incurred. We incurred approximately $586,000 and $673,000 of research and development expenses for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, which are included in various operating expenses in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.

 

OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

 

We have not entered into any off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have a current or future material effect on our consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 F-12 

 

 

SIGNIFICANT RECENT ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2015-03, the new accounting standard on imputation of interest, simplifying the presentation of debt issuance costs. As a result of the adoption of that pronouncement, our deferred financing costs at March 31, 2016 were reclassified from current assets to an offset against our convertible notes. We did not have any unamortized deferred financing costs at March 31, 2017.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we also adopted FASB ASU 2015-01, the new accounting standard on income statement - extraordinary and unusual items (Subtopic 225-20): simplifying income statement presentation by eliminating the concept of extraordinary items and FASB ASU 2014-15, the new accounting standard on the presentation of financial statements - going concern (Subtopic 205-40): disclosure of uncertainties about an entity's ability to continue as a going concern.

 

The adoption of FASB ASU 2015-01 did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 as we did not have any extraordinary or unusual items in those fiscal years and we believe this accounting pronouncement will not have a significant impact on the our consolidated financial statements in the future. The adoption of FASB ASU 2014-15 did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we adopted FASB ASU 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which amended Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation. This pronouncement simplified 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. ASU 2016-09 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those fiscal years. We adopted this ASU effective April 1, 2017 and the adoption did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

 

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 201 4-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) (“ASU 2014-09”). ASU 2014-09 requires an entity to recognize the revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods and services. In addition, the standard provided guidance for recognizing gains and losses from the transfer of nonfinancial assets in contracts with noncustomers upon transfer of control. ASU 2014-09 supersedes the revenue requirements in Revenue Recognition (Topic 605) and most industry-specific guidance throughout the Industry Topics of the Codification. ASU 2014-09 was to be effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2016, and is to be applied retrospectively, with early application not permitted. In August 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Deferral of the Effective Date (“ASU 2015-14”), which deferred the effective date of ASU 2014-09 by one year. Early adoption is permitted after December 31, 2016. We elected to adopt the standard effective April 1, 2017, and the adoption did not have a material impact on our financial statements as existing government contracts are not in scope of Topic 606.

 

ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) changes the existing accounting standards for lease accounting, including requiring lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheets and making targeted changes to lessor accounting. ASU 2016-02 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption of ASU 2016-02 as of its issuance is permitted. The new leases standard requires a modified retrospective transition approach for all leases existing at, or entered into after, the date of initial application, with an option to use certain transition relief. We do not expect the adoption of ASU No. 2016-02 to have a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.

 

2. PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

 

Property and equipment, net, consist of the following:

 

   March 31, 2018   March 31, 2017 
Furniture and office equipment, at cost  $376,907   $352,085 
Accumulated depreciation   (349,355)   (322,862)
   $27,552   $29,223 

 

 

 

 F-13 

 

 

Depreciation expense for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 was $26,494 and $23,248, respectively.

 

3. PATENTS

 

Patents consist of the following:

 

   March 31, 2018   March 31, 2017 
Patents  $211,645   $211,645 
Accumulated amortization   (135,813)   (126,649)
   $75,832   $84,996 

 

Amortization expense for patents for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 was $9,164 and $9,165, respectively. Future amortization expense on patents is estimated to be approximately $9,000 per year based on the estimated life of the patents. The weighted average remaining life of our patents is approximately 3.2 years.

  

4. CONVERTIBLE NOTES PAYABLE

 

Convertible Notes Payable, Net consisted of the following at March 31, 2018:

 

   Principal   Unamortized
Discount
   Net
Amount
   Accrued
Interest
 
Convertible Notes Payable, Net – Non-Current Portion:                    
November 2014 10% Convertible Notes (due July 1, 2019)  $612,811   $(93,590)  $519,221   $34,386 
December 2016 10% Convertible Notes (due July 1, 2019)   379,780    (57,848)   321,932    21,315 
Total Convertible Notes Payable, Net  $992,591   $(151,438)  $841,153   $55,701 

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we recorded interest expense of $112,456 related to the contractual interest rates of our convertible notes and interest expense of $245,664 related to the amortization of the note discount for a total interest expense of $358,120 related to our convertible notes in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. All of the unamortized discount at March 31, 2018 related to the note discount established upon the second amendment to the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes and to the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes (see below). Accrued interest is included in other current liabilities (see Note 7).

