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EX-32.2 - Vitality Biopharma, Inc.ex32-2.htm
EX-32.1 - Vitality Biopharma, Inc.ex32-1.htm
EX-31.2 - Vitality Biopharma, Inc.ex31-2.htm
EX-31.1 - Vitality Biopharma, Inc.ex31-1.htm
EX-23.1 - Vitality Biopharma, Inc.ex23-1.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

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

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 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 No. 000-53832

 

VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

 

Nevada   75-3268988

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

 

1901 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor    
Los Angeles, California 90067   (530) 231-7800
(Address of principal executive office, including zip code)   (Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
     
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:   Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None   Common Stock, $0.001 par value

 

Indicate by check mark whether 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 (§232.405 of this chapter) 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 whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer [  ] Accelerated filer [  ] Non-accelerated filer [X] 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]

 

As of September 30, 2019, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $4,091,568, based on the closing price of $0.12 for the registrant’s common stock as quoted on the OTC Markets Group’s OTCQB tier (“OTCQB”) on that date. For purposes of this calculation, it has been assumed that shares of common stock held by each director, each officer and each person who owns 10% or more of the registrant’s outstanding common stock are held by affiliates. The treatment of these persons as affiliates for purposes of this calculation is not conclusive as to whether such persons are, in fact, affiliates of the registrant.

 

As of June 26, 2020, there were 50,840,147 shares of the registrant’s common stock, $0.001 par value per share, outstanding.

 

 

 

 
 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page
PART I  
Item 1. Business 4
Item 1A. Risk Factors 9
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 26
Item 2. Properties 26
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 26
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 26
   
PART II  
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 27
Item 6. Selected Financial Data 28
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 29
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 34
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 34
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 34
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 34
Item 9B. Other Information 35
   
PART III  
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 36
Item 11. Executive Compensation 38
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 40
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 41
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services 42
   
PART IV  
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 43
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary 43

 

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This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements relate to expectations concerning matters that are not historical facts, and are generally identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “strategy”, “may”, “will likely” and similar words or phrases. A forward-looking statement is neither a prediction nor a guarantee of future events or circumstances, and our actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this annual report are all based on currently available market, operating, financial and competitive information and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties may include, without limitation, risks related to general economic and business conditions; our ability to continue as a going concern; our ability to obtain financing necessary to operate our business; our limited operating history; our ability to recruit and retain qualified personnel; our ability to manage any future growth; our ability to research and successfully develop our planned products; our ability to successfully complete potential acquisitions and collaborative arrangements; and other factors including those set forth below under the caption “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7, and elsewhere in this annual report, as well as in the other reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement for any reason.

 

Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to “we,” “our,” “us,” “Vitality Biopharma,” and the “Company” in this annual report refer to Vitality Biopharma, Inc., a Nevada corporation and our consolidated subsidiaries. We do not currently hold any trademarks, and all trademarks used in this annual report are the property of their respective owners.

 

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PART I

 

Item 1. Business

 

Company Overview

 

Unless otherwise provided in this Annual Report, references to the “Company,” “we,” “us”, and “our” refer to Vitality Biopharma, Inc., a Nevada corporation formed on June 29, 2007 and formerly known as Legend Mining Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. On October 10, 2011, we completed a merger with our wholly-owned subsidiary, Stevia First Corp., whereby we changed our name from “Legend Mining Inc.” to “Stevia First Corp.” On July 15, 2016, our Board of Directors and shareholders approved a name change to Vitality Biopharma, Inc.

 

Vitality Biopharma is a company focused on the advancement of pharmaceuticals and innovative technologies that improve the lives of patients. We seek to achieve this objective through the development of novel cannabinoid pharmaceutical prodrugs known as cannabosides. We conduct our operations using our own personnel and facilities with the support of third-party resources to advance our drug development programs.

 

Our cannabosides are cannabinoid-glycoside prodrugs, which were discovered through application of the Company’s proprietary enzymatic bioprocessing technologies, that are converted within the body after administration from an inactive molecule into a pharmacologically active drug. Currently, the Company has produced more than 25 novel cannabosides, including glycosylated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabinol (CBN), that are covered by worldwide patent applications for composition of matter, method of production and method of use.

 

Our corporate headquarters is located in Los Angeles, California. As of June 26, 2020, we employed five full-time employees, including three research professionals working in our office and laboratory space in Rocklin, California. We also have engaged the services of scientific and regulatory consultants to assist in our research and development activities, which is an approach that provides us with flexible and highly-experienced resources to advance our clinical efforts while maintaining a relatively lower overhead cost structure.

 

Cannaboside Prodrugs

 

A prodrug is a compound that, after administration, is metabolized into a pharmacologically active drug. Prodrugs are often designed to improve drug properties and reduce known or expected toxicities and adverse side effects. By using our proprietary enzymatic bioprocessing technologies, our clinical research team has developed a novel family of prodrugs by combining cannabinoid and glucose molecules. The resulting compounds, known as cannabosides, have unique commercial applications and patentable compositions of matter, which are separate and distinct from ordinary cannabinoids. The advantages of cannabosides may include: (i) administration in a convenient oral formulation, (ii) targeted delivery with release in the colon or large intestine, (iii) improved stability with limited degradation or drug metabolism, and (iv) delayed release enabling longer-lasting effects and fewer administrations by patients.

 

Our proprietary glycosylation process, which results in adding one or more glucose molecules to compounds, may enable our new cannabosides to act as prodrugs that achieve targeted delivery of the bioactive compounds of cannabinoids to the gastrointestinal tract. Glycosylated compounds are generally more stable and are water soluble, so upon ingestion, we believe they will remain intact and transit through the esophagus, stomach and upper intestine with limited absorption or degradation from stomach acids. However, once the glycosylated compounds reach the lower intestine, we expect them to encounter glycoside hydrolase enzymes secreted by the human intestinal microbiota that will cleave the polar glucose residues and release the active cannabinoid compound primarily in the large intestine or colon.

 

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We have focused our research and development activities on the glycosylation of cannabinoids given their well-known positive effects on the human endocannabinoid system. Our research and development activities originally focused on the glycosylation of CBD and then later expanded into the glycosylation of THC. The use of the cannabinoid THC has been shown to provide substantial anti-inflammatory benefits on the human body, among other benefits, but is limited as a pharmaceutical option given its psychoactive and intoxicating properties. However, by glycosylating THC, we have learned through initial animal studies that the binding of glucose and THC molecules restricts the release of THC into the body’s digestive system until the prodrug reaches the large intestine, at which point the glycoside hydrolase enzymes cleave the glucose from the prodrug and the THC is released in a targeted and restricted manner. Further, we have learned through our initial animal studies that this targeted release of THC, which could be provided in very low doses to achieve physiologically beneficial results, serves as an anti-inflammatory agent in the lower gastrointestinal tract and minimizes the amount of THC absorbed into the blood stream, therefore avoiding the psychoactive and intoxicating properties that hinder the broader pharmaceutical use of THC.

 

We are developing our THC-glycoside prodrugs for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because of the targeted release described previously. IBD is a frequently chronic inflammatory condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed from an overactive immune response. The disease can lead to irreversible damage to the gastrointestinal tract and may require surgery to remove affected areas of the intestine. Two major forms of the disease are Crohn’s disease, which can affect any part of the digestive system, and ulcerative colitis, which often affects the colon or large intestine. The disease is often unpredictable with periods of painful and debilitating symptoms followed by periods of remission with limited symptoms. IBS has similar symptoms to IBD, including abdominal pain, but the underlying disease process is quite different. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that commonly affects the large intestine and is characterized by abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and pain. Currently, patients suffering from IBD are frequently prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids, biologics and immunosuppressants, and patients suffering from IBS are prescribed antibiotics, antidepressants and gastrointestinal motility compounds, all of which often result in unwanted side effects.

 

Our most promising THC-glycoside (VBX-100) is being developed as an oral prodrug for the treatment of IBD and IBS. VBX-100 was selected from our THC-glycoside portfolio for compatibility with commercial production techniques and the optimal prodrug delivery profile that maximizes intestinal anti-inflammatory properties while minimizing psychoactive or intoxicating effects. Initial pre-clinical studies on the efficacy of VBX-100 in animal models have shown favorable outcomes, including reduced inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and no measurable systemic THC found in tissue examined using highly-sensitive testing equipment. Our pre-clinical development plan, which includes dose range finding studies, GLP toxicology studies, pharmacokinetic studies and other pre-clinical research, is anticipated to be completed during the 2nd half of calendar year 2021, subject to the Company securing sufficient additional funding or entering into a strategic partnership. After our satisfactory completion of all of the prerequisite pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies, an Investigational New Drug (IND) application would be filed with the FDA and, upon receiving FDA approval, we would initiate our Phase 1 clinical trial, subject to the Company securing sufficient additional funding or entering into a strategic partnership.

 

In addition to our research and development activities related to our THC-glycoside compounds, we are expanding and diversifying our research and development activities to include the potential safety, efficacy and commercialization of our patented CBD-glycoside compounds. CBD has well-known anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, but unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating. By glycosylating CBD, we can create CBD-glucose compounds that may enable a targeted and concentrated delivery of CBD in the gastrointestinal tract. Currently we are evaluating the optimal CBD-glycoside delivery mechanism, which may include an aqueous drink formulation since our glycosylation process significantly improves the water solubility of the CBD molecule.

 

Enzymatic Processing Methods

 

The Company originally developed its proprietary enzymatic bioprocessing technologies to attach glucose molecules to the molecules of stevia as part of our activities in the stevia processing industry. We then expanded the application of this proprietary technology to attach glucose molecules to cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. We may pursue additional opportunities to develop new products or license this technology.

 

5
 

 

Government Regulation

 

Due to our development of pharmaceutical products, we are subject to extensive regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal, state, and local agencies. Also, since we are researching and developing cannabinoid-based products, we are subject to regulation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). If we expand our clinical research, product development or commercialization activities outside of the United States in the future, we anticipate that we would then be subject to additional regulation by the applicable foreign jurisdictions and governing bodies, which may have different requirements.

 

The FDA is the main regulatory body that controls pharmaceutical and biologic drugs in the United States, with additional layers of regulation from other federal, state and local agencies. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act governs most of the requirements for the development and marketing of our pharmaceutical products. The FDA’s drug approval process is extensive, generally including: pre-clinical animal studies of drug safety, efficacy and dosing, submission and approval of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, clinical studies in humans to determine safety, efficacy and dosing (Phase 1 – 3 studies), submission and approval of a New Drug Application (NDA), and additional post-approval requirements. Failure to comply with any FDA-requirements may result in the FDA refusing to approve our application.

 

The DEA establishes procedures and monitors research and development activities of “controlled substances” subject to the Controlled Substances Act. Our research and development activities focus on cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD derived from the cannabis plant, which the DEA has classified as Schedule I substances. Schedule I substances are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. In May 2019, the DEA informed us that it had determined that they consider our VBX-100 prodrug a Schedule I substance. As a result, any developing, testing, manufacturing, or clinical studies involving our VBX-100 prodrug, and by inference potentially all of our THC-glycoside molecules, are required to be properly licensed by the DEA and adhere to strict diversion control standards. Our current research and development efforts involving our THC-glycoside molecules are conducted at our Rocklin laboratory, which holds a DEA-issued Controlled Substance Registration Certificate for “Research” that expires on May 31, 2021 and is renewable on an annual basis. Our research and development activities are also approved by and operated in compliance with the State of California’s Research Advisory Panel, which is a division of the California Department of Justice that oversees research performed within the state using DEA Schedule I and II substances.

 

Orphan Drug Designation

 

In January 2018, we filed a request with the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) for an Orphan Drug Designation of our VBX-100 prodrug for the treatment of pediatric ulcerative colitis. In March 2018, the OOPD denied our request based, in part, on the FDA’s decision to no longer grant Orphan Drug Designation status to drugs for pediatric subpopulations of common diseases (i.e., diseases or conditions with an overall prevalence of over 200,000), unless the use of the drug in the pediatric subpopulation meets the regulatory criteria for an orphan subset, or the disease in the pediatric subpopulation is considered a different disease from the disease in the adult population.

 

However, in December 2019, we received a letter from the OOPD informing us that the FDA has determined that the Company may be eligible for pediatric-subpopulation designation because we submitted our original request for an Orphan Drug Designation before the guidance Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases was finalized in July 2018.

 

As a result, in May 2020, we filed a response letter with the OOPD addressing the other deficiencies noted in the Company’s original submission in January 2018, which included, among other things (1) support for the prevalence of pediatric ulcerative colitis; (2) our scientific rationale for the specific animal models used in our pre-clinical animal studies; and (3) more comprehensive supporting documentation for the use of VBX-100 in pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis. As of the date of the filing of this annual report, we have not received feedback from the OOPD on our response letter seeking to be granted an Orphan Drug Designation status for our VBX-100 prodrug.

 

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Intellectual Property

 

In September 2015, we filed our first provisional U.S. patent application entitled “Cannabinoid Glycoside Prodrugs and Methods of Synthesis”, which described novel CBD-glycosides and THC-glycosides along with methods of production through enzymatic biosynthesis. In October 2015, we filed our second provisional U.S. patent application that added CBDV-glycosides as additional cannabisodes, plus added numerous methods of use claims for our cannabinoid-glycosides. In July 2016, we filed our third provisional U.S. patent application that greatly expanded on the cannabinoid substrates for glycosylation by adding (i) the phytocannabinoid cannabinol (CBN), (ii) the endocannabinoids anandamide, 2-AG, 1-AG, and synaptamide, and (iii) the vanilloids capsaicin, vanillin, and curcumin. In September 2016, one year after the filing of our first provisional patent, our non-provisional cannabinoid glycoside patent was filed, which included all prior material plus additional data derived from our ongoing research and laboratory studies. Also, in September 2016, we filed an expanded international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty system, which included 79 patent claims covering nearly 200 individual compounds, including our THC and CBD prodrugs. In March and April 2018, this application was filed for national and regional prosecution in major pharmaceutical markets worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

 

In May 2017, we filed a U.S. patent application entitled “Antimicrobial Compositions Comprising Cannabinoids and Methods of Using”, which described compositions and methods of use involving cannabinoid-glycosides that provide antimicrobial activity to treat microbial infections in the intestines, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections. In May 2018, one year after the filing of the provisional U.S. patent, we filed a non-provisional U.S. patent for the use of cannabinoid-glycosides to deliver cannabinoids to the gastrointestinal tract to treat C. diff infections.

 

In January 2020, the USPTO granted our first patent entitled “Kaurenoic Acid Glycoside Precursors and Methods of Synthesis”, which demonstrates the validity of our glycosylation platform to produce novel and patentable glycoside molecules and serves as a foundational building block for the Company’s subsequent research of glycosylated cannabinoids.

 

In March 2020, we filed an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty system entitled “Novel Cannabinoid Glycosides and Uses Thereof” that expands upon our 2016 patent filings covering glycosylated cannabinoids. Our new 2020 patent filings cover additional novel CBD and THC-glycosides and include research data supporting the improved characteristics and commercial production strategies for these new molecules.

 

We believe our intellectual property portfolio of cannabinoid-glycosides possess significant value and, as a result, we have allocated substantial resources to ensure that our U.S. and international patents are properly filed and successfully prosecuted. As our research efforts involving cannabinoid-glycosides continue to progress, we plan to develop and file additional patents to cover compositions of matter, methods of production and methods of use to further expand our growing family of intellectual property assets and create long-term value for our shareholders.

 

Competition

 

The Company operates in a highly competitive and dynamic market environment, frequently against much larger and better capitalized competitors. Currently, the Company’s cannabinoid prodrug development program competes against many well-capitalized, multinational pharmaceutical drug manufacturers that are developing, producing and marketing pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of IBD and IBS. Additionally, an increasing number of cannabinoid drug manufacturers are entering the market with cannabinoid-based drug development programs to treat a wide range of diseases, which could include IBD and IBS. Our expectation is that competition from traditional pharmaceutical drug developers and non-traditional cannabinoid-based drug developers will continue to increase over the next 12 months.

 

The Control Center

 

In October 2018, we acquired The Control Center, a Beverly Hills addiction clinic owned by Dr. Arif Karim, in connection with the Company’s plan to develop a clinical services business unit. In connection with this acquisition, we assembled a team of physicians, psychologists and other medical professionals in order to provide specialty care services to patients suffering from addiction and dependency issues, with a particular focus on the use of cannabinoids for opiate reduction treatment protocols. Unfortunately, due to the poor financial and operating performance of The Control Center following its acquisition, the Company decided to close The Control Center effective June 2019, and entered into agreements with Dr. Karim pursuant to which the Company paid $120,000 to Dr. Karim and the 1,450,000 shares of the Company’s common stock issued to Dr. Karim were cancelled.

 

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As of the date of this annual report, The Control Center had no assets, operations or employees, and its only remaining contractual obligation is a lease agreement with Douglas Emmett 2008, LLC for office space located at 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 228, Beverly Hills, California that expires on February 28, 2021.

 

Stock Relisting and Liquidity

 

On November 7, 2018, the SEC temporarily suspended the trading of the Company’s common stock on the OTCQB marketplace. The Company’s common stock resumed trading with limited liquidity on the grey market on November 21, 2018. Grey market stocks are not traded or quoted on an exchange or inter-dealer quotation system, but are reported by broker-dealers to their self-regulatory organization who, in turn, distribute the trade data to market data vendors and financial websites. Since the suspension of the Company’s common stock in November 2018, we have made relisting our common stock on the OTCQB or another national exchange a top corporate priority and, as a result, have expended significant resources to accomplish this critically-important goal.

 

On May 12, 2020, our outside legal counsel received a letter from the staff of the SEC’s Enforcement Division stating that it has concluded the investigation as to the Company, and that it did not intend to recommend an enforcement action by the SEC against the Company. As of result, the Company is currently working with a broker-dealer to file a Form 211 with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resume quotations on the OTCQB; however, there are no assurances that FINRA will accept our application and that the Company will resume trading in the ordinary course on the OTCQB.

 

Since inception, the Company has funded its operations primarily through equity and debt financings. However, it would currently be very challenging for the Company to raise significant capital through an equity financing because of our “grey market” trading status. Therefore, it is critical that the Company resumes trading status on the OTCQB or another national exchange in order to raise additional capital to fund our continued operations. If we cannot resume ordinary course trading status or raise additional capital, then we will be forced to delay, scale back or eliminate some or all of our operations, including our pre-clinical prodrug development initiatives for VBX-100. Although we cannot determine if and when a relisting would occur, we continue to actively pursue a relisting of our common stock and are fully committed to taking all steps necessary to successfully complete the relisting process and provide our Company with access to new capital through equity financings and higher levels of liquidity to execute on our corporate initiatives to create shareholder value.

