Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-Based Compensation
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2015
Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Abstract]  
Stock-Based Compensation

7. Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-based compensation expense for the three months ended September 30, 2015 was $0.3 million. Stock-based compensation expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $0.8 million. There was no stock-based compensation expense recorded for the 2014 periods as the stock option plan did not become effective until December 17, 2014.

Total stock-based compensation expense was recorded to operating expenses based upon the functional responsibilities of the individuals holding the respective options as follows:


     Three months ended      Nine months ended  
     September 30, 2015      September 30, 2015  

Research and development

   $ 88,176       $ 217,766   

General and administrative

     249,613         605,398   







Total stock-based compensation

   $ 337,790       $ 823,164   







There were no options exercised during the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2015 and 2014.

Pieris granted 663,262 stock options to employees, consultants, and directors under the 2014 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan, (the “Plan”) during the nine months ended September 30, 2015. Of these stock options granted, an option for 450,000 shares was granted to a newly-hired executive officer subject to certain restrictions on exercise that require Company’s shareholders to approve an increase in the number of shares authorized under the Plan; if such shareholder approval is not obtained by September 30, 2016, the option will be cancelled and of no further force and affect. This option, therefore, does not have an impact on the remaining shares available for future grants currently authorized under the Plan.

The Company granted an option to purchase 500,000 shares outside of the Plan to a newly-hired executive officer that was an inducement, material to the executive officer entering into employment with the Company. The compensation expense associated with this inducement option was $32,133 and is included in research and development expense for both the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2015. The Company did not grant any stock options during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2014.

The Company uses the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the estimated grant date fair values for stock-based awards. The weighted-average grant date fair values of the options both in and out of plan granted during the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $1.94 using the following assumptions:


     Three months ended September 30,      Nine months ended September 30,  
     2015      2014      2015      2014  

Dividend yield

     —           —           —           —     

Expected volatility

     72.65% - 73.43%         —           72.65% - 75.07%         —     

Risk-free interest rate

     1.69% - 1.89%         —           1.49% - 1.89%         —     

Expected term

     5.0 - 6.1 years         —           5.0 - 6.1 years         —     

Forfeiture rate

     8.8%         —           8.8%      

Option-pricing models require the input of various subjective assumptions, including the option’s expected life and the price volatility of the underlying stock. Pieris’s estimated expected stock price volatility is based on the average volatilities of other guideline companies in the same industry. Pieris’s expected term of options granted during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015 was derived using the SEC’s simplified method. The risk-free rate for the expected term of the option is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant.

As of September 30, 2015, the total unrecognized compensation cost related to outstanding stock options was $3.8 million, which the Company expects to recognize over a weighted-average period of 3.1 years.