 

Convertible Notes Payable, Net consisted of the following at March 31, 2017:

 

   Principal   Unamortized
Discount
   Net
Amount
   Accrued
Interest
 
Convertible Notes Payable, Net – Non-Current Portion:                    
November 2014 10% Convertible Notes (due July 1, 2019)  $612,811   $(275,363)  $337,448   $2,555 
December 2016 10% Convertible Notes (due July 1, 2019)   680,400    (498,648)   181,752    2,836 
Total Convertible Notes Payable, Net  $1,293,211   $(774,011)  $519,200   $5,391 

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we recorded interest expense of $81,102 related to the contractual interest rates of our convertible notes, interest expense of $27,641 related to the amortization of deferred financing costs and interest expense of $192,798 related to the amortization of the note discount for a total interest expense of $301,541 related to our convertible notes in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. All of the unamortized discount at December 31, 2016 related to the note discount established upon the second amendment to the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes and to the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes (see below). Accrued interest is included in other current liabilities (see Note 7).

 

 

 

 F-14 

 

 

NOVEMBER 2014 10% CONVERTIBLE NOTES

 

In November 2014, we entered into a subscription agreement with two accredited investors providing for the issuance and sale of (i) convertible promissory notes in the aggregate principal amount of $527,780 (the “Notes”) and (ii) five year warrants to purchase up to 47,125 shares of common stock at a fixed exercise price of $8.40 per share (the “Warrants”). These Notes bear interest at the annual rate of 10% and originally matured on April 1, 2016.

 

The aggregate gross cash proceeds to us were $415,000 after subtracting legal fees of $35,000, a $27,780 due diligence fee and an original issuance discount of $50,000. We recorded deferred financing costs of $112,780 to reflect the legal fees, due diligence fee and original issuance discount and will amortize those costs over the life of the Notes using the effective interest method.

 

These Notes are convertible at the option of the holders into shares of our common stock at a fixed price of $5.60 per share, for up to an aggregate of 94,246 shares of common stock. There are no registration requirements with respect to the shares of common stock underlying the Notes or the Warrants.

 

The estimated relative fair value of Warrants issued in connection with the Notes was recorded as a debt discount and is amortized as additional interest expense over the term of the underlying debt. We recorded debt discount of $240,133 based on the relative fair value of these Warrants. In addition, as the effective conversion price of the Notes was less than market price of the underlying common stock on the date of issuance, we recorded an additional debt discount of $287,647 related to the beneficial conversion feature.

 

Initial Amendment of the November 2014 10% Convertible Note Terms

 

On November 12, 2015, we entered into an amendment of terms (“Amendment of Terms”) with the two investors that participated in the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes. The Amendment of Terms modified the terms of the subscription agreement, Notes and Warrants held by those investors to, among other things, extended the maturity date of the Notes from April 1, 2016 to June 1, 2016, temporarily reduced the number of shares that we must reserve with respect to conversion of the Notes, and temporarily suspended the time period during which one of the investors may exercise its Warrants. In exchange for the investors’ agreements in the Amendment of Terms, we paid one of the investors a cash fee of $90,000, which we recorded as deferred financing costs and amortized over the remaining term of the notes.

 

Second Amendment and Extension of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

On June 27, 2016, we and certain investors entered into further Amendments (the “Amendments”) to the Notes and the Warrants. The Amendments provide that the Maturity Date (as defined in the Notes) was extended from June 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017 and that the conversion price per share of the Notes was reduced from $5.60 per share of common stock to $5.00 per share of common stock. In addition, we reduced the purchase price (as defined in the Warrants) from $8.40 per share to $5.00 per share of common stock. In connection with these modifications, each of the investors signed a Consent and Waiver providing its consent under certain restrictive provisions, and waiving certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under a Securities Purchase Agreement dated June 23, 2015, (the “2015 SPA”) to which we, the investors and certain other investors are parties, in order to facilitate an at-the-market equity program (see Note 6).

