tm2132809-10_f1 - none - 50.812183s
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 5, 2022
Registration No. 333-        
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM F-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
Belite Bio, Inc
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Not Applicable
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
Cayman Islands
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
2834
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
Not Applicable
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 101,
San Diego, CA 92121
Telephone: +1-858-246-6240
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)
Puglisi & Associates
850 Library Avenue, Suite 204
Newark, Delaware 19711
(302) 738-6680
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Copies to:
Portia Ku, Esq.
Vincent Lin, Esq.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Times Square Tower
7 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
+1-212-326-2000
Yu-Hsin Lin
Belite Bio, Inc
5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 101,
San Diego, CA 92121
+1-858-246-6240
Richard Anslow, Esq.
John J. Hart, Esq.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP
1345 Avenue of the Americas, 11th Floor
New York, New York 10105
+1-212-370-1300
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box. ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐

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If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933.
Emerging growth company ☒
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, 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 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and we are not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS (Subject to Completion)
Dated           , 2022.
American Depositary Shares
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Belite Bio, Inc
Representing                 Ordinary Shares
We are selling American depositary shares, or ADSs. Each ADS represents one ordinary share, par value US$0.0001 per share.
This is an initial public offering in the United States of Belite Bio, Inc, a Cayman Islands exempted holding company with headquarters in San Diego, California and operations in the United States and Australia.
Throughout this prospectus, unless the context indicates otherwise, references to “Belite” refer to Belite Bio, Inc, a holding company, together as a group with our subsidiaries, including our operating subsidiaries. Belite Bio, LLC and RBP4 Pty Ltd, our U.S. and Australia-based operating subsidiaries, respectively, conduct our daily operations. Investors purchasing our ADSs in this initial public offering are purchasing equity securities of our Cayman Islands exempt holding company and are not purchasing equity securities of our operating subsidiaries in the United States and Australia. In the normal course of our business, Belite would evaluate the financial condition and capital needs of our subsidiaries periodically and then provide funding for their operations via equity investments and intercompany loans. As of the date of this prospectus, we have provided US$10.06 million to our subsidiaries via capital contribution, including US$0.5 million intercompany loans that have been repaid by the subsidiary via the issuance of ordinary shares, among which we have provided US$60,000 to our Hong Kong subsidiary via capital contribution which further invested US$50,000 to our PRC subsidiary via capital contribution. None of our subsidiaries have declared or paid any dividends or distributions on equity to their respective holding companies as of the date of this prospectus. We have not relied, and do not expect to rely, on dividends or other distributions on equity from any of our subsidiaries for our cash requirements. We have no plans to declare cash dividends in the near term, but as a holding company, we may depend on receipt of funds from one or more of our subsidiaries if we determine to pay cash dividends to holders of our ordinary shares in the future. While our PRC subsidiary has no operations and generates no revenue as of the date of this prospectus, should it generate revenue in the future, restrictions on currency exchanges in China may limit our ability to freely convert such Renminbi to fund any future business activities outside China or other payments in U.S. dollars, and capital control measures imposed by the Chinese government may limit our ability to use capital from our PRC subsidiary for business purposes outside of China. See “Prospectus Summary — Cash Transfers and Dividend Distribution” for a more detailed description.
All of our operations are outside of PRC as of the date of this prospectus although we have established a subsidiary in each of Hong Kong and China. We do not expect the listing of our ADSs to be materially affected by recent statements by the Chinese government indicating an intent to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, including, but not limited to, the cybersecurity review and other regulatory reviews of overseas listing through an offshore holding company. However, due to the extraterritorial reach (the so-called “long arm provisions”) under the current PRC laws and regulations, there remains regulatory uncertainty with respect to the implementation and interpretation of laws in China.
In the event that we elect to carry out clinical trials in China and/or expand our operations into China in the future (see “Business” beginning on page 112 for our current plans for future clinical trials), there may be certain legal and operational risks associated with having certain operations in China, including that changes in the legal, political and economic policies of the Chinese government, the relations between China and the United States, or Chinese or United States regulations may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and the market price of our ADSs. Any such changes may significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer our ADSs to investors, and may cause the value of our ADSs to significantly decline or become worthless. For more information on these risks and other risks you should consider before buying our ADSs, see “Risk Factors” beginning on page 15.
Furthermore, as more stringent criteria, including the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, have been imposed by the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, recently, our ADSs may be prohibited from trading in the United States if our auditor cannot be fully inspected. Our auditor, Friedman LLP, the independent registered public accounting firm that issued the audit report included in this prospectus, is a firm registered with the PCAOB. Friedman LLP is headquartered in Manhattan, New York and has been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis. Therefore, we believe that, as of the date of this prospectus, our auditor is not subject to the determinations announced by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021 relating to the PCAOB’s inability to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China of the PRC or Hong Kong because of a position taken by one or more authorities in the PRC or Hong Kong. For more information on these risks and other risks you should consider before buying our ADSs, see “Risk Factors ” beginning on page 17. We cannot assure you whether Nasdaq or other regulatory authorities will apply additional or more stringent criteria to us. Such uncertainty could cause the market price of our ADSs to be materially and adversely affected.
Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our ordinary shares or ADSs. We anticipate that the initial public offering price of the ADSs will be between US$      and US$      per ADS. In connection with this offering, we have applied for the listing of the ADSs on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “BLTE.”
Upon the completion of this offering, Lin Bioscience International Ltd., our principal shareholder, will hold more than 50% of the shareholder voting power of our outstanding share capital, as further described under “Principal Shareholders” in this prospectus. As a result, our principal shareholder could exert substantial influence over matters such as electing directors and approving material mergers, acquisitions, strategic collaborations or other business combination transactions. As a result, we are a “controlled company” as defined under the Nasdaq Stock Market Rules. For so long as we remain a controlled company as defined under that rule, we are exempt from, and our shareholders generally are not provided with the benefits of, some of the Nasdaq Stock Market corporate governance requirements.
We are an “emerging growth company” and a “foreign private issuer” under applicable U.S. federal securities laws and are eligible for reduced public company reporting requirements.
Lin Bioscience International Ltd., our principal shareholder, has indicated an interest to purchase up to US$15.0 million of ADSs in this offering, which will represent no more than 50% of the total ADSs in this offering such that we still meet the un-affiliated float listing criteria of the Nasdaq Capital Market. Because indications of interest are not binding agreements or commitments to purchase, Lin Bioscience International Ltd. may determine to purchase fewer ADSs than it has indicated an interest in purchasing or not to purchase any ADSs in this offering.
Investing in the ADSs involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 17 for factors you should consider before buying the ADSs.
PRICE US$      PER ADS
Neither the United States Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Per ADS
Total
Initial public offering price
US$ US$
Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)
US$ US$
Proceeds, before expenses, to us
US$ US$
(1)
See “Underwriting” for additional information regarding compensation payable by us to the underwriters.
We have granted to the underwriters an option, for a period of 30 days after the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an additional           ADSs from us at the public offering price per ADS, less underwriting discounts and commissions.
The underwriters expect to deliver the ADSs to purchasers on or about                 , 2022.
Book-Running Manager
THE BENCHMARK COMPANY
The date of this prospectus is           , 2022.

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F-1
Until                 , 2022 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that effect transactions in these ADSs, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to the dealers’ obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as an underwriter and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus that we authorize to be distributed to you. We and the underwriters have not authorized anyone to provide you with any information other than that contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you, and neither we, nor the underwriters, take responsibility for any other information others may give you. We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy the ADSs, only in jurisdictions where such offers and sales are permitted. The information in this prospectus or any free writing prospectus is accurate only as of its date, regardless of its time of delivery or the time of any sale of the ADSs. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.
Neither we nor any of the underwriters has taken any action to permit a public offering of the ADSs outside the United States or to permit the possession or distribution of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus outside the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus must inform themselves about and observe any restrictions relating to the offering of the ADSs and the distribution of the prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus outside the United States.
 
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
The following summary is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, the more detailed information and financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. In addition to this summary, we urge you to read the entire prospectus carefully, especially the risks of investing in the ADSs discussed under “Risk Factors” and information contained in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” before deciding whether to invest in the ADSs.
Overview
We are a clinical stage biopharmaceutical drug development company focused on novel therapeutics targeting currently untreatable eye diseases involving retinal degeneration such as atrophic age-related macular degeneration (commonly known as dry AMD) and autosomal recessive Stargardt disease, or STGD1, both of which progressively lead to permanent blindness, and metabolic diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, type 2 diabetes, or T2D, and gout.
LBS-008
We believe our lead product candidate, LBS-008, or Tinlarebant, if approved, would provide a novel treatment option where there currently is none. LBS-008 is an oral once-a-day treatment that can reduce and maintain the delivery of vitamin A (retinol) to the eye as a means to reduce the accumulation of toxic vitamin A by-products in ocular tissue. This effect is achieved through the ability of LBS-008 to reduce and maintain the level of serum retinol binding protein 4, or RBP4, which carries retinol from the liver to the eye. In clinical trials, LBS-008 has demonstrated its target specificity and potency that we believe could be clinically meaningful to treat STGD1 patients. We initiated an open-label, dose-finding Phase 1b/2 clinical trial in adolescent STGD1 patients in mid-2020 in Australia and Taiwan. The study design includes two portions: Phase 1b and Phase 2. We have completed the Phase 1b portion of this study in 11 adolescent STGD1 patients which has extended into a two-year, Phase 2 study with 13 adolescent STGD1 patients in Australia and Taiwan. The preliminary data from the Phase 1b portion has shown that LBS-008 can achieve a mean RBP4 reduction of > 70%, relative to baseline values. We are currently conducting the Phase 2 portion of this study. See “—Phase 1b/2 Clinical Trial in STGD1” below for more information.
As of the date of this prospectus, we have initiated our Phase 3 clinical trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LBS-008 in adolescent STGD1 patients and received approval to commence patient enrollment in Taiwan, the U.K., Hong Kong and Switzerland. In addition, we are in the process of applying for the necessary approvals to conduct the same clinical trial in other relevant jurisdictions.
STGD1 is a rare monogenetic juvenile-onset macular dystrophy that is characterized by the aberrant and excessive accumulation of toxic vitamin A by-products known as bisretinoids and cellular debris, or lipofuscin, which precedes the death of retinal tissue and loss of vision. Although an orphan disease, STGD1 is the most common juvenile macular degeneration. Dry AMD is a heterogenous condition that arises from a complex interplay between age, genetics and environmental factors, such as diet and smoking, but has a pathology and course of disease that strongly resembles that of STGD1, particularly in intermediate and advanced stages. There are no approved therapies for STGD1 or dry AMD.
Developed from our RBP4 intellectual property portfolio, or RBP4 IP Portfolio, LBS-008 was designed to be a potent and reversible RBP4 antagonist. As an RBP4 antagonist, LBS-008 reduces the amount of retinol entering the visual cycle thereby reducing the formation of bisretinoid toxins which will ultimately preserve the health of the retina. We hold a worldwide exclusive license of the RBP4 IP Portfolio from Columbia University, which contains disclosure directed to over 400 structurally distinct RBP4 antagonists under patent protection in major pharmaceutical markets worldwide, including the United States, the European Union, China, Australia, Japan, South Korea and India.
LBS-008 has received orphan drug designation for the treatment of STGD1 in the United States, which entitles it to market exclusivity such that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, may not approve any other applications for the same product for the same indication for 7 years, except in very limited circumstances. See “Regulations — U.S. Regulation — NDA Submission and Review — Orphan Drug
 
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Designation and Exclusivity” for more information. LBS-008 has also received orphan designation for the treatment of STGD1 in Europe, which entitles it to a 10 year period of market exclusivity, which may be reduced in certain circumstances. During this market exclusivity period, neither the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, nor the European Commission or the member states can accept an application for, or grant a marketing authorization for, a “similar medicinal product.” See “Regulations — European Regulation — Orphan Designation and Exclusivity” for more information. Additional benefits of an orphan drug designation include a tax credit of 50% of the qualified clinical testing expenses for the relevant taxable year and a waiver of the new drug application, or NDA, application fee (which is approximately $3.1 million for fiscal year 2022).
LBS-008 has also received rare pediatric disease designation in the United States and may be eligible for a priority review voucher. A priority review voucher may be awarded to a sponsor if it develops a drug for a rare pediatric disease and the drug is approved. The priority review voucher allows the sponsor of a subsequent NDA or Biologic License Application for any product candidate to expedite the FDA’s review goal from 10 months to 6 months. The priority review voucher may be sold to other companies that seek to expedite drug reviews. See “Regulations — U.S. Regulation — NDA Submission and Review — Rare Pediatric Disease Designation and Priority Review Vouchers” for more information. In the last three years, priority review vouchers have sold in a price range between $80-125 million. In the event that we or a sublicensee chooses to sell a priority review voucher, we or such sublicensee would be obligated to pay Columbia University a percentage of revenue in the low double-digits that we or such sublicensee receives from any such sale pursuant to the Columbia License Agreement. In the event that we or a sublicensee does not sell a priority review voucher within one year of receipt, the earned royalties that we would be obligated to pay to Columbia University based on net sales of licensed products would increase by 1%. See “Business  — Intellectual Property — Patents — Patent License Agreement with The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York” for more information.
LBS-008 is the only drug candidate within the current drug development projects of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, or the BPN, that is intended to treat dry AMD. The BPN was launched in 2004 to foster small-molecule neurotherapeutic development, bringing together a unique blend of grant dollars, industry-standard scientific expertise, and contract resources under a milestone-driven cooperative agreement program. The BPN criteria for selection of clinical drug candidates are based on multiple features of an applicant’s drug development program including the following: 1) strong biological rationale, 2) novel target for the disease, 3) strong data linking target to disease, 4) demonstration of preclinical pharmacodynamic effect and efficacy, 5) feasible path to clinic, and 6) IP free of roadblocks. LBS-008 was selected by the BPN in 2011 and, as of the date of this prospectus, is the only drug candidate within the current drug development projects of the BPN that is intended to treat dry AMD.
The mechanism of action utilized by LBS-008 has been recognized and recommended as a priority for clinical development in both STGD1 and dry AMD in a systematic review published by the U.K. National Institute for Health Research, or the NIHR, in 2018. The NIHR is funded by the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care and focuses on early translational research, clinical research and applied health and social care research for the purpose of enabling and delivering world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth. The NIHR screened 7,948 articles in 2018 for its systematic review on treatments for dry AMD and STGD1. Its principal findings included that research focus should be at earlier stages in both diseases (before vision is impaired) and that the most promising treatments for both diseases appear to be prevention of lipofuscin and bisretinoid accumulation. Therefore, the NIHR recommended the mechanism of RBP4 inhibition, which is utilized by LBS-008, as a promising treatment in dry AMD and STGD1.
Although there are currently no approved treatments available for macular degeneration, our competitors for LBS-008 include several companies going through clinical development for their product candidates. Based on publicly available information, we understand that there is one Japan-based pharmaceutical company that has an asset in Phase 3 development for STGD1. There are also three U.S.-based companies advancing treatments for STGD1 and their assets are currently in Phase 2 and Phase 2b development, respectively, with the third company having recently completed their Phase 2a trial. In geographic atrophy, or GA, there are five U.S.-based companies in late-stage clinical development, three of which have assets in Phase 3 development and two of which have assets in Phase 2 development.
 
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Clinical Trials in Healthy Adult Subjects
To support the clinical development of LBS-008, we have completed one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 1 SAD study in 40 healthy adult subjects in the United States, one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 1 single ascending dose, or SAD, study in 39 healthy adult subjects and one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 1 multiple ascending dose, or MAD, study in 32 healthy adult subjects in Australia. These studies were conducted to confirm the safety, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, or PK, and pharmacodynamics, or PD of LBS-008 on a range of single ascending dose (10-50 mg in the US; 25-400 mg in Australia) / multiple ascending dose (5-25 mg in Australia) levels in heathy adult subjects in fasted / fed conditions.
In the US SAD study, we found that single doses of 10–50 mg LBS-008 were well tolerated and reduced mean serum RBP4 level by around 70% from baseline. The degree of lowering of RBP4 plasma concentrations increased with increasing LBS-008 dose. This study also compared doses of LBS-008 taken with and without food, which did not show a food effect with dosing.
In the Australian SAD study, we found that single doses of 25-400 mg LBS-008 were well tolerated and reduced mean RBP4 level by > 70% from baseline. One subject in the 100 mg cohort experienced a drug-related adverse event of mild transient xanthopsia. That event was resolved within 48 hours. A direct correlation between the LBS-008 plasma concentration and RBP4 suppression was observed.
In the Australian MAD study, we found that all dose levels were well tolerated and have identified an optimal daily dose to reduce serum RBP4 by > 70% from baseline. Most drug-related adverse events reported were mild in severity, and the most frequently reported drug-related adverse event was asymptomatic Delayed Dark Adaptation, or DDA, which did not show dose proportionality and reflects a reduction in vitamin A levels in the eye, which is the intended effect of LBS-008. No deaths, serious or severe adverse events were reported. The Safety Review Committee, or SRC, approved dose escalations after reviewing the safety data profile at each dose level.
Stargardt Disease
In STGD1, we are developing LBS-008 as an oral daily treatment to target RBP4 by disrupting vitamin A (retinol) binding to RBP4 which leads to reduced delivery of retinol to the eye and reduced accumulation of toxic vitamin A by-products.
STGD1 is an inherited juvenile form of macular degeneration and currently, there is no approved treatment available. The disease is caused by a mutation in the ABCA4 gene, which leads to the accelerated formation and accumulation of toxic vitamin A by-products known as bisretinoids. The most prominent bisretinoid identified in human tissues is known as A2E (N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine). The accumulation of A2E in ocular tissues causes progressive retinal cell death and permanent loss of vision. More than 500 mutations in the ABCA4 gene have been identified in STGD1 patients. Some STGD1 patients suffer severe visual impairment by the age of 20. The prevalence rate of STGD1 is estimated to be 1 in 10,000 people. Based on this estimate, approximately 30,000 US citizens are affected by STGD1. This estimate includes both adults and children. Although comprehensive epidemiological data on the prevalence of STGD1 in other countries is not available, the epidemiological literature from other countries, such as Europe and Asian countries, cite the 1 in 10,000 estimate for the prevalence of STGD1.
Phase 1b/2 Clinical Trial in STGD1
We have completed the Phase 1b portion of a Phase 1b/2 open-label, dose-finding study in 11 adolescent STGD1 patients which has extended into a two-year, Phase 2 study with 13 adolescent STGD1 patients in Taiwan and Australia. The Phase 1b portion is a dose-finding study designed to determine the optimal dose of LBS-008 and to evaluate safety, tolerability, PK and PD in adolescent STGD1 patients for a treatment period of 2 cycles of 14-day daily dosing of LBS-008 (28 days of daily treatment) and a 14-day follow-up period. Upon completion of Phase 1b, an optimal daily dose was identified and which was able to achieve a mean RBP4 reduction of > 70%, relative to baseline values.
The preliminary data shows that most frequently reported drug-related adverse events reported to date included DDA and transient xanthopsia, which were all graded as mild. Reports of transient DDA/night
 
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vision impairment and xanthopsia were anticipated and are consistent with LBS-008’s mechanism of action. It is notable that in most incidences of DDA, it was confirmed by laboratory measure (dark adaptometry) as the majority of patients were asymptomatic. No deaths or serious or severe Treatment-emergent adverse events, or TEAEs, were reported. In addition, there were no clinically significant findings in relation to vital signs, physical exams, or electrocardiograms, or ECGs.
The Phase 2 portion consists of a 2-year treatment period with a follow-up period of one month. In the Phase 2 portion of the study, in addition to monitoring the safety and tolerability, we aimed to monitor PK and PD biomarkers (RBP4 and retinol) and the effects of treatment using various retinal imaging modalities (including definitely decreased autofluorescence, or DDAF, questionably decreased autofluorescence, or QDAF, Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, or SD-OCT, and microperimetry), change in best-corrected visual acuity, or BCVA, and the relationship between the change in RBP4 levels and rate of lesion growth.
We are currently conducting the Phase 2 portion of this study. A total of 13 adolescent STGD1 patients were enrolled in the Phase 2 portion of the Phase 1b/2 study. As of the date of this prospectus, all 13 patients have received at least 6 months of treatment and completed the scheduled assessments at the first 6 month interval. Change in BCVA (early treatment diabetic retinopathy study, or ETDRS letter score), and fundus autofluorescence, or FAF, imaging results at 6-months are compared to the baseline measurements at the start of Phase 2. The preliminary data shows that 8 of the 13 patients (or 61.5%) recorded a gain in BCVA (ETDRS letter score) in at least one eye, including 2 patients who recorded a gain in BCVA in both eyes. The average BCVA from the 13 patients was an average loss of 2.8 letters in the right eye, and an average gain of 1.9 letters in the left eye. On FAF retinal imaging, 8 of the 13 patients (or 61.5%) had a reduction or no change in their QDAF area size in at least one eye, including 5 patients who had a reduction or no change in QDAF area size in both eyes. There was an average gain in QDAF area in the right eye of 0.2 ± 0.09mm2 (Mean ± standard error of the mean, or SEM) and in the left eye of 0.1 ± 0.09mm2 (Mean ± SEM). While 12 of the 13 patients had no DDAF lesion measured at the start of Phase 2 and at 6-months, 1 of the 13 patients had a DDAF lesion growth of 0.3mm2 in both eyes during the 6-month period. On SD-OCT imaging, a gradual thinning with an average of approximately 7 to 10 microns (on total retinal thickness by ETDRS regions) was observed in both eyes. In the Ellipsoid Zone (EZ), an average increase in defect width of 0.26mm in the right eye and 0.61mm in the left eye were observed. However, 6 patients had a reduction in EZ defect width in at least 1 eye (including 3 patients in both eyes). Additional interim data read-outs will be captured at Months 12, 15, 18 and 21, and a final data read-out will be captured at Month 24.
Phase 3 Clinical Trial in STGD1
As of the date of this prospectus, we have initiated a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, global, multi-center, Phase 3 clinical trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LBS-008 in adolescent STGD1 patients and received approval to commence patient enrollment in Taiwan, the U.K., Hong Kong and Switzerland. In addition, we are in the process of applying for the necessary approvals to conduct the same clinical trial in other relevant jurisdictions. This study consists of a screening period, a treatment period of 2 years, and a follow-up period of one month. Approximately 60 patients are targeted for enrollment in this study with a 2:1 randomization (active:placebo). See “Risk Factors — In the event that we elect to carry out clinical trials in China and/or expand our operations into China in the future, we will be subject to changing legal and regulatory requirements in the PRC pharmaceutical industry, and new laws, rules and regulations may adversely affect our profitability or impose additional compliance burdens on us.”
We intend to focus on adolescent patients in our ongoing clinical trials due to several benefits afforded by utilizing this patient population — namely, establishing proof-of-concept in the context of a more severe and rapidly progressing disease (i.e., STGD1 disease progression is faster in adolescent patients compared to adults or later-onset patients), and the ability to readily expand into the larger adult STGD1 population upon approval (i.e., drug approvals for pediatrics and/or adolescents are accepted for adults but drug approvals for adults are not accepted for pediatrics and/or adolescent populations due to safety concerns).
Dry AMD
Due to the strong pathophysiologic similarities between STGD1 and intermediate to advanced stages of dry AMD, we expect LBS-008 to have a similar treatment effect on this population of dry AMD patients.
 
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AMD is an age-related form of macular degeneration. The most commonly used classification system for AMD is the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, or AREDS, classification system, which designates the following categories:

Category 1 is designated as “No AMD,” although there may be a few small (<63µm in diameter) yellowish subretinal deposits (i.e., drusen beneath the retina).

Category 2 is designated as “Early AMD” and is characterized by multiple small drusen (<20µm in diameter), a few intermediate drusen (63-124µm in diameter), and abnormalities of the retinal pigment epithelium, or RPE, a monolayer of epithelial cells that lies beneath the retina and provides trophic and metabolic support to photoreceptor cells of the retina.

Category 3 is designated as “Intermediate AMD,” where there is extensive intermediate drusen, large drusen (>125µm in diameter), or geographic atrophy (i.e., localized atrophy of the retina), or GA, and increased lipofuscin in the RPE.