 

Employees

 

As of June 26, 2020, we employed five full-time employees, including three research professional working in our office and laboratory space in Rocklin, California. We also have engaged the services of scientific and regulatory consultants to assist with our research and development activities, which is an approach that provides us with flexible and highly-experienced resources to advance our clinical efforts while maintaining a relatively lower and variable overhead cost structure.

 

Properties

 

Our corporate headquarters is a leased office located at 1901 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, California 90067. Our office and laboratory space at 2224A Sierra Meadows Drive, Rocklin, California 95677 requires a lease payment of approximately $2,500 per month under a lease agreement that expires on March 31, 2021. Prior to its closure in June 2019, The Control Center had operated in leased office space located at 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 228, Beverly Hills, California 90211, which requires a lease payment of approximately $11,500 per month, under a lease agreement that expires on February 28, 2021. We believe our current facilities are adequate to support our corporate strategy over the next 12 months.

 

Organizational History

 

We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Nevada on June 29, 2007 as Legend Mining Inc. On October 10, 2011, we completed a merger with our wholly-owned subsidiary, Stevia First Corp., whereby we changed our name from “Legend Mining Inc.” to “Stevia First Corp.” Also, on October 10, 2011, we effected a seven-for-one forward stock split of authorized, issued and outstanding common stock. As a result, our authorized capital was increased from 75,000,000 shares of common stock with a par value of $0.001 to 525,000,000 shares of common stock with a par value of $0.001, and issued and outstanding shares increased from 7,350,000 to 51,450,000.

 

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On July 15, 2016, the holders of a majority of our outstanding common stock and our Board of Directors approved (i) a corporate name change from Stevia First Corp. to Vitality Biopharma, Inc., (ii) a ten-for-one reverse stock split of our outstanding shares of common stock, and (iii) an increase in the number of authorized shares of common stock from 525,000,000 to 1,000,000,000. These changes became effective on July 20, 2016.

 

General Information

 

We maintain a corporate website at: www.vitality.bio. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference in this annual report. We file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and make available free-of-charge through our website our annual reports, quarterly reports, current reports, proxy and information statements and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act).

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

The following risk factors should be considered carefully in addition to the other information contained in this annual report. This annual report contains forward-looking statements. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and stock price could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks.

 

Risks Related to Our Business

 

We have a history of operating losses and expect to continue to incur losses and we may never become profitable.

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, the Company incurred a net loss of $4,365,355 and used $3,590,516 of cash in our operating activities. We have incurred losses since inception, resulting in an accumulated deficit of $46,546,858 as of March 31, 2020. We expect to incur further losses as we continue to develop our business. We have not yet received significant revenues from sales of products or services, and have recurring losses from operations, and further losses are anticipated in the development of our business.

 

We expect to incur substantial losses for the near future, and we may never achieve or maintain profitability. Even if we succeed in obtaining regulatory approval to market our products, we may still incur losses for the foreseeable future. We also expect to experience negative cash flow for the near future, as we plan to use all available resources to fund our operations and make significant capital expenditures. As a result, we would need to generate significant revenues if we are to achieve and maintain profitability. We may not be able to generate these revenues or achieve profitability. Our failure to achieve or maintain profitability could negatively impact the value of our common stock and you could lose some or all of your investment.

 

We will need to raise substantial additional capital to operate our business. If we cannot obtain the capital we need to continue our operations, our business could fail.

 

We will need to raise additional funds in order to continue operating our business beyond the near term. Since inception, we have primarily funded our operations through equity and debt financings. Our ability to raise capital is presently negatively impacted by the “grey market” trading status of our shares. If we do issue equity or convertible debt securities to raise additional funds, our existing stockholders may experience substantial dilution, and the new equity or debt securities may have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of our existing stockholders. If we incur additional debt, it would increase our leverage relative to our earnings or to our equity capitalization, requiring us to pay additional interest expenses. Obtaining commercial loans, assuming those loans would be available, would increase our liabilities and future cash commitments. If we pursue capital through alternative sources, such as collaborations or other similar arrangements, we may be forced to relinquish rights to our proprietary compounds, technology or other intellectual property or marketing rights, which could result in our receipt of only a portion of any revenue that may be generated from a partnered product or business. Moreover, regardless of the manner in which we seek to raise capital, we may incur substantial costs in those pursuits, including investment banking fees, legal fees, accounting fees, printing and distribution expenses and other related costs.

 

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Over the 12 months following March 31, 2020, we expect our total operating expenditures to be approximately $1,600,000. However, our estimate of total expenditures could increase if we encounter unanticipated difficulties. In addition, our estimates of the amount of cash necessary to fund our business may prove to be wrong and we could spend our available financial resources much faster than we currently expect. Further, our operational expenses may increase substantially during our current fiscal year if we pursue an expansion of our current operational goals and research and development activities. If we cannot raise the money that we need in order to continue to develop our business, we will be forced to delay, scale back or eliminate some or all of our proposed operations and/or forego other attractive business opportunities that may arise. If any of these were to occur, there is a substantial risk that our business would fail. Sources of additional funds may not be available on acceptable terms or at all. In addition, weak economic and capital market conditions could result in increased difficulties in raising capital for our operations. We may not be able to raise money through the sale of our equity securities or through borrowing funds on terms we find acceptable, or at all. If we cannot raise the funds that we need, we will be unable to continue our operations, and our stockholders could lose their entire investment in our company.

 

We currently face, and will continue to face, significant competition.

 

Our major competitors for the development of pharmaceutical products related to cannabinoids and inflammatory disorders include major pharmaceutical companies, smaller companies, and academic research groups that are devoted to biological or pharmaceutical research either independently or by providing contract research services. A number of multinational pharmaceutical companies are developing products in similar therapeutic areas, including, but not limited to, Biogen, Teva Neuroscience, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme, Novartis, Bayer Healthcare, and additional companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Corbus Pharmaceuticals, Trait Biosciences, and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals are developing cannabinoid pharmaceuticals for treatment of various clinical indications and commercial applications.

 

Our limited operating experience could make our operations inefficient or ineffective.

 

We are an early-stage company with only a limited operating history upon which to base an evaluation of our current business and future prospects and how we will respond to competitive, financial or technological challenges. In order to conserve our cash resources, we have significantly scaled back our product research and development efforts such that we are almost exclusively focused on pursing the orphan drug designation approval. We only recently commenced operations in the development of pharmaceutical products and have limited experience with these activities and the revenue and income potential of our business is unproven. In addition, because of our limited operating history, we have limited insight into trends that may emerge and affect our business, and limited experience responding to such trends. We may make errors in predicting and reacting to relevant business trends and we will be subject to the risks, uncertainties and difficulties frequently encountered by early-stage companies in evolving markets. We may not be able to successfully address any or all of these risks and uncertainties. Failure to adequately do so could cause our business, results of operations and financial condition to suffer or fail.

 

The coronavirus pandemic is adversely affecting and will continue to adversely affect our business.

 

The coronavirus pandemic is adversely affecting, and is expected to continue to adversely affect, our operations by limiting our employees’ ability to perform their jobs due to social distancing and other safety measures. In addition, since inception, the Company has funded its operations primarily through equity and debt financings. In the event that the coronavirus pandemic has an adverse financial effect on our potential sources of financing, our operations would be negatively affected. The coronavirus pandemic may also make it more difficult for us to pursue capital through alternative sources, such as collaborations or other similar arrangements, since we expect that many potential strategic partners are either suffering financially or operationally as a result of the coronavirus pandemic or are focused on the development of treatment therapies or vaccines for the coronavirus. The duration and breadth of the coronavirus pandemic is uncertain and, as a result, while we expect it to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operations, the ultimate impact cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.

 

We may not be able to manage our expansion of operations effectively.

 

Assuming we are able to attract additional capital, we may seek to expand our operations. To manage this growth, we may need to expand our facilities, augment our operational, financial and management systems and hire and train qualified personnel. Our management will also be required to develop relationships with customers, suppliers and other third parties. Our current and planned operations, personnel, systems, and internal procedures and controls may not be adequate to support our future growth. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, we may not be able to take advantage of market opportunities, execute our business strategies or respond to competitive pressures.

 

If we are unable to hire and retain qualified personnel, we may not be able to implement our business plan.

 

As of June 26, 2020, we employed five full-time employees, including three professionals dedicated to research and development. Attracting and retaining qualified scientific, management and other personnel will be critical to our success. There is intense competition for qualified personnel in our area of activities, and we may not be able to attract and retain the qualified personnel necessary for the development of our business. In addition, we may have difficulty recruiting necessary personnel as a result of our limited operating history. The loss of key personnel or the failure to recruit necessary additional personnel could impede the achievement of our business objectives.

 

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We may choose to hire part-time employees or use consultants. As a result, certain of our employees, officers, directors and consultants may from time to time serve as officers, directors and consultants of other companies. These other companies may have interests in conflict with ours. In addition, we expect to rely on independent organizations, advisors and consultants to provide certain services, including product testing and development plan construction. The services of these independent organizations, advisors and consultants may not be available to us on a timely basis when needed or on acceptable terms, and if they are not available, we may not be able to find qualified replacements. If we are unable to retain the services of qualified personnel, independent organizations, advisors and consultants, we may not be able to implement our business plan.

 

If we are unable to market and distribute our products effectively, we may be unable to generate significant revenue.

 

We currently have no sales, marketing or distribution capabilities. We intend to build these capabilities internally, as needed, and also to pursue collaborative arrangements regarding the sales and marketing of our products, including steps necessary to commercialize our pharmaceutical products. However, we may be unable to establish or maintain any such collaborative arrangements, or if able to do so, they may not provide us with the sales and marketing benefits we expect. To the extent that we decide not to, or are unable to, enter into successful collaborative arrangements with respect to the sales and marketing of our cannabinoid products, significant capital expenditures, management resources and time will be required to establish and develop an in-house marketing and sales force with appropriate expertise. We may be unable to establish or maintain relationships with third party collaborators or develop in-house sales and distribution capabilities. To the extent that we depend on third parties for marketing and distribution, any revenues we receive will depend upon the efforts of such third parties and there can be no assurance that such third parties will establish adequate sales and distribution capabilities or be successful in gaining market acceptance of any approved product. If we are not successful in commercializing any product approved in the future, either on our own or through third parties, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

 

We may seek orphan drug status for our products for the treatment of certain diseases or conditions, but we may be unable to obtain such designation or to maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug status, including market exclusivity, which may cause our revenue, if any, to be reduced.

 

Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and European Union, may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. The FDA may grant Orphan Drug Designation to drugs intended to treat a rare disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals annually in the United States, or, if the disease or condition affects more than 200,000 individuals annually in the United States, if there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making the drug would be recovered from sales in the United States. In the European Union, the EMA’s Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products grants Orphan Drug Designation to promote the development of products that are intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of life-threatening or chronically debilitating conditions affecting not more than five in 10,000 persons in the European Union. Additionally, designation is granted for products intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening, seriously debilitating or serious and chronic condition and when, without incentives, it is unlikely that sales of the drug in the European Union would be sufficient to justify the necessary investment in developing the drug.

 

In the United States, Orphan Drug Designation entitles a party to financial incentives, such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax credits for certain research and user fee waivers under certain circumstances. In addition, if a product receives the first FDA approval for the indication for which it has orphan designation, the product is entitled to seven years of market exclusivity, which means the FDA may not approve any other application for the same drug for the same indication for a period of seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority over the product with orphan exclusivity. Orphan drug exclusivity does not prevent the FDA from approving a different drug for the same disease or condition, or the same drug for a different disease or condition. In the European Union, Orphan Drug Designation also entitles a party to financial incentives such as reduction of fees or fee waivers and ten years of market exclusivity following drug approval. This period may be reduced to six years if the Orphan Drug Designation criteria are no longer met, including where it is shown that the product is sufficiently profitable so that market exclusivity is no longer justified.

 

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As a result, even if our products receive orphan exclusivity, the FDA or EMA can still approve other drugs that have a different active ingredient for use in treating the same indication. Furthermore, the FDA can waive orphan exclusivity if we are unable to manufacture sufficient supply of our products or the EMA could reduce the term of exclusivity if our products are sufficiently profitable.

 

In January 2018, we filed a request with the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) for an Orphan Drug Designation of our VBX-100 prodrug for the treatment of pediatric ulcerative colitis, which was denied in March 2018. However, in December 2019, we received a letter from the OOPD informing us that the FDA has determined that the Company may be eligible for pediatric-subpopulation designation because we submitted our original request for an Orphan Drug Designation before the guidance Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases was finalized in July 2018. In May 2020, we filed a response letter with the OOPD addressing the other deficiencies noted in the Company’s original submission in January 2018.

 

While we have sought orphan drug designation for our products, exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan designated indication and may be lost if the FDA or EMA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. In addition, we may never receive such designation, or there may be a delay in receiving such designation that would impact our expected timeframe for clinical development.

 

We are largely dependent on the success of our products, which are still in pre-clinical development and will require significant capital resources and years of clinical development effort.

 

We currently have no pharmaceutical products on the market, and our product candidates are still in pre-clinical development. Our business substantially depends on the successful clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of our product candidates, and additional pre-clinical testing and substantial clinical development and regulatory approval efforts will be required before we are permitted to commence commercialization, if ever. The clinical trials and manufacturing and marketing of product candidates will be subject to extensive and rigorous review and regulation by numerous government authorities in the United States and other jurisdictions where we intend to test and, if approved, market our product candidates. Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of any product candidate, we must demonstrate through pre-clinical testing and clinical trials that the product candidate is safe and effective for use in each target indication, and potentially in specific patient populations. This process can take many years and may include post-marketing studies and surveillance, which would require the expenditures of substantial resources beyond our current resources. Of the large number of drugs in development for approval in the United States and the European Union, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulatory approval processes, as applicable, and are commercialized. Accordingly, even if we are able to obtain the requisite financing to continue to fund our research, development and clinical programs, we are not certain that any of our product candidates will be successfully developed or commercialized.

 

Because the results of pre-clinical testing are not necessarily predictive of future results, our products may not have favorable results in our planned clinical trials.

 

Any positive results from our pre-clinical testing of our products may not necessarily be predictive of the results from our planned clinical trials in humans. Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in clinical trials after achieving positive results in pre-clinical development, and we cannot be certain that we will not face similar setbacks. Moreover, pre-clinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in pre-clinical studies and clinical trials nonetheless failed to obtain FDA or EMA approval. If we fail to produce positive results in our clinical trials, the development timeline and regulatory approval and commercialization prospects for our products and, correspondingly, our business and financial prospects, would be materially adversely affected.

 

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Failures or delays in the completion of our pre-clinical studies or the commencement and completion of our clinical trials could result in increased costs to us and could delay, prevent or limit our ability to generate revenue and continue our business.

 

To date, we have not completed our pre-clinical animal studies or commenced any clinical trials. Successful completion of such pre-clinical animal studies and clinical trials is a prerequisite to submitting an NDA to the FDA or a marketing authorization application (MAA) to the EMA. Clinical trials are expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete and their outcomes are uncertain. A product candidate can unexpectedly fail at any stage of clinical development. The historic failure rate for product candidates is high due to scientific feasibility, safety, efficacy, changing standards of medical care and other variables. The commencement and completion of clinical trials can be delayed or prevented for a number of reasons, including, among others:

 

● delays in reaching or failing to reach agreement on acceptable terms with prospective clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different clinical trial sites;

 

● delays or inability in manufacturing or obtaining sufficient quantity or quality of a product candidate or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials due to regulatory and manufacturing constraints, including delays or an inability to hire appropriate staff or consultants with requisite expertise in chemistry and manufacturing controls for pharmaceutical products;

 

● difficulties obtaining IRB, DEA or comparable foreign regulatory authority, or ethics committee approval to conduct a clinical trial at a prospective site or sites;

 

● challenges in recruiting and enrolling patients to participate in clinical trials, including the size and nature of the patient population, the proximity of patients to clinical trial sites, eligibility criteria for the clinical trial, the nature of the clinical trial protocol, the availability of approved effective treatments for the relevant indication and competition from other clinical trial programs for similar indications;

 

● severe or unexpected toxicities or drug-related side effects experienced by patients in our clinical trials or by individuals using drugs similar to our product candidates;

 

● DEA or comparable foreign regulatory authority-related recordkeeping, reporting or security violations at a clinical trial site, leading the DEA, state authorities or comparable foreign regulatory authorities to suspend or revoke the site’s controlled substance license and causing a delay or termination of planned or ongoing clinical trials;

 

● regulatory concerns with cannabinoid products generally and the potential for abuse of those products;

 

● difficulties retaining patients who have enrolled in a clinical trial who may withdraw due to lack of efficacy, side effects, personal issues or loss of interest;

 

● ambiguous or negative interim results; or

 

● lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial.

 

In addition, a clinical trial may be suspended or terminated by us, the FDA, IRBs, ethics committees, data safety monitoring board or other foreign regulatory authorities overseeing the clinical trial at issue or other regulatory authorities due to a number of factors, including, among others:

 

● failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical trial protocols;

 

● inspection of the clinical trial operations, clinical trial sites, or drug manufacturing facilities by the FDA, the DEA, the EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities that reveals deficiencies or violations that require us to undertake corrective action, including the imposition of a clinical hold;

 

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● unforeseen safety issues, including any safety issues that could be identified in our ongoing toxicology studies;

 

● adverse side effects or lack of effectiveness; and

 

● changes in government regulations or administrative actions.

 

We intend to focus on prodrugs for certain indications, and may fail to capitalize on other product candidates or other indications that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

 

Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we are focusing on research programs relating to our proprietary products for certain indications, which concentrates the risk of product failure in the event the products prove to be unsafe, ineffective or inadequate for clinical development or commercialization. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with other product candidates or for other indications that could later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on proprietary research and development programs relating to our products may not yield any commercially viable products. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for our products, we may relinquish valuable rights to our products through collaboration, licensing or other royalty arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to our products.

 

The regulatory approval processes of the FDA, the EMA and other comparable foreign regulatory authorities are lengthy, time-consuming and inherently unpredictable, and if we are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.