 

The Amendments also increase the principal amount of the Notes to $692,811 (in the aggregate) to (i) include accrued and unpaid interest through June 15, 2016, and (ii) increase the principal amount by $80,000 (in the aggregate) as an extension fee for the extended maturity date of the Notes. With respect to each Note, we entered into an Allonge to Convertible Promissory Note (each, an “Allonge”) reflecting the changes in the principal amount, Maturity Date and conversion price of the Note.

 

We also issued to the investors new warrants (the “New Warrants”) to purchase an aggregate of 30,000 shares of common stock with a Purchase Price (as defined in the New Warrants) of $5.00 per share of common stock. We issued the New Warrants in substantially the same form as the prior Warrants, and the New Warrants will expire on November 6, 2019, the same date on which the prior Warrants will expire.

 

 

 

 F-15 

 

 

The modification of the Notes was evaluated under FASB Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic No. 470-50-40, “Debt Modification and Extinguishments” (“ASC 470-50-40”). Therefore, according to the guidance, the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. As a result, we recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $536,889 and recognized an extension fee expense of $80,000, which are included in other (income) expenses in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations. The debt extinguishment is comprised from the fair value of prior warrants issued in connection with the Notes of $287,676, as well as $325,206 related to beneficial conversion feature and offset by debt discount of $75,993. The beneficial conversion feature is a result of the effective conversion price of the new Notes being less than the market price of the underlying common stock on the date of modification.

 

Third Amendment and Extension of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

In connection with the issuance of the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes, the conversion price of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes was reduced from $5.00 to $4.00 per share and the expiration date of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes was extended from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.

 

The modification of the Notes was evaluated under ASC 470-50-40 and the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. As a result, we recorded a gain on debt extinguishment of $58,691, which is included in other (income) expenses in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations. The recording of the modified Notes resulted in a beneficial conversion of $233,748 which is the result of the effective conversion price of the new Notes being less than the market price of the underlying common stock on the date of modification.

  

June 2017 Amendment to the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

In June 2017, we agreed with the holders of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes to an extension of the expiration dates of the notes from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share. The modification of the Notes was evaluated under ASC 470-50-40 and the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. Under the extinguishment accounting we recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $178,655 and recalculated a revised debt discount on the notes.

 

The following table shows the changes to the principal balance of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes:

 

Activity in the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes
Initial principal balance  $527,780 
Increase in principal balance under the second amendment (see above)   165,031 
Conversions during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017   (80,000)
Balance as of March 31, 2017 & March 31, 2018  $612,811 

  

DECEMBER 2016 10% CONVERTIBLE NOTES

 

In December 2016, we entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “Securities Purchase Agreement”) with two accredited investors (collectively, the “Holders”), pursuant to which the Holders purchased an aggregate of $680,400 principal amount of Notes (inclusive of due diligence fee of $30,000 deemed paid as a subscription amount in the form of a Note in the principal amount of $32,400) for an aggregate cash subscription amount of $600,000 and (b) warrants to purchase 127,575 shares of Common Stock (collectively, the “Warrants”).

 

The Notes bear interest at the rate of 10% per annum, and the principal amount and all accrued and unpaid interest thereon is convertible into shares of our common stock at a $4.00 per share conversion price, which is subject to customary adjustment provisions for stock splits, dividends, recapitalizations and the like. The Notes mature on July 1, 2018 and are subject to customary and usual terms for events of default and the like. Each Holder has contractually agreed to restrict its ability to convert its Note such that the number of shares of the Common Stock held by the Holder and its affiliates after such exercise does not exceed 4.99% of our then issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock.

