Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Interim Consolidated Financial Statements (Policies)

Interim Consolidated Financial Statements (Policies)
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2017
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Use of estimates

Use of estimates

The preparation of the condensed consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates, judgments, and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the reported amounts of revenues, and expenses in the financial statements and disclosures in the accompanying notes. Significant estimates are used for, but are not limited to, revenue recognition, deferred tax assets, liabilities and valuation allowances, fair value of stock options and various accruals. Management evaluates its estimates on an ongoing basis. Actual results and outcomes could differ materially from management’s estimates, judgments and assumptions.

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses are charged to the statement of operations as incurred. Research and development expenses are comprised of costs incurred in performing research and development activities, including salaries and benefits, facilities costs, pre-clinical and clinical costs, contract services, consulting, depreciation and amortization expense, and other related costs. Costs associated with acquired technology, in the form of upfront fees or milestone payments, are charged to research and development expense as incurred.

Revenue Recognition

Revenue Recognition

Pieris has entered into several licensing and development agreements with collaboration partners for the development of Anticalin® therapeutics against a variety of targets in diseases and conditions. The terms of these agreements contain multiple elements and deliverables, which may include: (i) licenses, or options to obtain licenses, to Pieris’ Anticalin technology and (ii) research activities to be performed on behalf of the collaborative partner. Payments to Pieris, under these agreements, may include upfront fees (which include license and option fees), payments for research activities, payments based upon the achievement of certain milestones and royalties on product sales. There are no performance, cancellation, termination, or refund provisions in any of the arrangements that could result in material financial consequences to Pieris. Pieris follows the provisions of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 605-25, Revenue Recognition—Multiple-Element Arrangements and ASC Topic 605-28, Revenue Recognition—Milestone Method in accounting for these agreements.

Multiple-Element Arrangements

Multiple-Element Arrangements

When evaluating multiple-element arrangements, Pieris identifies the deliverables included within the agreement and evaluates which deliverables represent separate units of accounting based on whether the delivered element has stand-alone value to the customer or if the arrangement includes a general right of return for delivered items.


The consideration received is allocated among the separate units of accounting using the relative selling price method, and the applicable revenue recognition criteria are applied to each of the separate units of accounting. Pieris has used best estimate of selling price (“BESP”) methodology to estimate the selling price for licenses and options to acquire additional licenses to its proprietary technology because Pieris does not have vendor specific objective evidence (“VSOE”) or third party evidence (“TPE”) of selling price for these deliverables. To determine the estimated selling price of a license to its proprietary technology, Pieris considers market conditions as well as entity-specific factors, including those factors contemplated in negotiating the agreements, terms of previous collaborative agreements, similar agreements entered into by third parties, market opportunity, estimated development costs, probability of success, and the time needed to commercialize a product candidate pursuant to the license. In validating Pieris’ best estimate of selling price, Pieris evaluates whether changes in the key assumptions used to determine the best estimate of selling price will have a significant effect on the allocation of arrangement consideration among multiple deliverables.

Multiple element arrangements, such as license and development arrangements, are analyzed to determine whether the deliverables, which often include a license and performance obligations such as research and steering committee services, can be separated or whether they must be accounted for as a single unit of accounting in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The Company recognizes up-front license payments as revenue upon delivery of the license only if the license has stand-alone value. If the license is considered to not have stand-alone value, the arrangement would then be accounted for as a single unit of accounting and the license payments and payments for performance obligations are recognized as revenue over the estimated period of when the performance obligations are performed.

If the Company is involved in a steering committee as part of a multiple element arrangement, the Company assesses whether its involvement constitutes a performance obligation or a right to participate. Steering committee services that are determined to be performance obligations, are combined with other research services or performance obligations required under an arrangement, if any, in determining the level of effort required in an arrangement and the period over which the Company expects to complete its aggregate performance obligations.

The Company recognizes arrangement consideration allocated to each unit of accounting when all of the revenue recognition criteria in ASC 605 are satisfied for that particular unit of accounting. Whenever the Company determines that an arrangement should be accounted for as a single unit of accounting, it must determine the period over which the performance obligations will be performed and revenue will be recognized. Revenue will be recognized using either a relative performance or straight-line method. The Company recognizes revenue using the proportional performance method provided the Company can reasonably estimate the level of effort required to complete its performance obligations under an arrangement and such performance obligations are provided on a best-effort basis. Full-time equivalents are typically used as the measure of performance.

Significant management judgment is required in determining the level of effort required under an arrangement and the period over which the Company is expected to complete its performance obligations under an arrangement.

The accounting treatment for options granted to collaborators is dependent upon the nature of the option granted to the collaborative partner. Options are considered substantive if, at the inception of an agreement, Pieris is at risk as to whether the collaborative partner will choose to exercise the options to secure additional goods or services. Factors that are considered in evaluating whether options are substantive include the overall objective of the arrangement, the benefit the collaborator might obtain from the agreement without exercising the options, the cost to exercise the options relative to the total upfront consideration, and the additional financial commitments or economic penalties imposed on the collaborator as a result of exercising the options.

In arrangements where options to obtain additional deliverables are considered substantive, Pieris determines whether the optional licenses are priced at a significant and incremental discount. If the prices include a significant and incremental discount, the option is considered a deliverable in the arrangement. However, if not priced at a discount, the elements included in the arrangement are considered to be only the non-contingent elements. When a collaborator exercises an option to acquire an additional license, the exercise fee that is attributed to the additional license and any incremental discount allocated at inception are recognized in a manner consistent with the treatment of up-front payments for licenses (i.e., license and research services). In the event an option expires un-exercised, any incremental discounts deferred at the inception of the arrangement are recognized into revenue upon expiration. For options that are non-substantive, the additional licenses to which the options pertain are considered deliverables upon inception of the arrangement, and Pieris applies the multiple-element revenue recognition criteria to determine accounting treatment. All of Pieris’ agreements with options have been determined to include substantive options.