 

We are not permitted to market our product candidates in the United States or the European Union until we receive approval of an NDA from the FDA or an MAA from the EMA, respectively, or in any foreign countries until we receive the requisite approval from such countries. Prior to submitting an NDA to the FDA or an MAA to the EMA for approval of our product candidates we will need to complete our ongoing pre-clinical studies, as well as Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. We are still conducting pre-clinical studies and have not yet commenced our clinical program or tested any product in humans. We plan to submit NDAs for our products to the FDA upon completion of all requisite clinical trials. Successfully initiating and completing our clinical program and obtaining approval of an NDA or MAA is a complex, lengthy, expensive and uncertain process, and the FDA or EMA may delay, limit or deny approval of our product candidates for many reasons, including, among others, because:

 

● we may not be able to demonstrate that our product candidates are safe and effective in treating patients to the satisfaction of the FDA or EMA;

 

● the results of our clinical trials may not meet the level of statistical or clinical significance required by the FDA or EMA for marketing approval;

 

● the FDA or EMA may disagree with the number, design, size, conduct or implementation of our clinical trials;

 

● the FDA or EMA may require that we conduct additional clinical trials;

 

● the FDA or EMA or other applicable foreign regulatory authorities may not approve the formulation, labeling or specifications of our product candidates;

 

● the contract research organizations, or CROs, and other contractors that we may retain to conduct our clinical trials may take actions outside of our control that materially adversely impact our clinical trials;

 

● the FDA or EMA may find the data from pre-clinical studies and clinical trials insufficient to demonstrate that our products’ clinical and other benefits outweigh their safety risks;

 

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● the FDA or EMA may disagree with our interpretation of data from our pre-clinical studies and clinical trials;

 

● the FDA or EMA may not accept data generated at our clinical trial sites or may disagree with us over whether to accept efficacy results from clinical trial sites outside the United States where the standard of care is potentially different from that in the United States;

 

● if and when our NDAs or MAAs are submitted to the FDA or EMA, as applicable, the regulatory agency may have difficulties scheduling the necessary review meetings in a timely manner, may recommend against approval of our application or may recommend or require, as a condition of approval, additional pre-clinical studies or clinical trials, limitations on approved labeling or distribution and use restrictions;

 

● the FDA may require development of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), which would use risk minimization strategies beyond the professional labeling to ensure that the benefits of certain prescription drugs outweigh their risks, as a condition of approval or post-approval, and the EMA may grant only conditional approval or impose specific obligations as a condition for marketing authorization, or may require us to conduct post-authorization safety studies;

 

● the FDA, EMA, DEA or other applicable foreign regulatory agencies may not approve the manufacturing processes or facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract;

 

● the DEA or other applicable foreign regulatory agency may establish quotas that limit the quantities of controlled substances available to our manufacturers; or

 

● the FDA or EMA may change their approval policies or adopt new regulations.

 

Any of these factors, many of which are beyond our control, could jeopardize our ability to obtain regulatory approval for and successfully market our products.

 

Even if our products receive regulatory approval, they may still face future development and regulatory difficulties.

 

If we obtain regulatory approval for our products, such approval would be subject to extensive ongoing requirements by the DEA, FDA, EMA and other foreign regulatory authorities related to the manufacture, quality control, further development, labeling, packaging, storage, distribution, safety surveillance, import, export, advertising, promotion, recordkeeping and reporting of safety and other post-market information. The safety profile of any product will continue to be closely monitored by the FDA, EMA and other comparable foreign regulatory authorities. If the FDA, EMA or any other comparable foreign regulatory authority becomes aware of new safety information after approval of any of our product candidates, these regulatory authorities may require labeling changes or establishment of a REMS, impose significant restrictions on a product’s indicated uses or marketing, impose ongoing requirements for potentially costly post-approval studies or post-market surveillance, or impose a recall.

 

In addition, manufacturers of therapeutic products and their facilities are subject to continual review and periodic inspections by the FDA, the EMA and other comparable foreign regulatory authorities for compliance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) regulations. Our current facilities and full-time staff have never undergone such an inspection, and we currently rely upon outside consultants and advisors to provide guidance on chemistry and manufacturing controls for pharmaceuticals products. Further, manufacturers of controlled substances must obtain and maintain necessary DEA and state registrations and registrations with applicable foreign regulatory authorities, and must establish and maintain processes to ensure compliance with DEA and state requirements and requirements of applicable foreign regulatory authorities governing, among other things, the storage, handling, security, recordkeeping and reporting for controlled substances. If we or a regulatory agency discover previously unknown problems with a product, such as adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or problems with the facility where the product is manufactured, a regulatory agency may impose restrictions on that product, the manufacturing facility or us, including requiring recall or withdrawal of the product from the market or suspension of manufacturing. If we, our product candidates or the manufacturing facilities for our product candidates fail to comply with applicable regulatory requirements, a regulatory agency may, among other things:

 

● issue untitled letters or warning letters;

 

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● mandate modifications to promotional materials or require us to provide corrective information to healthcare practitioners;

 

● require us to enter into a consent decree, which can include imposition of various fines, reimbursements for inspection costs, required due dates for specific actions and penalties for noncompliance;

 

● seek an injunction or impose civil or criminal penalties or monetary fines;

 

● suspend or withdraw regulatory approval;

 

● suspend any ongoing clinical trials;

 

● refuse to approve pending applications or supplements to applications filed by us; or

 

● require us to initiate a product recall.

 

The occurrence of any event or penalty described above may inhibit our ability to commercialize our product candidates and may otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our products will be subject to controlled substance laws and regulations; failure to receive necessary approvals may delay the launch of our products and failure to comply with these laws and regulations may adversely affect the results of our business operations.

 

Our products will contain controlled substances as defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). Controlled substances that are pharmaceutical products are subject to a high degree of regulation under the CSA, which establishes, among other things, certain registration, manufacturing quotas, security, recordkeeping, reporting, import, export and other requirements administered by the DEA. The DEA classifies controlled substances into five schedules: Schedule I, II, III, IV or V substances. Schedule I substances by definition have a high potential for abuse, have no currently “accepted medical use” in the United States, lack accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and may not be prescribed, marketed or sold in the United States. Pharmaceutical products approved for use in the United States may be listed as Schedule II, III, IV or V, with Schedule II substances considered to present the highest potential for abuse or dependence and Schedule V substances the lowest relative risk of abuse among such substances. Schedule I and II drugs are subject to the strictest controls under the CSA, including manufacturing and procurement quotas, security requirements and criteria for importation. In addition, dispensing of Schedule II drugs is further restricted. For example, they may not be refilled without a new prescription.

 

While cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance, products approved for medical use in the United States that contain cannabis or cannabis extracts must be placed in Schedules II - V, since approval by the FDA satisfies the “accepted medical use” requirement. If and when our products receive FDA approval, the DEA will make a scheduling determination and place them in a schedule other than Schedule I in order for it to be prescribed to patients in the United States. If approved by the FDA, we expect the finished dosage forms of our products to be listed by the DEA as a Schedule II, III, IV or V controlled substance. Consequently, their manufacture, importation, exportation, domestic distribution, storage, sale and legitimate use will be subject to a significant degree of regulation by the DEA. The scheduling process may take additional time after FDA approval, thereby significantly delaying the launch of our products. Furthermore, if the FDA, DEA or any foreign regulatory authority determines that our products may have potential for abuse, it may require us to generate more clinical data than that which is currently anticipated, which could increase the cost and/or delay the launch of our products.

 

Because our products will contain compounds considered to be Schedule I substances, to conduct pre-clinical studies and clinical trials with our products in the United States prior to approval, each of our research sites must submit a research protocol to the DEA and obtain and maintain a DEA researcher registration that will allow those sites to procure necessary materials from suppliers, and to handle and dispense our products. If the DEA delays or denies the grant of a research registration to one or more research sites, the pre-clinical studies or clinical trials could be significantly delayed, and we could lose and be required to replace clinical trial sites, resulting in additional costs.

 

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We will also need to identify wholesale distributors with the appropriate DEA registrations and authority to distribute our products to pharmacies and other healthcare providers, and these distributors would need to obtain Schedule II through V distribution registrations. The failure to obtain, or delay in obtaining, or the loss of any of those registrations could result in increased costs to us. If our products are Schedule II drugs, pharmacies would have to maintain enhanced security with alarms and monitoring systems and they must adhere to recordkeeping and inventory requirements. Furthermore, state and federal enforcement actions, regulatory requirements, and legislation intended to reduce prescription drug abuse, such as the requirement that physicians consult a state prescription drug monitoring program, may make physicians less willing to prescribe, and pharmacies to dispense, Schedule II products.

 

We may manufacture the commercial supply of our products, or necessary raw materials, outside of the United States. If our products are approved by the FDA and classified as a Schedule II or III substance, an importer can import for commercial purposes if it obtains from the DEA an importer registration and files an application with the DEA for an import permit for each import. The DEA provides annual assessments/estimates to the International Narcotics Control Board which guides the DEA in the amounts of controlled substances that the DEA authorizes to be imported. The failure to identify an importer or obtain the necessary import authority, including specific quantities, could affect the availability of our products and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, an application for a Schedule II importer registration must be published in the Federal Register, and there is a waiting period for third party comments to be submitted.

 

Individual states have also established controlled substance laws and regulations. Although state-controlled substance laws often mirror federal law, states may schedule our product candidates in a different manner. While some states automatically schedule a drug based on federal action, other states schedule drugs through rulemaking or a legislative action. State scheduling may delay commercial sale of any product for which we obtain federal regulatory approval and adverse scheduling could have a material adverse effect on the commercial attractiveness of such product. We or our partners must also obtain separate state registrations, permits or licenses in order to be able to obtain, handle, and distribute controlled substances for clinical trials or commercial sale, and failure to meet applicable regulatory requirements could lead to enforcement actions and sanctions by the states in addition to those from the DEA or otherwise arising under federal law.

 

Product shipment delays could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

The shipment, import and export of our products and raw materials may require import and export licenses. In the United States, the FDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and in other countries, similar regulatory authorities, regulate the import and export of pharmaceutical products that contain controlled substances. Specifically, the import and export process requires the issuance of import and export licenses by the relevant controlled substance authority in both the importing and exporting country. We may not be granted, or if granted, maintain, such licenses from the authorities in certain countries. Even if we obtain the relevant licenses, shipments of our products and materials may be held up in transit, which could cause significant delays and may lead to product batches being stored outside required temperature ranges. Inappropriate storage may damage the product shipment resulting in delays in clinical trials or, upon commercialization, a partial or total loss of revenue from one or more shipments of our products. A delay in a clinical trial or, upon commercialization, a partial or total loss of revenue from one or more shipments of our products could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

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Failure to obtain regulatory approval in jurisdictions outside the United States and the European Union would prevent our product candidates from being marketed in those jurisdictions.

 

In order to market and sell our products in jurisdictions other than the United States and the European Union, we must obtain separate marketing approvals and comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements. The regulatory approval process outside the United States and the European Union generally includes all of the risks associated with obtaining FDA and EMA approval, but can involve additional testing. We may need to partner with third parties in order to obtain approvals outside the United States and the European Union. In addition, in many countries worldwide, it is required that the product be approved for reimbursement before the product can be approved for sale in that country. We may not obtain approvals from regulatory authorities outside the United States and the European Union on a timely basis, if at all. Even if we were to receive approval in the United States or the European Union, approval by the FDA or the EMA does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions. Similarly, approval by one regulatory authority outside the United States and the European Union would not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions or by the FDA or the EMA. We may not be able to file for marketing approvals and may not receive necessary approvals to commercialize our products in any market. If we are unable to obtain approval of our product candidates by regulatory authorities in other foreign jurisdictions, the commercial prospects of those product candidates may be significantly diminished and our business prospects could decline.

 

Healthcare legislation, including potentially unfavorable pricing regulations or other healthcare reform initiatives, may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates.

 

In the United States there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system that could prevent or delay marketing approval of our product candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities or affect our ability to profitably sell any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval.

 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or the Affordable Care Act, among other things, imposes a significant annual fee on companies that manufacture or import branded prescription drug products. It also contains substantial provisions intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against healthcare fraud and abuse, add new transparency requirements for the healthcare and health insurance industries, impose new taxes and fees on pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and impose additional health policy reforms, any of which could negatively impact our business. A significant number of provisions are not yet, or have only recently become effective, but the Affordable Care Act is likely to continue the downward pressure on pharmaceutical and medical device pricing, especially under the Medicare program, and may also increase our regulatory burdens and operating costs.

 

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since passage of the Affordable Care Act. The Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals in spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction of an amount greater than $1.2 trillion for the fiscal years 2012 through 2021, triggering the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This included aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to healthcare providers of up to 2.0% per fiscal year, which went into effect on April 1, 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, will remain in effect through 2025 unless additional Congressional action is taken. In January 2013, President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which, among other things, reduced Medicare payments to several categories of healthcare providers and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. If we ever obtain regulatory approval and successfully commercialize our products, these new laws may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding, which could have a material adverse effect on our customers and accordingly, our financial operations.

 

We expect that the Affordable Care Act, as well as other healthcare reform measures that have been and may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product, and could negatively impact our future revenues. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may compromise our ability to generate revenue, attain profitability or commercialize our products.

 

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Even if we are able to commercialize our products, the products may not receive coverage and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors, which could harm our business.

 

The availability of reimbursement by governmental and private payors is essential for most patients to be able to afford expensive treatments. Sales of our products, if approved, will depend substantially on the extent to which the costs of these products will be paid by health maintenance, managed care, pharmacy benefit and similar healthcare management organizations, or reimbursed by government health administration authorities, private health coverage insurers and other third-party payors. If reimbursement is not available, or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize our products. Even if coverage is provided, the approved reimbursement amount may not be high enough to allow us to establish or maintain pricing sufficient to realize a sufficient return on our investment.

 

In the United States, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, or Medicare Modernization Act, established the Medicare Part D program and provided authority for limiting the number of drugs that will be covered in any therapeutic class thereunder. The Medicare Modernization Act, including its cost reduction initiatives, could decrease the coverage and reimbursement rate that we receive for any of our approved products. Furthermore, private payors often follow Medicare coverage policies and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates. Therefore, any reduction in reimbursement that results from the Medicare Modernization Act may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors.

 

There is significant uncertainty related to the insurance coverage and reimbursement of newly approved products. In the United States, the principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as CMS decides whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare. Private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree.

 

The intended use of a drug product by a physician can also affect pricing. For example, CMS could initiate a National Coverage Determination administrative procedure, by which the agency determines which uses of a therapeutic product would and would not be reimbursable under Medicare. This determination process can be lengthy, thereby creating a long period during which the future reimbursement for a particular product may be uncertain.

 

Outside the United States, particularly in member states of the European Union, the pricing of prescription drugs is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations or the successful completion of health technology assessment procedures with governmental authorities can take considerable time after receipt of marketing approval for a product. In addition, there can be considerable pressure by governments and other stakeholders on prices and reimbursement levels, including as part of cost containment measures. Certain countries allow companies to fix their own prices for medicines, but monitor and control company profits. Political, economic and regulatory developments may further complicate pricing negotiations, and pricing negotiations may continue after reimbursement has been obtained. Reference pricing used by various European Union member states and parallel distribution, or arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. In some countries, we or our collaborators may be required to conduct a clinical trial or other studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of our product candidates to other available therapies in order to obtain or maintain reimbursement or pricing approval. Publication of discounts by third-party payors or authorities may lead to further pressure on the prices or reimbursement levels within the country of publication and other countries. If reimbursement of any product candidate approved for marketing is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects could be adversely affected.

 

Our relationships with customers and third-party payors will be subject to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm and diminished profits and future earnings.

 

Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Our future arrangements with third-party payors and customers may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we market, sell and distribute our products for which we obtain marketing approval. As a pharmaceutical company, even though we do not and will not control referrals of healthcare services or bill directly to Medicare, Medicaid or other third-party payors, certain federal and state healthcare laws and regulations pertaining to fraud and abuse and patients’ rights are and will be applicable to our business. Restrictions under applicable federal and state healthcare laws and regulations that may affect our ability to operate include the following:

 

● the U.S. federal healthcare Anti-Kickback Statute impacts our marketing practices, educational programs, pricing policies and relationships with healthcare providers or other entities, by prohibiting, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program such as Medicare and Medicaid;

 

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● federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws impose criminal and civil penalties, including through civil whistleblower or qui tam actions, against individuals or entities for knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, claims for payment that are false or fraudulent (including through impermissible promotion of our products for off-label uses) or making a false statement or record to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government;

 

● the U.S. federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), imposes criminal and civil liability for executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program and also created federal criminal laws that prohibit knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false statements in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services;

 

● HIPAA, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, establish federal standards for maintaining the privacy and security of certain patient health information known as Protected Health Information (PHI). As amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), HIPAA establishes federal standards for administrative, technical and physical safeguards relevant to the electronic transmission of PHI and imposes notification obligations in the event of a breach of the privacy or security of PHI. In addition to adhering to the requirements of HIPAA, entities considered “covered entities” under HIPAA (such as health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and certain healthcare providers) are required to obtain assurances in the form of a written contract from certain business associates to which they transmit PHI (or who create, receive, transmit or maintain PHI on the covered entity’s behalf) to ensure that the privacy and security of such information is maintained in accordance with HIPAA requirements. HITECH made changes to HIPAA including extending the reach of HIPAA beyond HIPAA covered entities to business associates, increased the maximum civil monetary penalties for violations of HIPAA, and granted enforcement authority to state attorneys general. Failure to comply with HIPAA/HITECH can result in civil and criminal liability, including civil monetary penalties, fines and imprisonment;

 

● the U.S. federal physician payment transparency requirements under the Affordable Care Act require applicable manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies to report annually to HHS information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians, certain other healthcare providers, and teaching hospitals, and ownership and investment interests held by physicians and certain other healthcare providers and their immediate family members and applicable group purchasing organizations; and

 

● analogous state laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers. Some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government and may require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and certain other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures. Additionally, state and foreign laws govern the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA/HITECH, thus complicating compliance efforts.

 

Comparable laws and regulations exist in the countries within the European Economic Area (EEA). Although such laws are partially based upon European Union law, they may vary from country to country. Healthcare specific, as well as general European Union and national laws, regulations and industry codes constrain, for example, our interactions with government officials and healthcare practitioners, and the handling of healthcare data. Non-compliance with any of these laws or regulations could lead to criminal or civil liability.

 

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Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other governmental regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, imprisonment, exclusion from government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. If any physicians or other healthcare providers or entities with whom we expect to do business are found to not be in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government funded healthcare programs.

 

Also, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our internal control policies and procedures may not protect us from reckless or negligent acts committed by our employees, future distributors, licensees or agents. Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could result in fines, penalties or prosecution and have a negative impact on our business, results of operations and reputation.

 

Our products, if approved, may be unable to achieve broad market acceptance and, consequently, limit our ability to generate revenue from new products.