 

 

 

 F-16 

 

 

The Warrants issued to the Holders are exercisable for a period of five years from the date of issuance at an exercise price of $4.50, subject to adjustment. A Holder may exercise a Warrant by paying the exercise price in cash or by exercising the Warrant on a cashless basis. In the event a Holder exercises a Warrant on a cashless basis, we will not receive any proceeds. The exercise price of the Warrants is subject to customary adjustments provision for stock splits, stock dividends, recapitalizations and the like. Each Holder has contractually agreed to restrict its ability to exercise its Warrant such that the number of shares of the Common Stock held by the Holder and its affiliates after such exercise does not exceed 4.99% of our then issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock.

 

The estimated relative fair value of Warrants issued in connection with the Notes was recorded as a debt discount and is being amortized as additional interest expense over the term of the underlying debt. We recorded debt discount of $232,718 based on the relative fair value of these Warrants. In addition, as the effective conversion price of the Notes was less than market price of the underlying common stock on the date of issuance, we recorded an additional debt discount of $262,718 related to the beneficial conversion feature. We also recorded deferred financing costs of $102,940, which was composed of an 8% original issue discount of $50,400, a $30,000 due diligence fee (which was paid in the form of a note), $22,500 in legal fees, and a $40 bank charge. The combination of the above items led to a combined discount against the convertible notes of $598,376.

 

June 2017 Amendment to the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes

 

In June 2017, we agreed with the holders of the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes to an extension of the expiration dates of the notes from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share. The modification of the notes was evaluated under ASC 470-50-40 and the instruments were determined to be substantially different, and the transaction qualified for extinguishment accounting. Under the extinguishment accounting we recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $198,254 and recalculated a revised debt discount on the notes.

 

The following table shows the changes to the principal balance of the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes:

 

Activity in the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes
Initial principal balance  $680,400 
Conversions during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018   (300,620)
Balance as of March 31, 2018  $379,780 

  

5. EQUITY TRANSACTIONS

 

ISSUANCES OF COMMON STOCK AND WARRANTS

 

Equity Transactions in the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2018.

 

Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright

 

On June 28, 2016, we entered into a Common Stock Sales Agreement (the “Agreement”) with H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“H.C. Wainwright”) which establishes an at-the-market equity program pursuant to which we may offer and sell shares of our common stock from time to time as set forth in the Agreement. The Agreement provides for the sale of shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $12,500,000 (the “Shares”).

 

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement, H.C. Wainwright will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices to sell the Shares from time to time, based upon our instructions. We have provided H.C. Wainwright with customary indemnification rights, and H.C. Wainwright will be entitled to a commission at a fixed rate equal to three percent (3.0%) of the gross proceeds per Share sold. In addition, we have agreed to pay certain expenses incurred by H.C. Wainwright in connection with the Agreement, including up to $50,000 of the fees and disbursements of their counsel. The Agreement will terminate upon the sale of all of the Shares under the Agreement unless terminated earlier by either party as permitted under the Agreement.

  

Sales of the Shares, if any, under the Agreement shall be made in transactions that are deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions, including on the Nasdaq Capital Market, at market prices or as otherwise agreed with H.C. Wainwright. We have no obligation to sell any of the Shares, and, at any time, we may suspend offers under the Agreement or terminate the Agreement.

 

 

 

 F-17 

 

 

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we raised aggregate net proceeds of $2,104,968 (net of $65,280 in commissions to H.C. Wainwright and $5,748 in other offering expenses) under this agreement through the sale of 941,504 shares at an average price of $2.24 per share of net proceeds.

 

October 2017 Public Offering

 

On October 4, 2017, we consummated a public offering of 5,454,546 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5,454,546 shares of common stock, for total gross proceeds of $6.0 million. The offering was priced at $1.10 per unit with each unit comprised of one share of common stock and one common stock purchase warrant. Neither the warrants nor the units are listed on an exchange and therefore do not trade. The warrants carry a five-year term with an exercise price of $1.10 per share. The net proceeds of the offering were $5,289,735. H.C. Wainwright & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent for the offering.