Category 4 is designated as “Advanced AMD” and is characterized by GA or neovascular maculopathy (i.e., ‘wet’ AMD).
The only approved therapies for AMD are for ‘wet’ AMD which represents approximately 10% of all AMD cases. There are no approved therapies for the other stages of AMD, including GA, secondary to advanced AMD, which are collectively referred to as dry AMD and represents approximately 90% of all AMD cases. Importantly, dry AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Thus, there is a significant unmet medical need in treating dry AMD patients. There are an estimated 11 million dry AMD patients in the United States and over 196 million patients worldwide with an estimated global direct healthcare cost of US$255 billion.
Disease progression in early dry AMD is very slow. The American Optometric Association reports that most people move through the process from diagnosis to legal blindness in about 10 years. Therefore, investigational therapies have been directed at the treatment of intermediate and advanced stages of dry AMD, which progress more rapidly than earlier stages. Unlike STGD1, dry AMD is believed to have a very heterogenous etiology, and various therapeutic approaches have been explored to slow disease progression in dry AMD. An important feature of Intermediate AMD is the aberrant and excessive accumulation of lipofuscin and bisretinoid toxins, similar to STGD1. In these stages of dry AMD, retinal lesions (i.e., GA) are bordered on all sides by an annulus of autofluorescence which expands in a centrifugal manner followed by lesion expansion into the autofluorescent area. In vivo analyses of the autofluorescent area in Intermediate AMD eyes revealed an excitation maxima and fluorescence emission that is consistent with the spectral properties of bisretinoid toxins. Thus, the clinical presentation and biochemical features of intermediate and advanced dry AMD suggest that a therapy directed at reducing the level of bisretinoid toxins may be effective to slow disease progression.
We are currently evaluating our plan to initiate, in 2022, a randomized, double masked, placebo-controlled, Phase 2 or Phase 3 trial, in the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific. See “Risk Factors — In the event that we elect to carry out clinical trials in China and/or expand our operations into China in the future, we will be subject to changing legal and regulatory requirements in the PRC pharmaceutical industry, and new laws, rules and regulations may adversely affect our profitability or impose additional compliance burdens on us.” Our objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LBS-008 in the treatment of dry AMD over the course of a two-year treatment period.
LBS-009
LBS-009 is an anti-RBP4 oral therapy targeting liver disease, including NAFLD, NASH, and T2D.
NAFLD occurs when an excess accumulation of fat damages the liver. Currently, it is estimated that approximately 1.9 billion patients suffer from NAFLD worldwide. Over time, the liver damage and the associated inflammation can lead to the development of NASH, which impacts an estimate of more than 9 million patients in the United States alone. As the disease progresses, it can lead to cirrhosis and eventually, complete liver failure. NAFLD and NASH are a growing unmet need for which no FDA-approved treatments are currently available.
 
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T2D is a chronic disease that occurs when the body cannot effectively use insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. The health impact of T2D is profound, potentially causing damage to the eyes, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and nerves. T2D is on the rise, with approximately 422 million patients globally.
LBS-009 is a small molecule designed to compete with retinol for RBP4 binding. When bound to LBS-009, RBP4 can no longer form a large molecular weight complex with transthyretin. Consequently, the RBP4/LBS-009 complex will be removed from circulation by renal filtration. We believe that modulating RBP4 concentrations systemically with LBS-009 has a significant therapeutic potential for treating patients suffering from metabolically associated diseases, including NAFLD, NASH and T2D.
LBS-009 is currently in preclinical development.
Our Management and Clinical Advisory Board
Our management team and ophthalmology clinical advisory board have deep experience and capabilities in ophthalmology, neurology, immunology and immunotherapy, cardiovascular and renal medicine, oncology, neurobiology, biochemistry, drug discovery, clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization. Our ophthalmology clinical advisory board includes key opinion leaders in the macular degeneration space, including Quan Nguyen, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University, Hendrik P.N. Scholl, M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at University of Basel and Co-Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology in Basel, Michel Michaelides, M.D., Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Professor of Ophthalmology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Robyn Guymer, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne and Deputy Director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia and Frank Holz, M.D., Chairman of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn. Together, our management team and ophthalmology clinical advisory board, in connection with our exclusive technology platform, will allow our drugs to be tailored to target at-risk patients across the United States and worldwide, who lack access to necessary treatment in the macular degeneration space.
Our Program
Our lead product candidate, LBS-008, is an RBP4 antagonist. We are developing LBS-008 as an oral daily treatment for STGD1 and dry AMD.
The following table summarizes key information about our clinical program for LBS-008:
Indication
Clinical Trials
Trial Participants
Estimated Timeline
STGD1 Phase 1 single and multiple ascending dose trial Healthy adult subjects Completed
Phase 1b trial Adolescent patients with STGD1 Completed
Phase 2 trial Adolescent patients with STGD1 Ongoing, with interim data read-outs expected to be captured at Months 12, 15, 18 and 21, and a final data read-out to be captured at Month 24.
Phase 3 trial Adolescent patients with STGD1 Initiated
Dry AMD Phase 1 single ascending dose trial Healthy adult subjects Completed
Phase 2 or Phase 3 trial
Patients with dry AMD
2022
 
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Our ongoing and planned development plans and clinical trials may potentially be adversely impacted if the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the future. Specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to (i) delays in patient enrollment for our clinical trials and/or other services provided by the CROs, laboratories or hospitals engaged by or collaborated with us due to lockdown measures in various countries, (ii) delays or significant increase in expenses for obtaining and shipment of our drug candidates due to congestion at port or increased freight and (iii) delays in the FDA or other regulatory agencies review and approval processes as the FDA or other regulatory agencies may prioritize and focus on the approval of therapeutics treating COVID-19 than those treating other indications.
Our Strengths
We believe we are well placed to accomplish our mission due to the following strengths:

Novel oral therapy to tap into a niche market for significant unmet medical needs.

Pre-clinically and clinically demonstrated mechanism of action.

Receipt of Orphan Drug Designation in the United States and Europe.

Receipt of Rare Pediatric Disease Designation in the United States with Eligibility for Priority Review Voucher if approved.

National Institute of Health Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network sponsored and endorsed.

U.K. National Institute for Health Research endorsed the mechanism of action utilized by LBS-008.

Potential to treat intermediate to advanced-stage dry AMD with oral therapy for lifetime.

Highly experienced senior management team supported by world-renowned advisory board and influential key opinion leaders.
Our Strategies
Our goal is to become a leading biopharmaceutical company with an aim to develop the first approved treatment on STGD1 and dry AMD globally. We intend to accomplish our mission by pursuing the following growth strategies:

Efficiently advance our lead product candidate, LBS-008, through Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical development in adolescent STGD1 patients and regulatory approval, with the potential to establish a new standard of care for STGD1 patients.

Leverage the promising clinical data of LBS-008 in adolescent STGD1 patients to initiate Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical development in dry AMD.

Potentially advance LBS-009 through clinical development for the treatment of NAFLD and NASH.

Continue to leverage our exclusive RBP4 IP Portfolio, and look for additional in-licensing or collaboration arrangements, to identify novel candidates to further expand our product pipeline and utilize our global organizational structure to advance programs into clinical development in a capital efficient manner.

Evaluate strategic collaborations to maximize the value of our product candidates.
Summary of Risk Factors
There are a number of risks that you should understand before making an investment decision regarding this offering. These risks are discussed more fully in the section entitled “Risk factors” following this prospectus summary. These risks include, but are not limited to:

Our business is highly dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, LBS-008. If we are unable to develop, obtain marketing approval for or successfully commercialize LBS-008, either alone or through a collaboration, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business could be harmed;
 
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All of our product candidates are in preclinical or clinical development. If we are unable to complete clinical development and obtain regulatory approval to ultimately commercialize our product candidates, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be materially harmed;

We have recorded net cash outflow from operating activities since our inception. Even if we consummate this offering, we will need to obtain additional financing to fund our operations. If we are unable to obtain such financing, we may be unable to complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates;

There is uncertainty regarding our ability to continue as a going concern, indicating the possibility that we may be required to curtail or discontinue our operations in the future;

We have a limited operating history and no history of commercializing pharmaceutical products, which may make it difficult to evaluate the prospects for our future viability;

The regulatory approval processes of the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and other comparable regulatory authorities are time-consuming and may evolve over time, and if we are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, our business will be substantially harmed;

All material aspects of the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products are heavily regulated;

If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates, or if the scope of such intellectual property rights obtained is not sufficiently broad, third parties could develop and commercialize products and technologies similar or identical to ours and compete directly against us, and our ability to successfully commercialize any product or technology may be adversely affected;

We depend on intellectual property licensed from third parties, and our current and future licensors may not always act in our best interest. If we fail to comply with our obligations under our intellectual property licenses, if the licenses are terminated or if disputes regarding these licenses arise, we could lose significant rights that are important to our business;

If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected;

Our future success depends on our ability to attract, retain and motivate senior management and qualified scientific employees;

As we rely on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies, clinical trials, contract manufacture drug substances and drug products, and provide other important services related to product development, regulatory submissions, and commercialization, if we lose our relationships with these third parties or if they do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with applicable laws, or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize our product candidates and our business could be substantially harmed;

We expect to seek to establish collaborations and, if we are not able to establish them on commercially reasonable terms, we may have to alter our development and commercialization plans; and

As a result of our principal shareholder, Lin Bioscience International Ltd.’s significant share ownership position in us, it is able to influence corporate matters and a conflict of interest may arise between our principal shareholder and us.
 
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Corporate Structure
The chart below sets forth our corporate structure and identifies our significant subsidiaries and their significant subsidiaries, as of the date of this prospectus:
[MISSING IMAGE: tm2132809d1-fc_beltebw.jpg]
Cash Transfers and Dividend Distribution
Our cash is primarily held by the holding company, Belite, and has been raised primarily through the issuance and sale of ordinary shares, convertible bonds, or convertible preferred shares in private placement transactions conducted by Belite.
Belite is permitted under the laws of the Cayman Islands to provide funding to our subsidiaries through capital contributions or loans, and there are currently no restrictions on transferring funds between our Cayman Islands holding company and subsidiaries in the U.S., Australia and Hong Kong. Our ability to make loans and additional capital contribution to our PRC subsidiary might be restricted by PRC law.
In the normal course of our business, Belite would evaluate the financial condition and capital needs of our subsidiaries periodically and then provide funding for their operations via equity investments and intercompany loans. As of the date of this prospectus, we have provided US$10.06 million to our subsidiaries via capital contribution, including US$0.5 million intercompany loans that have been repaid by the subsidiary via the issuance of ordinary shares, among which we have provided US$60,000 to our Hong Kong subsidiary via capital contribution which further invested US$50,000 to our PRC subsidiary via capital contribution. No other transfer of cash or other types of assets has been made between our Cayman Islands holding company and subsidiaries as of the date of this prospectus.
Our subsidiaries outside mainland China are permitted, under the respective laws of the U.S., Australia and Hong Kong, to provide funding to Belite through dividend distribution without restrictions on the amount of the funds. Our PRC subsidiary has no operations and generates no revenue as of the date of this prospectus, but should it generate revenue in the future, its ability to distribute dividends to us will be limited by foreign exchange restrictions. In addition, restrictions on currency exchanges in China may limit our ability to freely convert Renminbi to fund any future business activities outside China or other payments in U.S. dollars, and capital control measures imposed by the Chinese government may limit our ability to use capital from our PRC subsidiary for business purposes outside of China. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can not be made in currencies other than Renminbi without complying with certain procedural requirements of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE. Specifically, approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities is required where Renminbi is to be converted into another currency and remitted out of China to pay
 
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capital expenses, such as the repayment of loans denominated in currencies other than Renmibi. As a result, we may need to obtain SAFE approval to use cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiary to pay off its debt in a currency other than Renminbi owed to entities outside China, or to make other capital expenditure payments outside China in a currency other than Renminbi. On the other hand, the PRC Enterprise Tax Law (EIT Law) and its implementation rules provide that a withholding tax rate of up to 10% will be applicable to dividends payable by Chinese companies to non-PRC-resident enterprises unless otherwise exempted or reduced according to treaties or arrangements between the PRC central government and governments of other countries or regions where the non-PRC-resident enterprises are incorporated. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not received nor do we have any present plan to receive dividends paid by our U.S., Australia, Hong Kong and PRC subsidiaries.
As of the date of this prospectus, we did not adopt any specific cash management policies and procedures in relation to how funds are transferred within/through our group. Our management monitors the cash position of each entity within our group regularly, and prepares budgets for our subsidiaries on a monthly basis. In the event that there is a need for cash or a potential short-term cashflow shortages, it would be reported to our chief financial officer and, subject to the approval by our board of directors, we will enter into an intercompany loan arrangement for relevant subsidiary. Other than the above, we did not adopt or maintain any cash management policies and procedures as of the date of this prospectus.
Our Board of Directors has discretion as to whether to distribute dividends, subject to certain requirements of Cayman Islands law. In addition, subject to the provisions in our articles of association, our shareholders may by ordinary resolution declare a dividend not exceeding the amount recommended by our Board of Directors. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not paid and do not have any present plan to declare or pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain most of our available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to This Offering and Our ADSs  — Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future, you must rely on price appreciation of our ADSs for return on your investment” for more information.
Implication of Being an Emerging Growth Company
As a company with less than US$1.07 billion in revenue for our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, as amended, or the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements compared to those that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include exemption from the auditor attestation requirement under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the assessment of the emerging growth company’s internal control over financial reporting. The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards. Pursuant to the JOBS Act, we have elected to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. As a result, our operating results and financial statements may not be comparable to the operating results and financial statements of other companies who have adopted the new or revised accounting standards.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (a) the last day of the fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of at least US$1.07 billion; (b) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering; (c) the date on which we have, during the preceding three-year period, issued more than US$1.0 billion in non-convertible debt; or (d) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of the ADSs that are held by non-affiliates exceeds US$700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter. Once we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will not be entitled to the exemptions provided in the JOBS Act discussed above.
Implication of Being a Foreign Private Issuer
We are also considered a “foreign private issuer.” Accordingly, upon consummation of this offering, we will report under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. This means
 
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that, even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, as long as we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we will be exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including:

the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, or current reports on Form 8-K, upon the occurrence of specified significant events.
We may take advantage of these exemptions until such time as we are no longer a foreign private issuer. We would cease to be a foreign private issuer at such time as more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are held by U.S. residents and any of the following three circumstances applies: (i) the majority of our executive officers or directors are U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) more than 50% of our assets are located in the United States or (iii) our business is administered principally in the United States.
In this prospectus, we have taken advantage of certain of the reduced reporting requirements as a result of being an emerging growth company and a foreign private issuer. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different than the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold equity securities.
Implications of being a Controlled Company
We are a “controlled company” as defined under the Nasdaq Stock Market Rules, because one of our shareholders holds more than 50% of our voting power. As a result, for so long as we remain a controlled company as defined under that rule, we are exempt from, and our shareholders generally are not provided with the benefits of, some of the Nasdaq Stock Market corporate governance requirements, including that:

a majority of our board of directors must be independent directors;

our compensation committee must be composed entirely of independent directors; and

our corporate governance and nomination committee must be composed entirely of independent directors.
Although we intend to reconstitute our board of directors and to have a majority of independent directors, that may change in the future.
Corporate Information
Belite Bio, Inc was incorporated in the Cayman Islands on March 27, 2018 as an exempted company with limited liability. The address of our registered office in Cayman Islands is located at the Office of Maples Corporate Services Limited, PO Box 309, Ugland House, Grand Cayman, KY1-1104, Cayman Islands. Our principal executive offices are located at 5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92121. Our telephone number at that address is +1-858-246-6240.
Our website address is belitebio.com. Our website and the information contained on our website do not constitute a part of this prospectus. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Puglisi & Associates, located at 850 Library Avenue, Suite 204, Newark, Delaware 19711.
Conventions that Apply to this Prospectus
Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, references in this prospectus to:

“ADRs” are to the American depositary receipts that may evidence the ADSs;

“ADSs” are to the American depositary shares, each of which represents one ordinary share;

“AUD” are to the legal currency of Australia;
 
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“Belite,” “we,” “us,” “our company,” and “our” are to Belite Bio, Inc, our Cayman Islands holding company and its subsidiaries;

“China” or the “PRC” are to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this prospectus only, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan;

“shares” or “ordinary shares” are to our ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share; and

“US$,” “U.S. dollars,” “$,” and “dollars” are to the legal currency of the United States.
Unless the context indicates otherwise, all information in this prospectus assumes no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional ADSs from us. The functional currency of the Company’s subsidiaries located in the United States is U.S. dollars. The functional currency of the Company’s subsidiary located in Australia is AUD. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from AUD to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to AUD in this prospectus are made at a rate of            to US$1.00, the exchange rate in effect as of            as set forth in the H.10 statistical release of The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. We make no representation that any AUD or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollars or AUD, as the case may be, at any particular rate, or at all.
 
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The Offering
Offering price
We currently estimate that the initial public offering price will be between US$       and US$       per ADS.
ADSs offered by us
       ADSs (or       ADSs if the underwriters exercise the option to purchase additional ADSs in full).
ADSs outstanding immediately after this offering
       ADSs (or       ADSs if the underwriters exercise the option to purchase additional ADSs in full).
Ordinary shares issued and outstanding immediately after this offering
       ordinary shares (or       ordinary shares if the underwriters exercise the option to purchase additional ADSs in full).1
The ADSs
Each ADS represents one ordinary share, par value US$0.0001 per share.
The depositary will hold the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs. You will have rights as provided in the deposit agreement among us, the depositary and holders and beneficial owners of ADSs from time to time.
We do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. If, however, we declare dividends on our ordinary shares, the depositary will pay you the cash dividends and other distributions it receives on our ordinary shares after deducting its fees and expenses in accordance with the terms set forth in the deposit agreement.
You may surrender your ADSs to the depositary for cancellation in exchange for ordinary shares. The depositary will charge you fees for any cancellation.
We may amend or terminate the deposit agreement without your consent. If you continue to hold your ADSs after an amendment to the deposit agreement, you agree to be bound by the deposit agreement as amended.
To better understand the terms of the ADSs, you should carefully read the “Description of American Depositary Shares” section of this prospectus. You should also read the deposit agreement, which is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement that includes this prospectus.
Option to purchase additional ADSs
We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable within 30 days from the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an aggregate of additional ADSs.
Use of proceeds
We expect that we will receive net proceeds of approximately US$ million from this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of US$ per ADS, which is the midpoint of the estimated range of the initial public offering price, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
We intend to use approximately 6.1% of the net proceeds for our Phase 3 clinical trial of LBS-008 for STGD1, approximately 60.2%
1
There are 18,095,317 ordinary shares outstanding immediately prior to the offering.
 
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of the net proceeds for further clinical development of LBS-008 for dry AMD, such as Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials, and the remainder for working capital and other general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds” for more information.
Lock-up
We and each of our officers, directors and shareholders beneficially holding greater than 5% of our ordinary shares have agreed with the underwriters, subject to certain exceptions, not to sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any ADSs, ordinary shares or similar securities for a period of 180 days after the date of this prospectus. We have also agreed, subject to certain exceptions, not to file or cause to be filed any registration statement relating to the offering of any of our share capital for a period of 180 days after the date of this prospectus. See “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” and “Underwriting” for more information.
Listing
We have applied to have the ADSs listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “BLTE.” The ADSs and our ordinary shares will not be listed on any other stock exchange or traded on any automated quotation system.
Payment and settlement
The underwriters expect to deliver the ADSs against payment therefor through the facilities of the Depository Trust Company on          , 2022.
Depositary
Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
Indications of Interest
Lin Bioscience International Ltd., our principal shareholder, has indicated an interest to purchase up to US$15.0 million of ADSs in this offering, which will represent no more than 50% of the total ADSs in this offering such that we still meet the un-affiliated float listing criteria of the Nasdaq Capital Market. Because indications of interest are not binding agreements or commitments to purchase, Lin Bioscience International Ltd. may determine to purchase fewer ADSs than it has indicated an interest in purchasing or not to purchase any ADSs in this offering.
 
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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA
The following summary consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss data for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021 and summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or U.S. GAAP. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of results expected for future periods. You should read this Summary Consolidated Financial Data section together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus.
For the Years Ended
December 31,
2020
2021
(amounts in $ and in thousands,
except for shares and per share data)
Expenses
Research and development
3,688 7,419
General and administrative
2,055 2,378
Total operating expenses
5,743 9,797
Loss from operations
(5,743) (9,797)
Other income (expense):
Interest income
12 5
Interest expense
(21)
Other income
126
Total other (expense) income, net
(9) 131
Loss before income tax
(5,752) (9,666)
Income tax expense
(1)
Net loss
(5,753) (9,666)
Other comprehensive income (loss)
Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of nil tax
6 (152)
Total comprehensive loss
$ (5,747) $ (9,818)
Weighted average number of ordinary shares used in per share calculation:
—Basic and Diluted
8,790,397 9,569,932
Net loss per ordinary share
—Basic and Diluted
$ (0.65) $ (1.01)
 
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As of
December 31,
2020
As of
December 31,
2021
(amounts in $ and in
thousands)
Selected Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:
Cash
$ 25,618 $ 17,344
Total assets
$ 25,741 $ 18,348
Total liabilities
$ 972 $ 1,635
Total convertible preferred shares
$ 31,806 $ 31,806
Total shareholders’ deficit
$ (7,037) $ (15,093)
Total liabilities, convertible preferred shares and shareholders’ deficit
$ 25,741 $ 18,348
 
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RISK FACTORS
Investing in our ADSs involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following risks and uncertainties and all other information contained in this prospectus before investing in our ADSs. Our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects could also be harmed by risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently do not believe are material. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected. In that event, the market price of our ADSs could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment.
Risks Related to the Discovery, Development and Commercialization of Our Product Candidates
Our business is highly dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, LBS-008. If we are unable to develop, obtain marketing approval for or successfully commercialize LBS-008, either alone or through a collaboration, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business could be harmed.
We currently have no products that are approved for commercial sale and may never be able to develop marketable products. Our business and future success depends in large part on our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and then successfully commercialize our lead product candidate, LBS-008. This may make an investment in our company riskier than similar companies that have multiple product candidates in active late-stage development that may be able to better sustain the failure of a lead product candidate.
Further, if LBS-008 does not obtain approval for the treatment of autosomal recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1), which is the initial indication that we are currently exploring, we will have spent substantial time and financial resources without receiving a return on investment. As a result, if LBS-008 does not receive approval or fails to become profitable and receive market acceptance, our business, results of operations and financial condition will be adversely affected.
The success of LBS-008 will depend on several factors, including the following:

successful completion of our ongoing clinical trials;

initiation and successful enrollment and completion of additional clinical trials;

safety, tolerability and efficacy profiles that are satisfactory to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, , the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia, or the TGA, National Medical Products Administration, or the NMPA (formerly known as the China Food and Drug Administration, or the CFDA), the European Medicines Agency, or the EMA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority for marketing approval;

timely receipt of marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;

the performance of our future collaborators, if any;

the extent of any required post-marketing approval commitments to applicable regulatory authorities;

establishment of supply arrangements with third-party raw materials suppliers and manufacturers;

establishment of arrangements with third-party manufacturers to obtain finished products that are appropriately packaged for sale;

obtaining and maintaining patent, trade secret protection and regulatory exclusivity, both in the United States and internationally;

protection of our rights in our intellectual property portfolio;

successful launch of commercial sales following any marketing approval;

a continued acceptable safety profile following any marketing approval, and meeting all applicable postmarket commitments, obligations, and requirements;

commercial acceptance of our products, if approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors; and

our ability to compete with other therapies.
 
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If we do not achieve one or more of these factors, many of which are beyond our control, in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to obtain regulatory approvals or commercialize LBS-008. Even if regulatory approvals are obtained, we may never be able to successfully commercialize LBS-008. Accordingly, we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue through the sale of LBS-008 to continue our business.
We may allocate our limited resources to pursue a particular product candidate, indication, including any additional indications for LBS-008, or technology and fail to capitalize on existing or future product candidates, indications or technologies that may later prove to be more profitable, or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.
Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we intend to focus on developing product candidates for specific indications that we identify as most likely to succeed, in terms of both their potential for marketing approval and commercialization. As a result, we may forgo or delay pursuit of opportunities with other product candidates or for other indications or technologies that later may prove to have greater commercial potential or a greater likelihood of success. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future research and development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable product candidates. In addition, if we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate or technology, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate or technology through collaboration, licensing or other royalty arrangements when it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate or technology. For example, we are developing our lead product candidate, LBS-008, to initially treat STGD1. We are also considering a number of additional indications for LBS-008, including the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. We cannot guarantee that the treatment of STGD1 will be the most profitable indication for LBS-008 as opposed to other contemplated indications. This could result in us failing to capitalize on the true market potential of our lead product candidate in a timely manner or at all.
Although a substantial amount of our efforts will focus on the continued clinical testing, potential approval, manufacturing and commercialization of our existing product candidates, the success of our business depends in part upon our ability to identify, license, discover, develop, or commercialize additional product candidates or new technologies. Research efforts to identify new product candidates and technologies require substantial technical, financial, and human resources. Although we do not currently engage in such activities, we may in the future seek to expand our drug pipeline through in-licensing arrangements. We may end up focusing our efforts and resources on potential product candidates and technologies that ultimately prove to be unsuccessful. Our research and any future licensing efforts may fail to identify, discover or in-license new product candidates and technologies suitable for clinical development and commercialization for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:

our research or business development methodology or search criteria and process may be unsuccessful in identifying potential product candidates and technologies, or potential product candidates and technologies that are within our resources to license or acquire and develop;

our potential product candidates and technologies may be shown to have adverse effects or may have other characteristics that may make the products unmarketable or unlikely to receive marketing approval; and

it may take greater human, financial and/or research resources to identify additional therapeutic opportunities for our product candidates or to develop more suitable potential product candidates and technologies than what we possess, thereby limiting our ability to diversify and expand our drug portfolio.
Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we will successfully identify and develop new product candidates or technologies, or additional therapeutic opportunities for our product candidates, whether through internal research or future licensing efforts, which could materially adversely affect our future growth and prospects.
 