 

Even when product development is successful and regulatory approval has been obtained, our ability to generate significant revenue depends on the acceptance of our products by physicians and patients. The market acceptance of any product depends on a number of factors, including the indication statement and warnings approved by regulatory authorities in the product label, continued demonstration of efficacy and safety in commercial use, physicians’ willingness to prescribe the product, reimbursement from third-party payors such as government healthcare systems and insurance companies, the price of the product, the nature of any post-approval risk management plans mandated by regulatory authorities, competition, and marketing and distribution support. Any factors preventing or limiting the market acceptance of our product candidates could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

If we receive regulatory approvals, we intend to market our products in multiple jurisdictions where we have limited or no operating experience and may be subject to increased business and economic risks that could affect our financial results.

 

If we receive regulatory approvals, we plan to market our products in jurisdictions where we have limited or no experience in marketing, developing and distributing our products. Certain markets have substantial legal and regulatory complexities that we may not have experience navigating. We are subject to a variety of risks inherent in doing business internationally, including risks related to the legal and regulatory environment in non-U.S. jurisdictions, including with respect to privacy and data security, trade control laws and unexpected changes in laws, regulatory requirements and enforcement, as well as risks related to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and political, social and economic instability in foreign countries. If we are unable to manage our international operations successfully, our financial results could be adversely affected.

 

In addition, controlled substance legislation may differ in other jurisdictions and could restrict our ability to market our products internationally. Most countries are parties to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, which governs international trade and domestic control of narcotic substances, including Cannabis extracts. Countries may interpret and implement their treaty obligations in a way that creates a legal obstacle to us obtaining marketing approval for our products in those countries. These countries may not be willing or able to amend or otherwise modify their laws and regulations to permit our products to be marketed, or achieving such amendments to the laws and regulations may take a prolonged period of time. We would be unable to market our products in countries with such obstacles in the near future or perhaps at all without modification to laws and regulations.

 

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Our products will contain controlled substances, the use of which may generate public controversy.

 

Since our products will contain controlled substances, their regulatory approval may generate public controversy. Political and social pressures and adverse publicity could lead to delays in approval of, and increased expenses for, our products. These pressures could also limit or restrict the introduction and marketing of our products. Adverse publicity from Cannabis misuse or adverse side effects from Cannabis or other cannabinoid products may adversely affect the commercial success or market penetration achievable by our products. The nature of our business attracts a high level of public and media interest, and in the event of any resultant adverse publicity, our reputation may be harmed.

 

If we fail to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights or secure rights to the intellectual property of others, the value of our intellectual property rights would diminish.

 

We expect to continue to develop our intellectual property portfolio as we increase our research and development efforts. We may be unable to obtain patents or other protection for any technologies we develop, because such technologies are not coverable by patents or other forms of registered intellectual property, because third parties file patents covering the same claims earlier than we do, or for other reasons. If we are able to obtain issued patents, we cannot predict the degree and range of protection any patents will afford us against competitors, including whether third parties will find ways to invalidate or otherwise circumvent our patents. Others may obtain patents claiming aspects similar to those covered by our patents and patent applications, which may limit the efficacy of the protections afforded by any patents we may obtain.

 

Our success will also depend upon the skills, knowledge and experience of our personnel, our consultants and advisors as well as our licensors and contractors. To help protect any proprietary know-how we develop and any inventions for which patents may be unobtainable or difficult to obtain, we expect to rely on trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements. To this end, we expect to require our employees, consultants, advisors and contractors to enter into agreements which prohibit the disclosure of confidential information and, where applicable, require disclosure and assignment to us of the ideas, developments, discoveries and inventions important to our business. These agreements may not provide adequate protection for our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information in the event of any unauthorized use or disclosure or the lawful development by others of such information. If any of our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information is disclosed, the value of our trade secrets, know-how and other proprietary rights would be significantly impaired and our business and competitive position would suffer.

 

If we infringe the rights of third parties we could be prevented from selling products and forced to pay damages or defend against litigation.

 

If our products, methods, processes and other technologies infringe the proprietary rights of other parties, we could incur substantial costs. In that case, we could be required to:

 

  obtain licenses from such third parties, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all;
     
  redesign our products or processes to avoid infringement, which may not be feasible;
     
  stop using the subject matter claimed in the patents held by others;
     
  pay damages; and/or
     
  defend litigation or administrative proceedings, which may be costly whether we win or lose, and which could result in a substantial diversion of our valuable management resources.

 

Any of these outcomes could divert management attention and other resources and could significantly harm our operations and financial condition.

 

22
 

 

We use hazardous materials in our business. Any claims relating to improper handling, storage or disposal of these materials could be time consuming and costly.

 

Our research and development efforts and our manufacturing processes may involve the controlled storage, use and disposal of certain hazardous materials and waste products. We and our suppliers and other collaborators are subject to federal, state and local regulations governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of materials and waste products. Even if we and these suppliers and collaborators comply with the standards prescribed by law and regulation, the risk of accidental contamination or injury from hazardous materials cannot be eliminated. We may not be able to obtain and maintain insurance on acceptable terms, or at all, to cover costs associated with any such accidental contamination. In the event of such an accident, we could be held liable for any damages that result, and any liability could exceed the limits or fall outside the coverage of any insurance we may obtain and exceed our financial resources. We may incur significant costs to comply with current or future environmental laws and regulations.

 

We may incur substantial liabilities and may be required to limit commercialization of our products in response to product liability lawsuits.

 

If we are able to develop and commercialize our proposed products, we could become subject to product liability claims. If we are not able to successfully defend against such claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of our proposed products. If we are unable to obtain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability, claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop, alone or with corporate collaborators. Even if our agreements with any future corporate collaborators entitle us to indemnification against losses, such indemnification may not be available or adequate should any claim arise.

 

Government regulation of our products could increase our costs, prevent us from offering certain products or cause us to recall products.

 

The processing, formulation, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, advertising and distribution of our products is subject to regulation by one or more federal agencies, and various agencies of the states and localities in which our products are manufactured and sold. These government regulatory agencies may attempt to regulate any of our products that fall within their jurisdiction. Such regulatory agencies may not accept the evidence of safety for any new ingredients that we may want to market, may determine that a particular product or product ingredient presents an unacceptable health risk, may determine that a particular statement of nutritional support that we want to use is an unacceptable drug claim or an unauthorized version of a food “health claim,” may determine that a particular product is an unapproved new drug, or may determine that particular claims are not adequately supported by available scientific evidence. Such a determination would prevent us from marketing particular products or using certain statements of nutritional support on our products. We also may be unable to disseminate third-party literature that supports our products if the third-party literature fails to satisfy certain requirements.

 

In addition, a government regulatory agency could require us to remove a particular product from the market. Any product recall or removal would result in additional costs to us, including lost revenues from any products that we are required to remove from the market, any of which could be material. Any such product recalls or removals could lead to liability, substantial costs and reduced growth prospects.

 

If any of our products contain plants, herbs or other substances not recognized as safe by a government regulatory agency, we may not be able to market or sell such products in that jurisdiction. Any such prohibition could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Further, if more stringent statutes are enacted, or if more stringent regulations are promulgated, we may not be able to comply with such statutes or regulations without incurring substantial expense, or at all.

 

We are not able to predict the nature of future laws, regulations, repeals or interpretations or to predict the effect additional governmental regulation, if and when it occurs, would have on our business in the future. Such developments could, however, require reformulation of certain products to meet new standards, recalls or discontinuance of certain products not able to be reformulated, additional record-keeping requirements, increased documentation of the properties of certain products, additional or different labeling, additional scientific substantiation, or other new requirements. Any such developments could involve substantial additional costs to us, which we may not be able to fund, and could have a material adverse effect on our business operations and financial condition.

 

23
 

 

Risks Related to our Common Stock

 

Our common stock is illiquid and the price of our common stock may be negatively impacted by any negative operational results and factors unrelated to our operations.

 

Until November 2018, our common stock was quoted on the OTCQB. From and after November 21, 2018, our common stock is now trading on the “grey market,” where trading is moderated by a broker and done between consenting individuals. We have experienced significant fluctuations in the price and trading volume of our common stock, which may be caused by factors relating to our business and operational results and/or factors unrelated to our company, including general market conditions. A sufficient market for our common stock may never develop, in which case it could be difficult for stockholders to sell their stock. The market price of our common stock could continue to fluctuate substantially and there can be no assurance that our common stock will ever resume trading on the OTCQB or on any other exchange.

 

24
 

 

Trading of our stock is restricted by the SEC’s “penny stock” regulations and certain FINRA rules, which may limit a stockholder’s ability to buy and sell our common stock.

 

Our securities are covered by certain “penny stock” rules, which impose additional sales practice requirements on broker-dealers who sell low-priced securities to persons other than established customers and accredited investors. For transactions covered by these rules, a broker-dealer must make a special suitability determination for the purchaser and have received the purchaser’s written consent to the transaction prior to sale, among other things. These rules may affect the ability of broker-dealers and holders to sell our common stock and may negatively impact the level of trading activity for our common stock. To the extent our common stock remains subject to the penny stock regulations, such regulations may discourage investor interest in and adversely affect the market liquidity of our common stock.

 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has adopted rules that require a broker-dealer, when recommending an investment to a customer, to have reasonable grounds for believing that the investment is suitable for that customer. Prior to recommending speculative low-priced securities to their non-institutional customers, broker-dealers must make reasonable efforts to obtain information about the customer’s financial status, tax status, investment objectives and other information. Under interpretations of these rules, FINRA believes that there is a high probability that speculative low-priced securities will not be suitable for at least some customers. FINRA requirements make it more difficult for broker-dealers to recommend that their customers buy our common stock, which may limit an investor’s ability to buy and sell our stock and could have an adverse effect on the market for our shares.

 

If we issue and sell additional shares of our common stock in the future, our existing stockholders will be diluted and our stock price could fall.

 

Our articles of incorporation authorize the issuance of up to 1,000,000,000 shares of common stock, of which, as of June 26, 2020, 50,840,147 were outstanding and 11,870,760 were reserved for issuance under our stock incentive plan or outstanding options, warrants or other convertible securities. As a result, we have a large number of shares of common stock that are authorized for issuance and are not outstanding or otherwise reserved, and could be issued at the discretion of our Board of Directors. We expect to seek additional financing in the future in order to fund our operations, and if we issue additional shares of common stock or securities convertible into common stock, our existing stockholders will be diluted. Our Board of Directors may also choose to issue shares of our common stock or securities convertible into or exercisable for our common stock to acquire assets or companies, for compensation to employees, officers, directors, consultants and advisors, to fund capital expenditures and to enter into strategic partnerships. Additionally, shares of common stock could be issued for anti-takeover purposes or to delay or prevent changes in control or management of the Company. Our Board of Directors may determine to issue shares of our common stock on terms that our stockholders do not believe enhance stockholder value, or that may ultimately have an adverse effect on our business or the trading price of our common stock. Further, the issuance of any such shares may cause further dilution to the ownership interest of our current stockholders, reduce the book value per share of our common stock and may contribute to a reduction in the market price for our common stock.

 

Our principal stockholders and management own a significant percentage of our stock and will be able to exert significant control over matters subject to stockholder approval.

 

Certain of our executive officers, directors and large stockholders own a significant percentage of our outstanding capital stock. As of June 26, 2020, our executive officers, directors, holders of 5% or more of our capital stock and their respective affiliates beneficially owned approximately 38.3% of our outstanding shares of common stock. Accordingly, our directors, executive officers and large stockholders have significant influence over our affairs due to their substantial ownership coupled with their positions on our management team and have substantial voting power to approve matters requiring the approval of our stockholders. For example, these stockholders may be able to control or influence elections of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, or approval of any merger, sale of assets, or other major corporate transaction. This concentration of ownership may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our common stock that some of our stockholders may believe is in their best interest.

 

25
 

 

We are subject to the reporting requirements of federal securities laws, compliance with which involves significant time, expense and expertise.

 

We are a public reporting company in the United States, and, accordingly, are subject to the information and reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and other federal securities laws, including the obligations imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The ongoing costs associated with preparing and filing annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC in the ordinary course, as well as preparing and filing audited financial statements, are significant and may cause unexpected increases in operational expenses. Our present management team is relatively small and may be unable to manage the ongoing costs and compliance effectively. It may be time consuming, difficult and costly for us to hire additional financial reporting, accounting and other finance staff in order to build and retain a management team with adequate expertise and experience in operating a public company.

 

We have never paid dividends on our capital stock, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

 

The continued operation and expansion of our business will require substantial funding. Investors seeking cash dividends in the foreseeable future should not purchase our common stock. We have paid no cash dividends on any of our capital stock to date and we currently intend to retain our available cash to fund the development and growth of our business. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, restrictions imposed by applicable law and other factors our Board of Directors deems relevant. We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Any return to stockholders will therefore be limited to the appreciation of their stock, which may never occur.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 2. Properties

 

Our corporate headquarters is a leased office located at 1901 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, California 90067. Our office and laboratory space at 2224A Sierra Meadows Drive, Rocklin, California 95677 requires a lease payment of approximately $2,500 per month under a lease agreement that expires on March 31, 2021. Prior to its closure in June 2019, The Control Center had operated in leased office space located at 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 228, Beverly Hills, California 90211, which requires a lease payment of approximately $11,500 per month, under a lease agreement that expires on February 28, 2021. We believe our current facilities are adequate to support our corporate strategy over the next 12 months.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

From time to time, we may become involved in litigation that arises in the ordinary course of our business. Neither we nor any of our property is currently subject to any proceedings the adverse outcome of which, individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not applicable.

 

26
 

 

PART II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Market Information

 

Our common stock has been quoted through various over-the-counter quotation systems at various times since 2009. However, no shares of our common stock traded on any over-the-counter market until March 5, 2012. In November 2018 our common stock ceased being traded on the OTCQB and is now traded on the “Grey Market”, where trading is moderated by a broker and done between consenting individuals at a price they agree on under the symbol “VBIO.” The liquidity of our shares on the “Grey Market” is extremely limited, and prices quoted may not be a reliable indication of the value of our common stock.

 

The following table sets forth the range of reported high and low closing bid quotations for our common stock for the fiscal quarters indicated as reported by the OTCQB marketplace or another over-the-counter quotation system on which the common stock was then quoted.

 

   High   Low 
         
Fiscal 2019          
First Quarter ended June 30, 2018   1.81    1.10 
Second Quarter ended September 30, 2018   2.25    1.41 
Third Quarter ended December 31, 2018   2.11    0.04 
Fourth Quarter ended March 31, 2019   0.65    0.45 
           
Fiscal 2020          
First Quarter ended June 30, 2019   0.53    0.18 
Second Quarter ended September 30, 2019   1.61    0.10 
Third Quarter ended December 31, 2019   0.15    0.05 
Fourth Quarter ended March 31, 2020   0.09    0.01 

 

Transfer Agent

 

The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Island Stock Transfer, Inc., 15500 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 301, Clearwater, Florida 33760.

 

Holders of Common Stock

 

As of June 26, 2020, there were 74 holders of record of our common stock.

 

Dividends

 

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends or distributions on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to support operations and to finance expansion and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.

 

On January 18, 2019, the Company entered into an amendment to the August 2018 and October 2018 securities purchase agreements. Pursuant to the amendment, the warrants to purchase the 5,833,333 shares of the Company’s common stock were cancelled, and the investors were issued an additional 16,750,000 shares of the Company’s common stock for no additional consideration. The fair value of the additional shares, net of the warrants cancelled, was $7,015,000, and was recorded as a deemed dividend to the investors.

 

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Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans

 

On February 3, 2012, our Board of Directors approved and adopted the Stevia First Corp. 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (as amended, the “2012 Plan”), and a majority of stockholders of the Company executed a written consent approving and adopting the 2012 Plan. In February 2013, our Board of Directors approved, and on April 11, 2013, at our 2013 annual stockholder meeting our stockholders approved, an amendment to the 2012 Plan to, among other things, increase the number of shares of our common stock available for issuance thereunder from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 shares. In March 2014, our Board of Directors approved, and on June 9, 2014, at our 2014 annual stockholder meeting our stockholders approved, a second amendment to the 2012 Plan to increase the number of shares of our common stock available for issuance thereunder from 10,000,000 to 18,000,000 shares. On May 4, 2016, our Board of Directors and stockholders of the Company, holding a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock, executed joint written consents in lieu of a special meeting approving the amendment of the 2012 Plan by increasing the number of shares of the Company’s Common Stock available for issuance under the 2012 Plan from 1,800,000 (after adjusting for the Reverse Split) to 3,600,000 and adding an evergreen provision that, on January 1 of each year, increases the number of the Company’s common shares available for issuance under the 2012 Plan by a number equal to 10% of the number of shares of Common Stock previously available for issuance under the 2012 Plan (the “Evergreen Provision”). In May 2019, the Company’s Board of Directors approved an amendment to the Company’s 2012 Stock Incentive Plan to increase the maximum number of shares issuable thereunder to 10,791,600 from 4,791,600.

 

Except as listed in the table below, as of March 31, 2020, we do not have any equity-based plans, including individual compensation arrangements, that have not been approved by our stockholders.

 

The following table provides information as of March 31, 2020 with respect to our equity compensation plans:

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

Plan Category 

Number of

securities to be

issued upon

exercise of

outstanding

options, warrants

and rights

  

Weighted-

average exercise

price of

outstanding

options,

warrants

and rights

  

Number of

securities

remaining

available for

future issuance

under equity

compensation

plans (excluding

securities

reflected in

column (a))

 
   (a)   (b)   (c) 
                
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders (1)   4,791,600   $1.10    - 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders   1,755,110   $0.33    5,324,050 
                
Total   6,546,710   $0.89    5,324,050 

 

  (1) As of March 31, 2020, 5,324,050 shares of our common stock remained available for future issuance pursuant to the 2012 Plan.

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

Not applicable.

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

Certain statements contained in this annual report are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, and are subject to the “safe harbor” created by these sections. Future filings with the SEC, future press releases and future oral or written statements made by us or with our approval, which are not statements of historical fact, may also contain forward-looking statements. Because such statements include risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements can be found under the caption “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A, and elsewhere in this annual report. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they are made.

 

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and the accompanying notes for the years ended March 31, 2019 and 2020 appearing elsewhere in this annual report. Our actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A.

 

Plan of Operations

 

We are a company focused on the advancement of pharmaceuticals and innovative technologies that improve the lives of patients. We seek to achieve this objective through the development of novel cannabinoid pharmaceutical prodrugs known as cannabosides.

 

We believe our internally-developed cannabosides or cannabinoid-glycoside prodrugs will be converted within the body after administration from an inactive molecule into a pharmacologically active drug. Currently, the Company has produced more than 25 novel cannabosides, including glycosylated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabinol (CBN), that are covered by worldwide patent applications for composition of matter, method of production and method of use.