 

Warrant Exercises

 

In fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, investors that participated in the October 2017 Public Offering exercised 2,160,350 warrants for aggregate cash proceeds to us of $2,233,802 before expenses.

 

Restricted Shares Issued for Services

 

During the nine months ended December 31, 2017, we issued 15,000 shares of restricted common stock at a price of $2.24 per share, the market price at time of issuance, in payment for investor relations consulting services valued at $33,600 based on the grant date closing market price of our common stock.

 

Share for Warrant Exchanges

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we agreed with two individual investors to exchange 11,497 restricted shares for the cancellation of 22,993 warrants and we entered into an Exchange Agreement with two institutional investors under which we issued 57,844 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 77,125 warrants held by those investors. We also agreed with those institutional investors that they would extend the expiration dates of convertible notes held by those investors from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 in exchange for the reduction of the conversion price of those notes from $4.00 per share to $3.00 per share (see Note 5).

 

Additionally, we entered into an agreement with a former placement agent to issue 5,500 restricted shares in exchange for the cancellation of 11,000 warrants held by that placement agent. We measured the fair value of the shares issued and the fair value of the warrants exchanged for those shares and recorded losses for each of those exchanges based on the changes in fair value between the instruments exchanged. Based upon the fair value of the shares issued and warrants exchanged, we recorded a loss of $130,215 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 for all of the above share for warrant exchanges.

 

Stock Option Issuances

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we issued options to four of our employees to purchase 34,500 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $1.68 per share, the closing price on the date of the approval of the option grants by our compensation committee (see Note 9).

 

Termination of Restricted Share Grant

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we terminated a previously recorded but unissued share issuance of 68,000 shares under a fully vested restricted stock grant to our CEO and issued to him 32,674 shares as a net settlement of shares and the Company paid the withholding taxes associated with that share issuance in return for the cancellation of 35,326 shares. The compensation cost of that restricted stock grant had been fully recorded over prior fiscal years, therefore no expense was recorded regarding this net issuance.

 

 

 

 F-18 

 

 

Restricted Stock Unit Grants to Directors and Executive Officers

 

On August 9, 2016, our Board of Directors granted RSUs to certain of our officers and directors and during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, 168,309 additional RSUs were granted to our directors pursuant to the 2012 Non-Employee Directors Compensation Program. The RSUs represent the right to be issued on a future date shares of our common stock for vested RSUs.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 184,500 vested RSUs held by our executives were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As our executives elected to net settle a portion of their RSU’s in exchange for the Company paying the related withholding taxes on the share issuance, 97,238 of the RSUs were cancelled and we issued a net 87,262 shares to our executives (see Note 9).

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, 168,309 RSUs held by our outside directors were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock. As three of our four outside directors elected to return 40% of their RSUs in exchange for cash in order to pay their withholding taxes on the share issuances, 44,983 of the RSUs were cancelled and we paid $52,998 in cash to those outside directors (see Note 9).

 

Equity Transactions in the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2017.

 

Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright

  

In July 2016, we commenced sales of common stock under our Common Stock Sales Agreement with H.C. Wainwright. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we raised aggregate net proceeds of $955,206 (net of $29,831 in commissions to H.C. Wainwright and $9,432 in other offering expenses) under this agreement through the sale of 216,078 shares at an average price of $4.42 per share of net proceeds.

  

Warrant Issuances in July 2016

 

In July 2016, we issued an aggregate of 2,660 shares of common stock to three investors upon the exercise of previously issued warrants. The warrants were exercised on a cashless or “net” basis. Accordingly, we did not receive any proceeds from such exercises. The cashless exercise of such warrants resulted in the cancellation of previously issued warrants to purchase an aggregate of 19,563 shares of common stock.

 

Restricted Stock Unit Grants to Directors and Executive Officers

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, 149,864 Restricted Stock Units (“RSUs”) held by our outside directors and executive officers were exchanged into the same number of shares of our common stock (see Stock-Based Compensation below).