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Clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier studies may not be predictive of future study results.
There is a risk of failure for every product candidate. Clinical testing is expensive, is difficult to design and implement and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. It is difficult to predict when or if any of our product candidates will prove effective and safe in humans or will receive regulatory approval, and failure can occur at any time during the preclinical and clinical development process. Before obtaining regulatory approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of any product candidate, our product candidates must complete preclinical studies and then conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans.
The results of preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Product candidates during later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired results in safety and efficacy despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial to advanced clinical trials and despite the level of scientific rigor in the study, design and adequacy of execution. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety and/or efficacy results among different studies of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including, but not limited to, differences in individual patient conditions, including genetic differences, and other compounding factors, such as other medications or pre-existing medical conditions. Many product candidates in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to a lack of efficacy or adverse safety profiles, notwithstanding promising results in earlier studies. Moreover, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain regulatory approval of their product candidates.
In the case of any studies we conduct, results may differ from earlier studies due to the larger number of clinical trial sites and additional countries and languages involved in such studies. Clinical practices vary globally, and there is a lack of harmonization among the guidance provided by various regulatory bodies of different regions and countries with respect to the data that is required to receive marketing approval, which makes designing global studies increasingly complex. Differing regulatory approval requirements in different countries could make it more difficult for us to conduct unified global studies, which can lead to increased development costs and marketing delays or non-viability of our clinical trials. In addition, the FDA may determine that clinical trial results obtained in foreign subjects do not adequately represent the results that would be obtained in U.S. patients and are thus not supportive of an NDA approval in the United States.
In particular, if we experience delays in the start or completion of, or termination of, any clinical trial of LBS-008, the commercial prospects of LBS-008 may be harmed, and our ability to generate product revenues from LBS-008 will be delayed. In addition, any delays in completing our clinical trials will increase our costs, slow down the development and approval process for LBS-008, and jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate revenues. Any of these occurrences may significantly harm our business, financial condition and prospects. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of LBS-008.
All of our product candidates are in preclinical or clinical development. If we are unable to complete clinical development and obtain regulatory approval to ultimately commercialize our product candidates, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be materially harmed.
All of our product candidates are still in development. Our ability to generate revenue from our product candidates is dependent on receipt of regulatory approval and successful commercialization of such products. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to obtain regulatory approvals for our existing product candidates in a timely manner, or at all, and we may be unable to obtain successful commercialization of our product candidates even if we receive regulatory approval. Each of our product candidates will require additional preclinical and/or clinical development, regulatory approvals in multiple jurisdictions, development of commercial manufacturing supply and capacity, substantial investment and significant marketing efforts before we generate any revenue from product sales.
 
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The success of our product candidates will depend on several factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

hiring sufficient technical experts to oversee all development and regulatory activities and meeting of safety requirements;

successful completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials, including the successful enrollment in such clinical trials;

receipt of regulatory approvals from applicable regulatory authorities for planned and future clinical trials, drug registration, manufacturing and commercialization;

successful completion of all safety studies required to obtain regulatory approval in United States, Australia, Taiwan, China, the Europe and other applicable jurisdictions for our product candidates;

our ability to establish manufacturing capabilities and capacities, whether internally or through CMOs, to the specifications of our product candidates for clinical supply;

obtaining and maintaining patent, trade secret and other intellectual property protection and/or regulatory exclusivity for our product candidates;

launching commercial sales of our product candidates, if and when approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

acceptance of the product candidates, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;

obtaining and maintaining healthcare coverage and adequate reimbursement;

effectively competing with other therapies and alternative drugs;

successfully enforcing and defending intellectual property rights and claims; and

maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile of the product candidates following regulatory approval, and meeting all applicable postmarket commitments, obligations, and requirements.
Any significant delays in, or an inability to, obtain regulatory approval and ultimately achieve commercial success for our existing and future product candidates in one or more jurisdictions would materially harm our business and we may not be able to generate enough revenues and cash flows to continue our operations, including delays due to COVID-19 could further materially harm our business. As a result, our financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be materially and adversely harmed.
If we encounter delays or difficulties enrolling and retaining patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development progress and our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
The timely completion of clinical trials in accordance with their protocols depends, among other things, on our ability to enroll a sufficient number of patients that will remain in the study until its conclusion. We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical trials for our product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these studies as required by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and any other applicable similar regulatory authorities, or if there are delays in the enrollment of eligible patients as a result of the competitive clinical enrollment environment. Even once enrolled, we may be unable to retain a sufficient number of patients to complete any of our trials. The inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients who meet the applicable criteria for our clinical trials would result in significant delays and could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. If patients are unwilling to enroll in our clinical trials because of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel or healthcare institution policies, negative publicity from adverse events related to the biopharmaceutical industry or for other reasons, the timeline for recruiting patients, conducting studies and obtaining regulatory approval of our product candidates may be delayed. Even if we are able to enroll a sufficient number of patients in our clinical trials, delays in patient enrollment could result in increased development costs, delays in advancing our product candidates, delays in testing the effectiveness of our product candidates or termination of clinical trials altogether.
 
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Patient enrollment for our clinical trials may be affected by other factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

severity of the disease under investigation;

total size and nature of the relevant patient population;

design and eligibility criteria for the clinical trial in question, including age-based eligibility criteria limiting subject enrollment to adolescent populations;

perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study;

our resources to facilitate timely enrollment in clinical trials;

patient referral practices of physicians;

availability of competing therapies also undergoing clinical trials;

our investigators’ or clinical trial sites’ efforts to screen and recruit eligible patients;

our ability to maintain patient consents;

ability to monitor patients adequately during and after treatment;

proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective patients; and

the occurrence of any pandemic, epidemic or any other public health crises, including from the COVID-19 pandemic, natural catastrophe or other disasters that may cause a delay in enrollment of patients in clinical trials.
Additionally, our ability to successfully initiate, enroll and complete clinical trials in any foreign country is subject to numerous risks unique to conducting business in foreign countries, including:

difficulty in establishing or managing relationships with contract research organizations, or CROs, and physicians;

different standards for the conduct of clinical trials;

absence in some countries of established groups with sufficient regulatory expertise for review of protocols;

inability to locate qualified local consultants, physicians and partners; and

the potential burden of complying with a variety of foreign laws, medical standards and regulatory requirements.
In addition, our clinical trials may compete with other clinical trials for drug candidates that are in the same therapeutic areas as our drug candidates, and this competition will reduce the number and types of patients available to us, because some patients who might have opted to enroll in our trials may instead opt to enroll in a trial being conducted by one of our competitors. Because the number of qualified clinical investigators and clinical trial sites is limited, we expect to conduct some of our clinical trials at the same clinical trial sites that some of our competitors use, which will reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials at such clinical trial sites. For example, we have experienced delays in the enrollment of patients in our clinical trials due to government orders and site policies on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some patients may be unwilling or unable to travel to study sites, enroll in our studies or comply with clinical trial protocols if quarantines impede patient movement or interrupt healthcare services. If we have difficulty enrolling a sufficient number of patients or finding additional clinical trial sites to conduct our clinical trials as planned, we may need to delay, limit or terminate ongoing or planned clinical trials, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, it is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on the workforce of the third parties and CROs on which we rely, which could adversely impact our ability to conduct preclinical studies, enroll and retain patients in our clinical trials and conduct the clinical trials of our product candidates on expected timeframes or to complete such studies, and our ability to ultimately obtain regulatory approval. As a result, the value of our Company could decline and our ability to obtain additional financing may be impaired.
 
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If clinical trials of our product candidates fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of regulatory authorities or do not otherwise produce positive results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our product candidates.
Before obtaining regulatory approval for the sale of our product candidates, we must conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans. We may experience numerous unexpected events during, or as a result of, clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive regulatory approval or commercialize our product candidates, including, but not limited to, the following:

regulators, institutional review boards, or IRBs, or ethics committees may not authorize us or our investigators to commence a clinical trial or conduct a clinical trial at a prospective study site;

delay in reaching, or failure to reach, agreements on acceptable terms with prospective CROs and study sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and study sites;

manufacturing issues, including problems with manufacturing, supply quality, compliance with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP, or obtaining sufficient quantities of a product candidate from third parties for use in a clinical trial;

clinical trials of our product candidates may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon the development of such product candidates, or regulators may require us to do so;

the number of patients required for clinical trials of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate, enrollment may be insufficient or slower than we anticipate, or patients may drop out or fail to return for post-treatment follow-up at a higher rate than we anticipate;

our third-party contractors used in our clinical trials, including any clinical investigators, may fail to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner, or at all, or may deviate from clinical trial protocol or dropout of clinical trials, which may require that we add new clinical trial sites or clinical investigators;

we might have to suspend or terminate clinical trials of our product candidates for various reasons, including a finding of a lack of clinical response, serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects or other unexpected characteristics or a finding that participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;

we may elect to, or regulators, IRBs or ethics committees may require that we or our investigators, suspend or terminate clinical research or not rely on the results of clinical research for various reasons, including non-compliance with regulatory requirements;

the cost of clinical trials of our product candidates may be greater than we anticipate; and

the supply or quality of our product candidates or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials of our product candidates may be insufficient or inadequate.
If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of our product candidates beyond those that we currently plan, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of our product candidates or other testing, if the results of these studies or tests are not positive or are only modestly positive or if they raise safety concerns, we may (i) be delayed in obtaining regulatory approval for our product candidates; (ii) obtain approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as intended or desired; (iii) not obtain regulatory approval at all; (iv) have the drug removed from the market after obtaining regulatory approval; (v) be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements; (vi) be subject to restrictions on how the drug is distributed or used; or (vii) be unable to obtain reimbursement for use of the drug. Many of the factors that cause a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates. Further, the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other regulatory authorities may disagree with our clinical trial design or our interpretation of data from clinical trials, or may change the requirements for approval even after it has reviewed and commented on the design for our clinical trials.
 
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Our clinical trials are conducted in multiple jurisdictions, which may subject us to delays and expenses.
We are currently conducting clinical trials, through third-party CROs, in Australia and Taiwan and expect to further expand into other jurisdictions (see “Business” beginning on page 112 for our current plans for future clinical trials). There are risks inherent in conducting clinical trials in multiple jurisdictions, which may subject us to delays and expenses, such as:

regulatory and administrative requirements of the jurisdiction where the study is conducted that could burden or limit our ability to conduct clinical trials;

differing and conflicting regulatory requirements;

foreign exchange fluctuations;

manufacturing, customs, shipment and storage requirements;

cultural differences in medical practice and clinical research; and

the risk that the patient populations in such trials are not considered representative as compared to the patient population in the target markets where approval is being sought.
Our product candidates may cause serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval, limit the commercial profile of an approved label, and/or result in significant negative consequences following regulatory approval, if any.
As is the case with pharmaceuticals generally, it is likely that there may be serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects caused by our product candidates that could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and may result in a more restrictive label, a delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities, or a significant change in our clinical protocol or even our development plan. Results of our future preclinical studies and clinical trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity or prevalence of steroidal adverse events. In such an event, our studies could be suspended or terminated and the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of, or deny approval of, our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Adverse events related to our product candidates may affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled subjects to complete the study and could result in potential liability claims. Any of these occurrences may significantly harm our reputation, business, financial condition and prospects.
Additionally, the identification of serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects caused by any of our future approved product candidates may lead to potentially significant negative consequences, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

suspension of our marketing of the product candidate;

withdrawal or revocation by regulatory authorities of their approvals of or the licenses for the product candidate;

the requirement by regulatory authorities to conduct additional clinical trials, add additional warnings to, or otherwise change, the label of the product candidate, such as a “black box” warning or contraindication, or create a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;

restriction on the distribution of the product candidate or imposition of burdensome implementation requirements on us through the establishment of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, or similar strategy as may be required by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or a comparable regulatory authority;

the requirement by regulatory authorities to conduct specific post-marketing studies of the product candidate;

the requirement to change the way the product candidate is distributed or administered;

becoming subjected to regulatory investigations, government enforcement actions or litigation proceedings, and being held liable for harm caused to subjects or patients;
 
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the product becoming less competitive;

removal of product candidates from the marketplace; and

harm to our reputation.
Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of any particular product candidate that is approved and could significantly harm our business, results of operations and prospects.
Further, the use of our product candidates in conjunction with other therapies, may result in unique adverse events that could be exacerbated compared with adverse events from the use of our product candidates alone. Results of our studies could reveal a high and unacceptable severity or prevalence of adverse events. These types of adverse events could be caused by our product candidates and could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and may result in a more restrictive indication or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authority.
Results of preclinical studies and earlier clinical trials may not be predictive of results of future clinical trials.
The outcome of preclinical studies and earlier clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of clinical trials do not necessarily predict success in future clinical trials. Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials after achieving positive results in earlier development, and we could face similar setbacks. The design of a clinical trial can determine whether its results will support approval of a product and flaws in the design of a clinical trial may not become apparent until the clinical trial is well advanced. We have limited experience in designing clinical trials and may be unable to design and execute a clinical trial to support marketing approval. In addition, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses. Many companies that believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval for the product candidates. Even if we, or any future collaborators, believe that the results of clinical trials for our product candidates warrant marketing approval, the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authority may disagree and may not grant marketing approval of our product candidates.
In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results between different clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the dosing regimen and other clinical trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. If we fail to receive positive results in clinical trials of our product candidates, the development timeline and regulatory approval and commercialization prospects for our most advanced product candidates, and, correspondingly, our business and financial prospects would be negatively impacted.
The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products is a complex process which requires significant expertise and capital investment, and if we encounter problems in establishing our manufacturing capabilities for clinical or commercial scale or in the manufacture of our future products, our business could suffer.
We currently do not have cGMP manufacturing capabilities and we are entirely dependent on third-party contractors to manufacture our product candidates for our clinical trials. The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products is a complex process, in part due to strict regulatory requirements. If we are unable to identify an appropriate production site or a suitable collaborator to develop our manufacturing infrastructure, or fail to do so in a timely manner, this may lead to significant delays in the clinical supply of our product candidates as well as the commercial manufacturing of our product candidates once regulatory and marketing approvals have been obtained. In turn, this could delay our clinical trials, negatively impact our ability to ultimately obtain regulatory approval and materially harm any future commercialization plans.
In addition, problems may arise during the manufacturing process for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, equipment malfunction, failure to follow specific protocols and procedures, problems with (including shortage of) raw materials, global supply chain issues, delays related to the construction of new facilities or expansion of any future manufacturing facilities, including changes in manufacturing
 
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production sites and limits to manufacturing capacity due to regulatory requirements, changes in the types of products produced, increases in the prices of raw materials, physical limitations that could inhibit continuous supply, man-made or natural disasters and environmental factors. For example, although we have not experienced material supply disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot guarantee that we will not experience supply disruptions in the future due to COVID-19 or any other pandemic, epidemic or other public health crises, natural catastrophe or other disasters. If problems arise during the production of a batch of future products, that batch of future products may have to be discarded and we may experience product shortages or incur added expenses. This, as well as problems that may arise during the manufacturing process, could, among other things, lead to significant additional costs and/or delays, lost revenue, damage to customer relationships, time and expense spent investigating the cause and, depending on the cause, similar losses with respect to other batches or products. If problems are not discovered before such product is released to the market, recall and product liability costs may also be incurred.
We have never obtained marketing approval for a product candidate and we may be unable to obtain, or may be delayed in obtaining, marketing approval for any of our product candidates.
We have never obtained marketing approval for a product candidate. It is possible that the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authority may refuse to accept for substantive review any NDAs that we submit for our product candidates or may conclude after review of our data that our application is insufficient to obtain marketing approval of our product candidates. If the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authority does not accept or approve our NDAs for any of our product candidates, it may require that we conduct additional clinical trials, preclinical studies or manufacturing validation studies and submit that data before it will reconsider our applications. Depending on the extent of these or any other required trials or studies, approval of any NDA or application that we submit may be delayed by several years, or may require us to expend more resources than we have available. It is also possible that additional trials or studies, if performed and completed, may not be considered sufficient by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authority to approve our NDAs.
Any delay in obtaining, or an inability to obtain, marketing approvals would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates, generating revenues and achieving and sustaining profitability. If any of these outcomes occur, we may be forced to abandon our development efforts for our product candidates, which could significantly harm our business.
Even if any of our product candidates receives marketing approval, we or others may later discover that the product is less effective than previously believed or causes undesirable side effects that were not previously identified, which could compromise our ability, or that of any future collaborators, to market the product.
Clinical trials of our product candidates are conducted in carefully defined sets of patients who have agreed to enter into clinical trials. Consequently, it is possible that our clinical trials, or those of any future collaborator, may indicate an apparent positive effect of a product candidate that is greater than the actual positive effect, if any, or alternatively fail to identify undesirable side effects. If, following approval of a product candidate, we, or others, discover that the product is less effective than previously believed or causes undesirable side effects that were not previously identified, any of the following adverse events could occur:

regulatory authorities may withdraw their approval of the product or seize the product;

we, or any future collaborators, may be required to recall the product, change the way the product is administered or conduct additional clinical trials;

additional restrictions may be imposed on the marketing of, or the manufacturing processes for, the particular product;

we may be subject to fines, injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties;

regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a “black box” warning or a contraindication;
 
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we, or any future collaborators, may be required to create a Medication Guide outlining the risks of the previously unidentified side effects for distribution to patients;

we, or any future collaborators, could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients;

the product may become less competitive; and

our reputation may suffer.
Any of these events could harm our business and operations, and could negatively impact our price of our ADS.
Our product candidates may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, patient advocacy groups, third-party payors and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.
Even if our product candidates receive regulatory approval, they may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, patient advocacy groups and others in the medical community. Efforts to educate physicians, patients, patient advocacy groups and third-party payors on the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may not be successful, and physicians and patients may prefer other drugs or product candidates to ours. If our product candidates do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant revenue from sales of our drugs or product candidates and may not become profitable.
The degree of market acceptance of our product candidates, if and only when they are approved for commercial sale, will depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

the clinical indications for which our product candidates are approved;

the degree to which physicians, hospitals, patient advocacy groups and patients consider our product candidates as safe and effective treatments;

whether our product candidates have achieved the perceived advantages of our product candidates over alternative treatments;

the prevalence and severity of any adverse effects;

product labeling or package insert requirements of the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities;

limitations or warnings contained in the labeling approved by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities;

timing of market introduction of our product candidates as well as competitive drugs;

cost of treatment in relation to alternative treatments;

availability of adequate coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors and government authorities in the United States, Australia, China or any other jurisdictions;

willingness of patients to pay any out-of-pocket expenses in the absence of coverage and reimbursement by third-party payors and government authorities;

relative convenience and ease of administration, including as compared with alternative treatments and competitive therapies; and

the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts.
We face substantial competition, rapid technological change and the possibility that our competitors may discover, develop or commercialize drugs before we do or more successfully than we do, or develop therapies that are similar, more advanced or more effective than ours, each of which may adversely affect our financial condition and our ability to successfully market or commercialize our product candidate.
The development and commercialization of new drugs is highly competitive and the biopharmaceutical industry is subject to rapid and significant technological change. We face competition with respect to our
 
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product candidates and will face competition with respect to any product candidates that we may seek to develop or commercialize in the future, from companies of all sizes around the world, including major and specialty pharmaceutical companies and generic drug companies. Specifically, some of our competitors have ongoing clinical trials for product candidates that treat the same indications as LBS-008. Potential competitors further include academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization.
Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial, technical, human and other resources, such as larger research and development staff and experienced marketing and manufacturing departments, and more experience in the development and regulatory approval process than we have. Mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries may result in even more resources being concentrated in our competitors. As a result, these companies may obtain regulatory approval from the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities more rapidly than we are able to and may be more effective in selling and marketing their products as well. For example, the NMPA has recently accelerated market approval of drugs for diseases with high unmet medical need. In particular, the NMPA may review and approve drugs that have gained regulatory market approval in the United States, the European Union or Japan in the recent ten years without requiring further clinical trials in China. This may lead to potential increased competition from drugs that have already obtained approval in other jurisdictions. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large, established companies. Our competitors also compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel and establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our drug development programs.
Our competitors may succeed in developing, acquiring, or licensing on an exclusive basis, products that are more effective, safer or less costly than any product candidate that we may develop, or may achieve earlier patent protection, regulatory approval, product commercialization, and market penetration than we do. Additionally, technologies developed by our competitors may render our potential product candidates uneconomical or obsolete, and we may not be successful in marketing our product candidates against competitors. The availability of our competitors’ products could limit the demand, and the price we are able to charge, for any product candidates that we may develop and commercialize.
While certain of our employees have limited experience in launching and marketing product candidates, we may not be able to effectively build and manage a sales network or benefit from the sales network of third-party collaborators.
We currently have no sales, marketing or commercial product distribution capabilities. Over time, we intend to develop an in-house marketing organization and sales force, which will require significant capital expenditures, management resources and time. We will have to compete with other biopharmaceutical companies to recruit, hire, train and retain marketing and sales personnel.
If we are unable or decide not to establish internal sales, marketing and commercial distribution capabilities for any or all of the drugs we develop or in particular regions or markets, we may pursue collaborative arrangements regarding the sales and marketing of such drugs into such regions or markets. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to establish or maintain such collaborative arrangements, or, if we are able to do so, that they will have effective sales forces. Any revenue we receive will depend on the efforts of such third parties, which may not be successful. We may have little or no control over the marketing and sales efforts of such third parties, and our revenue from product sales may be lower than if we had commercialized our product candidates ourselves. We will also face competition in our search for third parties to assist us with the sales and marketing efforts of our product candidates, which may result in collaborative arrangements with less than optimal terms.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop in-house sales and commercial distribution capabilities or establish or maintain relationships with third-party collaborators to successfully commercialize any product, and as a result, we may not be able to generate product sales revenue.
 