Payments or reimbursements resulting from Pieris’ research and development efforts in multi-element arrangements, in which Pieris’ research and development efforts are considered deliverable, are recognized as the services are performed and are presented on a gross basis so long as there is persuasive evidence of an arrangement, the fee is fixed or determinable, and collection of the related receivable is reasonably assured. Amounts received prior to satisfying the above revenue recognition criteria are recorded as deferred revenue in the accompanying balance sheets.

Milestone Payments and Royalties

Milestone Payments and Royalties

At the inception of each agreement that includes milestone payments, Pieris evaluates whether each milestone is substantive and at risk to both parties on the basis of the contingent nature of the milestone. This evaluation includes an assessment of whether: (a) the consideration is commensurate with either (1) the entity’s performance to achieve the milestone, or (2) the enhancement of the value of the delivered item(s) as a result of a specific outcome resulting from the entity’s performance to achieve the milestone, (b) the consideration relates solely to past performance and (c) the consideration is reasonable relative to all of the deliverables and payment terms within the arrangement. Pieris evaluates factors such as the scientific, regulatory, commercial and other risks that must be overcome to achieve the respective milestone, the level of effort and investment required to achieve the respective milestone and whether the milestone consideration is reasonable relative to all deliverables and payment terms in the arrangement in making this assessment.

Pieris aggregates milestones into four categories: (i) research milestones, (ii) development milestones, (iii) commercial milestones and (iv) sales milestones. Research milestones are typically achieved upon reaching certain success criteria as defined in each agreement related to developing an Anticalin protein against the specified target. Development milestones are typically reached when a compound reaches a defined phase of clinical research or passes such phase, or upon gaining regulatory approvals. Commercial milestones are typically achieved when an approved pharmaceutical product reaches the status for commercial sale or certain defined levels of net sales by the licensee, such as when a product first achieves global sales or annual sales of a specified amount. Sales milestones are typically achieved when an approved pharmaceutical product exceed net sales as defined in each agreement.

For revenues from research, development, and sales milestone payments, if the milestones are deemed substantive and the milestone payments are nonrefundable, such amounts are recognized entirely upon successful accomplishment of the milestones. Milestones that are not considered substantive are accounted for as license payments and recognized on a straight-line basis over the period of performance. To date, Pieris has determined all milestones are substantive. Revenues from commercial milestone payments are accounted for as royalties and are recorded as revenue upon achievement of the milestone, assuming all other revenue recognition criteria are met. Royalty payments are recognized in revenues based on the timing of royalty payments earned in accordance with the agreements, which typically is the period when the relevant sales occur, assuming all other revenue recognition criteria are met.

Recent Pronouncements

Adopted standards for current period

In August 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued ASU No. 2014-15, “Disclosure of Uncertainties about an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern” which is intended to define management’s responsibility to evaluate whether there is substantial doubt about an organization’s ability to continue as a going concern and to provide related footnote disclosures. Substantial doubt about an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern exists when relevant conditions and events, considered in the aggregate, indicate that it is probable that the entity will be unable to meet its financial obligations as they become due within one year after the date that the financial statements are issued (or are available to be issued). ASU No. 2014-15 provides guidance to an organization’s management, with principles and definitions intended to reduce diversity in the timing and content of disclosures commonly provided by organizations in the footnotes of their financial statements. ASU No. 2014-15 is effective for annual reporting periods ending after December 15, 2016, and for annual and interim periods thereafter. Early adoption is permitted. This standard has been adopted as of March 31, 2017, and the Company does not believe it is required to make any additional disclosures.

Standards not yet adopted

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) (“ASU 2014-09”). Subsequently, the FASB also issued ASU 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) , which adjusted the effective date of ASU 2014-09; ASU No. 2016-08, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Principal versus Agent Considerations (Reporting Revenue Gross versus Net), which amends the principal-versus-agent implementation guidance and illustrations in ASU 2014-09; ASU No. 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing, which clarifies identifying performance obligation and licensing implementation guidance and illustrations in ASU 2014-09; and ASU No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients , which addresses implementation issues and is intended to reduce the cost and complexity of applying the new revenue standard in ASU 2014-09 (collectively, the “Revenue ASUs”).


The Revenue ASUs provide an accounting standard for a single comprehensive model for use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance. The accounting standard is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, with an option to early adopt for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The guidance permits two methods of adoption: retrospectively to each prior reporting period presented (the full retrospective method), or retrospectively with the cumulative effect of initially applying the guidance recognized at the date of initial application (the modified retrospective method). We currently anticipate adoption of the new standard effective January 1, 2018 under the modified retrospective method. The Company is in the process of determining the impact of the Revenue Recognition ASUs on its financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842)”. Under the amendments in ASU 2016-02 lessees will be required to recognize (i) a lease liability, which is a lessee’s obligation to make lease payments arising from a lease, measured on a discounted basis; and (ii) a right-of-use asset, which is an asset that represents the lessee’s right to use, or control the use of, a specified asset for the lease term for all leases (with the exception of short-term leases) at the commencement date. This guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the potential impact the adoption of this standard will have on its financial statements and related disclosures.

Pieris has considered other recent accounting pronouncements and concluded that they are either not applicable to the business, or that the effect is not expected to be material to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements as a result of future adoption.