 

Amendment of Warrants Issued in Conjunction with the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes

 

Under the Second Amendment and Extension of the November 2014 10% Convertible Notes dated June 27, 2016 (See Note 4), we reduced the purchase price of 47,125 Warrants from $8.40 per share to $5.00 per share.

 

We also issued to the investors new warrants to purchase an aggregate of 30,000 shares of common stock with a purchase price of $5.00 per share of common stock. We issued the new warrants in substantially the same form as the prior Warrants, and the new warrants will expire on November 6, 2019, the same date on which the prior warrants will expire (See Note 4).

 

 

 

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Amendment of December 2014 Warrants

 

On June 27, 2016, we and certain investors (the “Unit Investors”) entered into Consent and Waiver and Amendment agreements (the “CWAs”), relating to an aggregate of 264,000 Warrants to Purchase Common Stock (the “Unit Warrants”) we had issued to the Unit Investors on December 2, 2014 pursuant to a Securities Purchase Agreement dated November 26, 2014 (the “2014 SPA”). In the CWAs, each of the Unit Investors provided its consent under certain restrictive provisions, and waived certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under the 2014 SPA in order to facilitate the at-the-market equity program described above. Pursuant to the CWAs, we reduced the Exercise Price (as defined in the Unit Warrants) from $15.00 per share of common stock to $5.00 per share of common stock. At any time that the shares of common stock underlying the Unit Warrants are covered by an effective registration statement that permits the public resale of the shares, if the Unit Investors exercise the Unit Warrants, they must do so by a cash exercise, which could yield up to $1,320,000 in proceeds to us.

 

On June 27, 2016, each of the Unit Investors also entered into a Consent and Waiver providing its consent under certain provisions, and waiving certain rights, including a right to participate in certain offerings made by us, under the 2015 SPA in order to facilitate the at-the-market equity program described above.

 

In accordance with applicable GAAP for warrant modifications, we measured the change in fair value that arose from the reduction in exercise price and recognized an expense of $345,841, which is included in other (income) expenses in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations.

 

Warrants Issued in Conjunction with the December 2016 10% Convertible Notes

 

On December 30, 2016, we entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “Securities Purchase Agreement”) with two accredited investors (collectively, the “Holders”), pursuant to which the Purchasers purchased an aggregate of $680,400 principal amount of Notes (inclusive of due diligence fee of $30,000 deemed paid as a subscription amount in the form of a Note in the principal amount of $32,400) for an aggregate cash subscription amount of $600,000 and (b) warrants to purchase 127,575 shares of Common Stock (collectively, the “Warrants”) (See Note 4).

 

The Warrants issued to the Holders are exercisable for a period of five years from the date of issuance at an exercise price of $4.50, subject to adjustment. A Holder may exercise a Warrant by paying the exercise price in cash or by exercising the Warrant on a cashless basis. In the event a Holder exercises a Warrant on a cashless basis, we will not receive any proceeds. The exercise price of the Warrants is subject to customary adjustments provision for stock splits, stock dividends, recapitalizations and the like. Each Holder has contractually agreed to restrict its ability to exercise its Warrant such that the number of shares of the Common Stock held by the Holder and its affiliates after such exercise does not exceed 4.99% of our then issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock.

 

The estimated relative fair value of Warrants issued in connection with the Notes was recorded as a debt discount and is amortized as additional interest expense over the term of the underlying debt. We recorded debt discount of $232,718 based on the relative fair value of these Warrants.

 

MARCH 2017 EQUITY FINANCING

 

On March 22, 2017, we entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with certain institutional investors (the “Investors”) for the sale of 575,000 shares (the “Common Shares”) of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share (the “Common Stock”), at a purchase price of $3.50 per share, in a registered direct offering. Concurrently with the sale of the Common Shares, pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, we also sold in a private placement warrants to purchase 575,000 shares of Common Stock (the “Warrants”). The aggregate gross proceeds for the sale of the Common Shares and Warrants will be approximately $2 million. Subject to certain ownership limitations, the Warrants will be initially exercisable commencing six months from the issuance date at an exercise price equal to $3.95 per share of Common Stock, subject to adjustments as provided under the terms of the Warrants. The Warrants will be exercisable for five years from the initial exercise date.