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Even if we are able to commercialize any approved product candidates, reimbursement may be limited or unavailable in certain market segments for our product candidates, and we may be subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, which could harm our business.
The regulations that govern regulatory approvals, pricing and reimbursement for new therapeutic products vary widely from country to country. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or licensing approval is granted. In some non-U.S. markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain regulatory approval for a drug in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay our commercial launch of the drug and negatively impact the revenues we are able to generate from the sale of the drug in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in one or more product candidates, even if our product candidates obtain regulatory approval.
Our ability to commercialize any drugs successfully also will depend in part on the extent to which reimbursement for these drugs and related treatments will be available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which medications they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. A primary trend in the global healthcare industry is cost containment. Government authorities and these third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications. Increasingly, third-party payors are requiring that companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for medical products. We cannot be sure that reimbursement will be available for any drug that we commercialize and, if reimbursement is available, what the level of reimbursement will be. Reimbursement may impact the demand for, or the price of, any drug for which we obtain regulatory approval. Obtaining reimbursement for certain of our drugs may be particularly difficult because of the higher prices often associated with drugs administered under the supervision of a physician. If reimbursement is not available or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize any product candidate that we successfully develop.
There may be significant delays in obtaining reimbursement for approved product candidates, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the product candidates are approved by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution. Interim payments for new drugs, if applicable, may also not be sufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Payment rates may vary according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on payments allowed for lower cost drugs that are already reimbursed, and may be incorporated into existing payments for other services. Net prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future weakening of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable payment rates from both government-funded and private payors for any future approved product candidates could have a material adverse effect on our business, our operating results, and our overall financial condition.
Preliminary interim or “top-line” data that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.
From time to time, we may publish preliminary interim or “top-line” data from clinical trials. Positive preliminary data from such interim analyses may not be predictive of such trial’s subsequent or overall results. Preliminary data are subject to the risk that one or more of the outcomes may materially change as more data become available. Additionally, preliminary data are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and more patient data become available. Therefore, positive preliminary results in any ongoing clinical trial may not be predictive of such results in the completed trial. We also make assumptions, estimations, calculations and conclusions as part of our analyses of data, and we may not have received or had the opportunity to fully evaluate all data. As a result,
 
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preliminary data that we report may differ from future results from the same clinical trials, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated. Preliminary data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, preliminary data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Material adverse changes in the final data compared to preliminary data could significantly harm our business prospects.
The data and information that we gather in our research and development process could be inaccurate or incomplete, which could harm our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
We collect, aggregate, process, and analyze data and information from our preclinical studies and clinical trials. We also engage in substantial information gathering following the identification of a promising product candidate. Because data in the healthcare industry is fragmented in origin, inconsistent in format, often incomplete and rapidly evolving, the overall quality of data collected or accessed in the healthcare industry is often subject to challenge, the degree or amount of data which is knowingly or unknowingly absent or omitted can be material, and we often discover data issues and errors when monitoring and auditing the quality of our data. If we make mistakes in the capture, input, or analysis of these data, our ability to advance the development of our product candidates may be materially harmed and our business, prospects and reputation may suffer.
We also engage in the procurement of regulatory approvals necessary for the development and commercialization of our product candidates, for which we manage and submit data to governmental entities. These processes and submissions are governed by complex data processing and validation policies and regulations. Notwithstanding such policies and regulations, interim, top-line or preliminary data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data, in which case we may be exposed to liability to a customer, court or government agency that concludes that our storage, handling, submission, delivery or display of health information or other data was wrongful or erroneous. Although we maintain insurance coverage for clinical trials this coverage may prove to be inadequate or could cease to be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all. Even unsuccessful claims could result in substantial costs and diversion of management time, attention, and resources. A claim brought against us that is uninsured or under-insured could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, we rely on CROs and other third parties to monitor and manage data for some of our ongoing preclinical studies and clinical trials and control only certain aspects of their activities. If any of our CROs or other third parties do not perform to our standards in terms of data accuracy or completeness, data from those preclinical studies and clinical trials may be compromised as a result, and our reliance on these parties does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities. For a detailed discussion, see “— Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties — As we rely on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies, clinical trials, contract manufacture drug substances and drug products, and provide other important services related to product development, regulatory submissions, and commercialization, if we lose our relationships with these third parties or if they do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with applicable laws, or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize our product candidates and our business could be substantially harmed” below.
The incidence and prevalence for target patient populations of our product candidates are based on estimates and third-party sources. The market opportunities for our product candidates, if approved, may be smaller than we anticipate.
We expect to initially seek approval of LBS-008 for the treatment of STGD1. Our projections of the number of patients with STGD1 and the portion of those patients that would benefit from treatment with LBS-008 are based on our beliefs and estimates, including data published by third parties, including scientific literature, patient foundations and publicly available databases, and on internally generated data and assumptions. While we believe our market size information is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise, and relies on our and third parties’ projections, assumptions and estimates within our target market, which are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors,
 
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including those described in this prospectus. If such third-party or internally generated data prove to be inaccurate or we make errors in our projections, assumptions or estimates based on that data, our addressable target market opportunity and/or our future growth rate may be less than we currently estimate. Further, new sources may reveal a change in the estimated number of patients, and the number of patients may turn out to be lower than expected. Additionally, the potential addressable patient population for our current programs or future product candidates may be limited. Accordingly, the information regarding the size of our addressable market opportunity included in this prospectus should not be taken as indicative of our future growth.
The ultimate market opportunity for our product candidates will depend on, among other things, the final labeling for such product candidates as agreed with the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and any other applicable comparable foreign regulatory authorities, acceptance by the medical community and patient access, potential competition and drug pricing and reimbursement. Even if we obtain significant market share for any product candidate, if approved, if the potential target populations are small, we may never achieve profitability without obtaining marketing approval for additional indications, which may significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Product liability lawsuits against us could divert our resources, cause us to incur substantial liabilities and limit commercialization of any products that we may develop.
We face an inherent risk of product liability claims as a result of the clinical testing of our product candidates despite obtaining appropriate informed consents from our clinical trial participants. We will face an even greater risk if we or any future collaborators commercially sell any product that we or they may develop. For example, we may be sued if any product we develop allegedly causes injury or is found to be otherwise unsuitable during clinical testing, manufacturing, marketing or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability or a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of our product candidates.
Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in significant negative consequences to our business and prospects, including, but not limited to:

decreased demand for our product candidates or any resulting products;

injury to our reputation;

withdrawal of other clinical trial participants;

costs to defend the related litigation;

a diversion of our management’s time and resources;

substantial monetary awards to study participants or patients; and

a decline in the market price of our ADSs.
We currently carry liability insurance covering our clinical trials. Although we maintain such insurance, any claim that may be brought against us could result in a court judgment or settlement in an amount that is not covered, in whole or in part, by our insurance or which is in excess of the limits of our insurance coverage. Our insurance policies also contain various exclusions, and we may be subject to particular liability claims for which we have no coverage. We will have to pay any amount awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts. In addition, if we cannot successfully defend ourselves against such claims, we may incur substantial liabilities and be required to suspend or delay our ongoing clinical trials. Even a successful defense would require significant financial and management resources.
Illegal and/or parallel imports and counterfeit pharmaceutical products may reduce demand for our future approved product candidates and could have a negative impact on our reputation and business.
The illegal importation of competing products from countries where government price controls or other market dynamics result in lower prices may adversely affect the demand for our future approved
 
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product candidates and, in turn, may adversely affect our sales and profitability in the United States, China and other countries where we plan to commercialize our products. Unapproved foreign imports of prescription drugs are illegal under the current laws of the United States, Australia and China. However, illegal imports may continue to occur or even increase as the ability of patients and other customers to obtain these lower priced imports continues to grow. Furthermore, cross-border imports from lower-priced markets (which are known as parallel imports) into higher-priced markets could harm sales of our future drug products and exert commercial pressure on pricing within one or more markets. In addition, government authorities may expand consumers’ ability to import lower priced versions of our future approved products or competing products from outside the United States, Australia, China or other countries where we operate or expect to operate. Any future legislation or regulations that increase consumer access to lower priced medicines from outside the United States, China or other countries where we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Certain products distributed or sold in the pharmaceutical market may be manufactured without proper licenses or approvals, or be fraudulently mislabeled with respect to their content or manufacturers. These products are generally referred to as counterfeit pharmaceutical products. The counterfeit pharmaceutical product control and enforcement system, particularly in developing markets may be inadequate to discourage or eliminate the manufacturing and sale of counterfeit pharmaceutical products imitating our products. Since counterfeit pharmaceutical products in many cases have very similar appearances compared with the authentic pharmaceutical products but are generally sold at lower prices, counterfeits of our products could quickly erode the demand for our future approved product candidates.
In addition, counterfeit pharmaceutical products are not expected to meet our rigorous manufacturing and testing standards. A patient who receives a counterfeit pharmaceutical product may be at risk for a number of dangerous health consequences. Our reputation and business could suffer harm as a result of counterfeit pharmaceutical products sold under our brand name(s). In addition, thefts of inventory at warehouses, plants or while in-transit, which are not properly stored and which are sold through unauthorized channels, could adversely impact patient safety, our reputation and our business.
Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital
We have recorded net cash outflow from operating activities since our inception. Even if we consummate this offering, we will need to obtain additional financing to fund our operations. If we are unable to obtain such financing, we may be unable to complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates.
Since our inception, our operations have consumed substantial amounts of cash. We raised a total of approximately $40.6 million in pre-IPO financing in the past three fiscal years and the net cash used in our operating activities was approximately $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 and approximately $7.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021.
We expect our expenses to increase in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we initiate new clinical trials of, initiate new research and preclinical development efforts for and seek marketing approval for, our product candidates. In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for any of our product candidates, we may incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution to the extent that such sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution are not the responsibility of a future collaborator. Furthermore, following the completion of this offering, we expect to incur significant additional costs associated with operating as a public company. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our continuing operations. Our financing to fund our operations may be adversely affected, delayed or fail to raise because of capital market environment, valuation of our company or the progress of our competitors. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we may be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs or any future commercialization efforts.
The net proceeds of this offering and our existing cash on hand will not be sufficient to fund all of the efforts that we plan to undertake or to fund the completion of development of any of our product candidates. Accordingly, we will be required to obtain further funding through public or private equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations and licensing arrangements or other sources. We do not have any committed external source of funds. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.
 
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Our failure to raise capital as and when needed would have a negative impact on our financial condition and our ability to pursue our business strategy.
Our existing cash on hand will not be sufficient to enable us to meet our short-term obligations or long-term plans, including commercialization of clinical pipeline products, if approved, or initiation or completion of future clinical trials. Our future funding requirements, both short-term and long-term, will depend on many factors, including:

the number of future product candidates that we pursue and their development requirements;

the scope, progress, timing, results and costs of discovering, researching and developing product candidates, and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials;

the scope, prioritization and number of our research and development programs;

the costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of our product candidates;

the cost of manufacturing our product candidates and any products we commercialize, including costs associated with expanding our supply chain;

the cost and timing of future commercialization activities, including product manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution, for any of our product candidates for which we receive regulatory approval;

the cash received, if any, from commercial sales of any product candidates for which we receive regulatory approval;

our ability to establish and maintain strategic collaborations, licensing or other arrangements and the financial terms of such collaborations and arrangements;

the extent to which we acquire or in-license other product candidates and technologies;

our headcount growth and associated costs;

the costs, timing and outcome of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights and defending any intellectual property-related claims;

resources required to develop and implement policies and processes to promote ongoing compliance with applicable healthcare laws and regulations;

the impact of COVID-19 on the initiation or completion of preclinical studies or clinical trials and the supply of our product candidates;

costs required to ensure that our and any of our partners’ business arrangements with third parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations; and

the costs of operating as a public company in the United States.
We have a limited operating history and no history of commercializing pharmaceutical products, which may make it difficult to evaluate the prospects for our future viability.
We are a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and no history of commercializing pharmaceutical products. Our operations to date have been limited to financing and staffing our company, developing our technology and conducting preclinical research and clinical trials for our product candidates. We have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully obtain marketing approvals for or commercialize our product candidates or manufacture our product candidates on a scale sufficient to supply the commercial markets. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales. Consequently, any predictions about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history and/or approved products on the market.
Our limited operating history and the fact that we have yet to commercialize a pharmaceutical product, particularly in light of the rapidly evolving drug research and development industry in which we operate and the changing regulatory and market environments we encounter, may make it difficult to evaluate our
 
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prospects for future performance. As a result, any assessment of our future performance or viability is subject to significant uncertainty. We will encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by early-stage companies in rapidly evolving fields as we seek to transition to a company capable of supporting commercial activities.
As we continue to build our business, we expect our financial condition and operating results may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the results of any particular quarterly or annual period as indications of future operating performance.
We have incurred net losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or maintain profitability. If we are unable to achieve or sustain profitability, the market value of our ADSs will likely decline.
We have incurred significant annual net operating losses in every year since our inception. We expect to continue to incur significant and increasing net operating losses for at least the next several years. Our net losses were approximately $5.8 million and $9.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively. As of December 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $27.2 million. We have not generated any revenues from product sales, have not completed the development of any product candidate and may never have a product candidate approved for commercialization. We have financed our operations to date primarily through private placements of our preferred stock. We have devoted substantially all of our financial resources and efforts to research and development, including preclinical studies and our clinical trials. Our net losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. Net losses and negative cash flows have had, and will continue to have, an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital.
We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially if and as we:

continue to develop and conduct clinical trials with respect to our lead product candidate, LBS-008;

initiate and continue research, preclinical and clinical development efforts for any future product candidates;

seek regulatory approvals for our product candidates;

commercialize our product candidates once we have obtained marketing approval;

establish sales, marketing, distribution and other commercial infrastructure in the future to commercialize various products for which we may obtain marketing approval, if any;

hire additional clinical, operational, financial and administrative, quality control and scientific personnel;

add operational, financial and management information systems and personnel, including personnel to support our product development and help us comply with our obligations as a public company;

require the manufacture of larger quantities of product candidates for clinical development and, potentially, commercialization;

seek to identify additional product candidates and technologies;

obtain, maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio;

enforce and defend any intellectual property-related claims;

acquire or in-license other product candidates, intellectual property and technologies;

enter into out-licensing and co-development collaborations consistent with our global strategy;

add equipment and physical infrastructure to support our research and development

incur setbacks or delays to the initiation or completion of preclinical studies, drug development and/or clinical trials due to COVID-19; and

incur any disruption or delays to the supply of our product candidates due to COVID-19.
 
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To become and remain profitable, we must develop and eventually commercialize product candidates with significant market potential. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical testing and clinical trials of, and obtaining marketing approval for, our product candidates, manufacturing, marketing and selling, either directly or through collaborations, those product candidates for which we may obtain marketing approval and satisfying any post-marketing requirements. We may not succeed in any or all of these activities and, even if we do, we may never generate revenues that are significant or large enough to achieve profitability. In the process of attempting to become and remain profitable, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. The size of our future net losses will depend partially on the rate of the future growth of our expenses, our ability to generate revenues and the timing and amount of payments that we receive from or pay to third parties. If any of our product candidates fails during preclinical studies or clinical trials or does not gain regulatory approval, or, even if approved, fails to achieve market acceptance, our business may not become profitable. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods thereafter. Our prior losses and expected future losses have had, and will continue to have, an adverse effect on our working capital and the value of our Company. This could impair our ability to raise future capital, maintain our research and development efforts, proceed with commercialization efforts, expand our business or otherwise continue our operations, and could harm our competitive position in the marketplace. A decline in the value of our Company also could cause you to lose all or part of your investment.
Our recurring losses from operations could continue to raise substantial doubt regarding our ability to continue as a going concern. Our ability to continue as a going concern requires that we obtain sufficient funding to finance our operations.
We have incurred significant operating losses since our inception and have never generated product revenue, and it is possible we will never generate product revenue or profit. Accordingly, we have concluded that substantial doubt exists regarding our ability to continue as a going concern. Meaningful revenues will likely not be available until and unless any current or future product candidate is approved by the FDA, the NMPA, the EMA or comparable regulatory agencies in other countries and successfully marketed, either by us or a partner, an outcome which may not occur. Our financial statements appearing at the end of this prospectus have been prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the ordinary course of business. These financial statements do not include any adjustments relating to the recoverability and classification of recorded asset amounts or the amounts and classification of liabilities that might result from the outcome of these uncertainties related to our ability to operate on a going concern basis. The perception that we may not be able to continue as a going concern may cause others to choose not to deal with us due to concerns about our ability to meet our contractual obligations.
Our independent registered public accounting firm included an explanatory paragraph in its audit report on our financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021, stating that we have an accumulated deficit, incurred recurring losses from operations, have an expectation of continuing operating losses for the foreseeable future, and need to raise capital to finance our future operations, which raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. Our ability to continue as a going concern depends on our ability to raise additional capital. If we seek additional financing to fund our business activities in the future and there remains substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern, investors or other financing sources may be unwilling to provide additional funding to us on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Further, if we cannot continue as a going concern, we may be forced to discontinue operations and liquidate our assets and may receive less than the value at which those assets are carried on our audited financial statements, which would cause holders of our ADSs and our shareholders to lose all or a part of their investment.
Our ability to use our net operating loss carry forwards may be subject to limitation.
As of December 31, 2020 and 2021, our subsidiaries had U.S. net operating loss carryforwards for federal and state tax purposes of approximately $3.7 million and $4.0 million, respectively. If not utilized, the federal and state net operating loss carryforwards incurred before January 1, 2018 will begin to expire in 2036, and the remaining can be carried forward indefinitely but utilization is limited to 80% of our taxable
 
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income in any given tax year based on current federal tax laws. The timing and manner in which we may utilize net operating losses may be limited by tax rules regarding changes in ownership and a lack of future taxable income could adversely affect our ability to utilize our net operating losses before they expire. In general, net operating losses in one country cannot be used to offset income in any other country and net operating losses in one state cannot be used to offset income in any other state. Accordingly, we may be subject to tax in certain jurisdictions even if we have unused net operating losses in other jurisdictions. Furthermore, each jurisdiction in which we operate may have its own limitations on our ability to utilize net operating losses or tax credit carryovers generated in that jurisdiction. These limitations may increase our U.S. federal, state or foreign income tax liability.
Raising additional capital may cause dilution to holders of our ADSs and our shareholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates.
We may seek additional funding through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, licensing arrangements, strategic alliances, government grants or subsidies. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a holder of our ADSs. The incurrence of additional indebtedness or the issuance of certain equity securities could give rise to increased fixed payment obligations and also result in certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt or issue additional equity, limitations on our ability to acquire or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. In addition, the issuance of additional equity securities, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our ADSs to decline.
If we were to enter into collaborations or licensing arrangements in order to raise capital, we may be required to accept unfavorable terms, including relinquishing or licensing to a third party certain of our rights to technologies, future revenue streams, research programs or product candidates on unfavorable terms, which we would have otherwise sought to develop or commercialize on our own or reserve for future potential arrangements when we might be more likely to achieve more favorable terms.
Risks Related to Regulatory Approval and Marketing of Our Product Candidates and Other Legal Compliance Matters
The regulatory approval processes of the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and other comparable regulatory authorities are time-consuming and may evolve over time, and if we are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.
The time required to obtain the approval of the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and other comparable regulatory authorities is inherently uncertain and depends on numerous factors, including the substantial discretion of the regulatory authorities. Generally, such approvals take many years to obtain following the commencement of preclinical studies and clinical trials and timing can vary substantially based upon a variety of factors, including the type, complexity and novelty of the product candidate involved. In addition, approval policies, regulations or the type and amount of clinical data necessary to gain approval may change during the course of a product candidate’s clinical development and may vary among jurisdictions, each of which may cause delays in regulatory review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner, or at all, for our existing product candidates or any product candidates that we may discover, in-license or acquire and seek to develop in the future. Our product candidates may not be effective, may be only moderately effective or may prove to have serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects, toxicities or other characteristics that may preclude regulatory approval or prevent or limit commercial use.
Our product candidates could be delayed in receiving or fail to receive regulatory approval of the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or a comparable regulatory authority for many reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:

disagreement with the number, design, size, conduct or implementation of our clinical trials; For example, the regulatory authorities may disagree with our clinical trial endpoints, the subjects of our clinical trials, the number of patients enrolled, or the disease we choose to treat with our product candidates;
 
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delays in obtaining regulatory approval or ethics committee approval to commence a clinical trial;

failure to demonstrate that a product candidate is safe and effective and potent for its proposed indication;

failure of our clinical trial results to meet the level of statistical significance required for approval;

failure of our CROs, clinical trial sites or investigators to comply with relevant current good clinical practice, or cGCP, requirements or failure of our clinical trial process to pass GCP inspections;

failure to demonstrate that a product candidate’s clinical and other benefits outweigh its safety risks;

disagreement with our interpretation of data from animal testing or preclinical studies or clinical trials;

insufficient data collected from the clinical trials of our product candidates to support the submission and filing of an NDA, or other submissions or to obtain regulatory approval;

failure of our product candidates to pass current good manufacturing practice, or cGMP, inspections during the regulatory review process or across the production cycle of our drug;

failure of our clinical sites to pass audits carried out by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, resulting in a potential invalidation of our research data;

findings by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities of deficiencies related to our manufacturing processes or the facilities of third-party CMOs with whom we contract for preclinical, clinical and commercial supplies;

changes in approval policies or regulations that render our preclinical and clinical data insufficient for approval;

our CROs taking actions that materially and adversely impact our clinical trials; and

failure of our clinical trial process to keep up with any scientific or technological advancements required by approval policies or regulations.
The FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or a comparable regulatory authority may require more information, including additional preclinical or clinical data, to support approval, which may delay or prevent approval and our commercialization plans. Even if we were to obtain approval, regulatory authorities may approve any of our product candidates for fewer or more limited indications than we request, grant approval contingent on the performance of costly post-marketing clinical trials or approve a product candidate with an indication that is not desirable for the successful commercialization of that product candidate. Any of the foregoing scenarios could materially harm the commercial prospects of our product candidates.
All material aspects of the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products are heavily regulated.
All jurisdictions in which we intend to conduct our pharmaceutical-industry activities regulate these activities in great depth and detail. We initially intend to focus our activities on our primary markets of the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Europe and China. These jurisdictions strictly regulate the pharmaceutical industry, and in doing so they employ broadly similar regulatory strategies, including regulation of product development and approval, manufacturing, and marketing, sales and distribution of products. However, there are differences in the regulatory regimes that make for a more complex and costly regulatory compliance burden for a company like us that plans to operate in these regions.
The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and compliance with appropriate laws and regulations requires the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable requirements at any time during the product development process and approval process, or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include: refusal to approve pending applications; withdrawal of an approval; license revocation; clinical hold; voluntary or mandatory product recalls; product seizures; total or partial suspension of production or distribution; injunctions; fines; refusals of government contracts; providing restitution; undergoing disgorgement; or other civil or criminal penalties. Failure to comply with these regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business.
 
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The FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and any other regulatory agencies may actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of drugs for off-label uses.
If any of our product candidates is approved and we are found to have improperly promoted off-label uses of those products, we may become subject to significant liability. The FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and other regulatory agencies strictly regulate the promotional claims that may be made about prescription products, such as our product candidates, if approved. In particular, a product may not be promoted for uses that are not approved by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or such other regulatory agencies as reflected in the product’s approved labeling in applicable jurisdiction(s). If we receive marketing approval for a product candidate, physicians may nevertheless prescribe it to their patients in a manner that is inconsistent with the approved label. If we are found to have promoted such off-label uses, we may become subject to significant liability. For example, the U.S. federal government has successfully pursued judgments for large civil and criminal fines and penalties against companies for alleged improper promotion of off-label use and has enjoined several companies from engaging in off-label promotion. The U.S. federal government has also successfully pursued consent decrees, deferred prosecution agreements, and injunctions under which specified promotional conduct is changed or curtailed, and compliance is closely monitored. If we cannot successfully manage the promotion of our product candidates, if approved, we could become subject to significant liability, which would materially adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Even if we obtain approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction, we may never obtain approval for or commercialize them in any other jurisdiction, which would limit our ability to realize the maximum market potential of our product candidates.
We cannot commercialize product candidates in the United States, Australia, China, Europe or another jurisdiction outside of the United States without first obtaining regulatory approval from the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. The process to develop, obtain regulatory approval for and commercialize product candidates is long, complex and costly both inside and outside of the United States and approval may not be granted. Clinical trials conducted in one country may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other countries and obtaining regulatory approval in one country does not mean that regulatory approval will be obtained in any other country. Approval processes vary among countries and can involve additional product testing and validation and additional administrative review periods. Even if our product candidates were to successfully obtain regulatory approval in one jurisdiction, we would still need to seek approval in any other jurisdictions where we plan to market the product. Any safety issues, product recalls or other incidents related to products approved and marketed in one jurisdiction may impact approval of those products in other jurisdictions. Further, the failure to obtain approval in one jurisdiction may negatively impact our ability to obtain approval elsewhere.
Seeking foreign regulatory approval could result in difficulties and increased costs for us and require additional preclinical studies or clinical trials which could be costly and time consuming. Regulatory requirements can vary widely from country to country and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in those countries. We do not have any product candidates approved for sale in any jurisdiction, including in international markets, and the majority of our employees have limited experience in obtaining regulatory approval in international markets. If we fail to comply with regulatory requirements in international markets or to obtain and maintain required approvals, or if regulatory approvals in international markets are delayed, the target market for our product candidates will be reduced and our ability to realize the maximum market potential of any product candidate that we develop will be adversely affected.
The applicability of clinical data generated outside the United States is subject to FDA concurrence for its suitability in supporting approval in the United States. If the FDA or comparable regulatory agencies do not accept data from such trials, our development plans may be delayed, which could materially harm our business.
Certain of our clinical trials supporting our lead product candidate were, and continue to be, conducted outside the United States in foreign countries such as Australia and Taiwan, and we, or any future collaborators, may choose to conduct one or more clinical trials or a portion of such clinical trials for our product candidates outside the United States. The acceptance of study data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States or another jurisdiction by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may
 
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be subject to certain conditions or may not be accepted at all. In cases where data from foreign clinical trials are intended to serve as the sole basis for marketing approval in the United States, the FDA will generally not approve the application on the basis of foreign data alone unless (i) the data are applicable to the United States population and United States medical practice; (ii) the trials were performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence and pursuant to cGCP regulations; and (iii) the data may be considered valid without the need for an on-site inspection by the FDA, or if the FDA considers such inspection to be necessary, the FDA is able to validate the data through an on-site inspection or other appropriate means. In addition, even where the foreign study data are not intended to serve as the sole basis for approval, the FDA will not accept the data as support for an application for marketing approval unless the study is well-designed and well-conducted in accordance with cGCP requirements and the FDA is able to validate the data from the study through an onsite inspection if deemed necessary. Many foreign regulatory authorities have similar approval requirements. In addition, such foreign trials would be subject to the applicable local laws of the foreign jurisdictions where the trials are conducted. There can be no assurance that the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority will accept data from trials conducted outside of the United States or the applicable jurisdiction. If the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority does not accept such data, it would result in the need for additional trials, which could be costly and time-consuming, and which may result in current or future product candidates that we may develop not receiving approval for commercialization in the applicable jurisdiction.
We, or any future collaborators, may not be able to obtain orphan drug designation or orphan drug exclusivity for our product candidates and, even if we do, that exclusivity may not prevent the FDA or the EMA from approving other competing products.
Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and Europe, may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. LBS-008 has received Orphan Drug Designation in the United States and Europe, which provides for 7 years and 10 years, respectively, of market exclusivity from approval for STGD1. LBS-008 has also received Rare Pediatric Disease Designation in the United States. We, or any future collaborators, may seek orphan drug designations for other product candidates and may be unable to obtain such designations.
Even if we, or any future collaborators, obtain orphan drug designation for a product candidate, we, or they, may not be able to obtain orphan drug exclusivity for that product candidate. Generally, a product with orphan drug designation only becomes entitled to orphan drug exclusivity if it receives the first marketing approval for the indication for which it has such designation, in which case the FDA will be precluded from approving another marketing application for the same product for that indication and the EMA will be precluded from accepting an application for, or granting a marketing authorization for, a “similar medicinal product” for the applicable exclusivity period. The applicable exclusivity period is seven years in the United States and ten years in Europe. The European exclusivity period can be reduced to six years if a drug no longer meets the criteria for orphan drug designation or if the drug is sufficiently profitable so that market exclusivity is no longer justified. Orphan drug exclusivity may be lost if the FDA or the EMA determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantity of the drug to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition.
Even if we, or any future collaborators, obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition, and only the first applicant to receive approval will receive the benefits of marketing exclusivity. In addition, if a competitor’s drug receives marketing approval earlier than us in Europe which is deemed by the EMA as a “similar medicinal product” of any of our product candidates, then we may not be able to obtain orphan drug exclusivity for that product candidate. Even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same drug for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the later drug is clinically superior in that it is shown to be safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. In addition, in both the U.S. and Europe, if a different drug is subsequently approved for marketing for the same or a similar indication as any of our product candidates that receive marketing approval, we may face increased competition and lose market share regardless of orphan drug exclusivity, which only protects against approval of the “same” drug for the same indication.
 