 

We are developing our most promising THC-glycoside (VBX-100) as an oral prodrug for the treatment of IBD and IBS. VBX-100 was selected from our THC-glycoside portfolio for compatibility with commercial production techniques and the optimal prodrug delivery profile that maximizes intestinal anti-inflammatory properties while minimizing psychoactive or intoxicating effects. Initial pre-clinical studies on the efficacy of VBX-100 in animal models have shown favorable outcomes, including reduced inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and no measurable systemic THC found in tissue examined using highly-sensitive testing equipment. Our pre-clinical development plan, which includes dose range finding studies, GLP toxicology studies, pharmacokinetic studies and other pre-clinical research, is anticipated to be completed during the 2nd half of calendar year 2021, subject to the Company securing sufficient additional funding or entering into a strategic partnership. After our satisfactory completion of all of the prerequisite pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies, an Investigational New Drug (IND) application would be filed with the FDA and, upon receiving FDA approval, we would initiate our Phase 1 clinical trial, subject to the Company securing sufficient additional funding or entering into a strategic partnership.

 

In addition to our research and development activities related to our THC-glycoside compounds, we are expanding and diversifying our research and development activities to include the potential safety, efficacy and commercialization of our patented CBD-glycoside compounds. CBD has well-known anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, but unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating. By glycosylating CBD, we can create CBD-glucose compounds that may enable a targeted and concentrated delivery of CBD in the gastrointestinal tract. Currently we are evaluating the optimal CBD-glycoside delivery mechanism, which may include an aqueous drink formulation since our glycosylation process greatly improves the water solubility of the CBD molecule.

 

Our corporate headquarters is located in Los Angeles, California. As of June 26, 2020, we employed five full-time employees, including three research professionals working in our office and laboratory space in Rocklin, California. We also have engaged the services of scientific and regulatory consultants to assist in our research and development activities, which is an approach that provides us with flexible and highly-experienced resources to advance our clinical efforts while maintaining a relatively lower overhead cost structure.

 

29
 

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

We believe the following critical accounting policies require us to make significant judgments and estimates in the preparation of our financial statements.

 

Use of Estimates and Assumptions

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States 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 financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The more significant estimates and assumption by management include, among others, reserves for accounts receivables, estimates inherent in recording purchase price allocations, the fair value of equity instruments issued for services, assumptions used in the valuation of derivative liabilities, and the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets.

 

Stock-Based Compensation

 

The Company issues stock options and warrants, shares of common stock, and shares of restricted common stock as share-based compensation to employees and non-employees. The Company accounts for its share-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation. Stock-based compensation cost is measured at the grant date, based on the estimated fair value of the award, and is recognized as expense over the requisite service period. In prior periods through March 31, 2019, the Company accounted for share-based payments to non-employees in accordance with ASC 505-50, Equity - Based Payments to Non-Employees, whereby the value of the stock compensation is based upon the measurement date as determined at either (a) the date at which a performance commitment is reached, or (b) the date at which the necessary performance to earn the equity instruments is complete. On April 1, 2019, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2018-07 which expands the scope of ASC 718 to include share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from non-employees. As a result, non-employee share-based transactions are measured by estimating the fair value of the equity instruments at the grant date, taking into consideration the probability of satisfying performance conditions. The adoption of the standard did not have a material impact on our financial statements.

 

Revenue

 

The Company’s revenue recognition policies will follow the guidance of Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. ASC 606 creates a five-step model that requires entities to exercise judgment when considering the terms of contracts, which includes (1) identifying the contracts or agreements with a customer, (2) identifying our performance obligations in the contract or agreement, (3) determining the transaction price, (4) allocating the transaction price to the separate performance obligations, and (5) recognizing revenue as each performance obligation is satisfied.

 

Derivative Financial Instruments

 

The Company evaluates its financial instruments to determine if such instruments are derivatives or contain features that qualify as embedded derivatives. For derivative financial instruments that are accounted for as liabilities, the derivative instrument is initially recorded at its fair value and is then re-valued at each reporting date, with changes in the fair value reported in the statements of operations. The classification of derivative instruments, including whether such instruments should be recorded as liabilities or as equity, is evaluated at the end of each reporting period. Derivative instrument liabilities are classified in the balance sheet as current or non-current based on whether or not net-cash settlement of the derivative instrument could be required within 12 months of the balance sheet date.

 

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Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

Please refer to Footnote 1 of the accompanying financial statements for management’s discussion of recent accounting pronouncements.

 

Results of Operations

 

Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019

 

The following table sets forth our results of operations for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019.

 

   Year Ended March 31, 
   2020   2019 
         
Operating Expenses:  $        $      
           
General and Administrative   2,680,217    2,792,703 
Research and development   1,009,894    1,742,919 
Rent - related party   2,600    31,200 
Loss from operations   (3,692,711)   (4,566,822)
           
Other income          
Change in fair value of derivative liability   35,710    117,332 
Interest earned   1,248    - 
Other income   23,524    - 
           
Loss from continuing operations   (3,632,229)   (4,449,490)
Loss from discontinued operations   (733,126)   (8,672,077)
           
Net loss  $(4,365,355)  $(13,121,567)

 

Our net loss during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 was $4,365,355 compared to a net loss of $13,121,567 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we incurred general and administrative expenses in the aggregate amount of $2,680,217 compared to $2,792,703 incurred during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. General and administrative expenses generally include corporate overhead, salaries and other compensation costs, financial and administrative contracted services, marketing, consulting costs and travel expenses. These costs include those associated with the development of our organizational capabilities as a biotechnology company, including costs such as legal and advisory fees related to intellectual property development as well as legal fees related to the SEC Investigation. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we incurred research and development costs of $1,009,894 compared to $1,742,919 incurred during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we incurred related party rent of $2,600 compared to $31,200 incurred during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

 

Included in general and administrative expenses and research & development expenses above for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, is stock-based compensation totaling $626,668 compared to $1,121,918 incurred during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

 

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This resulted in a loss from continuing operations of $3,632,229 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 compared to a loss from continuing operations of $4,449,490 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, the loss from discontinued operations was $733,126 compared to a loss from discontinued operations for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019 of $8,672,077. For the year ended March 31, 2020, discontinued operations included $44,698 of revenue and $777,824 of expenses, including $630,231 of general and administrative expenses and $143,232 of cost of sales. For the year ended March 31, 2019, discontinued operations included $258,288 of revenue and $8,930,365 of expenses, including $882,806 of general and administrative expenses and $454,767 of cost of sales. We also recorded an impairment of the goodwill and intangible assets of $7,550,000 in discontinued operations during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. No such impairment was recorded in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we recorded net other income in the amount of $23,524. No other income was recorded during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. We recorded a gain related to the change in fair value of derivatives of $35,710 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, compared to a gain of $117,332 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. We reported a net loss of $4,365,355 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 compared to a net loss of $13,121,567 during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, we also recorded a deemed dividend on issuance of shares in the amount of $7,015,000. No such deemed dividend was recorded during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

 

The decrease in net loss attributable to common stockholders during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 compared to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019 in an amount equal to $15,771,212 is primarily due to: (i) the deemed dividend of $7,015,000 in fiscal 2019, and (ii) a higher loss from discontinued operations, including the impairment of goodwill and intangible assets of $7,938,951 in fiscal 2019.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

We have incurred losses since inception resulting in an accumulated deficit of $46,546,858, and further losses are anticipated in the development of our business.

 

The continuation of our business is dependent upon us raising additional capital and eventually attaining and maintaining profitable operations. We do not have any firm commitments for future capital. We do not presently have, nor do we expect in the near future to have, material revenue to fund our business from our operations, and we will need to obtain all of our necessary funding from external sources in the near term. We may not be able to obtain additional financing on commercially reasonable or acceptable terms, when needed, or at all. If we cannot raise the money that we need in order to continue to develop our business, we may be required to sell, delay, scale back or eliminate some or all of our proposed operations. If any of these were to occur, there is a substantial risk that our business would fail and our stockholders could lose all of their investment.

 

As of March 31, 2020, we had total current assets of $2,407,891. Our total current assets as of March 31, 2020 were comprised of cash in the amount of $2,392,225 and prepaid expenses and other current assets in the amount of $15,666. Our total current liabilities as of March 31, 2020 were $1,284,860, represented primarily by accounts payable and accrued liabilities of $862,528 and an advance of $296,653. As a result, on March 31, 2020, we had a working capital of $1,123,031. We had no long-term liabilities as of March 31, 2020.

 

Sources of Capital

 

On August 29, 2018, the Company issued 333,334 shares of its common stock and warrants to purchase 166,667 shares of the Company’s common stock in exchange for $500,000 (“August 2018 Financing”). The common stock and warrants were issued in units, each unit consisting of one share of common stock and a warrant to purchase one half of a share of common stock, at a price of $1.50 per unit, with an exercise price for the warrants of $2.00 per share.

 

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On October 19, 2018, the Company issued 5,666,666 shares of its common stock and warrants to purchase 5,666,666 shares of the Company’s common stock in exchange for $8,350,000 after deducting fees and expenses of the offering (“October 2018 Financing”). The common stock and warrants were issued in units, each unit consisting of one share of common stock and a warrant to purchase a share of common stock, at a price of $1.50 per unit, with an exercise price for the warrants of $3.00 per share.

 

On October 19, 2018, the Company also entered into a share exchange agreement with the shareholders of Summit Healthtech, Inc. and issued 6,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, valued at $9,000,000, in exchange for all of the outstanding common stock of Summit Healthtech. The parties subsequently agreed to cancel the 2,450,000 shares of common stock that had been issued as part of the share exchange agreement, and the total consideration was adjusted to $7,500,000.

 

On January 18, 2019, the Company entered into an amendment to the securities purchase agreements from the August 2018 Financing and October 2018 Financing. Pursuant to the amendment, the warrants to purchase the 5,833,333 shares of the Company’s common stock were cancelled, and the investors were issued an additional 16,750,000 shares of the Company’s common stock for no additional consideration. The fair value of the additional shares issued was $9,715,000 and the fair value of the 5,833,333 warrants cancelled was $2,700,000. The difference of $7,015,000 was recorded as a deemed dividend to the investors.

 

On November 7, 2018, the SEC temporarily suspended the trading of the Company’s common stock on the OTCQB marketplace. The Company’s common stock resumed trading with limited liquidity on the grey market on November 21, 2018. Grey market stocks are not traded or quoted on an exchange or inter-dealer quotation system, but are reported by broker-dealers to their self-regulatory organization who, in turn, distribute the trade data to market data vendors and financial websites. Since the suspension of the Company’s common stock in November 2018, we have made relisting our common stock on the OTCQB or another national exchange a top corporate priority and, as a result, have expended significant resources to accomplish this critically-important goal.

 

On May 12, 2020, our outside legal counsel received a letter from the staff of the SEC’s Enforcement Division stating that it has concluded the investigation as to the Company, and that it did not intend to recommend an enforcement action by the SEC against the Company. As of result, the Company is currently working with a broker-dealer to file a Form 211 with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resume quotations on the OTCQB; however, there are no assurances that FINRA will accept our application and that the Company will resume trading in the ordinary course on the OTCQB.

 

We do not expect to generate any revenue in the near term. We currently have no commitments for any future funding. As of March 31, 2020, we had cash in the amount of $2,392,225. Based on our corporate strategy described above under the heading “Plan of Operations”, our total expenditures for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, are expected to be approximately $1,600,000, which is comprised of research and development and general operating expenses. Based on our cash balance of $2,392,225 on March 31, 2020, and our estimated total expenditures of approximately $1,600,000 for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2021, we expect to have sufficient funds to operate our business over the next 12 months. However, our estimate of total expenditures could increase if we encounter unanticipated difficulties. In addition, our estimates of the amount of cash necessary to fund our business may prove to be too low, and we could spend our available financial resources much faster than we currently expect. If we cannot raise the capital necessary to continue to develop our business, we will be forced to delay, scale back or eliminate some or all of our proposed operations. If any of these were to occur, there is a substantial risk that our business would fail.

 

Since inception, we have primarily funded our operations through equity and debt financings. We expect to continue to fund our operations primarily through equity and debt financings in the foreseeable future. However, sources of additional funds may not be available when needed, on acceptable terms, or at all. If we issue equity or convertible debt securities to raise additional funds, our existing stockholders may experience substantial dilution, and the new equity or debt securities may have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of our existing stockholders. If we incur additional debt, it may increase our leverage relative to our earnings or to our equity capitalization, requiring us to pay additional interest expenses. Obtaining commercial loans, assuming those loans would be available, would increase our liabilities and future cash commitments. If we pursue capital through alternative sources, such as collaborations or other similar arrangements, we may be forced to relinquish rights to our proprietary technology or other intellectual property and could result in our receipt of only a portion of any revenue that may be generated from a partnered product or business. Moreover, regardless of the manner in which we seek to raise capital, we may incur substantial costs in those pursuits, including investment banking fees, legal fees, accounting fees, printing and distribution expenses and other related costs.

 

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Net Cash Used in Operating Activities

 

We have not generated positive cash flows from operating activities. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, net cash used in operating activities was $2,848,291 compared to net cash used in operating activities of $2,378,854 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. Net cash used in operating activities during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 consisted primarily of a net loss of $4,365,355, offset by $626,668 related to stock-based compensation, and a increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities of $221,563. Net cash used in operating activities during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019 consisted primarily of a net loss of $13,121,567, offset by $1,470,369 related to stock-based compensation, $7,550,000 in goodwill impairment related to the write-down of The Control Center investment, and changes in working capital.

 

Net Cash Provided By Investing Activities

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, net cash provided by investing activities was $141,545, representing the cash acquired from the acquisition of Summit Healthtech, Inc. No cash was provided by investing activities during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

 

Net Cash Provided By Financing Activities

 

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, net cash provided by financing activities was $8,850,000, attributable to $8,850,000 received from the sale of common stock and warrants. No cash was provided by financing activities during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We have no significant 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 would be material to stockholders.

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

The financial statements required by this item are set forth at the end of this annual report beginning on page F-1 and are incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

We have established disclosure controls and procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act, is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the SEC, and that information relating to the Company is accumulated and communicated to management, including our principal officers, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of March 31, 2020, and have concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of March 31, 2020.

 

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Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as defined in Exchange Act Rule 13a-15. Internal control over financial reporting is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) and 15(d)-15(f) under the Exchange Act as a process designed to provide reasonable assurance to the Company’s management and Board of Directors regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements. Management conducted an assessment of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2020 based on the framework and criteria established by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in Internal Control-Integrated Framework (2013) (COSO). Based on the assessment, management concluded that, as of March 31, 2020, the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting were effective.

 

Remediation Efforts on Previously Identified Material Weakness

 

A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

 

As disclosed in Part II, Item 9A., “Controls and Procedures,” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, we identified control deficiencies during fiscal 2019 that constituted material weaknesses relating to: (1) insufficient segregation of duties in finance and accounting functions; (2) lack of written documentation of the Company’s key internal control policies and procedures over financial reporting; and (3) lack of documented policies and procedures for maintaining legal documents.

 

To address the previously disclosed material weakness described above, in fiscal 2020, management implemented a remediation plan, with oversight from our audit committee, which included establishing and improving policies, procedures and control activities primarily associated with the Company’s control environment, risk assessment process, financial statement close and reporting, review and approval of significant transactions. We concluded that the previously identified material weaknesses have been remediated as of March 31, 2020.

 

As we continue to evaluate and work to improve our internal control over financial reporting, we may decide to take additional measures. However, we cannot be certain that the measures we have taken or may take in the future will ensure that we establish and maintain adequate controls over our financial processes and reporting in the future.

 

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

Other than as described above in the section “Remediation Efforts on Previously Identified Material Weakness,” there were no other changes in our internal control over financial reporting during the quarter ended March 31, 2020, that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Item 9B. Other Information

 

None.

 

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PART III

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

Set forth below is certain information regarding our current directors and executive officers:

 

Name   Position   Age   Director/Executive Officer Since
Edward Feighan (2)(3)   Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors   72   November 2018
Richard Celeste (1)(2)(3)   Director   82   January 2019
Michael Cavanaugh   Director and Chief Executive Officer   46   November 2018 / May 2019
Richard McKilligan   Chief Financial Officer and Counsel   56   May 2019

 

(1) Member of Audit Committee

(2) Member of Compensation Committee

(3) Member of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

 

Business Experience

 

The following is a brief account of the education and business experience of our current directors and executive officers:

 

Edward Feighan, Executive Chairman, is currently the Chairman and CEO of Covius LLC, a privately-held firm providing a range of services to the mortgage securitization industry. Mr. Feighan has been an owner and Director of Continental Heritage Insurance Company, an early leader in the cannabis insurance market which provides surety bonds and other insurance solutions to the emerging cannabis markets, for more than twenty years. Previously, Mr. Feighan served as Chairman and CEO of ProCentury Insurance Corporation (NASDAQ: PROS) from its IPO in 2004 until the sale of the company to another public insurance group in 2008. In 1996, Mr. Feighan was the founding CEO of Century Business Services (NYSE: CBZ). Mr. Feighan held elective office in Cleveland, Ohio for twenty consecutive years from 1973 to 1993. After being elected to three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979, Mr. Feighan served a four-year term as a Cuyahoga County Commissioner in the State of Ohio. Subsequently, Mr. Feighan served five terms as a Member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1993. During those ten years, Mr. Feighan served on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Feighan earned his law degree from Cleveland State University in 1978. The Board believes Mr. Feighan’s extensive operational and executive experience with growth companies pursuing business combination transactions, as well as his fundraising and regulatory insight and public service experience, will provide the Company a critical voice and perspective as the Company continues to develop its business and grow its operations.

 

Michael Cavanaugh, Chief Executive Officer and Director, is currently the Chief Investment Officer of Tower 1, an investment firm focused on private and public investments in a variety of industries. In 2018, Mr. Cavanaugh was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Kaulig Companies, a single member family office with interests in private equity, real estate and wealth management. From 2016 to 2018, Mr. Cavanaugh was Managing Director of Conway MacKenzie, a national turnaround consulting firm, where he established and managed the firm’s Cleveland office and provided interim management and restructuring services to distressed and underperforming businesses. From 2006 to 2009 and 2011 to 2015, Mr. Cavanaugh was an executive with Resilience Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on special situation control equity investments, where he served in several capacities, including Partner and member of the firm’s Investment Committee and as an officer and director of numerous portfolio companies. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Cavanaugh was an Attorney with Kaye Scholer where he represented clients in mergers and acquisitions. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Cavanaugh was an investment banker and special situation investor with Merrill Lynch. Mr. Cavanaugh received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1996, an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan Business School in 2003 and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2003. Mr. Cavanaugh is an Attorney, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP). Mr. Cavanaugh previously served on the boards of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association from 2016 to 2019, Thermal Solutions Manufacturing from 2012 to 2015, Hynes Industries from 2014 to 2015, Aero Communications from 2012 to 2015, and North Coast Minerals from 2014 to 2015. The Board believes Mr. Cavanaugh’s extensive finance, legal and corporate governance experience and expertise will be valuable to the Company as it continues to develop its business and grow its operations.