 

The net proceeds to us from the transactions, after deducting the placement agent’s fees and expenses (not including the Wainwright Warrants, as defined below), our estimated offering expenses, and excluding the proceeds, if any, from the exercise of the Warrants, were $1,804,250. We intend to use the net proceeds from the transactions for general corporate purposes.

 

 

 

 F-20 

 

 

The Common Shares (but not the Warrants or shares issuable upon exercise of the Warrant) were sold by us pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement on Form S-3, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on May 5, 2016 and subsequently declared effective on May 12, 2016 (File No. 333-211151) (the “Registration Statement”), and the base prospectus dated as of May 12, 2016 contained therein. We filed a prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus with the SEC in connection with this sale of the Common Shares.

 

The purchase agreement also covered the exchange of 264,000 warrants issued to the purchasers thereunder in December 2014 for 198,000 shares of our common stock. Further, in exchange for certain waivers given by the purchasers and certain other investors in a private placement of the Company in June 2015, the warrants issued in such private placement were amended to (i) reduce the exercise price to $3.95 per share, (ii) make the warrants non-exercisable for a period of six months from the date of amendment, and (iii) extend the term of those warrants by six months. As all of these warrant-related elements were integral to the March 2017 Equity Financing, we accounted for all of these elements as adjustments to additional paid-in capital.

 

The Warrants and the shares issuable upon exercise of the Warrants were sold and issued without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) in reliance on the exemptions provided by Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act as transactions not involving a public offering and Rule 506 promulgated under the Securities Act as sales to accredited investors, and in reliance on similar exemptions under applicable state laws.

 

We also entered into an engagement letter (the “Engagement Letter”) with Rodman & Renshaw, a unit of H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“Rodman”), pursuant to which Rodman agreed to serve as exclusive placement agent for the issuance and sale of the Common Shares and Warrants. We paid Rodman an aggregate fee equal to 6% of the gross proceeds received by us from the sale of the securities in the transactions. Pursuant to the Engagement Letter, we also agreed to grant to Rodman or its designees warrants to purchase up to 3% of the aggregate number of shares sold in the transaction (the “Rodman Warrants”). The Engagement Letter has a nine month tail and right of first offer periods, indemnity and other customary provisions for transactions of this nature. The Rodman Warrants have substantially the same terms as the Warrants, except that the exercise price is 125% of $3.50. We also paid Rodman a reimbursement for non-accountable expenses in the amount of $50,000.

  

WARRANTS:

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, we issued 5,618,182 warrants, including 163,636 warrants issued to the placement agent, H.C. Wainwright & Co., in connection with our October 2017 Public Offering (see Note 6). Those warrants have a five year term and have an exercise price of $1.10 per share.

 

The following outlines the significant weighted average assumptions used to estimate the fair value information presented, with respect to warrants utilizing the Binomial Lattice option pricing models, issued during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018:

 

Risk free interest rate   1.38% - 1.92% 
Average expected life   5 years 
Expected volatility   100.2% - 111.1% 
Expected dividends   None 

 

Based on the above assumptions, we valued the warrants issued during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 as follows:

 

  · The 5,618,182 warrants issued in our October 2017 Public Offering were valued at $3,988,909 and we classified that fair value as equity.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we issued warrants in connection with three financing arrangements. The first warrant issuance during the fiscal year was the issuance of 30,000 warrants with an exercise price of $5.00 per share in June 2016. Those 30,000 warrants were issued in connection with the Amendment of November 2014 Investment Documents (see Note 4).

 

The second warrant issuance was the issuance of 127,575 warrants with an exercise price of $4.50 per share in December 2016. Those 127,575 warrants were issued in connection with the issuance of our December 2016 10% Convertible Notes (see Note 4).

 

 

 

 F-21