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Although we may pursue expedited regulatory approval pathways in the United States for certain of our product candidates, they may not qualify for expedited development or, if they do qualify for expedited development, it may not actually lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process.
Although we believe there may be an opportunity to accelerate the development of certain of our product candidates through one or more of the FDA’s expedited programs and we may pursue one or more of these expedited programs, we cannot be certain that any of such product candidates will qualify for such programs or that we will be able to maintain such qualifications.
If we apply for any expedited program for any of our product candidates, the FDA may determine such product candidate, its proposed indication or other aspects of our clinical development plans do not qualify for such an expedited program. Even if we are successful in obtaining a designation or access to any expedited program, we may not experience faster development timelines or achieve faster review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures. Access to an expedited program may also be withdrawn by the FDA if the FDA believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development programs or if the FDA otherwise finds that relevant criteria are no longer being met. Additionally, qualification for any expedited review procedure does not ensure that we will ultimately obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates.
Even if we receive regulatory approval for our product candidates, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expenses, and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our product candidates.
Even after obtaining regulatory approval from the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or a comparable regulatory authority, our product candidates will be subject to, among other things, ongoing regulatory requirements governing the manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion, recordkeeping data management and submission of safety, efficacy and other post-market information. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration, random quality control testing, adherence to any CMC, variations, continued compliance with cGMPs, and cGCPs and potential post-approval studies for the purposes of license renewal. Violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or the FDCA, relating to the promotion of prescription drugs may lead to FDA enforcement actions and investigations alleging violations of federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, as well as state consumer protection laws.
Any regulatory approvals that we receive for our product candidates may also be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the drug may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing studies, including Phase 4 studies for the surveillance and monitoring of the safety and efficacy of the drug.
In addition, once a drug is approved by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or a comparable regulatory authority for marketing, it is possible that there could be a subsequent discovery of previously unknown problems with the drug, including problems with third-party CMOs or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements. If any of the foregoing occurs with respect to our drug products, it may result in, among other things:

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the drug, withdrawal of the drug from the market, or voluntary or mandatory drug recalls;

fines, warning letters or holds on our clinical trials;

refusal by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us, or suspension or revocation of drug license approvals;

refusal by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities to accept any of our IND approvals or NDAs;

drug seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of drugs; and

injunctions or the imposition of civil, administrative or criminal penalties.
 
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Any government investigation of alleged violations of law could require us to expend significant time and resources and could generate negative publicity. Moreover, regulatory policies may change or additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our product candidates. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies or we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose the regulatory approvals that we have already obtained and may not achieve or sustain profitability, which in turn could significantly harm our business, financial condition and prospects.
Inadequate funding for the FDA and other government agencies could hinder their ability to hire and retain key leadership and other personnel, prevent new products from being developed or commercialized in a timely manner or otherwise prevent those agencies from performing normal business functions on which the operation of our business may rely, which could negatively impact our business.
The ability of the FDA and comparable regulatory authorities (in some jurisdictions, the hospitals) to accept application, review and approve new products can be affected by a variety of factors, including government budget and funding levels, ability to hire and retain key personnel and accept the payment of user fees, and statutory, regulatory, and policy changes. Average review times at the agency have fluctuated in recent years as a result. In addition, government funding of other government agencies on which our operations may rely, including those that fund research and development activities is subject to the political process, which is inherently fluid and unpredictable.
Disruptions at the FDA and comparable regulatory authorities may also slow the time necessary for new drugs to be reviewed and/or approved by necessary government agencies, which would adversely affect our business. For example, in recent years, including in 2018 and 2019, the U.S. government shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, had to furlough critical employees and stop critical activities. Separately, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA postponed most inspections of foreign manufacturing facilities and products, postponed routine surveillance inspections of domestic manufacturing facilities and is conducting only teleconference meetings. Regulatory authorities outside the United States may adopt similar restrictions or other policy measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, upon completion of this offering and in our operations as a public company, future government shutdowns could impact our ability to access the public markets and obtain necessary capital in order to properly capitalize and continue our operations.
Current and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us and any future collaborators to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates and affect the prices we, or they, may obtain.
In the United States and certain other jurisdictions, 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 post-approval activities and affect our ability to sell profitably any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval.
For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, collectively, the ACA, is a sweeping law intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against fraud and abuse, add new transparency requirements for the healthcare and health insurance industries, impose new taxes and fees on the health industry and impose additional health policy reforms. Among the provisions of the ACA of importance to our product candidates are the following:

an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports specified branded prescription drugs;

an increase in the statutory minimum rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program;

expansion of healthcare fraud and abuse laws, including the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute, new government investigative powers, and enhanced penalties for non-compliance;
 
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a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 50% point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices;

extension of manufacturers’ Medicaid rebate liability to utilization covered by Medicaid managed care plans;

expansion of eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs;

expansion of the entities eligible for discounts under the Public Health Service Act’s pharmaceutical pricing program;

new requirements to report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or the CMS, financial arrangements with physicians and teaching hospitals;

a new requirement to annually report to the FDA drug samples that manufacturers and distributors provide to physicians; and

a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research.
Legislative and regulatory proposals have been made to expand post-approval requirements, to restrict sales and promotional activities for pharmaceutical products and to control rising market prices for pharmaceutical products. We cannot be sure whether additional legislative changes will be enacted, or whether the FDA regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, what the impact of such changes on the marketing approvals, if any, of our product candidates may be, or whether pricing strategies may be constrained. In addition, increased scrutiny by the U.S. Congress of the FDA’s approval process may significantly delay or prevent marketing approval, as well as subject us to more stringent product labeling and post-marketing conditions and other requirements.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates, or if the scope of such intellectual property rights obtained is not sufficiently broad, third parties could develop and commercialize products and technologies similar or identical to ours and compete directly against us, and our ability to successfully commercialize any product or technology may be adversely affected.
Our success depends in large part on our ability to protect our proprietary technology and product candidates from competition by obtaining, maintaining, defending and enforcing our intellectual property rights, including patent rights. As of December 31, 2021, our portfolio of owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents consisted of 18 issued U.S. patents, 8 pending U.S. patent applications, 14 issued foreign patents (inclusive of allowed applications) and 28 pending foreign patent applications, providing protection in the United States and China, among other regions. We seek to protect and intend to seek to protect the product candidates and technology that we consider commercially important by filing patent applications and requiring our licensor to file licensed patent applications in the United States, European Union, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, India and other countries or regions, relying on trade secrets or pharmaceutical regulatory protection or employing a combination of these methods. This process is expensive and time-consuming, and we may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications in all jurisdictions at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. It is also possible that we will fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development output before it is too late to obtain patent protection.
The patent position of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies generally is highly uncertain, involves complex legal and factual questions and has in recent years been the subject of much litigation. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our patent rights are highly uncertain. Our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued which protect our technology or product candidates or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and product candidates. The patent examination process may require us to narrow the scope of the claims of our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed pending and future patent applications, which may limit the scope of patent protection that may be obtained. We cannot assure that all of the potentially relevant prior art relating to our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents
 
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and patent applications has been found. If such prior art exists, it can invalidate a patent or prevent a patent application from being issued as a patent.
Even if patents do issue on any of these applications, there can be no assurance that a third party will not challenge their validity, enforceability, or scope, which may result in the patent claims being narrowed or invalidated, or that we will obtain sufficient claim scope in those patents to prevent a third party from competing successfully with our product candidates. We may become involved in interference, inter partes review, post grant review, ex parte reexamination, derivation, opposition or similar other proceedings challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. An adverse determination in any such proceeding could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or product candidates and compete directly with us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize product candidates without infringing third-party patent rights. Thus, even if our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patent applications issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors from competing with us or otherwise provide us with any competitive advantage.
Our competitors may be able to circumvent our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents by developing similar or alternative technologies or product candidates in a non-infringing manner. The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its scope, validity or enforceability, and our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents may be challenged in the courts or patent offices in the United States and other countries. Such challenges may result in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, which could limit our ability to stop or prevent us from stopping others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and product candidates, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and product candidates. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such assets might expire before or shortly after such assets are commercialized. As a result, our patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing product candidates similar or identical to ours.
Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents or narrow the scope of our patent protection. Under the America Invents Act enacted in 2011, the United States moved to this first-to-file system in early 2013 from the previous system under which the first to make the claimed invention was entitled to the patent. Assuming the other requirements for patentability are met, the first to file a patent application is entitled to the patent. Publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all. Therefore, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to make the inventions claimed in our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents or pending patent applications, or that we or our licensors were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions.
We depend on intellectual property licensed from third parties, and our current and future licensors may not always act in our best interest. If we fail to comply with our obligations under our intellectual property licenses, if the licenses are terminated or if disputes regarding these licenses arise, we could lose significant rights that are important to our business.
We are dependent on patents, know-how and proprietary technology licensed from others. We are party to an exclusive license agreement with Columbia University under which we are granted rights to intellectual property that are necessary to our business and we may enter into additional license agreements in the future. Our existing license agreement with Columbia University imposes on us, and we expect that any future license agreements where we in-license intellectual property will impose on us, various development, regulatory and/or commercial diligence obligations, requiring timely achievement of development milestones for which we are obligated to report periodically on our progress and timely payment of milestone payments and/or royalties and other obligations. If we fail to comply with our obligations under these agreements, and our licensor does not agree to adjust the deadlines by which milestones must be achieved or we are subject to bankruptcy-related proceedings, the licensor may have the right to convert our exclusive license to a nonexclusive license with no right to sublicense or terminate the license, in which event we would not be able to develop or market products covered by the license.
 
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If we or our licensors fail to adequately protect our licensed intellectual property, our ability to commercialize product candidates could suffer. We do not have complete control over the maintenance, prosecution and litigation of our in-licensed patents and patent applications and may have limited control over future intellectual property that may be in-licensed. For example, we cannot be certain that activities such as the maintenance and prosecution by our licensors have been or will be conducted in accordance with our views or in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or will result in valid and enforceable patents and other intellectual property rights. Our licensor is required to consult with us and keep us informed on the status of all licensed patents and applications, so long as we do not challenge the validity, scope, or enforceability of any licensed patent or application. It is also possible that our licensors’ infringement proceedings or defense activities may be less vigorous than had we conducted them ourselves, or may not be conducted in accordance with our best interests.
In addition, the agreements under which we license intellectual property or technology from third parties are complex, and certain provisions in such agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could narrow what we believe to be the scope of our rights to the relevant patents, know-how and proprietary technology, or increase what we believe to be our financial or other obligations under the relevant agreement. Disputes that may arise between us and our licensors regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement could include disputes regarding:

the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;

whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe on intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;

our right to sublicense patent and other rights to third parties under collaborative development relationships;

our diligence obligations with respect to the use of the licensed technology in relation to our development and commercialization of our product candidates and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations; and

the inventorship and ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners.
If disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on reasonable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected technology or product candidates. As a result, any termination of or disputes over our intellectual property licenses could result in the loss of our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, or we could lose other significant rights, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we fail to comply with our obligations under our patent license with a third party, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.
We are party to an exclusive license agreement with Columbia University pursuant to which we in-license key patent and patent applications necessary to pursue marketing and selling of our product candidates. Our existing license agreement with Columbia University imposes various diligence, milestone payment, royalty, insurance and other obligations on us. If we fail to comply with these obligations, our licensor may elect to convert the license from an exclusive license to a nonexclusive license without the right to sublicense or initiate legal proceedings against third party patent infringers or terminate the license, in which event we would not be able to develop or market the products covered by such licensed intellectual property. Termination of these agreements or reduction or elimination of our rights under these agreements, or restrictions on our ability to freely assign or sublicense our rights under such agreements when it is in the interest of our business to do so, may impede, delay or prohibit the further development or commercialization of one or more product candidates that rely on such agreements.
We may have limited control over the maintenance and prosecution of these in-licensed patents and patent applications, activities or any other intellectual property that may be related to our in-licensed intellectual property. For example, we cannot be certain that such activities by our licensor have been or will
 
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be conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or will result in valid and enforceable patents and other intellectual property rights.
Intellectual property discovered through U.S. government funded programs may be subject to federal regulations such as “march-in” rights, certain reporting requirements and a preference for U.S.-based companies. Compliance with such regulations may limit our exclusive rights and limit our ability to contract with non-U.S. manufacturers.
Our licensed and co-owned patents and pending patent applications have been generated through the use of U.S. government funding, and we may acquire or license in the future intellectual property rights that have been generated through the use of U.S. government funding or grants. Pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, the U.S. government has certain rights in inventions developed with government funding. These U.S. government rights include a non-exclusive, non-transferable, irrevocable worldwide license to use inventions for any governmental purpose. In addition, the U.S. government has the right, under certain limited circumstances, to require us to grant exclusive, partially exclusive, or non-exclusive licenses to any of these inventions to a third party if it determines that: (1) adequate steps have not been taken to commercialize the invention; (2) government action is necessary to meet public health or safety needs; or (3) government action is necessary to meet requirements for public use under federal regulations (also referred to as “march-in rights”). If the U.S. government exercised its march-in rights in our future intellectual property rights that are generated through the use of U.S. government funding or grants, we could be forced to license or sublicense intellectual property developed by us or that we license on terms unfavorable to us, and there can be no assurance that we would receive compensation from the U.S. government for the exercise of such rights. The U.S. government also has the right to take title to these inventions if the grant recipient fails to disclose the invention to the government or fails to file an application to register the intellectual property within specified time limits. Intellectual property generated under a government funded program is also subject to certain reporting requirements, compliance with which may require us to expend substantial resources. In addition, the U.S. government requires that any products embodying any of these inventions or produced through the use of any of these inventions be manufactured substantially in the United States. This preference for U.S. industry may be waived by the federal agency that provided the funding if the owner or assignee of the intellectual property can show that reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to grant licenses on similar terms to potential licensees that would be likely to manufacture substantially in the United States or that under the circumstances domestic manufacture is not commercially feasible. This preference for U.S. industry may limit our ability to contract with non-U.S. product manufacturers for products covered by such intellectual property.
We enjoy only limited geographical protection with respect to certain patents and may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.
Filing and prosecuting patent applications and defending patents covering our product candidates in all countries throughout the world could be prohibitively expensive. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own product candidates and, further, may export otherwise infringing product candidates to territories, where we have patent protection, but enforcement rights are not as strong as those in the United States. These product candidates may compete with our product candidates, and our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.
The laws of some jurisdictions do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws or rules and regulations in the United States, and many companies have encountered significant difficulties in protecting and defending such rights in such jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, are not as favorable as other jurisdictions with regard to the enforcement of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property protection, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patents or marketing of competing product candidates in violation of our proprietary rights generally and specifically in certain jurisdictions. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in other jurisdictions, whether or not successful, could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patent applications at risk of not issuing as patents, and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not
 
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prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop. Furthermore, while we intend to protect our intellectual property rights in our expected significant markets, we cannot ensure that we will be able to initiate or maintain similar efforts in all jurisdictions in which we may wish to market our product candidates. Accordingly, our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights in such countries may be inadequate, which may have an adverse effect on our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates in all of our expected significant foreign markets. If we encounter difficulties in protecting, or are otherwise precluded from effectively protecting, the intellectual property rights important for our business in such jurisdictions, the value of these rights may be diminished, and we may face additional competition from others in those jurisdictions.
Some countries also have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, some countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In those countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of such patents. If we are forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any patents relevant to our business, our competitive position may be impaired.
Enforcing our intellectual property rights against third parties may also cause such third parties to file other counterclaims against us, which could be costly to defend and could require us to pay substantial damages, cease the sale of certain drugs or enter into a license agreement and pay royalties (which may not be possible on commercially reasonable terms or at all).
Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment, and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for non-compliance with these requirements.
Periodic maintenance and annuity fees on any issued patent are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies over the lifetime of a patent. In addition, the USPTO and other foreign patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment, and other similar provisions during the patent application process. In some circumstances, we are dependent on our licensors to take the necessary action to comply with these requirements with respect to our licensed intellectual property. While an inadvertent failure to make payment of such fees or to comply with such provisions can in many cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which such non-compliance will result in the abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, and the partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Non-compliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application include failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, and non-payment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents within prescribed time limits. If we or our licensors fail to maintain the patents and patent applications covering our product candidates or if we or our licensors otherwise allow our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed patents or patent applications to be abandoned or lapse, our competitors might be able to enter the market, which would hurt our competitive position and could impair our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates in any indication for which they are approved.
The COVID-19 pandemic may impair our and our licensors’ ability to comply with these procedural, document submission, fee payment, and other requirements imposed by government patent agencies, which may materially and adversely affect our ability to obtain or maintain patent protection for our products and product candidates.
Terms of our future owned, co-owned, or in-licensed patents may not be sufficient to effectively protect our product candidates and business in certain jurisdictions.
In many countries where we file applications for patents, the term of an issued patent is generally 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date of a non-provisional patent application in the applicable country. Although various extensions may be available, the life of a patent and the protection it affords are limited. Even if we obtain patents covering our product candidates, we may still be open to competition from other companies, as well as generic medications once the patent life has expired for a drug. For example,
 
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while there are patent regulations in the PRC in respect of regulatory data protection of new drugs containing new chemical components, there are currently no other clear mechanisms providing patent term extension or patent linkages for other drugs in the PRC. Therefore, it is possible that a lower-cost generic drug can emerge onto the market much more quickly. For additional information regarding generic competition for our products in China, see “— Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property — The uncertainty of patent linkage, patent term extension and data and market exclusivity for NMPA-approved pharmaceutical products could increase the risk of early generic competition with our products in China” below. These factors may result in weaker protection for us against generic competition in jurisdictions similar to the PRC than could be available to us in other jurisdictions, such as the United States. In addition, patents which we expect to obtain in the PRC or similar jurisdictions may not be eligible to be extended for patent terms lost during clinical trials and the regulatory review process.
If we are unable to obtain patent term extensions or if such extensions are less than requested for, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following our patent expirations and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially harmed as a result.
If the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities approve generic versions of any of our products that receive marketing approval, or such authorities do not grant our products appropriate periods of data exclusivity before approving generic versions of our products, the sales of our products could be adversely affected.
Once an NDA is approved, the product covered thereby becomes a “reference-listed drug” in the FDA’s publication, “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” or the Orange Book. Manufacturers may seek approval of generic versions of reference-listed drugs through submission of abbreviated new drug applications, or ANDAs, in the United States. In support of an ANDA, a generic manufacturer need not conduct clinical trials. Rather, the applicant generally must show that its product has the same active ingredient(s), dosage form, strength, route of administration and conditions of use or labeling as the reference-listed drug and that the generic version is bioequivalent to the reference-listed drug, meaning it is absorbed in the body at the same rate and to the same extent. Generic products may be significantly less costly to bring to market than the reference-listed drug and companies that produce generic products are generally able to offer them at lower prices. Thus, following the introduction of a generic drug, a significant percentage of the sales of any branded product or reference-listed drug may be typically lost to the generic product.
The FDA may not approve an ANDA for a generic product until any applicable period of non-patent exclusivity for the reference-listed drug has expired. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, provides a period of five years of non-patent exclusivity for a new drug containing a new chemical entity, or NCE. Specifically, in cases where such exclusivity has been granted, an ANDA may not be filed with the FDA until the expiration of five years unless the submission is accompanied by a Paragraph IV certification that a patent covering the reference-listed drug is either invalid or will not be infringed by the generic product, in which case the applicant may submit its application four years following approval of the reference-listed drug. It is unclear whether the FDA will treat the active ingredients in our product candidates as NCEs and, therefore, afford them five years of NCE data exclusivity if they are approved. If any product we develop does not receive five years of NCE exclusivity, the FDA may approve generic versions of such product three years after its date of approval, subject to the requirement that the ANDA applicant certifies to any patents listed for our products in the Orange Book. Manufacturers may seek to launch these generic products following the expiration of the applicable marketing exclusivity period, even if we still have patent protection for our product.
Competition that our products may face from generic versions of our products could negatively impact our future revenue, profitability and cash flows and substantially limit our ability to obtain a return on our investments in those product candidates.
The uncertainty of patent linkage, patent term extension and data and market exclusivity for NMPA-approved pharmaceutical products could increase the risk of early generic competition with our products in China.
In the United States, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, or the Hatch-Waxman Act, provides the opportunity for patent-term restoration, meaning a patent term extension of up to five years to reflect patent term lost during
 
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certain portions of product development and the FDA regulatory review process. The Hatch-Waxman Act also has a process for patent linkage, pursuant to which the FDA will stay approval of certain follow-on applications during the pendency of litigation between the follow-on applicant and the patent holder or licensee, generally for a period of 30 months. Finally, the Hatch-Waxman Act provides for statutory exclusivities that can prevent submission or approval of certain follow-on marketing applications. For example, federal law provides a five-year period of exclusivity within the United States to the first applicant to obtain approval of a new chemical entity and three years of exclusivity protecting certain innovations to previously approved active ingredients where the applicant was required to conduct new clinical investigations to obtain approval for the modification. Similarly, the U.S. Orphan Drug Act provides seven years of market exclusivity for certain drugs to treat rare diseases, where the FDA designates the product candidate as an orphan drug and the drug is approved for the designated orphan indication. These provisions, designed to promote innovation, can prevent competing products from entering the market for a certain period of time after the FDA grants marketing approval for the innovative product.
Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of any FDA marketing approval process for any product candidates we may develop, one or more of our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed U.S. patents, if issued, may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent extension term of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during clinical trials and the FDA regulatory review process. A patent term extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of drug approval, only one patent may be extended and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. The application for patent term extension is subject to approval by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, in conjunction with the FDA. However, we may not be granted an extension because of, for example, failing to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, failing to apply within applicable deadlines, failing to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents, or otherwise failing to satisfy applicable requirements. Furthermore, the applicable time period or the scope of patent protection afforded could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain a patent term extension for a given patent or the term of any such extension is less than we request, the period during which we will have the right to exclusively market our drug will be shortened and our competitors may obtain earlier approval of competing drugs, and our ability to generate revenues could be materially adversely affected.
In China, however, laws on patent term extension, patent linkage, and data exclusivity (referred to as regulatory data protection) are still developing. Therefore, a lower-cost generic drug can emerge onto the market much more quickly. Chinese regulators have set forth a framework for integrating patent linkage and data exclusivity into the Chinese regulatory regime, as well as for establishing a pilot program for patent term extension. According to the Economic and Trade Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, dated January 15, 2020, the PRC government undertook to provide patent term extensions to compensate for unreasonable delays that occur in granting the patent or during pharmaceutical product marketing approvals. In October 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, or the NPC, promulgated the newly amended PRC Patent Law, which became effective in June 2021. The newly amended PRC Patent Law includes provisions for patent linkage and patent term extension. However, considering that the newly amended PRC Patent Law is relatively new, it is unclear how it will be implemented, and there exist great uncertainties with respect to its interpretation and implementation by the authorities. These factors result in weaker protection for us against generic competition in China than could be available to us in the United States. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is less than we request, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following our patent expiration, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.
Changes in patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our product candidates.
As is the case with other biopharmaceutical companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patent rights. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biopharmaceutical industry involves both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming, and inherently uncertain. In addition, the United States has recently enacted and is currently implementing wide-ranging
 
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patent reform legislation. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents once obtained, if any. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future.
For example, the America Invents Act includes a number of significant changes that affect the way patent applications will be prosecuted and also may affect patent litigation. These include allowing third party submission of prior art to the USPTO during patent prosecution and additional procedures to attack the validity of a patent by USPTO administered post-grant proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review and derivation proceedings. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in United States federal courts necessary to invalidate a patent claim, a third party could potentially provide evidence in a USPTO proceeding sufficient for the USPTO to hold a claim invalid even though the same evidence would be insufficient to invalidate the claim if first presented in a district court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party as a defendant in a district court action. Therefore, the America Invents Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our owned, co-owned and in-licensed patent applications and the enforcement or defense of patents issuing from those patent applications, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Although we do not believe that our currently owned, co-owned, and in-licensed issued patents and any patents that may issue from our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed pending patent applications directed to our product candidates, if issued in their currently pending forms, will be found invalid based on any recent decisions by the U.S. Congress, federal courts and the USPTO, we cannot predict how their future decisions may impact the value of our patent rights. There could be similar changes in the laws of foreign jurisdictions that may impact the value of our patent rights or our other intellectual property rights.
If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position would be harmed.
In addition to patents, we rely upon unpatented trade secrets, know-how and continuing technological innovation to develop and maintain our competitive position. We seek to protect this trade secret and confidential information, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties that have access to them, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers, CMOs, consultants, advisers and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants. However, any of these parties may breach such agreements and disclose our proprietary information, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us and our competitive position would be harmed. In addition, we face the risk of cybercrime. For instance, someone could hack our information networks and gain illicit access to our proprietary information, including our trade secrets. Even if we are successful in prosecuting such claims, any remedy awarded may be insufficient to fully compensate us for the improper disclosure or misappropriation. In addition, some courts inside and outside the United States are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets.
We also may be subject to claims that our employees, consultants, or advisers have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers or claims asserting ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.
Many of our employees, consultants, and advisers, including our senior management, were previously employed at or contracted by other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors
 