 

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Richard Celeste, Director, is Chair of the Board of Health Effects Institute (Boston), Founding Chair and Member of the Board of the US Olympic Museum (Colorado Springs) and Vice Chair of the Board of Global Communities (Silver Spring MD). In addition, Mr. Celeste serves on the Boards of Battelle for Kids (Columbus OH) and The Gates Family Foundation (Denver). Mr. Celeste served as the Director of the Peace Corps from 1979-1981, as Governor of Ohio from 1983 to 1991, and as the United States Ambassador to India from 1997 to 2001. Mr. Celeste also served as the President of Colorado College from 2002-2011. The Board believes Mr. Celeste’s fundraising and regulatory insight and public service experience will provide the Company a critical voice and perspective as the Company continues to develop its business and grow its operations.

 

Richard McKilligan, Chief Financial Officer and Counsel, joined the Company in April 2012 as Controller, Counsel and Secretary. Mr. McKilligan is also a director of Bristol Investment Fund, Ltd. He served as Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of Research Solutions, Inc. from 2007 to 2011 and Chief Compliance Officer and Counsel to Bristol Capital Advisors, LLC from 2006 to 2008. Mr. McKilligan earned his law degree from Cornell Law School, his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and his undergraduate degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of the State Bar of California, the New York State Bar Association and the Florida Bar.

 

Term of Office

 

In accordance with our Bylaws, our directors are elected at each annual meeting of stockholders and serve until the next annual meeting of stockholders or until their successor has been duly elected and qualified, or until their earlier death, resignation or removal.

 

Committees of the Board of Directors

 

On August 24, 2012, our Board of Directors established an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee, and a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, each of which has the composition and responsibilities described below.

 

Audit Committee

 

The Audit Committee of our Board of Directors consists of only Mr. Celeste, who serves as Chairman. Our Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Celeste is independent within the meaning of applicable SEC rules and Nasdaq Listing Rules, and qualifies as an audit committee financial expert, as such term is defined in the rules and regulations of the SEC, and is financially sophisticated within the meaning of the Nasdaq Listing Rules. The Audit Committee has oversight responsibilities regarding, among other things: the preparation of our financial statements; oversight of our financial reporting and disclosure processes; the administration, maintenance and review of our system of internal controls regarding accounting compliance; our practices and processes relating to internal audits of our financial statements; the appointment of our independent registered public accounting firm and the review of its qualifications and independence; the review of reports, written statements and letters from our independent registered public accounting firm; and our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements in connection with the foregoing. Our Board of Directors has adopted a written charter for our audit committee, which is available on our website: www.vitality.bio.

 

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Compensation Committee

 

The Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors consists of Messrs. Feighan and Celeste, with Mr. Feighan serving as Chairman. Our Board of Directors has also determined that Mr. Celeste is independent within the meaning of applicable Nasdaq Listing Rules. The duties of our Compensation Committee include, without limitation: reviewing, approving and administering compensation programs and arrangements to ensure that they are effective in attracting and retaining key employees and reinforcing business strategies and objectives; determining the objectives of our executive officer compensation programs and the specific objectives relating to CEO compensation, including evaluating the performance of the CEO in light of those objectives; approving the compensation of our other executive officers and our directors; and administering our as-in-effect incentive-compensation and equity-based plans. Our Board of Directors has adopted a written charter for our compensation committee, which is available on our website: www.vitality.bio.

 

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

 

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors consists of Mr. Feighan and Mr. Celeste, with Mr. Feighan serving as Chairman. The responsibilities of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee include, without limitation: assisting in the identification of nominees for election to our Board of Directors, consistent with approved qualifications and criteria; determining the composition of the Board of Directors and its committees; recommending to the Board of Directors the director nominees for the annual meeting of stockholders; establishing and monitoring a process of assessing the effectiveness of the Board of Directors; developing and overseeing a set of corporate governance guidelines and procedures; and overseeing the evaluation of our directors and executive officers. Our Board of Directors has adopted a written charter for our nominating and corporate governance committee, which is available on our website: www.vitality.bio.

 

Family Relationships

 

No family relationships exist between any of the directors or executive officers of the Company.

 

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

 

Our Board of Directors has adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics as described in applicable SEC rules that applies to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions, as well as our other employees. The Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is available for review on our website; www.vitality.bio.

 

Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance

 

Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires our executive officers and directors and persons who own more than 10% of a registered class of our equity securities to file reports of ownership on Form 3 and changes in ownership on Form 4 or Form 5 with the SEC. Such executive officers, directors and 10% stockholders are also required by SEC rules to furnish us with copies of all Section 16(a) reports they file.

 

To our knowledge, based solely on our review of the copies of such forms received by us or written representations from certain reporting persons that no other forms were required for such persons, during our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we believe that all reporting person complied with the above filing requirement on a timely basis.

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation

 

The following table summarizes all compensation recorded by us in each of the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019 for (i) our current principal executive officer and principal financial officer, and (ii) our next most highly compensated executive officer other than our principal executive officer and principal financial officer serving as an executive officer at the end of our 2020 fiscal year and whose total compensation exceeded $100,000 in our 2019 fiscal year (of which there were none).

 

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Summary Compensation Table

 

Name  Fiscal Year   Salary ($)  

Stock

Awards
(non-cash)

   Total ($) 
                 
Michael Cavanaugh, Chief Executive Officer (1) (principal executive officer)   2020    211,000    106,344    317,344 
                     
    2019    13,500    -    13,500 
                     
Richard McKilligan, Chief Financial Officer (2) (principal financial officer)   2020    185,000    69,497    254,497 
                     
    2019    150,208    79,970    230,178 

 

(1) Includes amortization of an option to purchase 500,000 shares of common stock with an exercise price of $0.35 per share, granted in May 2019 and an option to purchase 250,000 shares of common stock with an exercise price of $0.30 per share, granted in June 2019. Mr. Cavanaugh was appointed Chief Executive Officer in May 2019.

 

(2) Includes amortization of an option to purchase 370,234 shares of common stock with an exercise price of $0.50 per share, granted in July 2016, an option to purchase 75,000 shares of common stock with an exercise price of $1.81 per share, granted in December 2017, and an option to purchase 250,000 shares of common stock with an exercise price of $0.30 per share, granted in June 2019.

 

Employment Agreements

 

There are no employment agreements in place with our executive officers.

 

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End

 

As of March 31, 2020, Mr. Cavanaugh held an option to purchase 500,000 shares of common stock, 250,000 of which vested in May 2020 and 250,000 of which become fully exercisable on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the date that the Company’s shareholders approve the increase in the number of shares of the Company’s common stock available to be issued under the Company’s 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (the “Approval Date”) or May 8, 2021, and an option to purchase 250,000 shares of common stock, 125,000 of which vested in June 2020 and 125,000 of which become fully exercisable on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or June 27, 2021.

 

As of March 31, 2020, Mr. McKilligan held 10,000 shares of restricted common stock, all of which were vested as of January 1, 2015, an option to purchase 10,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of January 1, 2015, an option to purchase 20,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of January 1, 2017, an option to purchase 20,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of May 21,2017, an option to purchase 370,234 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of July 1, 2018, an option to purchase 75,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of December 27, 2019, and an option to purchase 250,000 shares of common stock, 125,000 of which vested in June 2020 and 125,000 of which become fully exercisable on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or June 27, 2021.

 

Compensation of Directors

 

Mr. Celeste, Dr. Dhillon, Mr. Feighan and Dr. Maida served as our non-employee directors during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Mr. Celeste received total cash compensation of $34,500 for such services during our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Dr. Avtar Dhillon, the former Chairman of our Board of Directors, received total cash compensation of $4,583 for such services during our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Mr. Feighan received total cash compensation of $123,500 for services as Executive Chairman during our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Dr. Maida received $36,000 total cash compensation for his services as a director during our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Directors are also entitled to reimbursement for reasonable travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with attendance at meetings of our Board of Directors.

 

 39 

 

 

Director Compensation Table

 

The following table shows compensation paid to our non-employee directors during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020:

 

Name 

Fees earned

or paid in

cash

  

Stock

awards
(non-cash)(1)

   All other compensation   Total 
                 
Richard Celeste (1)  $34,500   $76,542   $             -   $111,042 
                     
Dr. Avtar Dhillon  $4,583   $-   $-   $4,583 
                     
Edward Feighan (1)  $123,500   $106,344    -   $229,844 
                     
Dr. Anthony Maida (1)  $36,000   $76,542   $-   $112,542 

 

(1) As of March 31, 2020, the aggregate number of stock and option awards held by each of our non-employee directors was as follows: (i) Mr. Celeste held an option award to purchase 500,000 shares of our common stock, (ii) Mr. Feighan held option awards to purchase 750,000 shares of our common stock; and (iii) Dr. Maida held 10,000 shares of common stock and option awards to purchase 642,559 shares of our common stock.

 

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

The following table sets forth certain information regarding the beneficial ownership of our common stock by (i) each person who, to our knowledge, beneficially owns more than 5% of our common stock, (ii) each of our directors and named executive officers, and (iii) all of our current executive officers and directors as a group. Unless otherwise indicated in the footnotes to the following table, the address of each person named in the table is: c/o Vitality Biopharma, Inc., 1907 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, California 90067. Shares of our common stock subject to options, warrants, convertible notes or other rights currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days after June 26, 2020, are deemed to be beneficially owned and outstanding for computing the share ownership and percentage of the person holding such options, warrants, convertible notes or other rights, but are not deemed outstanding for computing the beneficial ownership percentage of any other person.

 

Name of Beneficial Owner 

Number of

Shares

Beneficially Owned

  

Percentage Beneficially

Owned (1)

 
Directors and Named Executive Officers:          
Edward Feighan (2)   3,440,917    6.8 
Michael Cavanaugh (3)   1,629,771    3.2 
Richard Celeste (4)   500,000    * 
Richard McKilligan (5)   745,234    1.4 
Current Directors and Executive Officers as a Group (5 persons)   6,315,922    12.4 
Joseph LoConti (6)   13,153,063    25.9%

 

*Less than 1%

 

(1) Based on 50,840,147 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding as of June 26, 2020. Except as otherwise indicated, we believe that the beneficial owners of the common stock listed above, based on information furnished by such owners, have sole investment and voting power with respect to such shares, subject to community property laws where applicable. Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules of the SEC and generally includes voting or investment power with respect to securities.

 

 40 

 

 

(2) Includes 502,500 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired in connection with a Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 19, 2018, 100,376 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired in connection with a Share Exchange Agreement dated October 19, 2018, 1,402,813 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired in connection with an amendment dated January 18, 2019 to the Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 19, 2018, and options to purchase 750,000 shares of common stock, 375,000 of which vested in May and June 2020, 250,000 of which shall vest on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or May 8, 2021, and 125,000 of which shall vest on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or June 27, 2021. Also includes 167,500 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired by The Feighan Family Fund, LLC (the “Feighan Fund”), an entity beneficially owned by Mr. Feighan in connection with a Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 19, 2018, 50,124 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired by the Feighan Fund in connection with a Share Exchange Agreement dated October 19, 2018, and 467,604 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired by the Feighan Fund in connection with an amendment dated January 18, 2019 to the Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 19, 2018.
   
 (3) Includes 50,000 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired in connection with a Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 19, 2018, 257,500 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired in connection with a Share Exchange Agreement dated October 19, 2018, 572,271 shares of the Company’s common stock acquired in connection with an amendment dated January 18, 2019 to the Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 19, 2018, and options to purchase 750,000 shares of common stock, 375,000 of which vested in May and June 2020, 250,000 of which shall vest on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or May 8, 2021, and 125,000 of which shall vest on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or June 27, 2021.
   
(4) Includes an option to purchase 500,000 shares of common stock, 250,000 of which vested in May 2020 and 250,000 of which shall vest on the earlier of the Approval Date or May 8, 2021.
   
(5) Includes an option to purchase 10,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of January 1, 2015, an option to purchase 20,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of January 1, 2017, an option to purchase 20,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of May 21, 2017, an option to purchase 370,234 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of July 1, 2018, an option to purchase 75,000 shares of common stock, all of which were vested and fully exercisable as of December 27, 2019, and an option to purchase 250,000 shares of common stock, 125,000 of which vested in June 2020, and 125,000 of which shall vest on the earlier of the one year anniversary of the Approval Date or June 27, 2021.
   
(6) This information is based solely on Amendment No. 2 to Schedule 13D filed on April 2, 2019. Joseph LoConti has reported the sole power to vote and dispose of 7,022,584 shares of the Company’s common stock and the shared power to vote and dispose of 6,130,479 shares of the Company’s common stock. Mr. LoConti’s address is 200 Park Avenue, Suite 400, Orange Village, Ohio 44122.

 

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

Transactions with Related Persons

 

On April 23, 2012, we entered into a lease agreement with One World Ranches LLC pursuant to which we leased from One World Ranches LLC, an entity jointly owned by Dr. Avtar Dhillon, the former Chairman of our Board of Directors and his wife, Diljit Banins, certain office and laboratory space located in Yuba City, California. Our rent payments thereunder were $2,300 per month until May 1, 2017 and increased to $2,600 per month on May 1, 2017. That lease agreement terminated on May 1, 2020.

 

On January 18, 2019, the Company entered into an amendment to the August 2018 and October 2018 securities purchase agreements. Pursuant to the amendment, the warrants issued to Mr. Feighan and Mr. Cavanaugh were cancelled, and they were issued an additional 1,870,417 and 572,291 shares, respectively, of the Company’s common stock for no additional consideration. The fair value of the additional shares, net of the cancelled warrants, was approximately $783,000 and $240,000, respectively, and was recorded as a deemed dividend.

 

 41 

 

 

On May 8, 2019, the Company and Mr. Brooke entered into a separation agreement and release on May 8, 2019 (the “Separation Agreement”). Pursuant to the Separation Agreement, Mr. Brooke agreed to release claims against the Company and is entitled to receive a severance payment equal to six-months’ salary, payable in six equal monthly installments of $18,750, and reimbursement of COBRA payments for up to 12 months.

 

Except as described above, during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2019 and 2020, and through the filing of this annual report, there have been no transactions, and there are no currently 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.

 

Director Independence

 

Our Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Celeste would qualify as “independent” as that term is defined by Nasdaq Listing Rule 5605(a)(2). Mr. Feighan and Mr. Cavanaugh would not qualify as “independent” because Mr. Cavanaugh currently serves as our Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Feighan currently serves as our Executive Chairman.

 

Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm’s Fee Summary

 

The following table provides information regarding the fees billed to us by Weinberg & Company, P.A., our independent registered public accounting firm, for services rendered in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019. All fees described below were approved by our Board of Directors:

 

   For the years ended March 31, 
   2020   2019 
Audit Fees  $86,716   $119,480 
Audit-Related Fees   -    - 
Tax Fees   23,831    23,948 
All Other Fees   -    - 
Total Fees  $110,547   $143,428 

 

Audit Fees. The fees identified under this caption were for professional services rendered by Weinberg & Company, P.A. for the audit of our annual financial statements. The fees identified under this caption also include fees for professional services rendered by Weinberg & Company, P.A. for the review of the financial statements included in our quarterly reports on Forms 10-Q. In addition, the amounts include fees for services that are normally provided by the auditor in connection with regulatory filings and engagements for the years identified.

 

Audit-Related Fees. The fees identified under this caption consist of assurance and related services reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of financial statements and not reported under the caption “Audit Fees”.

 

Tax Fees. Tax fees consist principally of assistance related to tax compliance and reporting.

 

All Other Fees. These fees consist primarily of accounting consultation fees related to potential collaborative agreements. We incurred no such fees in during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020 or 2019.

 

Pre-Approval Policies and Procedures

 

Our Audit Committee’s charter requires our Audit Committee to pre-approve all audit and permissible non-audit services to be performed for the Company by our independent registered public accounting firm, giving effect to the “de minimis” exception for ratification of certain non-audit services allowed by the applicable rules of the SEC, in order to assure that the provision of such services does not impair the auditor’s independence. Since the establishment of our Audit Committee on August 24, 2012, the Audit Committee approved in advance all services provided by our independent registered public accounting firm. All engagements of our independent registered public accounting firm for 2012 entered into prior to the establishment of the Audit Committee were pre-approved by the Board of Directors.

 

 42 

 

 

PART IV

 

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

(a) (1) The financial statements filed as a part of this annual report are as follows:

 

  Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm F-2
  Consolidated Balance Sheets as of March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-3
  Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-4
  Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-5
  Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-6
  Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements F-7

 

  (2) Schedules are omitted because they are not applicable or the required information is shown in the financial statements or notes thereto.

 

  (3) The exhibits filed with this annual report are set forth in the Exhibit Index included at the end of this annual report, which is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 16. Form 10-K Summary

 

None

 

 43 

 

 

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.

 

  VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.
     
Date: June 29, 2020 By: /s/ Michael Cavanaugh
    Michael Cavanaugh
    Chief Executive Officer
    (Principal Executive Officer)

 

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints Michael Cavanaugh as his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact and agent, each with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for him or her and in his or her name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments to this report and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto and all documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto said attorney-in-fact and agent full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done in and about the premises, as fully to all intents and purposes as he might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that such attorney-in-fact and agent, or his or her substitute or substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

 

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

 

SIGNATURE   TITLE   DATE
         
/s/ Michael Cavanaugh   Chief Executive Officer and Director   June 29, 2020
Michael Cavanaugh   (Principal Executive Officer)    
         
/s/ Edward Feighan   Director   June 29, 2020
Edward Feighan        
         
/s/ Richard Celeste   Director   June 29, 2020
Richard Celeste        

 

 44 

 

 

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

2.1 Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated September 14, 2011, by and between Stevia First Corp. and Legend Mining Inc. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 14, 2011.)
3.1.1 Articles of Incorporation of Stevia First Corp. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the registrant’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the SEC on August 6, 2008 (File No. 333-152830).)
3.1.2 Articles of Merger, effective October 10, 2011 (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 14, 2011.)
3.1.3 Certificate of Change, effective October 10, 2011 (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 14, 2011.)
3.2.1 Bylaws of Stevia First Corp. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to the registrant’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the SEC on August 6, 2008 (File No. 333-152830).)
3.2.2 Certificate of Amendment of Bylaws of Stevia First Corp. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on February 7, 2012.)
4.1 Form of Series A/B/C Common Stock Purchase Warrant (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 26, 2013.)
4.2 Form of Series A/B/C Common Stock Purchase Warrant (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 6, 2015.)
4.3 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on July 27, 2017.)
4.4 Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 13, 2017.)
10.1# Executive Employment Agreement, dated January 31, 2012, by and between the registrant and Robert T. Brooke (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on February 7, 2012.)
10.2# Stevia First Corp. 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on February 7, 2012.)
10.3 Lease Agreement, dated April 23, 2012, by and between the registrant and One World Ranches LLC (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on July 13, 2012.)
10.4 Form of Registration Rights Agreement, dated November 1, 2012, by and among the registrant and the signatories thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 31, 2012.)
10.5# Amendment No. 1 to the Stevia First Corp, 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.19 to the registrant’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on May 20, 2013.)
10.6# Amendment No. 2 to Stevia First Corp. 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.21 to the registrant’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on June 30, 2014.).
10.7 Form of Securities Purchase Agreement, dated May 5, 2015, by and among Stevia First Corp. and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 6, 2015.)
10.8 Form of Registration Rights Agreement (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 6, 2015.)
10.9 Form of Securities Purchase Agreement, dated May 4, 2016, by and among Stevia First Corp. and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 9, 2016.)
10.10 Securities Purchase Agreement, dated June 25, 2013, by and among Stevia First Corp. and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 26, 2013.)
10.11 Amendment to License Agreement, dated October 10, 2013 by and between Stevia First Corp. and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Inc. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 16, 2013.)

