Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

v3.20.2
Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2020
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

NOTE 13 – COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

 

Litigation

 

From time to time, the Company is subject to ordinary routine litigation incidental to its normal business operations. The Company is not currently a party to, and its property is not subject to, any material legal proceedings, except as set forth below.

 

On October 25, 2017, Genexosome entered into and closed a Stock Purchase Agreement with Beijing Genexosome and Yu Zhou, MD, PhD, the sole shareholder of Beijing Genexosome, pursuant to which Genexosome acquired all of the issued and outstanding securities of Beijing Genexosome in consideration of a cash payment in the amount of $450,000, of which $100,000 is still owed. Further, on October 25, 2017, Genexosome entered into and closed an Asset Purchase Agreement with Dr. Zhou, pursuant to which the Company acquired all assets, including all intellectual property and exosome separation systems, held by Dr. Zhou pertaining to the business of researching, developing and commercializing exosome technologies. In consideration of the assets, Genexosome paid Dr. Zhou $876,087 in cash, transferred 500,000 shares of common stock of the Company to Dr. Zhou and issued Dr. Zhou 400 shares of common stock of Genexosome.   Further, The Company had not been able to realize the financial projections provided by Dr. Zhou at the time of the acquisition and has decided to impair the intangible asset associated with this acquisition to zero.  Dr. Zhou was terminated as Co-CEO of Genexosome on August 14, 2019.   Further, on October 28, 2019, Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital ("Research Institute") filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division against Dr. Zhou, Li Chen, the Company and Genexosome with various claims against the Company and Genexosome including misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016  and violation of Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act.  Research Institute is seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, exemplary damages, injunctive relief and other equitable relief. The Company intends to vigorously defend against this action and pursue all available legal remedies.  The civil case against Avalon is stayed pending resolution of the criminal proceedings against Dr. Zhou and Li Chen, and while there can be no assurances, the Company believes it has substantial legal and factual defenses to the Research Institute's claims and the likelihood of any findings of liability for the Company cannot be assessed at this time.

 

Operating Leases

 

Beijing Genexosome Office Lease

 

On February 28, 2020, Beijing Genexosome signed an agreement to lease its office space under operating lease. Pursuant to the signed lease, monthly rent is RMB 833 (approximately $120) with a required security deposit of RMB 5,000 (approximately $700). The term of the lease is 13 months commencing on March 15, 2020 and expires on April 14, 2021 with one month of free rent. The total rent is RMB 10,000 (approximately $1,400) and paid in full in March 2020. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, rent expense related to the lease amounted to $328 and $383, respectively. As of June 30, 2020, the future minimum rental payment required under this operating lease is $1,034.

 

Avalon Shanghai Office Lease

 

On February 24, 2020, Avalon Shanghai entered into a lease for office space in Beijing, China, with a third party (the "Beijing Office Lease"). Pursuant to the Beijing Office Lease, the monthly rent is RMB 50,586 (approximately $7,000) with a required security deposit of RMB 164,764 (approximately $23,000). In addition, Avalon Shanghai needs to pay monthly maintenance fees of RMB 4,336 (approximately $600). The term of the Beijing Office Lease is 12 months commencing on March 1, 2020 and expires on February 28, 2021. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, rent expense and maintenance fees related to the Beijing Office Lease amounted to approximately $23,000 and $31,000, respectively. As of June 30, 2020, the future minimum rental payment required under this Beijing Office Lease is $62,185.

 

Operating Lease for General Business

 

In December 2019, the Company entered into a lease in New York, U.S., with a third party (the "New York Lease"). Pursuant to the New York Lease, the monthly rent is $6,000. The term of the New York Lease is 3 years commencing on January 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2022. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, rent expense related to the New York Lease amounted to $18,000 and $36,000, respectively.

 

Operating lease right-of-use asset related to the New York Lease is included in "Right-of-use asset, operating lease" and is included in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. With respect to lease liability, operating lease liability is included in "Operating lease obligation" and "Operating lease obligation – noncurrent portion," in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. The Company's leases as of December 31, 2019 did not meet the requirements to be recorded as a right-of-use asset and operating lease obligation as they were immaterial and less than 12 months in term.

 

Supplemental cash flow information related to the New York lease for the six months ended June 30, 2020 is as follows:

 

Cash paid for amounts included in the measurement of lease liabilities:      
Operating cash flows paid for operating lease   $ 30,000  
Right-of-use asset obtained in exchange for lease obligation:        
Operating lease   $ 169,578  

 

Supplemental balance sheet information related to the New York Lease as of June 30, 2020 is as follows:

 

Operating Lease:      
Operating lease right-of-use asset   $ 169,578  
         
Current portion of operating lease liability   $ 76,379  
Long-term operating lease liability     99,199  
Total operating lease liability   $ 175,578  
         
Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term (in years):        
Operating lease     2.5  
         
Weighted Average Discount Rate:        
Operating lease     5.0 %

 

The following table summarizes the maturity of lease liability under the New York Lease as of June 30, 2020:

 

For the Year Ending June 30:   Operating Lease  
2021   $ 72,000  
2022     72,000  
2023     36,000  
2024 and thereafter     -  
Total lease payments     180,000  
Amount of lease payments representing interest     (10,422 )
Total present value of operating lease liability   $ 169,578  

 

Equity Investment Commitment

 

On May 29, 2018, Avalon Shanghai entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Jiangsu Unicorn Biological Technology Co., Ltd. ("Unicorn"), pursuant to which a company named Epicon Biotech Co., Ltd. ("Epicon") was formed on August 14, 2018. Epicon is owned 60% by Unicorn and 40% by Avalon Shanghai. Within five years of execution of the Joint Venture Agreement, Unicorn shall invest cash into Epicon in an amount not less than RMB 8,000,000 (approximately $1.1 million) and the premises of the laboratories of Nanjing Hospital of Chinese Medicine for exclusive use by Epicon, and Avalon Shanghai shall invest cash into Epicon in an amount not less than RMB 10,000,000 (approximately $1.4 million). Epicon is focused on cell preparation, third party testing, biological sample repository for commercial and scientific research purposes and the clinical transformation of scientific achievements. As of June 30, 2020, Avalon Shanghai has contributed RMB 4,300,000 (approximately $0.6 million) that was included in equity method investment on the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Avalon Shanghai intends to use its present working capital together with borrowings from related party and equity raises to fund the project cost.

 

Joint Venture – AVAR BioTherapeutics (China) Co. Ltd.

 

On October 23, 2018, Avactis Biosciences, Inc. ("Avactis"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, and Arbele Limited ("Arbele") agreed to the establishment of AVAR BioTherapeutics (China) Co. Ltd. ("AVAR"), a Sino-foreign equity joint venture, pursuant to an Equity Joint Venture Agreement (the "AVAR Agreement"), which will be owned 60% by Avactis and 40% by Arbele. The purpose and business scope of the Joint Venture is to research, develop, produce, sell, distribute and generally commercialize CAR-T/CAR-NK/TCR-T/universal cellular immunotherapy in China. Avactis is required to contribute $10 million (or equivalent in RMB) in cash and/or services, which shall be contributed in tranches based on milestones to be determined jointly by AVAR and Avactis in writing subject to Avactis' cash reserves. Within 30 days, Arbele shall make a contribution of $6.66 million in the form of entering into a License Agreement with AVAR granting AVAR with an exclusive right and license in China to its technology and intellectual property pertaining to CAR-T/CAR-NK/TCR-T/universal cellular immunotherapy technology and any additional technology developed in the future with terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon Avactis and AVAR and services.

 

In addition, Avactis is responsible for:

 

Contributing registered capital of RMB 5,000,000 (approximately $0.7 million) for working capital purposes as required by local regulation, which is not required to be contributed immediately and will be contributed subject to Avactis' discretion;
     
assist AVAR in setting up its business operations and obtaining all required permits and licenses from the Chinese government;
     
assisting AVAR in recruiting, hiring and retaining personnel;
     
providing AVAR with access to various hospital networks in China to assist in the testing and commercialization of the CAR-T/CAR-NK/TCR-T/universal cellular immunotherapy technology in China;
     
assisting AVAR in managing the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility and clinic to be developed by AVAR;
     
providing AVAR with advice pertaining to conducting clinicals in China; and
     
Within 6 days of signing the AVAR Agreement, Avactis is required to pay to Arbele $300,000 as a research and development fee with an additional two payments of $300,000 (for a total of $900,000) to be paid upon mutually agreed upon milestones.

 

Under AVAR Agreement, Arbele shall be responsible for the following:

 

  Entering into a License Agreement with AVAR; and
     
  Providing AVAR with research and development expertise pertaining to clinical laboratory medicine when hired by AVAR.

 

As of June 30, 2020, Avactis has paid $900,000 to Arbele as research and development fee, and License Agreement has not been finalized.

 

Line of Credit Agreement

 

On August 29, 2019, the Company entered into a Line of Credit Agreement (the "Line of Credit Agreement") providing the Company with a $20 million line of credit (the "Line of Credit") from Wenzhao Lu (the "Lender"), a significant shareholder and director of the Company. The Line of Credit allows the Company to request loans thereunder and to use the proceeds of such loans for working capital and operating expense purposes until the facility matures on December 31, 2024. The loans are unsecured and are not convertible into equity of the Company. Loans drawn under the Line of Credit bears interest at an annual rate of 5% and each individual loan will be payable three years from the date of issuance. The Company has a right to draw down on the line of credit and not at the discretion of the related party Lender. The Company may, at its option, prepay any borrowings under the Line of Credit, in whole or in part at any time prior to maturity, without premium or penalty. The Line of Credit Agreement includes customary events of default. If any such event of default occurs, the Lender may declare all outstanding loans under the Line of Credit to be due and payable immediately. As of June 30, 2020, $2,900,000 was outstanding under the Line of Credit.