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or potential competitors. Some of these employees, consultants, and advisers, including members of our senior management, executed proprietary rights, non-disclosure and non-competition agreements in connection with such previous employment. Although we try to ensure that our employees do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or these employees have used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such individual’s former employer. We are not aware of any threatened or pending claims related to these matters or concerning the agreements with our senior management, but in the future litigation may be necessary to defend against such claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management. In addition, while we typically require our employees, consultants and contractors who may be involved in the development of intellectual property to execute agreements assigning such intellectual property to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who in fact develops intellectual property that we regard as our own, and furthermore, the assignment of intellectual property rights may not be self-executing, or the assignment agreements may be breached, each of which may result in claims by or against us related to the ownership of such intellectual property. If we fail in prosecuting or defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights. Even if we are successful in prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs, be a distraction to our management and scientific personnel and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship of our patents and other intellectual property.
We may be subject to claims that former employees, collaborators or other third parties have an interest in our patent rights, trade secrets, or other intellectual property as an inventor or co-inventor. For example, we may have inventorship disputes arise from conflicting obligations of consultants or others who are involved in developing our therapeutic programs and other proprietary technologies we may develop. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship or our patent rights, trade secrets or other intellectual property. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, intellectual property that is important to our therapeutic programs and other proprietary technologies we may develop. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to our management and other employees. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Intellectual property litigation may lead to unfavorable publicity which may harm our reputation and cause the market price of our ADSs to decline, and any unfavorable outcome from such litigation could limit our research and development activities and/or our ability to commercialize our product candidates.
During the course of any intellectual property litigation, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, rulings on motions, and other interim proceedings in the litigation. If securities analysts or investors regard these announcements as negative, the perceived value of our product candidates, future drugs, programs or intellectual property could be diminished. Accordingly, the market price of our ADSs may decline. Such announcements could also harm our reputation or the market for our product candidates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In the event of intellectual property litigation, there can be no assurance that we would prevail, even if the case against us is weak or flawed. If third parties successfully assert their intellectual property rights against us, prohibitions against using certain technologies, or prohibitions against commercializing our product candidates, could be imposed by a court or by a settlement agreement between us and a plaintiff. In addition, if we are unsuccessful in defending against allegations that we have infringed, misappropriated or otherwise violated the patent or other intellectual property rights of others, we may be forced to pay substantial damage awards to the plaintiff. Additionally, we may be required to obtain a license from the intellectual property owner in order to continue our research and development activities or to commercialize any resulting product. It is possible that the necessary license will not be available to us on commercially acceptable terms, or at all. This may not be technically or commercially feasible, may render our products less
 
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competitive, or may delay or prevent the launch of our products to the market. Any of the foregoing could limit our research and development activities, our ability to commercialize one or more product candidates, or both.
Most of our competitors are larger than we are and have substantially greater resources. They are, therefore, likely to be able to sustain the costs of complex intellectual property litigation longer than we could. In addition, the uncertainties associated with litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to conduct our clinical trials, continue our internal research activities, in-license needed technology in the future, or enter into strategic collaborations that would help us bring our product candidates to market.
In addition, any future intellectual property litigation, interference or other administrative proceedings will result in additional expense and distraction of our personnel. An adverse outcome in such litigation or proceedings may expose us or any future strategic partners to loss of our proprietary position, expose us to significant liabilities, or require us to seek licenses that may not be available on commercially acceptable terms, if at all, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may not identify relevant third-party patents or may incorrectly interpret the relevance, scope or expiration of a third-party patent, which might adversely affect our ability to develop and market our products and product candidates.
We cannot guarantee that any of our patent searches or analyses, including the identification of relevant patents, the scope of patent claims or the expiration of relevant patents, are complete or thorough, nor can we be certain that we have identified each and every third-party patent and pending patent application in the United States and abroad that is relevant to or necessary for the commercialization of our current and future products and product candidates in any jurisdiction. The scope of a patent claim is determined by an interpretation of the law, the written disclosure in a patent and the patent’s prosecution history. Our interpretation of the relevance or the scope of a patent or a pending patent application may be incorrect, which may negatively impact our ability to market our products. We may incorrectly determine that our products or product candidates are not covered by a third-party patent or may incorrectly predict whether a third party’s pending patent application will issue with claims of relevant scope. Our determination of the expiration date of any patent in the United States or abroad that we consider relevant may be incorrect, and our failure to identify and correctly interpret relevant patents may negatively impact our ability to develop and market our products. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Claims that our product candidates or the sale or use of our future products infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate the patents or other intellectual property rights of third parties could result in costly litigation or could require substantial time and money to resolve, even if litigation is avoided.
We cannot guarantee that our product candidates or the sale or use of our future products do not and will not in the future infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate third-party patents or other intellectual property rights. Third parties might allege that we are infringing their patent rights or that we have misappropriated their trade secrets, or that we are otherwise violating their intellectual property rights, whether with respect to the manner in which we have conducted our research, or with respect to the use or manufacture of the compounds we have developed or are developing. The various markets in which we plan to operate are subject to frequent and extensive litigation regarding patents and other intellectual property rights. Some claimants may have substantially greater resources than we have and may be able to sustain the costs of complex intellectual property litigation to a greater degree and for longer periods of time than we could. Third parties might resort to litigation against us or other parties we have agreed to indemnify, which litigation could be based on either existing intellectual property or intellectual property that arises in the future.
It is also possible that we failed to identify, or may in the future fail to identify, relevant patents or patent applications held by third parties that cover our product candidates. Publication of discoveries in the scientific or patent literature often lags behind actual discoveries. Therefore, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to invent, or the first to file patent applications on, our product candidates or for their uses, or that our product candidates will not infringe patents that are currently issued or that are
 
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issued in the future. In the event that a third party has also filed a patent application covering one of our product candidates or a similar invention, our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed patent application may be regarded as a competing application and may not be issued in the end. Additionally, pending patent applications that have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our products or their use.
If a third party were to assert claims of patent infringement against us, even if we believe such third-party claims are without merit, a court of competent jurisdiction could hold that these third-party patents are valid, enforceable and infringed, and the holders of any such patents may be able to block our ability to commercialize the applicable product unless we obtained a license under the applicable patents, or until such patents expire or are finally determined to be invalid or unenforceable. Similarly, if any third-party patents were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover aspects of our compositions, formulations, or methods of treatment, prevention, or use, the holders of any such patents may be able to block our ability to develop and commercialize the applicable product unless we obtained a license or until such patent expires or is finally determined to be invalid or unenforceable. In addition, defending such claims would cause us to incur substantial expenses and could cause us to pay substantial damages, if we are found to be infringing a third party’s patent rights. These damages potentially include increased damages and attorneys’ fees if we are found to have infringed such rights willfully. In order to avoid or settle potential claims with respect to any patent or other intellectual property rights of third parties, we may choose or be required to seek a license from a third party and be required to pay license fees or royalties or both, which could be substantial. These licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Even if we were able to obtain a license, the rights may be nonexclusive, which could result in our competitors gaining access to the same intellectual property. Ultimately, we could be prevented from commercializing a product candidate, or be forced, by court order or otherwise, to modify or cease some or all aspects of our business operations, if, as a result of actual or threatened patent or other intellectual property claims, we are unable to enter into licenses on acceptable terms. Further, we could be found liable for significant monetary damages as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement.
Defending against claims of patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets or other violations of intellectual property rights is likely to be costly and time-consuming, regardless of the outcome. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. Thus, even if we were to ultimately prevail, or to settle at an early stage, such litigation could burden us with substantial unanticipated losses. Any claims of infringement, misappropriation or other violation of intellectual property made against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Issued patents covering one or more of our product candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court.
Despite measures we take to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property rights with respect to our product candidates, our intellectual property rights could be challenged or invalidated. For example, if we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed patent is invalid and/or unenforceable. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, for example, lack of novelty, obviousness, non-enablement, lack of sufficient written description or obviousness-type double patenting. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, the State Intellectual Property Office, or the SIPO, or the applicable foreign counterpart, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Although we believe that we and our licensor have conducted our patent prosecution in accordance with a duty of candor and in good faith, the outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability during patent litigation is unpredictable. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we could lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on a product candidate. Even if a defendant does not prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed patent claims may be construed in a manner that would limit our ability to enforce such claims against the defendant and others. Even if we establish infringement, the court may decide not to grant an injunction against further
 
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infringing activity and instead award only monetary damages, which may not be an adequate remedy. In addition, if the breadth or strength of protection provided by our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed patents is threatened, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to license, develop, or commercialize our current or future product candidates. Any loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on one or more of our product candidates and our business.
Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims may cause us to incur significant expenses and could distract our personnel from their normal responsibilities. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, and if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock. Such litigation or proceedings could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce the resources available for development activities or any future sales, marketing or distribution activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to conduct such litigation or proceedings adequately. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete in the marketplace. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation.
We may not be successful in obtaining or maintaining necessary rights for our development pipeline through acquisitions and in-licenses.
Because the development of certain of our product candidates may in the future involve the use of proprietary rights held by third parties, the growth of our business may depend in part on our ability to acquire and maintain licenses or other rights to use these proprietary rights.
We may be unable to acquire or in-license any compositions, methods of use, or other intellectual property rights from third parties that we identify. The licensing and acquisition of third-party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and a number of more established companies are also pursuing strategies to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider attractive or necessary. These established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, cash resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities. In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We also may be unable to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights on terms that would allow us to make an appropriate return on our investment or at all. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property rights or maintain the existing intellectual property rights we have, we may have to abandon development of the relevant product candidate, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects for growth.
If our trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, we may not be able to build name recognition in our markets of interest and our competitive position may be adversely affected.
As of December 31, 2021, we had one registered trademark in the United States, one registered trademark in EU, two registered trademarks in China, one registered trademark in Hong Kong, and one registered trademark in Japan, and one trademark application pending in Canada. We may not be able to obtain trademark protection in territories that we consider of significant importance to us. In addition, any of our trademarks or trade names, whether registered or unregistered, may be challenged, opposed, infringed, cancelled, circumvented or declared generic, or determined to be infringing on other marks, as applicable. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names, which we will need to build name recognition by potential collaborators or customers in our markets of interest. Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our business may be adversely affected.
Intellectual property rights do not necessarily protect us from all potential threats to our competitive advantage.
The degree of future protection afforded by our intellectual property rights is uncertain because intellectual property rights have limitations, and may not adequately protect our business, or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. The following examples are illustrative:
 
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others may be able to make compounds that are similar to our product candidates but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we own, co-own or exclusively license;

we or our licensors or collaborators might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by the issued patents or pending patent applications that we own, co-own or exclusively license, which could result in the patents applied for not being issued or being invalidated after issuing;

we or our licensors or collaborators might not have been the first to file patent applications covering certain of our inventions, which could result in the patents applied for not being issued or being invalidated after issuing;

others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing our intellectual property rights;

it is possible that the pending and future patent applications that we own, co-own, or in-license will not lead to issued patents;

issued patents that we own, co-own or in-license may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be held invalid or unenforceable, as a result of legal challenges by our competitors or other third parties;

we or our licensors may obtain patents for certain compounds many years before we receive regulatory approval for drugs containing such compounds, and because patents have a limited life, which may begin to run out prior to the commercial sale of the related drugs, the commercial value of our patents may be limited;

our competitors might conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not have patent rights and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive drugs for commercialization in our major markets;

we may fail to develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;

we may fail to apply for or obtain adequate intellectual property protection in all the jurisdictions in which we operate;

third parties may gain unauthorized access to our intellectual property due to potential lapses in our information systems; and

the patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business, for example by preventing us from commercializing one or more of our product candidates for one or more indications.
Any of the aforementioned threats to our competitive advantage could have a material adverse effect on our business and future prospects.
Risks Related to Our Industry, Business and Operations
If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.
Prior to this offering, we have been a private company with limited accounting and financial reporting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. Our independent registered public accounting firm has not conducted an audit of our internal control over financial reporting. However, in connection with the audit of our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified one material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting as well as other control deficiencies.
As defined in the standards established by the United States Public Company Accounting Oversight Board of the United States (PCAOB), 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. The material weakness identified is related to our lack of formal policies and procedures to
 
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establish risk assessment process and internal control framework. We are currently in the process of implementing a number of measures to address the material weakness and deficiency that has been identified. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.” However, we cannot assure you that these measures may fully address the material weakness and deficiency in our internal control over financial reporting or that we may conclude that they have been fully remediated.
Furthermore, it is possible that, had our independent registered public accounting firm conducted an audit of our internal control over financial reporting, such accountant might have identified additional material weaknesses and deficiencies. Upon completion of this offering, we will become a public company in the United States subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we include a report from management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our annual report on Form 20-F upon expiration of the statutory transition period. In addition, once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined in the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our management may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective. Moreover, even if our management concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm, after conducting its own independent testing, may issue a report that is qualified if it is not satisfied with our internal controls or the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed, or if it interprets the relevant requirements differently from us. In addition, after we become a public company, our reporting obligations may place a significant strain on our management, operational and financial resources and systems for the foreseeable future. We may be unable to timely complete our evaluation testing and any required remediation.
During the course of documenting and testing our internal control procedures, in order to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we may identify other weaknesses and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, if we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. We may not be able to anticipate and identify accounting issues, or other risks critical to financial reporting that could materially impact the consolidated financial statements. Generally, if we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which would likely cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. This could in turn limit our access to capital markets, harm our results of operations and lead to a decline in the trading price of our shares. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions. We may also be required to restate our financial statements from prior periods.
Our future success depends on our ability to attract, retain and motivate senior management and qualified scientific employees.
We are highly dependent on the expertise of the members of our research and development team, as well as the principal members of our management. We have entered into employment agreements with our executive officers, but each of them may terminate their employment with us at any time with or without prior written notice. In addition, we currently do not have “key-man” insurance for any of our executive officers or other key personnel.
Recruiting, retaining and motivating qualified management, scientific, clinical, manufacturing and sales and marketing personnel will also be critical to our success. The loss of the services of our executive officers or other key employees could impede the achievement of our research, development and commercialization objectives and seriously harm our ability to successfully implement our business strategy. Further, replacing executive officers and key employees may be difficult and may take an extended period of time because of the limited number of individuals in our industry with the breadth of skills and experience required to successfully develop, gain regulatory approval of and commercialize drugs. Competition to hire
 
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from this limited pool is intense, and we may be unable to hire, train, retain or motivate these key personnel on acceptable terms given the competition among numerous biopharmaceutical companies for similar personnel. We also experience competition for the hiring of scientific and clinical personnel from universities and research institutions. In addition, our management will be required to devote significant time to new compliance initiatives from our status as a public company, which may require us to recruit more management personnel.
Competition for skilled personnel is intense, particularly in the biotechnology industry. We face competition for personnel from other companies, universities, public and private research institutions and other organizations. This competition may limit our ability to hire and retain highly qualified personnel on acceptable terms, or at all. We may not be able to attract and retain these personnel on acceptable terms given the competition among numerous biotechnology companies for similar personnel. In addition, we rely on consultants and advisors, including scientific and clinical advisors, to assist us in formulating our research and development and commercialization strategy. Our consultants and advisors may be employed or may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability to us.
If we do not achieve our projected development and commercialization goals in the timeframes we announce and expect, the commercialization of any of our product candidates may be delayed, and our business will be harmed.
For planning purposes, we sometimes estimate the timing of the accomplishment of various scientific, clinical, regulatory and other product development objectives. These milestones may include our expectations regarding the commencement or completion of scientific studies and clinical trials, the regulatory submissions or commercialization objectives. From time to time, we may publicly announce the expected timing of some of these milestones, such as the completion of an ongoing clinical trial, the initiation of other clinical trials, receipt of regulatory approval or the commercial launch of a product. The achievement of many of these milestones may be outside of our control. All of these milestones are based on a variety of assumptions which may cause the timing of achievement of the milestones to vary considerably from our estimates, including:

our available capital resources or capital constraints we experience;

the rate of progress, costs and results of our clinical trials and research and development activities, including the extent of scheduling conflicts with participating clinicians and collaborators;

our ability to identify and enroll patients who meet clinical trial eligibility criteria;

our receipt of approvals by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions, and the timing thereof;

other actions, decisions or rules issued by regulators;

our ability to access sufficient, reliable and affordable supplies of materials used in the manufacture of our product candidates;

our ability to manufacture and supply clinical trial materials to our clinical sites on a timely basis;

the efforts of our collaborators with respect to the commercialization of our products; and

the securing of, costs related to, and timing issues associated with, commercial product manufacturing as well as sales and marketing activities.
If we fail to achieve announced milestones in the timeframes we expect, the commercialization of any of our product candidates may be delayed, and our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects may be adversely affected.
Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, collaborators and contract research organizations may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements, which could cause significant liability for us and harm our reputation.
We are exposed to the risk that our employees, independent contractors, consultants, collaborators and contract research organizations may engage in fraud or other misconduct, including intentional failures to
 
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comply with FDA regulations or similar regulations of comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities, to provide accurate information to the FDA or comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities, to comply with manufacturing standards we have established, to comply with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations and similar laws and regulations established and enforced by comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities, to report financial information or data accurately or to disclose unauthorized activities to us. Such misconduct could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. It is not always possible to identify and deter misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws, standards or regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business and results of operations, including the imposition of significant fines or other sanctions.
We will likely need to increase the size and capabilities of our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing our growth.
In order to execute our business plans, we expect that we will need to significantly increase the number of our employees and consultants and the scope of our operations, particularly in the areas of research and development, regulatory affairs and business development. We currently rely on some of the employees of our ultimate controlling shareholder to administer and supervise some of the clinical operations of our Company. See “Related Party Transactions — Other Transactions with Related Parties.” Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize our product candidates and to compete effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to manage any future growth effectively. To manage our anticipated future growth, we will need to continue to implement and improve our managerial, operational and financial systems, expand our facilities and continue to recruit and train additional qualified personnel. Due to our limited financial resources, we may not be able to effectively manage the expansion of our operations or recruit and train additional qualified personnel. The expansion of our operations may lead to significant costs and may divert our management and business development resources. Any inability to manage growth could delay the execution of our business plans or disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business.
In addition, we currently rely, and for the foreseeable future will continue to rely, in substantial part on certain independent organizations, advisors and consultants to provide certain services. There can be no assurance that the services of these independent organizations, advisors and consultants will continue to be available to us on a timely basis when needed or that we can find qualified replacements. Furthermore, if we are unable to effectively manage our outsourced activities or if the quality or accuracy of the services provided by consultants is compromised for any reason, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates or otherwise advance our business. There can be no assurance that we will be able to manage our existing consultants or find other competent outside contractors and consultants on economically reasonable terms, if at all.
If we are not able to effectively expand our organization by hiring new employees and expanding our groups of consultants and contractors, we may not be able to successfully implement the tasks necessary to further develop and commercialize our product candidates and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals.
We have limited insurance coverage, and any claims beyond our insurance coverage may result in our incurring substantial costs and a diversion of resources.
We maintain insurance policies that are required under applicable laws and regulations as well as insurance based on our assessment of our operational needs and industry practice. We also maintain liability insurance covering our clinical trials as well as certain other types of insurance. Our insurance coverage may be insufficient to cover any claim for product liability, damage to our fixed assets or employee injuries. Any liability or damage to, or caused by, our facilities or our personnel beyond our insurance coverage may result in our incurring substantial costs and a diversion of resources.
 
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We also expect that operating as a public company will make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified people to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers. We do not know, however, if we will be able to maintain existing insurance with adequate levels of coverage. Any significant uninsured liability may require us to pay substantial amounts, which would adversely affect our cash position and results of operations.
Disruptions in the financial markets and economic conditions could affect our ability to raise capital.
Global economies could suffer dramatic downturns as the result of a deterioration in the credit markets and related financial crisis as well as a variety of other factors including, extreme volatility in security prices, severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, ratings downgrades of certain investments and declining valuations of others. In the past, governments have taken unprecedented actions in an attempt to address and rectify these extreme market and economic conditions by providing liquidity and stability to the financial markets. If these actions are not successful, the return of adverse economic conditions may cause a significant impact on our ability to raise capital, if needed, on a timely basis and on acceptable terms or at all.
In addition, there is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies, including the United States and China. There have been concerns over unrest and terrorist threats in the Middle East, Europe and Africa and over the conflicts involving Ukraine, Syria and North Korea. There have also been concerns relating to trade disputes between the United States and China and regarding the relationship among China and other Asian countries, which may result in or intensify potential conflicts in relation to territorial disputes among such countries. In addition, the United Kingdom held a referendum on June 23, 2016 on its membership in the European Union, in which a majority of voters in the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”). Brexit could adversely affect European and worldwide economic and market conditions and could contribute to instability in global financial and foreign exchange markets. More recently, the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused volatility in the global financial markets and threatened a slowdown in the global economy. For a detailed discussion regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, see “— Risks Related to Our Industry, Business and Operations — Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses” below. It is unclear whether these challenges and uncertainties and the issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic will be contained or resolved, and what effects they may ultimately have on the global political and economic conditions in the long term.
Failure to renew our current leases or locate desirable alternatives for our leased properties could materially and adversely affect our business.
We lease properties for our offices and laboratories. See “Business — Facilities” for more details of our leased properties. We may not be able to successfully extend or renew such leases upon expiration of the current term on commercially reasonable terms or at all, and may therefore be forced to relocate our affected operations. This could disrupt our operations and result in significant relocation expenses, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we compete with other businesses for premises at certain locations or of desirable sizes. As a result, even though we could extend or renew our leases, rental payments may significantly increase as a result of the high demand for the leased properties. In addition, we may not be able to locate desirable alternative sites for our current leased properties as our business continues to grow and failure in relocating our affected operations could adversely affect our business and operations.
Although we have policies and procedures designed to ensure that we, our employees and our agents comply with the Trade Laws, there is no assurance that such policies or procedures will prevent our agents, employees and intermediaries from engaging in bribery activities. Failure to comply with the Trade Laws could disrupt our business and lead to severe criminal and civil penalties, including imprisonment, criminal and civil fines, loss of our export licenses, suspension of our ability to do business with the government, denial of government reimbursement for our products and/or exclusion from participation in government
 
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healthcare programs, as well as reputational harm. Other remedial measures could include further changes or enhancements to our procedures, policies, and controls and potential personnel changes and/or disciplinary actions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. We could also be adversely affected by any allegation that we violated such laws.
If we engage in future acquisitions or strategic collaborations, this may increase our capital requirements, dilute the value of your investment in our ADSs, cause us to incur debt or assume contingent liabilities, and subject us to other risks.
We may evaluate various acquisitions and strategic collaborations, including licensing or acquiring complementary products, intellectual property rights, technologies or businesses. Any potential acquisition or strategic collaboration may entail numerous risks, including, but not limited to:

increased operating expenses and working capital and cash requirements;

the assumption of additional indebtedness or contingent liabilities;

challenges with assimilation of operations, intellectual property and products of an acquired company, including difficulties associated with integrating new personnel;

the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing product candidates and initiatives in pursuing such a strategic merger or acquisition;

the loss of key personnel, and uncertainties in our ability to maintain key business relationships;

our inability to generate revenue from acquired technology and/or products sufficient to meet our objectives in undertaking the acquisition or even to offset the associated acquisition and maintenance costs;

material weakness arising in our internal control over financial reporting because of a weaknesses in the acquired company’s financial systems and controls; and

changes in accounting principles relating to recognition and measurement of our investments that may have a significant impact on our financial results.
In addition, if we undertake acquisitions, we may issue dilutive securities, assume or incur debt obligations, incur large one-time expenses and acquire intangible assets that could result in significant future amortization expense. Moreover, we may not be able to locate suitable acquisition opportunities and this inability could impair our ability to grow or obtain access to technology or products that may be important to the development of our business.
The tax laws of the jurisdictions in which we operate may adversely affect our business and our tax results.
The tax laws applicable to our business activities are subject to change and uncertain interpretation. Our tax position could be adversely impacted by changes in tax rates, laws, practices, treaties or regulations or changes in the interpretation thereof by the authorities in jurisdictions in which we do business.
Moreover, we conduct operations through our subsidiaries in various tax jurisdictions pursuant to transfer pricing arrangements between us and our subsidiaries. While we believe that we operate in compliance with applicable transfer pricing laws and intend to continue to do so, our transfer pricing procedures are not binding on applicable tax authorities. If tax authorities in any jurisdiction in which we operate were to successfully challenge our transfer prices as not reflecting arms’ length transactions, they could require us to adjust our transfer prices and thereby reallocate our income to reflect these revised transfer prices, which could result in a higher tax liability to us. Furthermore, a tax authority could assert that we are subject to tax in a jurisdiction where we believe we have not established a taxable connection, and such an assertion, if successful, could increase our expected tax liability in one or more jurisdictions. Such circumstances could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If we, our CROs or our other contractors or consultants fail to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.
We and third parties, such as our CROs or other contractors or consultants, are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and
 