 

 45 

 

 

10.12 Form of Securities Purchase Agreement, dated May 5, 2015, by and among Stevia First Corp. and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 6, 2015.)
10.13 Form of Registration Rights Agreement (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 6, 2015.)
10.14 Securities Purchase Agreement, dated July 26, 2017 by and among the registrant and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on July 27, 2017.)
10.15 Registration Rights Agreement, dated July 26, 2017, by and among the registrant and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on July 27, 2017.)
10.16 Lease Renewal Agreement, dated May 1, 2017, by and between the registrant and One World Ranches LLC (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the registrant’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 10, 2017.)
10.17 Securities Purchase Agreement, dated December 12, 2017 by and among the registrant and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 13, 2017.)
10.18 Registration Rights Agreement, dated December 12, 2017, by and among the registrant and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 13, 2017.)
10.19 Securities Purchase Agreement, dated August 29, 2018 by and among Vitality Biopharma, Inc., and the Purchaser listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on September 4, 2018.)
10.20 Securities Purchase Agreement, dated October 19, 2018 by and among Vitality Biopharma, Inc., and the Purchasers listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 23, 2018.)
10.21 Securities Exchange Agreement, dated October 19, 2018 by and among Vitality Biopharma, Inc., and the Shareholders listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 23, 2018.)
10.22 Amendment to Securities Purchase Agreement, dated as of January 18, 2019 by and among Vitality Biopharma, Inc. and the Investors listed on the signature pages thereto (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 22, 2019.)
10.23 Separation Agreement and Release, dated May 8, 2019, by and between the registrant and Robert Brooke. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 14, 2019.)
10.24# Third Amendment to Vitality Biopharma, Inc. 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the registrant’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 14, 2019.)
23.1* Consent of Weinberg & Company, P.A.
23.3* Power of Attorney (included on the signature page to this Annual Report.)
31.1* Certification of Principal Executive Officer pursuant to Rule 13a-14(a) or 15d-14(a) under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934
31.2* Certification of Principal Financial Officer pursuant to Rule 13a-14(a) or 15d-14(a) under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934
32.1* Certification of Principal Executive Officer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
32.2* Certification of Principal Financial Officer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

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

 

* Filed herewith
# Management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement.

 

 46 

 

 

Financial Statements

 

  Page
   
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm F-2
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-3
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-4
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-5
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 F-6
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements F-7

 

F-1

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Stockholders and Board of Directors

Vitality Biopharma, Inc.

Los Angeles, California

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (the “Company”) as of March 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of March 31, 2020 and 2019, 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 the 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.

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2012.

 

/s/ Weinberg & Company, P.A.  
Los Angeles, California  
June 29, 2020  

 

F-2

 

 

VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 

   March 31, 2020   March 31, 2019 
Assets          
           
Current Assets          
Cash and cash equivalents  $2,392,225   $5,982,741 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   15,666    3,300 
Current assets, discontinued operations   -    66,607 
Total current assets   2,407,891    6,052,648 
Deposits   35,752    22,662 
Operating lease right-of-use asset   123,606    - 
           
Total Assets  $2,567,249   $6,075,310 
           
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity          
           
Current Liabilities          
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities  $862,528   $640,965 
Advance   296,653    296,653 
Operating lease liability, short-term   125,679    - 
Accounts payable – related party   -    5,200 
Derivative liability   -    35,710 
Current liabilities, discontinued operations   -    75,706 
Total liabilities   1,284,860    1,054,234 
           
Commitments and contingencies          
           
Stockholders’ Equity          
Common stock, par value $0.001 per share; 1,000,000,000 shares authorized; 50,840,147 and 52,290,147 shares issued and outstanding, respectively   50,640    52,090 
Additional paid-in-capital   47,778,607    47,150,489 
Accumulated deficit   (46,546,858)   (42,181,503)
Total stockholders’ equity   1,282,389    5,021,076 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity  $2,567,249   $6,075,310 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements

 

F-3

 

 

VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

 

   Years Ended March 31, 
   2020   2019 
         
Revenues  $-   $- 
           
Operating Expenses:          
General and administrative   2,680,217    2,792,703 
Research and development   1,009,894    1,742,919 
Rent- related party   2,600    31,200 
Total operating expenses   3,692,711    4,566,822 
           
Loss from operations   (3,692,711)   (4,566,822)
           
Other income          
Change in fair value of derivative liability   35,710    117,332 
Interest income   1,248    - 
Other income   23,524    - 
Total other income   60,482    117,332 
           
Loss from continuing operations   (3,632,229)   (4,449,490)
           
Loss from discontinued operations   (733,126)   (8,672,077)
           
Net loss   (4,365,355)   (13,121,567)
Deemed dividend on issuance of shares   -    (7,015,000)
Net loss attributable to common stockholders  $(4,365,355)  $(20,136,567)
           
Net loss per share from continuing operations - basic and diluted  $(0.07)  $(0.13)
Net loss per share from discontinued operations - basic and diluted   (0.01)   (0.48)
Net loss per share - basic and diluted  $(0.08)  $(0.61)
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding - basic and diluted   51,541,377    33,001,323 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements

 

F-4

 

 

VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

YEARS ENDED MARCH 31, 2020 and 2019

 

       Additional         
   Common Stock   Paid-in-   Accumulated     
   Shares   Amount   Capital   Deficit   Total 
Balance, March 31, 2018   24,275,147   $24,075   $22,343,135   $(22,044,936)  $322,274 
                          
Shares and warrants issued for cash, net   6,000,000    6,000    8,844,000    -    8,850,000 
Shares issued for acquisition (net of 1,000,000 shares cancelled)   5,000,000    5,000    7,495,000         7,500,000 
Deemed dividend on issuance of shares   16,750,000    16,750    6,998,250    (7,015,000)   - 
Fair value of common stock issued for services   265,000    265    348,186    -    348,451 
Common stock issued to employees with vesting terms   -    -    356,270    -    356,270 
Fair value of vested stock options   -    -    765,648    -    765,648 
Net Loss   -    -    -    (13,121,567)   (13,121,567)
                          
Balance, March 31, 2019   52,290,147    52,090    47,150,489    (42,181,503)   5,021,076 
                          
Cancellation of shares   (1,450,000)   (1,450)   1,450    -    - 
Fair value of vested stock options   -    -    626,668    -    626,668 
Net Loss   -    -    -    (4,365,355)   (4,365,355)
                          
Balance, March 31, 2020   50,840,147   $50,640   $47,778,607   $(46,546,858)  $1,282,389 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

F-5

 

 

VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 

   Years Ended March 31, 
   2020   2019 
Cash flows from operating activities:          
Net loss  $(4,365,355)  $(13,121,567)
Less: Loss from discontinued operations   733,126    8,672,077 
Loss from continuing operations   (3,632,229)   (4,449,490)
Adjustments to reconcile loss from continuing operations to net cash used in operating activities:          
Fair value of vested stock options   626,668    765,648 
Fair value of vested restricted common stock   -    348,451 
Fair value of common stock issued for services   -    356,270 
Operating lease expense   129,781    - 
Change in fair value of derivative liability   (35,710)   (117,332)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:          
 Prepaid expense and other current assets   (12,366)   (14,643)
 Prepaid expense - related party   -    2,600 
 Deposits   (13,090)   (2,028)
 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities   221,563    429,817 
 Accounts payable – related party   (5,200)   5,200 
 Advance   -    296,653 
 Operating lease liability   (127,708)   - 
Net cash used in operating activities – continuing operations   (2,848,291)   (2,378,854)
Net cash used in operating activities – discontinued operations   (742,225)   (1,286,240)
           
Net cash used in operating activities   (3,590,516)   (3,665,094)
           
Cash flows from investing activities:          
Cash provided by discontinued operations   -    141,545 
Net cash provided by investing activities   -    141,545 
           
Cash provided by financing activities:          
Proceeds from sale of common stock and warrants, net   -    8,850,000 
Net cash provided by financing activities   -    8,850,000 
           
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents   (3,590,516)   5,326,451 
Cash and cash equivalents - Beginning of Period   5,982,741    656,290 
           
Cash and cash equivalents - End of Period  $2,392,225   $5,982,741 
           
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:          
Cash paid during the period for:          
Interest  $-   $- 
Income taxes  $-   $- 
           
Supplemental non-cash investing and financing activities:          
Initial recognition of operating lease right-of-use assets and operating lease obligations upon adoption of new lease accounting standard  $253,387   $- 
Cancellation of shares   1,450    - 
Fair value of common stock of $7,500,000 issued in acquisition allocated to:          
Current assets   -    168,046 
Fixed assets   -    12,269 
Costs in excess of net assets acquired   -    7,550,000 
Current liabilities assumed   -    (230,315)
Fair value of common stock issued as dividend, net of warrants cancelled   -    7,015,000 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

F-6

 

 

VITALITY BIOPHARMA, INC.

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE

FISCAL YEARS ENDED MARCH 31, 2020 AND 2019

 

1. BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (the “Company”, “we”, “us” or “our”), was incorporated in the State of Nevada on June 29, 2007.

 

In 2015, the Company developed a new class of cannabinoids known as cannabosides, which were discovered through application of the Company’s proprietary enzymatic bioprocessing technologies. In 2016, the Company received approvals from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (the “DEA”) and the State of California to initiate studies and manufacturing scale-up at its research and development facilities in order to develop cannabosides. Currently, we do not have any commercial products and have not yet generated any revenues from our cannabinoid prodrug pharmaceuticals.

 

Liquidity

 

We are currently engaged in the development of cannabinoid prodrug pharmaceuticals, we do not have any commercial products, and have not yet generated significant revenues from sales of products or services. As reflected in the accompanying financial statements, during the year ended March 31, 2020, the Company incurred a net loss of $4,365,355 and used $3,590,516 of cash in our operating activities. As of March 31, 2020, we had $2,392,225 of cash on hand, stockholders’ equity of $1,282,389 and working capital of $1,123,031.

 

Our total expenditures for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, are expected to be approximately $1,600,000, which is comprised of research and development and general operating expenses. We believe that we have sufficient capital to fund our anticipated operating expenses for at least one year from the date that the financial statements are issued.

 

While we believe that our existing cash balances will be sufficient to fund our currently planned level of operations, we may require additional financing to fund our planned future operations. Further, these estimates could differ if we encounter unanticipated difficulties, or if our estimates of the amount of cash necessary to operate our business prove to be wrong, and we use our available financial resources faster than we currently expect. No assurance can be given that any future financing, if needed, will be available or, if available, that it will be on terms that are satisfactory to the Company.

 

COVID-19 Outbreak

 

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has led to significant disruptions in the global economy, including the curtailment of activities by businesses and consumers in much of the world as governments and others seek to limit the spread of the disease. The extent of the impact of the pandemic on our business and financial results will depend largely on future developments, including the duration and severity of the outbreak, the length of restrictions and business closures imposed by domestic and foreign governments, the impact on capital and financial markets, all of which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. While it is not possible at this time to estimate the full impact that COVID-19 will have on our business, restrictions resulting from COVID-19 on general economic conditions could, among other things, impair our ability to raise capital when needed. This situation is changing rapidly, and additional impacts may arise that we are not aware of currently.

 

Basis of Presentation

 

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Vitality Healthtech, Inc. and have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The Company’s fiscal year end is March 31.

 

F-7

 

 

Use of Estimates

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America 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 financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The more significant estimates and assumptions by management include, among others, estimates inherent in recording purchase price allocation, reserves for accounts receivable, the fair value of equity instruments issued for services, and assumptions used in the valuation of derivative liabilities and the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets.

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

The Company considers all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less at the date of acquisition to be cash equivalents. From time to time, the Company’s cash account balances exceed the balances as covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance System. The Company has never suffered a loss due to such excess balances.

 

Business Combinations

 

The Company accounts for its business combinations using the purchase method of accounting where the cost is allocated to the underlying net tangible and intangible assets acquired, based on their respective fair values. The excess of the purchase price over the estimated fair values of the net assets acquired is recorded as goodwill. Identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed and any noncontrolling interest in the acquiree are recognized and measured as of the acquisition date at fair value. Additionally, contingent consideration, if any, is recorded at fair value on the acquisition date and classified as a liability. Goodwill is recognized to the extent by which the aggregate of the acquisition-date fair value of the consideration transferred and any noncontrolling interest in the acquiree exceeds the recognized basis of the identifiable assets acquired, net of assumed liabilities. Determining the fair value of assets acquired, liabilities assumed and noncontrolling interests requires management’s judgment and often involves the use of significant estimates and assumptions.

 

Goodwill and Intangible Assets

 

The Company follows Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 350 in accounting for intangible assets, which requires impairment losses to be recorded when indicators of impairment are present and the undiscounted cash flows estimated to be generated by the assets are less than the assets’ carrying amounts.

 

Goodwill is the excess of cost of an acquired entity over the fair value of amounts assigned to assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. Under the guidance of ASC 350, goodwill is not amortized, rather it is tested for impairment annually, and will be tested for impairment between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would indicate the carrying amount may be impaired. An impairment loss generally would be recognized when the carrying amount of the reporting unit’s net assets exceeds the estimated fair value of the reporting unit and would be measured as the excess carrying value of goodwill over the derived fair value of goodwill.

 

For the year ended March 31, 2019, the Company recorded impairment of goodwill and intangible assets of $7,550,000 (See Note 2). For the year ended March 31, 2020, the Company did not record any impairment of goodwill and intangible assets.

 

Financial Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value

 

The Company uses various inputs in determining the fair value of its investments and measures these assets on a recurring basis. Financial assets recorded at fair value in the balance sheets are categorized by the level of objectivity associated with the inputs used to measure their fair value. Authoritative guidance provided by FASB defines the following levels directly related to the amount of subjectivity associated with the inputs to fair valuation of these financial assets:

 

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

 

F-8

 

 

Level 2 Inputs, other than the quoted prices in active markets, that are observable either directly or indirectly.
   
Level 3 Unobservable inputs based on the Company’s assumptions.

 

The carrying value of cash and accounts payable and accrued liabilities approximates their fair value because of the short maturity of these instruments. Unless otherwise noted, it is management’s opinion that the Company is not exposed to significant interest, currency or credit risks arising from these financial instruments.

 

As of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, the Company’s balance sheet includes Level 2 liabilities comprised of the fair value of embedded derivative liabilities of $0 and $35,710, respectively (see Note 5). The following table sets forth a summary of the changes in the estimated fair value of our embedded derivative during the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019:

 

  

Year ended

March 31, 2020

  

Year ended

March 31, 2019

 
Fair value at beginning of period  $35,710   $153,042 
Net change in the fair value of derivative liabilities   (35,710)   (117,332)
Fair value at end of period  $-   $35,710 

 

Derivative Financial Instruments

 

The Company evaluates its financial instruments to determine if such instruments are derivatives or contain features that qualify as embedded derivatives. For derivative financial instruments that are accounted for as liabilities, the derivative instrument is initially recorded at its fair value and is then re-valued at each reporting date, with changes in the fair value reported in the statements of operations. For stock-based derivative financial instruments, the Company uses a probability weighted average Black-Scholes-Merton model to value the derivative instruments at inception and on subsequent valuation dates through the March 31, 2020, reporting date. The classification of derivative instruments, including whether such instruments should be recorded as liabilities or as equity, is evaluated at the end of each reporting period.

 

Income Taxes

 

The Company follows the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under this method, deferred income tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the estimated tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying values and their respective income tax basis (temporary differences). The effect on deferred income tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized as income (loss) in the period that includes the enactment date.

 

Leases

 

Prior to April 1, 2019, the Company accounted for leases under ASC 840, Accounting for Leases. Effective April 1, 2019, the Company adopted the guidance of ASC 842, Leases, which requires an entity to recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for virtually all leases. The implementation of ASC 842 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and did not have a significant impact on our liquidity or on our compliance with our financial covenants associated with our loans. The Company adopted ASC 842 using a modified retrospective approach. As a result, the comparative financial information has not been updated and the required disclosures prior to the date of adoption have not been updated and continue to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for those periods. The adoption of ASC 842 on April 1, 2019 resulted in the recognition of operating lease right-of-use asset of $253,387, lease liability for operating lease of $253,387, and a zero cumulative-effect adjustment to accumulated deficit (see Note 3).

 

F-9

 

 

Stock-Based Compensation

 

The Company issues stock options and warrants, shares of common stock, and shares of restricted common stock as share-based compensation to employees and non-employees. The Company accounts for its share-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation. Stock-based compensation cost is measured at the grant date, based on the estimated fair value of the award, and is recognized as expense over the requisite service period.

 

In prior periods through March 31, 2019, the Company accounted for share-based payments to non-employees in accordance with ASC 505-50, Equity - Based Payments to Non-Employees, whereby the value of the stock compensation is based upon the measurement date as determined at either (a) the date at which a performance commitment is reached, or (b) the date at which the necessary performance to earn the equity instruments is complete.

 

On April 1, 2019, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2018-07 which expands the scope of ASC 718 to include share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from nonemployees. As a result, nonemployee share-based transactions is measured by estimating the fair value of the equity instruments at the grant date, taking into consideration the probability of satisfying performance conditions. The adoption of the standard did not have a material impact on our financial statements.