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the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our operations may involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and radioactive and biological materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. We generally contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and wastes. We cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties.
In addition, we may be required to incur substantial costs to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. These current or future laws and regulations may impair our research, development or production efforts. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations also may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.
Our internal computer systems, or those used by our CROs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our development of our product candidates.
Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal information technology systems and those of our collaborators, contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from internal or external events, such as computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war, and telecommunication and electrical failures, which compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the systems. Although to our knowledge we have not experienced any material system failure or security breach to date, if such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our development programs and our business operations. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or future clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Likewise, we partially rely on our third-party research institution collaborators for research and development of our product candidates and other third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates and to conduct clinical trials, and similar events relating to their computer systems could also have a material adverse effect on our business.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including, among other things, personally identifiable information about our employees, intellectual property, and proprietary business information. Additionally, our CROs will collect and store sensitive data, such as legally protected patient health information, when conducting our clinical trials. We manage and maintain our applications and data utilizing on-site systems and outsourced vendors. These applications and data encompass a wide variety of business-critical information including research and development information, commercial information and business and financial information. Because information systems, networks and other technologies are critical to many of our operating activities, shutdowns or service disruptions at our Company or vendors that provide information systems, networks, or other services to us pose increasing risks. Such disruptions may be caused by events such as computer hacking, phishing attacks, ransomware, dissemination of computer viruses, worms and other destructive or disruptive software, denial of service attacks and other malicious activity, as well as power outages, natural disasters (including extreme weather), terrorist attacks or other similar events. Such events could cause loss of data, damage to system and data and leave us unable to utilize key business systems or access important data needed to operate our business, including conducting research and development, gaining regulatory approval for our product candidates or manufacturing and selling our products. Our collaborators, contractors or consultants may face similar risks, and service disruptions or security breaches of their systems could adversely affect our security, leave us without access to important systems, products, raw materials, components, services or information or expose our confidential data. In addition, system redundancy may be ineffective or inadequate, and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient to cover all eventualities. Significant events could result in a disruption of our operations, damage to our reputation or a loss of revenues. In addition, we may not have adequate insurance coverage to compensate for any losses associated with such events.
We could be subject to risks caused by misappropriation, misuse, leakage, falsification or intentional or accidental release or loss of information maintained in the information systems and networks of our Company and our vendors, including personal information of our employees and patients, and company and vendor confidential data. In addition, outside parties may attempt to penetrate our systems or those of our vendors or fraudulently induce our personnel or the personnel of our vendors to disclose sensitive
 
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information in order to gain access to our data and/or systems. Like other companies, we may experience, threats to our data and systems, including malicious codes and viruses, phishing, business email compromise attacks, or other cyber-attacks. The number and complexity of these threats may increase over time. If a material breach of our information technology systems or those of our vendors occurs, the market perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed and our reputation and credibility could be damaged. We could be required to expend significant amounts of money and other resources to respond to these threats or breaches and to repair or replace information systems or networks and could suffer financial loss or the loss of valuable confidential information. In addition, we could be subject to regulatory actions and/or claims made by individuals and groups in private litigation involving privacy issues related to data collection and use practices and other data privacy laws and regulations, including claims for misuse or inappropriate disclosure of data, as well as unfair or deceptive practices. We are taking measures and plan to continue to take measures to develop and maintain systems and controls designed to prevent, identify and mitigate these events from occurring. The development and maintenance of these systems, controls and processes is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies change and efforts to overcome security measures become increasingly sophisticated. Moreover, despite our efforts, the possibility of these events occurring cannot be eliminated entirely. As we outsource more of our information systems to vendors, engage in more electronic transactions with payors and patients, and rely more on cloud-based information systems, the related security risks will increase and we will need to expend additional resources to protect our technology and information systems. In addition, there can be no assurance that our internal information technology systems or those of our collaborators, contractors, or our consultants’ efforts to implement adequate security and control measures, will be sufficient to protect us against breakdowns, service disruption, data deterioration or loss in the event of a system malfunction, or prevent data from being stolen or corrupted in the event of a cyberattack, security breach, industrial espionage attacks or insider threat attacks that could adversely affect our business and operations and/or result in the loss or exposure of critical, proprietary, private, confidential or otherwise sensitive data, which could result in financial, legal, business or reputational harm to us.
Failure to comply with existing or future laws and regulations related to privacy or data security could lead to government enforcement actions, which could include civil or criminal fines or penalties, private litigation, other liabilities, and/or adverse publicity. Compliance or the failure to comply with such laws could increase the costs of our products, could limit their use or adoption, and could otherwise negatively affect our operating results and business.
The regulatory framework for the collection, use, safeguarding, sharing, transfer and other processing of personal information worldwide is rapidly evolving and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Regulatory authorities in virtually every jurisdiction in which we operate have implemented and are considering a number of legislative and regulatory proposals concerning personal data protection. Additionally, the interpretation and application of data protection laws in jurisdictions applicable to us are often uncertain and in flux. We therefore face uncertainty as to the exact interpretation of any such requirements, and we may be unsuccessful in implementing all measures required by data protection authorities or courts in interpretation of new laws.
In the United States, we are subject to laws and regulations that address privacy, personal information protection and data security at both the federal and state levels, including federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology and Clinical Health Act, and its implementing regulations, which imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. Numerous laws and regulations, including security breach notification laws, health information privacy laws, and consumer protection laws, govern the collection, use, disclosure and protection of health-related and other personal information. Given the variability and evolving state of these laws, we face uncertainty as to the exact interpretation of the new requirements, and we may be unsuccessful in implementing all measures required by regulators or courts in their interpretation.
Regulatory authorities in Europe have implemented and are considering a number of legislative and regulatory proposals concerning data protection. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/ 679, or the GDPR, which became effective in May 2018, imposes a broad range of strict requirements on companies subject to the GDPR, such as us, including, but not limited to, requirements
 
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relating to having legal bases for processing personal information relating to identifiable individuals and transferring such information outside the European Economic Area (including to the United States), providing details to those individuals regarding the processing of their personal information, keeping personal information secure, having data processing agreements with third parties who process personal information, responding to individuals’ requests to exercise their rights in respect of their personal information, reporting security breaches involving personal data to the competent national data protection authority and affected individuals and recordkeeping. The GDPR substantially increases the penalties to which we could be subject in the event of any non-compliance, including fines of up to €10.0 million or up to 2% of our total worldwide annual turnover for certain comparatively minor offenses, or up to €20.0 million or up to 4% of our total worldwide annual turnover for more serious offenses. Given the new law, we face uncertainty as to the exact interpretation of the new requirements, and we may be unsuccessful in implementing all measures required by data protection authorities or courts in interpretation of the new law. National laws of member states of the European Union are in the process of being adapted to the requirements under the GDPR. Because the GDPR specifically gives member states flexibility with respect to certain matters, national laws may partially deviate from the GDPR and impose different obligations from country to country, leading to additional complexity and uncertainty.
We expect that we will continue to face uncertainty as to whether our efforts to comply with evolving obligations under global data protection, privacy and security laws will be sufficient. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in reputational damage or proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities, individuals or others. These proceedings or actions could subject us to significant civil or criminal penalties, damages, injunctive relief and negative publicity, result in the delayed or halted transfer or confiscation of certain personal information, require us to change our business practices, increase our costs and otherwise materially harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our current and future relationships with customers, vendors, pharmaceutical collaborators and other third parties could be negatively affected by any proceedings or actions against us or current or future data protection obligations imposed on them under applicable law. In addition, to the extent that any disruption or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur significant legal and financial exposure and reputational damage that could potentially have an adverse effect on the development of our product candidates and our business.
Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.
Natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism or other factors beyond our control may adversely affect the economy, infrastructure and livelihood of the people in the regions where we conduct our business or whether our studies are conducted. Our operations may be under the threat of floods, earthquakes, sandstorms, snowstorms, fire or drought, power, water or fuel shortages, failures, malfunction and breakdown of information management systems, unexpected maintenance or technical problems, or may be susceptible to potential wars or terrorist attacks, or public health threats and epidemics, including the global health concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Serious natural disasters may result in loss of lives, injury, destruction of assets and disruption of our business and operations. Acts of war or terrorism, or public health threats, may also injure our employees, cause loss of lives, disrupt our business network and destroy our markets. Any of these factors and other factors beyond our control could have an adverse effect on the overall business sentiment and environment, cause uncertainties in the regions where we conduct business, cause our business to suffer in ways that we cannot predict and materially and adversely impact our business, financial conditions and results of operations.
For example, in March 2020, the WHO categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic. COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States and other countries across the world, and the duration and severity of its effects are currently unknown. The spread of COVID-19 has impacted the global economy and has had an impact on our operations, including delays in our clinical trial activities. COVID-19 has resulted in significant governmental measures being implemented to control the spread of the virus, including quarantines, travel restrictions, social distancing and business shutdowns. We have taken precautionary measures intended to help minimize the risk of the virus to our employees, including temporarily requiring many employees to work remotely. For example, we have suspended non-essential travel worldwide for our
 
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employees. Although we believe that COVID-19 has had a limited impact on our operations as of the date of this prospectus, we have experienced delays in the enrollment of patients in our clinical trials. For example, we have experienced a few months’ delay in commencement of patient enrollment in Australia that was caused by COVID-19, which was not material to the Company. Our clinical trials could be further delayed due to government orders and site policies on account of the pandemic. Some patients may be unwilling or unable to travel to study sites, enroll in our studies or comply with clinical trial protocols if quarantines impede patient movement or interrupt healthcare services, which would delay our ability to conduct clinical trials or release clinical trial results and could delay our ability to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize our product candidates. The spread of an infectious disease, including COVID-19, may also result in the inability of our suppliers to source or deliver components or raw materials necessary for our clinical supply on a timely basis or at all. In addition, hospitals may reduce staffing and reduce or postpone certain treatments in response to the spread of an infectious disease. Such events may result in a period of business disruption and in reduced operations or doctors and medical providers may be unwilling to participate in our clinical trials, any of which could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Further, as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, we may be required to develop and implement additional clinical trial policies and procedures based on new guidance and regulatory requirements promulgated by the FDA or other regulatory authorities. For example, the FDA issued guidance in March 2020, which the FDA subsequently updated, on conducting clinical trials during the pandemic, which describe a number of considerations for sponsors of clinical trials impacted by the pandemic. In June 2020, the FDA also issued a guidance on good manufacturing practice considerations for responding to COVID-19 infection in employees in drug products manufacturing, including recommendations for manufacturing controls to prevent contamination of drugs. Additional COVID-19 related guidance released by the FDA includes guidance addressing resuming normal drug and biologics manufacturing operations; manufacturing, supply chain, and inspections; and statistical considerations for clinical trials during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Further, infections and deaths related to COVID-19 are disrupting certain healthcare and healthcare regulatory systems globally. Such disruptions could divert healthcare resources away from, or materially delay review by, the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory agencies. It is unknown how long these disruptions could continue, were they to occur. Any elongation or de-prioritization of our clinical trials or delay in regulatory review resulting from such disruptions could materially adversely affect the development and study of our product candidates.
We continue to assess the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on our ability to advance the testing, development and manufacturing of our product candidates, including as a result of adverse impacts on the research sites, service providers, vendors, or suppliers on whom we rely, or to raise financing to support the development of our product candidates. Additionally, temporarily requiring all employees to work remotely may induce absenteeism, disrupt our operations, increase the risk of a cybersecurity incident, create data accessibility concerns and make us more susceptible to communication disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused volatility in the global financial markets and threatened a slowdown in the global economy, which may negatively affect our ability to raise additional capital on attractive terms or at all. No assurances can be given that this analysis will enable us to avoid part or all of any impact from the spread of COVID-19 or its consequences, including downturns in business sentiment generally or in our sector in particular. We cannot presently predict the scope and severity of any potential business shutdowns or disruptions, particularly in the event the current situation worsens, for example, with second or third waves of the pandemic, but if we or any of the third parties on whom we rely or with whom we conduct business, were to experience shutdowns or other business disruptions, our ability to conduct our business in the manner and on the timelines presently planned could be materially and adversely impacted.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic or other epidemics or pandemics may impact our business will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, such as the duration of the pandemic, the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic or the effectiveness of actions to contain and treat the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the United States and other geographies where we or our third party suppliers, clinical trial sites, CROs and CMOs operate. We cannot presently predict the scope and severity of any potential business shutdowns or disruptions. If we or any of the third parties with whom we engage, however, were to experience shutdowns or other business disruptions, our ability to
 
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conduct our business in the manner and on the timelines presently planned could be materially and negatively affected, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, our results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to changing law and regulations regarding regulatory matters, corporate governance and public disclosure that have increased both our costs and the risk of non-compliance.
We are or will be subject to rules and regulations by various governing bodies, including, for example, once we become a public company, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, which is charged with the protection of investors and the oversight of companies whose securities are publicly traded, and the various regulatory authorities in the Cayman Islands, Taiwan, the PRC and Australia, and to new and evolving regulatory measures under applicable law. Our efforts to comply with new and changing laws and regulations have resulted in and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. Further, there could be unanticipated changes in existing regulatory requirements. Any failure to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements may significantly and adversely affect our ability to commercialize and generate revenues from our product candidates. If regulatory sanctions are applied or if regulatory approval is withdrawn, the value of our Company and our operating results will be adversely affected.
Moreover, because these laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance becomes available. This evolution may result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and additional costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to our disclosure and governance practices. If we fail to address and comply with these regulations and any subsequent changes, we may be subject to penalty and our business may be harmed.
We have granted, and will continue to grant, options and other types of awards under our equity incentive plans, which may result in increased share-based compensation expenses and dilution to our existing shareholders and holders of our ADSs.
We have adopted the Belite Bio, Inc Amended and Restated Share Incentive Plan, or the 2020 Share Incentive Plan, and expect to adopt the 2022 Performance Incentive Plan for the purpose of granting share-based compensation awards to employees, directors and consultants to incentivize their performance and align their interests with ours. The 2022 Performance Incentive Plan is expected to become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering. As of the date of this prospectus, options to purchase a total of 1,982,561 ordinary shares have been granted and are outstanding under the 2020 Share Incentive Plan. As of the date of this prospectus, no award has been granted or is outstanding under the 2022 Performance Incentive Plan. See “Management — Share Incentive Plans.”
We believe the granting of share-based compensation is of significant importance to our ability to attract and retain key personnel and employees, and we will continue to grant share-based compensation to employees in the future. As a result, our expenses associated with share-based compensation may increase, which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Furthermore, the granting of share-based compensation will lead to dilution of our existing shareholders, including any holders of our ADSs. We may re-evaluate the vesting schedules, lock-up period, exercise price or other key terms applicable to the grants under our currently effective equity incentive plans from time to time. If we choose to do so, we may experience substantial change in our share-based compensation charges in the reporting periods following this offering.
If we fail to comply with certain U.S. and foreign anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, export control, sanctions and other trade laws and regulations, we could be subject to serious consequences and significant expenses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and our reputation may be harmed.
Among other matters, U.S. and foreign anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, export control, sanctions and other trade laws and regulations, collectively, Trade Laws, prohibit companies and their employees, agents, clinical research organizations, legal counsel, accountants, consultants, contractors and other partners from authorizing, promising, offering, providing, soliciting or receiving, directly or indirectly,
 
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corrupt or improper payments or anything else of value to or from recipients in the public or private sector. In particular, the FCPA generally prohibits us from making payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. We are also subject to the anti-bribery and corruption laws of other jurisdictions. We have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or government-affiliated hospitals, universities and other organizations. We also have significant non-U.S. activities that we expect to increase in time. We plan to engage third parties for clinical trials and/or to obtain necessary permits, licenses, patent registrations and other regulatory approvals and we can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our personnel, agents or partners, even if we do not explicitly authorize or have prior knowledge of such activities. Additionally, in many other countries, the healthcare providers who prescribe pharmaceuticals are employed by their government, and the purchasers of pharmaceuticals are government entities; therefore, our dealings with these prescribers and purchasers are subject to regulation under the Trade Laws.
Our business may be exposed to foreign exchange risks.
We operate internationally and conduct clinical trials in multiple jurisdictions and thus we have expenses denominated in local currencies in multiple jurisdictions in connection with, among other things, our sponsored clinical trials, purchase of drug product for our clinical trials, process development and the prosecution and maintenance of our intellectual property portfolio. As a result, we are exposed to foreign currency exchange risk, as our results of operations and cash flows are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. In accordance with our business decisions, our exposure to this type of risk could change depending on:

the currencies chosen when agreements are signed, such as licensing agreements, or co-marketing or co-development agreements;

the location of clinical trials on product candidates; and

our policy for insurance coverage.
Should any of these risks materialize, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in the political and economic policies of the Chinese government or in relations between China and the United States may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and the market price of our ADSs.
We currently have no operations in China although we have established a subsidiary in each of Hong Kong and China. However, we may in the future elect to conduct clinical trials for our product candidates in China or expand our operations into China (see “Business” beginning on page 112 for our current plans for future clinical trials), and therefore our financial condition and results of operations may be affected by economic, political and legal developments in China. The PRC economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the extent of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Although the PRC government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets, and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the government. In addition, the PRC government continues to play a significant role in regulating industrial development by imposing industrial policies, and change of enforcement practice of such rules and policies can occur quickly with little advance notice. The PRC government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth by allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy, regulating financial services and institutions and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.
While the PRC economy has experienced significant growth in the past four decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall PRC economy, but may also have a negative effect on us. Our
 
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business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations that are applicable to us.
In addition, the PRC government had, in the past, implemented certain measures, including interest rate increases, to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity in China, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations. More generally, if the business environment in China deteriorates from the perspective of domestic or international investment, our business in China may also be adversely affected. In July 2021, the Chinese government provided new guidance on strengthening supervision on China-based companies raising capital outside of China. In addition, the Chinese government further issued certain drafts of regulations regarding internet data security which require certain China-based data processors to conduct a cyber security review before their overseas listing. In light of such developments, the SEC has imposed enhanced disclosure requirements on China-based companies seeking to register securities with the SEC. Although we believe we are not regarded as such data processors currently, as we expect to expand our operations in China (see “Business” beginning on page 112 for our current plans for future clinical trials), any future Chinese, U.S. or other rules and regulations that place restrictions on capital raising or other activities by companies with extensive operations in China could adversely affect our business and results of operations. If the business environment in China deteriorates from the perspective of domestic or international investment, or if relations between China and the United States or other governments deteriorate, the Chinese government may intervene with our operations and our business in China and United States, as well as the market price of our ADSs, may also be adversely affected.
Changes in U.S. and Chinese regulations may adversely impact our business, our operating results, our ability to raise capital and the market price of our ADSs.
The U.S. government has made statements and taken certain actions that led to changes to United States and international relations, and will impact companies with connections to the United States or China, including imposing several rounds of tariffs affecting certain products manufactured in China, imposing certain sanctions and restrictions in relation to China and issuing statements indicating enhanced review of companies with significant China-based operations. It is unknown whether and to what extent new legislation, executive orders, tariffs, laws or regulations will be adopted, or the effect that any such actions would have on companies with significant connections to the United States or to China, our industry or on us. We conduct clinical activities and have business operations both in the United States and China. Any unfavorable government policies on cross-border relations and/or international trade, including increased scrutiny on companies with significant China-based operations, capital controls or tariffs, may affect the competitive position of our drug products, the hiring of scientists and other research and development personnel, the demand for our drug products, the import or export of raw materials in relation to drug development, our ability to raise capital, the market price of our ADSs or prevent us from selling our drug products in certain countries. Furthermore, the SEC has issued statements primarily focused on companies with significant China-based operations. For example, on July 30, 2021, Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC, issued a Statement on Investor Protection Related to Recent Developments in China, pursuant to which Chairman Gensler stated that he has asked the SEC staff to engage in targeted additional reviews of filings for companies with significant China-based operations. The statement also addressed risks inherent in companies with variable interest entities (“VIEs”) structures. We do not have a VIE structure and are not in a restricted foreign investment industry. However, it is possible that the Company’s periodic reports and other filings with the SEC may be subject to enhanced review by the SEC and this additional scrutiny could affect our ability to effectively raise capital in the United States.
In response to the SEC’s July 30, 2021 statement, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (the “CSRC”) announced on August 1, 2021, that “it is our belief that Chinese and U.S. regulators shall continue to enhance communication with the principle of mutual respect and cooperation, and properly address the issues related to the supervision of China-based companies listed in the U.S.so as to form stable policy expectations and create benign rules framework for the market.” While the CSRC will continue to collaborate “closely with different stakeholders including investors, companies, and relevant authorities to further promote transparency and certainty of policies and implementing measures,” it emphasized that it “has always been open to companies’ choices to list their securities on international or domestic markets in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.”
 
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If any new legislation, executive orders, tariffs, laws and/or regulations are implemented, if existing trade agreements are renegotiated, if the U.S. or Chinese governments take retaliatory actions due to the recent U.S.-China tension or if the Chinese government exerts more oversight and control over securities offerings that are conducted in the United States, such changes could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, our ability to raise capital and the market price of our ADSs.
We currently have no operations in China although we have established a subsidiary in each of Hong Kong and China. However, due to the extraterritorial reach (the so-called “long arm provisions”) under the current PRC laws and regulations, the Chinese government may intervene in or influence our operations at any time, which could result in a material change in our operations and significantly and adversely impact the value of our ADSs.
The Chinese government has significant oversight and discretion over the conduct of our business and may intervene or influence our operations as the government deems appropriate to further regulatory, political and societal goals. The Chinese government has recently published new policies that significantly affected certain industries such as the education and internet industries, and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the future release regulations or policies regarding our industry that could require us to seek permission from Chinese authorities to continue to operate our business adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, recent statements made by the Chinese government have indicated an intent to increase the government’s oversight and control over offerings of companies with significant operations in China that are to be conducted in foreign markets, as well as foreign investment in China-based issuers. Although as of the date of this prospectus, we do not expect to be materially affected by the foregoing statements, any such action, once taken by the Chinese government, could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer ADSs to our investors, and could cause the value of our ADSs to significantly decline or become worthless.
In the event that we elect to carry out clinical trials in China and/or to expand our operations into China in the future, we will be subject to changing legal and regulatory requirements in the PRC pharmaceutical industry, and new laws, rules and regulations promulgated by the PRC government may adversely affect our profitability or impose additional compliance burdens on us.
As required under the NMPA regulations, we established a subsidiary in China with an aim to serve as the applicant for the planned clinical trials relating to our drug candidates in China. Our PRC subsidiary currently has no substantive operations, and no clinical trial for our drug candidates may be conducted in China until relevant approvals from the NMPA are obtained. There is no indication as to whether the NMPA would approve our proposed application for clinical trial or when such NMPA approval could be obtained. In addition, our PRC subsidiary is not required to obtain any specific license or permits other than the NMPA approval to conduct clinical trials in China. In the event that we elect to carry out clinical trials in China after relevant NMPA approval is obtained (see “Business” beginning on page 112 for our current plans for future clinical trials) and/or expand our operations into China in the future, we would be required to comply with relevant PRC laws and regulations in relation to our clinical trials and operations.
The PRC pharmaceutical industry is subject to extensive government regulation and supervision as well as monitoring by various government authorities. In particular, the current regulatory framework addresses substantially all aspects of a pharmaceutical company’s operations, including approval, production, licensing, certification requirements and procedures, periodic renewal and reassessment processes, registration of new drugs, quality control, pricing of pharmaceutical products and environmental protection. There can be no assurance that the legal framework, licensing and certification requirements or enforcement trends in our industry will not change in a manner that may result in increased costs of compliance, or that we will be successful in responding to such changes. We may also be subject to the risk of adverse changes to favorable governmental policies, and the introduction of unfavorable governmental policies on the pharmaceutical industry. The costs we incur to comply with these laws and regulations may materially increase our total costs and decrease any potential profits. Any violation of these laws, rules or regulations or our failure to obtain any required approvals or permits may result in substantial fines, criminal sanctions, revocations of operating permits, shutdown of our facilities and obligations to take rectification measures.
Other than the industry specific laws and regulations that are applicable to the biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, we may also be subject to laws and regulations promulgated or implemented by
 