 

Basic and Diluted Loss Per Share

 

Basic loss per share is computed by dividing the net loss applicable to common stockholders by the weighted average number of outstanding common shares during the period. Shares of restricted stock are included in the basic weighted average number of common shares outstanding from the time they vest. Diluted loss per share is computed by dividing net loss applicable to common stockholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding plus the number of additional common shares that would have been outstanding if all dilutive potential common shares had been issued. Shares of restricted stock are included in the diluted weighted average number of common shares outstanding from the date they are granted unless they are antidilutive. Diluted loss per share excludes all potential common shares if their effect is anti-dilutive. The following potentially dilutive shares were excluded from the shares used to calculate diluted earnings per share as their inclusion would be anti-dilutive:

 

   March 31, 
   2020   2019 
Options   6,546,710    3,456,710 
Warrants   1,135,003    1,135,003 
Total   7,681,713    4,591,713 

 

Patents and Patent Application Costs

 

Although the Company believes that its patents and underlying technology have continuing value, the amount of future benefits to be derived from the patents is uncertain. Accordingly, patent costs are expensed as incurred.

 

Research and Development

 

Research and development costs consist primarily of fees paid to consultants and outside service providers, patent fees and costs, and other expenses relating to the acquisition, design, development and testing of the Company’s treatments and product candidates. Research and development costs are expensed as incurred.

 

Segments

 

The Company operates in one segment for the development of pharmaceuticals products. In accordance with the “Segment Reporting” Topic of the ASC, the Company’s chief operating decision maker has been identified as the Chief Executive Officer, who reviews operating results to make decisions about allocating resources and assessing performance for the entire Company. Existing guidance, which is based on a management approach to segment reporting, establishes requirements to report selected segment information quarterly and to report annually entity-wide disclosures about products and services, major customers, and the countries in which the entity holds material assets and reports revenue. All material operating units qualify for aggregation under “Segment Reporting” due to their similar customer base and similarities in: economic characteristics; nature of products and services; and procurement, manufacturing, and distribution processes. Since the Company operates in one segment, all financial information required by “Segment Reporting” can be found in the accompanying financial statements.

 

F-10

 

 

Reclassifications

 

Certain amounts related to revenue and expenses of discontinued operations for the year ended March 31, 2019, and assets and liabilities attributable to discontinued operations at March 31, 2019, have been reclassified to conform to classifications used in the current year as a result of the discontinued operations presentation. The reclassifications had no effect on previously reported results of consolidated operations or retained earnings (see Note 2).

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. ASU 2016-13 requires entities to use a forward-looking approach based on current expected credit losses (“CECL”) to estimate credit losses on certain types of financial instruments, including trade receivables. This may result in the earlier recognition of allowances for losses. ASU 2016-13 is effective for the Company beginning April 1, 2023, and early adoption is permitted. The Company does not believe the potential impact of the new guidance and related codification improvements will be material to its financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Other recent accounting pronouncements issued by the FASB, including its Emerging Issues Task Force, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Securities and Exchange Commission did not or are not believed by management to have a material impact on the Company’s present or future financial statements.

 

2. DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS

 

In October 2018, the Company acquired Summit Healthtech, Inc., now known as Vitality Healthtech, Inc. and its subsidiary The Control Center, Inc. (collectively, “Summit Healthtech”). Summit Healthtech was formed to establish specialty healthcare clinics focused on treating patients suffering from addiction and dependency issues. In May 2019, the Company decided to close Summit Healthtech due to poor financial and operating performance. Summit Healthtech ceased all operations and closed on June 14, 2019.

 

The Company initially issued 6,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock valued at $9,000,000 in exchange for all of the outstanding common stock of Summit Healthtech. The shares were valued at $1.50 per share based on a contemporaneous private placement offering price.

 

The Company accounted for the acquisition of Summit Healthtech as a business combination in accordance with ASC 805, Business Combinations and made a provisional purchase price allocation to reflect the net assets acquired of $180,315 and the net liabilities assumed of $230,315. The excess of the purchase price over identifiable net assets of $9,550,000 was recorded as goodwill and intangible assets. Subsequent to December 31, 2018, the Company cancelled 2,450,000 shares of the Company’s common stock that had been issued as part of the acquisition and accordingly, the total purchase price was adjusted to $7,500,000 and the excess of the purchase price over identifiable net assets was adjusted to $7,550,000. At March 31, 2019, the Company determined that projected losses for Summit Healthtech indicated that the fair value of Summit Healthtech was below its carrying value, and 100% of the goodwill and intangible assets of $7,550,000 was recorded as an impairment.

 

In addition to the clinical operations of Summit Healthtech, the Company was engaged in the business of selling research diagnostic testing kits (collectively referred to as the “Company’s clinical and test kit operations”).

 

In May 2019, the Company decided to close the Company’s clinical and test kit operations. The Company’s clinical and test kit operations meet the discontinued operations criteria and are reported as such in all periods presented on the accompanying consolidated financial statements. During the year ended March 31, 2020, costs to close the Company’s clinical and test kit operations, primarily made up of severance and related benefits, totaled approximately $165,000, and are included in loss from discontinued operations.

 

F-11

 

 

Included in the 6,000,000 shares of common stock issued for the acquisition of Summit Healthtech were 1,450,000 shares issued to Dr. Arif Karim, the former owner of The Control Center, Inc. Dr. Karim had entered into an employment agreement with Summit Healthtech, Inc. prior to the acquisition by the Company.

 

On October 30, 2019, the Company reached a settlement with Dr. Karim, whereby the Company and Dr. Karim released all claims against each other, including any claims under the Executive Employment Agreement between Vitality Healthtech, Inc. and Dr. Karim dated October 12, 2018, and the Share Purchase Agreement by and among The Control Center, Inc., Dr. Karim and Vitality Healthtech, Inc. also dated October 12, 2018. In exchange for the releases, the Company paid Dr. Karim $120,000, which is included in the costs to close the Company’s clinical and test kit operations, and the 1,450,000 shares of the Company’s common stock issued to Dr. Karim were cancelled with no adjustment to the purchase price recorded.

 

The following table presents the summarized components of loss from discontinued operations for the Company’s clinical and test kit operations:

 

   Years Ended March 31, 
   2020   2019 
         
Revenue  $44,698   $258,288 
           
Cost of sales   143,232    454,767 
Research and development   4,361    42,792 
General and administrative   630,231    882,806 
Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets   -    7,550,000 
Loss from discontinued operations  $(733,126)  $(8,672,077)

 

The assets and liabilities of discontinued operations are stated separately as of March 31, 2020 and 2019 in the consolidated balance sheets and are comprised of the following items:

 

   March 31, 
   2020   2019 
Assets          
Accounts receivable, net  $   $19,360 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets       47,247 
Total current assets, discontinued operations  $   $66,607 
           
Liabilities          
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities  $   $75,706 

 

3. OPERATING LEASE

 

At March 31, 2020, the Company has an operating lease agreement for its office space. The Company accounts for the lease and non-lease components of its office lease as a single lease component. Lease expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Leases with an initial term of 12 months or less are not recorded on the balance sheet.

 

Under ASC 842, an operating lease right-of-use (“ROU”) asset and liability is recognized at commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. ROU assets represent our right to use an underlying asset for the lease term and lease liabilities represent our obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. Generally, the implicit rate of interest in lease arrangements is not readily determinable and the Company utilizes its incremental borrowing rate in determining the present value of lease payments. The Company’s incremental borrowing rate is a hypothetical rate based on its understanding of what its credit rating would be. The operating lease ROU asset includes any lease payments made and excludes lease incentives. The adoption of ASC 842 did not have a significant impact on our liquidity.

 

 F-12 

 

 

The components of lease expense and supplemental cash flow information related to leases for the period are as follows:

 

  

Year

Ended

March 31, 2020

 
Lease Cost     
Operating lease cost (included in general and administrative expenses in the accompanying statement of operations)  $137,600 
      
Other Information     
Cash paid for amounts included in the measurement of lease liabilities for the year ended March 31, 2020  $136,095 
Weighted average remaining lease term – operating leases (in years)   0.9 
Average discount rate – operating leases   4.0%

 

The supplemental balance sheet information related to leases for the period is as follows:

 

  

At March 31,

2020

 
Operating Leases     
Long-term right-of-use asset  $123,606 
      
Short-term operating lease liability  $125,679 
Long-term operating lease liability   - 
Total operating lease liabilities  $125,679 

 

Maturities of the Company’s lease liabilities are as follows:

 

Year Ending March 31  Operating Lease 
2021  $128,205 
Total lease payments   128,205 
Less: Imputed interest/present value discount   (2,526)
Present value of lease liabilities  $125,679 

 

Lease expenses were $153,599 and $129,248 during the years ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, respectively.

 

4. ADVANCE

 

In July 2018, we received a payment from a third party in the amount of $296,653. To date, the Company has not confirmed the nature of this payment. We have recorded this payment as an advance and, at March 31, 2020 and 2019, it is included in current liabilities on the accompanying financial statements.

 

5. DERIVATIVE LIABILITY

 

In May 2015, the Company issued certain warrants which included a fundamental transaction provision that could give rise to an obligation to pay cash to the warrant holder. In addition, the warrants contained an anti-dilution provision that allows for the automatic reset of the exercise price of the warrants upon future sale of the Company’s common stock, warrants, options, convertible debt or any other equity-linked securities at an issuance, exercise or conversion price below the current exercise price of the warrants. As such the Company determined that the warrant fundamental transaction clause and exercise price created a derivative. In accordance with the FASB authoritative guidance, the fair value of the warrants was recognized as a derivative instrument and is re-measured at the end of each reporting period with the change in value reported in the statement of operations.

 

 F-13 

 

 

At March 31, 2018, the balance of the derivative liabilities was $153,042. During the year ended March 31, 2019, the Company recorded a decrease in derivative liability of $117,332. At March 31, 2019, the balance of the derivative liabilities was $35,710. During the year ended March 31, 2020, the Company recorded a decrease in derivative liability of $35,710, and at March 31, 2020, the balance of derivative liabilities was zero.

 

At March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, the derivative liabilities were valued using a probability weighted Black-Scholes-Merton pricing model with the following assumptions:

 

   March 31, 2020   March 31, 2019 
Conversion feature:          
Risk-free interest rate   0.05%   2.63%
Expected volatility   248%   177%
Expected life (in years)   0.1 years     1.1 years  
Expected dividend yield   -    - 
           
Fair Value:          
Warrant liability  $-   $35,710 

 

The risk-free interest rate was based on rates established by the Federal Reserve Bank. The Company uses the historical volatility of its common stock to estimate the future volatility for its common stock. The expected life of the warrants was determined by the expiration date of the warrants. The expected dividend yield was based on the fact that the Company has not paid dividends to its common stockholders in the past and does not expect to pay dividends to its common stockholders in the future.

 

6. STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

Sale of common stock and warrants for cash in fiscal 2019

 

During the year ended March 31, 2019, the Company entered into securities purchase agreements pursuant to which the Company sold a total of 6,000,000 units of common stock and warrants at a purchase price of $1.50 per unit, resulting in net proceeds to the Company of $8,850,000 after deducting fees and expenses of the offering. Each unit consisted of one share of common stock and a warrant to purchase between one-half of one share and one share of common stock. Accordingly, 6,000,000 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5,833,333 shares of common stock were issued. 166,667 of the warrants had an exercise price of $2.00 per share, and 5,666,666 of the warrants had an exercise price of $3.00 per share. The warrants vested immediately and expire in five years. On January 18, 2019, the Company amended the securities purchase agreements. Pursuant to the amendments, the warrants to purchase the 5,833,333 shares of the Company’s common stock were cancelled, and the investors were issued an additional 16,750,000 shares of the Company’s common stock for no additional consideration. The fair value of the 16,750,000 shares issued was $9,715,000 and the fair value of the 5,833,333 warrants cancelled was $2,700,000. The difference of $7,015,000 was recorded as a deemed dividend to the investors.

 

Common stock issued for acquisition in fiscal 2019

 

On October 19, 2018, the Company issued 6,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock in exchange for all of the outstanding common stock of Summit Healthtech (see Note 2). In February 2019, June 2019, and October 2019, the Company cancelled a total of 2,450,000 shares of the Company’s common stock that had been issued as part of the share exchange agreement (see Note 2).

 

 F-14 

 

 

7. STOCK BASED COMPENSATION

 

Stock options issued during fiscal 2020

 

During the year ended March 31, 2020, the Company granted to directors and employees options to purchase an aggregate of 3,250,000 shares of the Company’s common stock with exercise prices of $0.30 to $0.35 per share, that expire ten years from the date of grant, and all have vesting periods of 24 months. The fair value of each option award was estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model based on the following assumptions: (i) volatility rate of 176.50%, (ii) discount rate of 1.73%, (iii) zero expected dividend yield, and (iv) expected life of 6 years, which is the average of the term of the options and their vesting periods. The total fair value of the option grants to employees at their grant dates was approximately $1,026,000.

 

Stock options issued during fiscal 2019

 

During the year ended March 31, 2019, the Company granted an aggregate of 200,000 options to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock with exercise prices ranging from $1.62 to $1.95 per share to two employees that expire ten years from the date of grant. The options issued have a vesting period of three years. The fair value of each option award was estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model based on the following assumptions: (i) volatility rate between 117.91% and 119.34%, (ii) discount rate between 2.79% and 2.98%, (iii) zero expected dividend yield, and (iv) expected life of 6 years, which is the average of the term of the options and their vesting periods. The total fair value of these option grants at their grant dates was approximately $324,000.

 

During the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019, total stock-based compensation expense related to vested stock options was $626,668 and $765,648, respectively. At March 31, 2020, the remaining unamortized cost of the outstanding stock-based awards was approximately $587,000 and will be amortized on a straight-line basis over a weighted average remaining vesting period of 2 years.

 

A summary of the Company’s stock option activity during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2019 and 2020 is as follows:

 

   Shares  

Weighted

Average

Exercise Price

 
Balance at March 31, 2018   3,316,710   $1.40 
Granted   200,000    1.87 
Exercised   -      
Expired   (60,000)   2.00 
Cancelled   -    - 
Balance outstanding at March 31, 2019   3,456,710   $1.40 
Granted   3,250,000    0.34 
Exercised   -      
Expired   -    - 
Cancelled   (160,000)   1.92 
Balance outstanding at March 31, 2020   6,546,710   $0.89 
Balance exercisable at March 31, 2020   3,271,711   $1.26 

 

At March 31, 2020, the 6,546,710 outstanding stock options had no intrinsic value.

 

A summary of the Company’s stock options outstanding and exercisable as of March 31, 2020 is as follows:

 

  

Number of

Options

  

Weighted

Average

Exercise Price

  

Weighted

Average Grant-
date Stock Price

 
Options Outstanding, March 31, 2020   750,000   $0.30   $0.30 
    2,500,000   $0.35   $0.35 
    1,664,542   $0.50   $0.50 
    128,000   $0.96   $0.96 
    130,000   $1.00   $10.00 
    517,500   $ 1.50-1.95   $ 1.50-1.950 
    687,500   $ 2.00 – 2.79   $ 2.00 – 2.79 
    123,334   $ 3.10 – 3.80   $ 3.10 – 3.80 
    45,834   $ 4.00 – 4.70   $ 4.00 – 4.70 
    6,546,710           
Options Exercisable, March 31, 2020   1,664,542   $0.50   $0.50 
    128,000   $0.96   $0.96 
    130,000   $1.00   $10.00 
    492,501   $ 1.50-1.95   $ 1.50-1.95 
    687,500   $ 2.00 – 2.79   $ 2.00 – 2.79 
    123,334   $ 3.10 – 3.80   $ 3.10 – 3.80 
    45,834   $ 4.00 – 4.70   $ 4.00 – 4.70 
    3,271,711           

 

 F-15 

 

 

Common stock issued to employees with vesting terms

 

At April 1, 2018, the Company had issued an aggregate of 1,636,170 shares of its common stock to an officer and a director of the Company, with aggregate fair value of $1,080,000, and recognized as stock compensation expense ratably over the vesting terms which ranged from 14 months to 2.5 years. During the year ended March 31, 2019, total stock-based compensation recognized on the shares granted was $356,270, and at March 31, 2019, all of the shares had vested. During the year ended March 31, 2020, there was no stock-based compensation recognized on the shares.

 

The following table summarizes restricted common stock activity:

 

   Number of shares   Fair value of shares 
Non-vested shares, March 31, 2018   1,636,170   $1,080,000 
Granted   -    - 
Vested   (1,636,170)   (1,080,000)
Forfeited   -    - 
Non-vested shares, March 31, 2019   -   $- 
Granted   -    - 
Vested   -    - 
Forfeited   -    - 
Non-vested shares, March 31, 2020   -   $- 

 

Common stock issued for services

 

During the year ended March 31, 2019, the Company issued a total of 265,000 shares of common stock to consultants as payment for services and recorded expenses of $348,451 based on the fair value of the Company’s common stock at the issuance date.

 

During the year ended March 31, 2020, the Company did not issue any common stock as payment for services.

 

8. WARRANTS

 

A summary of warrants to purchase common stock issued during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2019 and 2020 is as follows:

 

   Shares  

Weighted

Average

Exercise Price

 
Balance outstanding at March 31, 2018   1,164,422   $2.19 
Granted   5,833,333    2.97 
Exercised   -    - 
Expired/Cancelled   (5,862,752)   2.98 
Balance outstanding at March 31, 2019   1,135,003   $2.19 
Granted   -    - 
Exercised   -    - 
Expired/Cancelled   -    - 
Balance outstanding and exercisable at March 31, 2020   1,135,003   $2.19 

 

At March 31, 2020, the 1,135,003 outstanding stock warrants had no intrinsic value.

 

 F-16 

 

 

Stock warrants issued during fiscal 2020

 

The Company did not issue any warrants during the year ended March 31, 2020.

 

Stock warrants issued during fiscal 2019

 

In August 2018 and October 2018, we issued warrants to purchase an aggregate of 5,833,333 shares of the Company’s common stock with exercise prices ranging from $2.00 to $3.00 per share (see Note 6). These warrants were cancelled in January 2019.

 

9. INCOME TAXES

 

The Company had no income tax expense for the years ended March 31, 2020 or 2019 due to its history of operating losses. The following is a reconciliation of the statutory federal income tax rate to the Company’s effective tax rate:

 

   Year Ended 
   March 31, 
   2020   2019 
Federal Statutory tax rate   (21)%   (21)%
State tax, net of federal benefit   (7)%   (7)%
    (28)%   (28)%
Valuation allowance   28%   28%
Effective tax rate   -%   -%

 

Deferred tax assets and liabilities consist of the following:

 

   March 31, 
   2020   2019 
Net deferred tax assets:          
Net operating loss carryforwards  $5,364,000   $4,524,000 
Stock-based compensation   3,071,000    2,895,000 
Research credits   64,000    40,000 
Operating lease liability   35,000    - 
Gross deferred tax assets