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other regulatory authorities in China concerning cyber security and data protection. Regulatory authorities in China have implemented and may consider to implement additional legislation concerning data protection. For example, China’s Cyber Security Law, which became effective in June 2017, created China’s first national-level data protection for “network operators,” which may include all organizations in China that provide services over the Internet or another information network. Various regulations, guidelines and other measures are expected to be adopted under the umbrella of the Cyber Security Law. Drafts of some of these measures have now been published, including the draft rules on cross-border transfers published by the China Cyberspace Administration in 2017 and 2019, which may, upon enactment, require security review before transferring human health-related data out of China. In addition, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, or SCNPC, promulgated the Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China, or the Data Security Law, on June 10, 2021, which became effective on September 1, 2021. The Data Security Law imposes data security and privacy obligations on entities and individuals carrying out data processing activities, and introduces a data classification and hierarchical protection system. A similar security assessment mechanism was also included in the Personal Information Protection Law, or the Personal Information Protection Law, which was promulgated in August 2021 and became effective on November 1, 2021, for the Chinese government to supervise certain cross-border transfers of personal information.
Under the Cyber Security Law and Data Security Law, in the event that we elect to carry out clinical trials in China and/or to expand our operations into China in the future, (i) we may be required to establish and maintain a comprehensive data and network security management system that will enable us to monitor and respond appropriately to data security and network security risks; (ii) we may need to classify and take appropriate measures to address risks created by our data processing activities and use of networks; and (iii) we may be obligated to notify affected individuals and appropriate Chinese regulators of and respond to any data security and network security incidents. Establishing and maintaining such systems takes substantial time, effort and cost, and we may not be able to establish and maintain such systems fully as needed to ensure compliance with our legal obligations. Despite our investment, such systems may not fully guard us or enable us to appropriately respond to or mitigate all data security and network security risks or incidents we face. We may also be required to disclose to regulators businesssensitive or network security-sensitive details regarding our processing of important data, and may need to pass the government security review or obtain government approval in order to share important data with offshore recipients, which can include foreign licensors, or share data stored in China with judicial and law enforcement authorities outside of China. If judicial and law enforcement authorities outside China require us to provide data stored in China, and disclosing such data may be subject to security review or prior approval by relevant PRC government authorities, we may not be able to meet the foreign authorities’ requirements. The potential conflicts in legal obligations could have adverse impact on our operations in and outside of China.
Furthermore, on December 28, 2021, the Cybersecurity Administration of China, China’s highest cyberspace regulator, and other twelve authorities of the PRC jointly issued the amended Cybersecurity Review Measures, or the Amended Cybersecurity Review Measures, which became effective on February 15, 2022. Under the Amended Cybersecurity Review Measures, the scope of entities required to undergo cybersecurity review to assess national security risks that arise from data processing activities would be expanded to include all critical information infrastructure operators who purchase network products and services and all data processors carrying out data processing activities that affect or may affect national security. In addition, the Amended Cybersecurity Review Measures requires that all such entities that maintain or store the personal information of more than 1 million users and undertake a public listing of securities in a foreign country would be required to pass cybersecurity review. To comply with these requirements, maintaining local data centers in China, conducting security assessments or obtaining the requisite approvals from the Chinese government for the transmission outside of China of such controlled information and data could significantly increase our operating costs or cause delays or disruptions in our business operations in and outside China.
There are uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations.
Certain of our clinical research and development activities are expected to be supervised by relevant regulatory authorities in China if we elect to conduct clinical trials in China for our product candidates in the future (see “Business” beginning on page 112 for our current plans for future clinical trials). The PRC legal
 
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system is a civil law system based on written statutes and, unlike the common law system, prior court decisions can only be cited as reference and have limited precedential value. Additionally, written statutes in the PRC are often principle-oriented and require detailed interpretations by the enforcement bodies to further apply and enforce such laws. Since 1979, the PRC government has developed a comprehensive system of laws, rules and regulations in relation to economic matters, such as foreign investment, corporate organization and governance, commerce, taxation and trade. However, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws, rules and regulations involve uncertainties and may not be as consistent or predictable as in other more developed jurisdictions. As these laws and regulations are continually evolving in response to changing economic and other conditions, and because of the limited volume of published cases and their non-binding nature, any particular interpretation of PRC laws and regulations may not be definitive. Moreover, we cannot predict the effect of future developments in the PRC legal system and regulatory structure. Such unpredictability towards our contractual, property and procedural rights as well as our rights licensed, approved or granted by the competent regulatory authority could adversely affect our business and impede our ability to continue our operations. In addition, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis, if at all, and which may have a retroactive effect. Hence, we may not be aware of violation of these policies and rules until after such violation has occurred. Further, the legal protections available to us and our investors under these laws, rules and regulations may be limited.
In addition, any administrative or court proceedings in China may be protracted, resulting in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. Since PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy than in more developed legal systems. These uncertainties may impede our ability to enforce various contracts we have entered into and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be restricted from transferring our scientific data abroad.
On March 17, 2018, the General Office of the PRC State Council promulgated the Measures for the Management of Scientific Data, or the Scientific Data Measures, which provide a broad definition of scientific data and relevant rules for the management of scientific data. Enterprises in China must seek governmental approval before any scientific data involving a state secret may be transferred abroad or to foreign parties. Further, any researcher conducting research funded, at least in part, by the PRC government is required to submit relevant scientific data for management by the entity to which such researcher is affiliated before such data may be published in any foreign academic journal. Currently, as the term “state secret” is not clearly defined, there is no assurance that we can always obtain relevant approvals for sending scientific data (such as the results of our preclinical studies or clinical trials conducted within China in the future) abroad, or to our foreign collaborators in China.
If we are unable to obtain the necessary approvals in a timely manner, or at all, our research and development of product candidates in the future may be hindered, which may materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial conditions and prospects. If relevant government authorities consider the transmission of our scientific data to be in violation of the requirements under the Scientific Data Measures, we may be subject to specific administrative penalties imposed by those government authorities.
Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties
As we rely on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies, clinical trials, contract manufacture drug substances and drug products, and provide other important services related to product development, regulatory submissions, and commercialization, if we lose our relationships with these third parties or if they do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with applicable laws, or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize our product candidates and our business could be substantially harmed.
We have relied on and plan to continue to rely on third-party CROs to monitor and manage data for some of our ongoing preclinical studies and clinical trials. We rely on these parties for the execution of our
 
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preclinical studies and clinical trials, and control only certain aspects of their activities. Nevertheless, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our studies is conducted in accordance with the applicable protocol and legal, regulatory and scientific standards, and our reliance on the CROs does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities.
Our CROs have the right to terminate their agreements with us in the event of an unrectified material breach. If any of our relationships with our third-party CROs is terminated, we may not be able to (i) enter into arrangements with alternative CROs or do so on commercially reasonable terms or (ii) meet our desired clinical development timelines. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new CRO commences work, and the new CRO may not provide the same type or level of services as the original provider and data from our clinical trials may be compromised as a result. There is also a need for relevant technology to be transferred to the new CRO, which may take time and further delay our development timelines.
Except for remedies available to us under our agreements with our CROs, we cannot control whether or not our CROs devote sufficient time and resources to our ongoing clinical, nonclinical and preclinical studies. If our CROs do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to their failure to adhere to our clinical protocols, the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations, regulatory requirements or for other reasons, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or successfully commercialize our product candidates. As a result, our results of operations and the commercial prospects for our product candidates would be harmed and our costs could increase. In turn, our ability to generate revenues could be delayed or compromised.
Because we rely on third parties, our internal capacity to perform these functions is limited. Outsourcing these functions involves certain risks that third parties may not perform to our standards, may not produce results in a timely manner or may fail to perform at all. In addition, the use of third-party service providers requires us to disclose our proprietary information to these third parties, which could increase the risk that such information will be misappropriated. We currently have a limited number of employees, which limits the internal resources we have available to identify and monitor our third-party service providers. To the extent we are unable to identify and successfully manage the performance of third-party service providers in the future, our business may be adversely affected. Though we carefully manage our relationships with our CROs, there can be no assurance that we will not encounter similar challenges or delays in the future, and such challenges or delays could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and prospects.
As we rely on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials, our business could be harmed if those third parties fail to comply with the applicable regulatory requirements.
We and our CROs are required to comply with cGCP, current good laboratory practices, or cGLP, and other regulatory regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA, the International Conference on Harmonization, or ICH, and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for all of our product candidates in clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these cGCP, cGLP or other regulatory requirements through periodic inspections of study sponsors, investigators and study sites. If we or any of our CROs fail to comply with applicable cGCP, cGLP or other regulatory requirements, the relevant data generated in our preclinical studies and clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA, the TGA, the NMPA, the EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. There can be no assurance that upon inspection by a given regulatory authority, such regulatory authority will determine that any of our clinical trials complies with cGCP requirements. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with product candidates or products produced under cGMP requirements. Failure to comply with these regulations may require us to repeat preclinical studies and clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process.
We rely on third parties to supply the drug raw materials for our manufacturing activities. Lack of availability or significant increases in cost of such drug raw materials could harm our business.
The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products is complex and requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. Currently, our drug raw materials for our manufacturing activities are supplied by multi-source suppliers
 
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and we entered into long-term capacity arrangements with one of our suppliers. We believe our suppliers have sufficient capacity to meet our demands for drug materials. In addition, we believe that adequate alternative sources for such supplies exist. However, there is a risk that, if supplies are interrupted or if the costs of such drug materials were to significantly increase, our business would be materially harmed. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic could have a broad impact on the production and supplies of active ingredients or other raw materials and result in a potential shortage of supply. If we or our third-party manufacturers experience a shortage in supply of active ingredients or other raw materials, whether due to COVID-19 or otherwise, we may not be able to continue to supply adequate levels of our drugs to our customers, which would have a negative impact on our business and results of operations.
We expect to seek to establish collaborations and, if we are not able to establish them on commercially reasonable terms, we may have to alter our development and commercialization plans.
We may form or seek strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations, or enter into licensing arrangements with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our development and commercialization efforts with respect to our product candidates and any future product candidates that we may develop. Any of these relationships may require us to incur recurring or non-recurring expenses and other charges, increase our near and long-term expenditures, issue securities that dilute the value of our ADSs, or disrupt our management and business. In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Moreover, we may not be successful in our efforts to establish a strategic collaboration or other alternative arrangements for our product candidates because they may be deemed to be at too early a stage of development for collaborative effort and third parties may not view our product candidates as having the requisite potential to demonstrate safety and efficacy. If and when we collaborate with a third party for the development and commercialization of a product candidate, we can expect to relinquish some or all of the control over the future success of that product candidate to the third party.
Further, collaborations involving our product candidates are subject to additional risks, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

collaborators may have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to a collaboration;

collaborators may not pursue the development and commercialization of our product candidates or may elect not to continue or renew the development or commercialization programs based on clinical trial results, change in their strategic focus due to the acquisition of competitive drugs, increased competition, availability of funding, or other external factors, such as a business combination that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;

collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial, discontinue a clinical trial, repeat or conduct new clinical trials, or require a new formulation of a product candidate for clinical testing;

collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, drugs that compete directly or indirectly with our product candidates or future drugs;

collaborators with marketing and distribution rights to one or more of our product candidates or future drugs may not commit sufficient resources to their marketing and distribution;

collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our intellectual property or proprietary information in a way that gives rise to actual or threatened litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential liability;

collaborators may not always be cooperative or responsive in providing their services in a clinical trial;

disputes may arise between us and a collaborator that cause a delay or termination of the research, development or commercialization of our product candidates, or that result in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management attention and resources;
 
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collaborations may be terminated and, if terminated, may result in a need for additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable product candidates;

collaborators may own or co-own intellectual property covering our product candidates or future drugs that results from our collaborating with them, and in such cases, we would not have the exclusive right to commercialize such intellectual property; and

we may not be able to receive agreed development fees, royalties or milestone payments we expected when seeking collaborations.
As a result, if we enter into collaboration agreements or license our drugs, we may not be able to realize the benefit of such transactions if we are unable to successfully integrate these collaborations or licenses with our existing operations and company culture, which could delay our timelines or otherwise adversely affect our business.
If we are unable to reach agreements with suitable collaborators on a timely basis, on acceptable terms, or at all, we may have to curtail the development of a product candidate, reduce or delay its development program or one or more of our other development programs, delay its potential commercialization or reduce the scope of any sales or marketing activities, or increase our expenditures and undertake development or commercialization activities at our own expense. If we elect to fund and undertake development or commercialization activities on our own, we may need to obtain additional expertise and additional capital, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we fail to enter into collaborations and do not have sufficient funds or expertise to undertake the necessary development and commercialization activities, we may not be able to further develop our product candidates or bring them to market and generate product sales revenue, which would harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Collaborations are complex and time-consuming to negotiate and document. Further, there have been a significant number of recent business combinations among large pharmaceutical companies that have resulted in a reduced number of potential future collaborators.
Any collaboration agreements that we enter into in the future may contain restrictions on our ability to enter into potential collaborations or to otherwise develop specified product candidates. We may not be able to negotiate collaborations on a timely basis, on acceptable terms, or at all. If we are unable to do so, we may have to curtail the development of the product candidate for which we are seeking to collaborate, reduce or delay its development program or one or more of our other development programs, delay its potential commercialization or reduce the scope of any sales or marketing activities, or increase our expenditures and undertake development or commercialization activities at our own expense.
Risks Related to This Offering and Our ADSs
Although the audit report included in this prospectus is issued by an independent registered public accounting firm that is subject to inspections by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, and has been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis, there is no guarantee that future audit reports will be prepared by auditors or their international affiliates in jurisdictions where the PCAOB is able to fully inspect their work, and as such, future investors may be deprived of such inspections, which could result in limitations or restrictions to our access of the U.S. capital markets. Furthermore, trading in our securities may be prohibited under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, or the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act if the SEC subsequently determines our audit work is performed by auditors that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely, and as a result, U.S. national securities exchanges, such as the Nasdaq, may determine to delist our securities. Furthermore, on June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which, if enacted, would amend the HFCAA and require the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three, as currently provided by the HFCAA.
Our auditor, Friedman LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm with the PCAOB, is required under the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess their compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards. Although we have a subsidiary
 
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within the PRC, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the Chinese government authorities, our auditor is currently subject to inspection by the PCAOB and has been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis. However, recent developments would add uncertainties to our offering, and we cannot assure you whether Nasdaq or regulatory authorities would apply additional and more stringent criteria to us after considering the effectiveness of our auditor’s audit procedures and quality control procedures, adequacy of personnel and training, or sufficiency of resources, geographic reach or experience as it relates to the audit of our financial statements.
Inspections of an independent registered public accounting firm conducted by the PCAOB outside China have at times identified deficiencies in those auditors’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. The lack of PCAOB inspections of audit work undertaken in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating auditors’ audits and their quality control procedures. As a result, to the extent that any component of our auditor’s work papers are or become located in China, such work papers will not be subject to inspection by the PCAOB. As a result, investors would be deprived of such PCAOB inspections, which could result in limitations or restrictions to our access of the U.S. capital markets.
As part of a continued regulatory focus in the United States on access to audit and other information currently protected by national law, in particular the law in China, in June 2019, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced bills in both houses of the U.S. Congress which, if passed, would require the SEC to maintain a list of issuers for which PCAOB is not able to inspect or investigate the audit work performed by a foreign public accounting firm completely. The proposed Ensuring Quality Information and Transparency for Abroad-Based Listings on our Exchanges (EQUITABLE) Act prescribes increased disclosure requirements for these issuers and, beginning in 2025, the delisting from U.S. national securities exchanges such as the Nasdaq of issuers included on the SEC’s list for three consecutive years. It is unclear if this proposed legislation will be enacted. Furthermore, there have been recent deliberations within the U.S. government regarding potentially limiting or restricting China-based companies from accessing U.S. capital markets.
On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, which includes requirements for the SEC to identify issuers whose audit work is performed by auditors that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a restriction imposed by a non-U.S. authority in the auditor’s local jurisdiction. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HFCAA on December 2, 2020, and the HFCAA was signed into law on December 18, 2020. Additionally, in July 2020, the U.S. President’s Working Group on Financial Markets issued recommendations for actions that can be taken by the executive branch, the SEC, the PCAOB or other federal agencies and department with respect to Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges and their audit firms, in an effort to protect investors in the United States. In response, on November 23, 2020, the SEC issued guidance highlighting certain risks (and their implications to U.S. investors) associated with investments in China-based issuers and summarizing enhanced disclosures the SEC recommends China-based issuers make regarding such risks. On March 24, 2021, the SEC adopted interim final rules relating to the implementation of certain disclosure and documentation requirements of the HFCAA. A company will be required to comply with these rules if the SEC identifies it as having a “non-inspection” year (as defined in the interim final rules) under a process to be subsequently established by the SEC. The SEC is assessing how to implement other requirements of the HFCAA, including the listing and trading prohibition requirements described above.
Under the HFCAA, our securities may be prohibited from trading on the Nasdaq or other U.S. stock exchanges if our auditor is not inspected by the PCAOB for three consecutive years, and this ultimately could result in our ADSs being delisted. Furthermore, on June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which, if enacted, would amend the HFCAA and require the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three.
On September 22, 2021, the PCAOB adopted a final rule implementing the HFCAA, which provides a framework for the PCAOB to use when determining, as contemplated under the HFCAA, whether the Board is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms located in a foreign jurisdiction because of a position taken by one or more authorities in that jurisdiction.
 
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While we understand that there has been dialogue among the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, the SEC and the PCAOB regarding the inspection of PCAOB-registered accounting firms in China, there can be no assurance that we will be able to comply with requirements imposed by U.S. regulators. Delisting of our ADSs would force holders of our ADSs to sell their ADSs or convert them into our Ordinary Shares. The market price of our ADSs could be adversely affected as a result of anticipated negative impacts of these executive or legislative actions upon, as well as negative investor sentiment towards, companies with significant operations in China that are listed in the United States, regardless of whether these executive or legislative actions are implemented and regardless of our actual operating performance.
Because our initial public offering price is substantially higher than our net tangible book value per share, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution.
If you purchase ADSs in this offering, you will pay more for your ADSs than the amount paid by our existing shareholders for their ordinary shares on a per ADS basis. As a result, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution of approximately $      per ADS (assuming that no outstanding options to acquire ordinary shares are exercised), representing the difference between (i) the initial public offering price of $      per ADS, and (ii) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS as of $    , after giving effect to our sale of the ADSs offered in this offering. In addition, you may experience further dilution to the extent that our ordinary shares are issued upon the exercise of share options. See “Dilution” for a more complete description of how the value of your investment in the ADSs will be diluted upon completion of this offering.
If we fail to establish and maintain proper internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reporting companies are generally required to file a report by their management on such company’s internal control over financial reporting, including an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by the company’s independent registered public accounting firm. However, while we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be required to include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. The presence of material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting could result in financial statement errors which, in turn, could lead to errors in our financial reports and/or delays in our financial reporting, which could require us to restate our operating results. We might not identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal controls in connection with evaluating our compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting, we will need to expend significant resources and provide significant management oversight. Implementing any appropriate changes to our internal controls may require specific compliance training of our directors and employees, entail substantial costs in order to modify our existing accounting systems, take a significant period of time to complete and divert management’s attention from other business concerns. These changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal control.
If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal controls over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in our operating results, the price of the ADSs could decline and we may be subject to litigation or regulatory enforcement actions. In addition, if we are unable to meet the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the ADSs may not be able to remain listed on Nasdaq Capital Market.
Our corporate actions are substantially controlled by our directors and executive officers, who can exert significant influence over important corporate matters, which may reduce the price of the ADSs and deprive you of an opportunity to receive a premium for your ADSs.
As of the date of this prospectus and on an as-converted basis, the chairman of the board of directors, Dr. Lin, beneficially owned approximately 13.61% of our outstanding ordinary shares and our directors and executive officers beneficially owned approximately 18.37% of our outstanding ordinary shares, collectively. These shareholders, if acting together, could exert substantial influence over matters such as electing directors and approving material mergers, acquisitions, strategic collaborations or other business combination transactions. This concentration of ownership may also discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of
 
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our Company, which could have the dual effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their ordinary shares as part of a sale of our Company and reducing the price of the ADSs. These actions may be taken even if they are opposed by our other shareholders, including the holders of the ADSs. In addition, these persons could divert business opportunities away from us to themselves or others.
As a result of our principal shareholder, Lin Bioscience International Ltd.’s significant share ownership position in the Company, the company is able to influence corporate matters and conflict of interest may arise between our principal shareholder and us.
As of the date of this prospectus and on an as-converted basis, our principal shareholder, Lin Bioscience International Ltd., beneficially owned approximately 76.97% of our outstanding ordinary shares. As a result of significant share ownership position in our Company, our principal shareholder could exert substantial influence over matters such as electing directors and approving material mergers, acquisitions, strategic collaborations or other business combination transactions. This concentration of ownership may also discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our Company, which could have the dual effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their ordinary shares as part of a sale of our Company and reducing the price of the ADSs. These actions may be taken even if they are opposed by our other shareholders, including the holders of the ADSs. In addition, these persons could divert business opportunities away from us to themselves or others.
Conflicts of interest may arise between our principal shareholder and us in a number of areas relating to our ongoing relationships. Our financial contribution to our principal shareholder was not material during the periods presented in this prospectus, and our principal shareholder may from time to time make strategic decisions that it believes are in the best interests of its business as a whole, which may be different from the decisions that we would have made on our own. our principal shareholder’s decisions with respect to us or our business may favor our principal shareholder and therefore our principal shareholder, which may not necessarily be aligned with our interests and the interests of our other shareholders. Our principal shareholder may make decisions, or suffer adverse trends, that may disrupt or discontinue our collaborations with our principal shareholder. Although we will become a stand-alone public company upon the completion of this offering and will have an audit committee, consisting of independent non-executive directors, to review and approve all proposed related party transactions including those between our principal shareholder and us, we may not be able to resolve all potential conflicts of interest, and even if we do so, the resolution may be less favorable to us than if we were dealing with a non-controlling shareholder.
There has been no public market for our ordinary shares or ADSs prior to this offering, and you may not be able to resell our ADSs at or above the price you paid, or at all.
Prior to this initial public offering, there has been no public market for our ordinary shares or ADSs. We have applied to list the ADSs on Nasdaq Capital Market. Our ordinary shares will not be listed on any exchange or quoted for trading on any over-the-counter trading system.
Negotiations with the underwriters will determine the initial public offering price for our ADSs which may bear no relationship to their market price after the initial public offering. We cannot assure you that an active trading market for our ADSs will develop or that the market price of our ADSs will not decline below the initial public offering price. Investors in the ADSs may experience a significant decrease in the value of the ADSs regardless of our operating performance of prospects. If an active trading market for our ADSs does not develop after this offering, the market price and liquidity of our ADSs will be materially and adversely affected.
The market price of our ADSs may be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to you.
The market price of our ADSs can be volatile and fluctuate widely in response to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. The stock market in general and the market for smaller pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in particular have experienced extreme volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. As a result of this volatility, you may not be able to sell your ADSs at or above the initial public offering price and you may lose some or all of your investment.
 
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In addition to market and industry factors, the price and trading volume for our ADSs may be highly volatile due to specific business reasons, including, but not limited to:

announcements of regulatory approval or a complete response letter, or specific label indications or patient populations for a drug’s use, or changes or delays in the regulatory review process;

announcements of therapeutic innovations, new products, acquisitions, strategic relationships, joint ventures or capital commitments by us or our competitors;

regulatory developments affecting us, our patients, our customers, our suppliers or our competitors, including adverse actions taken by regulatory agencies with respect to our clinical trials, manufacturing supply chain or sales and marketing activities;

any adverse changes to our relationship with manufacturers or suppliers;

the results of our testing and clinical trials;

the results of our efforts to research and develop additional product candidates or otherwise acquire or license additional product candidates;

entering into out-licensing or collaborations and any subsequent changes in the terms or structure of these licenses or collaborations;

appointments of key vendors, including CMOs;

variations in the level of expenses related to our existing drugs and product candidates or preclinical, clinical development and commercialization programs;

any litigation or administrative proceedings in which we may become involved, including any intellectual property infringement actions;

announcements concerning our competitors or the pharmaceutical industry in general;

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our revenue, operating expenses and profitability, and any other variations in our results of operations;

manufacture, supply or distribution shortages;

announcements about our results of operations that are not in line with analyst expectations;

publication of operating or industry metrics by third parties, including government statistical agencies, that differ from expectations of industry or financial analysts;

changes in financial estimates by securities research analysts;

media reports, whether or not true, about our business, our competitors or our industry;

additions to or departures of our management;

foreign exchange fluctuations;

release or expiration of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding ordinary shares or ADSs;

sales or perceived potential sales of additional ordinary shares or ADSs by us, our executive officers and directors or our shareholders;

general economic and market conditions and overall fluctuations in the U.S. equity markets;

changes in accounting principles; and

changes or developments in the United States, Australia, Taiwan, PRC or global regulatory environment.
We expect that, until we are able to commercialize our drug pipeline, the primary drivers of the market price of our ADSs will likely be the results of our research and development efforts, the outcome of our various testing, studies and our overall clinical performance. Nevertheless, the stock market, in general, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have from time to time experienced extreme price and
 
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trading volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the clinical and/or operating performance of these companies. Broad market and industry factors may negatively affect the market price of our ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance. Further, the current volatility in the financial markets and related factors beyond our control may cause the market price of our ADSs to decline rapidly and unexpectedly.
After the completion of this offering, we may face an increased risk of securities class action litigation, which is expensive and could divert management’s attention.
Historically, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following a decline in the market price of its securities. This risk is especially relevant to us because biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies have experienced significant share price volatilities in recent years. If we were to face such lawsuits, it will likely result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could harm our business.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they adversely change their recommendations regarding the ADSs, the market price for the ADSs and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for the ADSs will be influenced by research or reports that industry or securities analysts publish about our business. If one or more analysts who cover us downgrade the ADSs, the market price for the ADSs would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease to cover us or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which, in turn, could cause the market price or trading volume for the ADSs to decline.
Techniques employed by short sellers may drive down the market price of our ADSs.
Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own but rather has borrowed from a third party with the intention of buying identical securities back at a later date to return to the lender. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the value of the securities between the sale of the borrowed securities and the purchase of the replacement shares, as the short seller expects to pay less in that purchase than it received in the sale. As it is in the short seller’s best interests for the price of the stock to decline, many short sellers publish, or arrange for the publication of, negative opinions regarding the relevant issuer and its business prospects in order to create negative market momentum and generate profits for themselves after selling a stock short. These short attacks have, in the past, led to selling of shares in the market.
Much of the scrutiny and negative publicity has centered on allegations of a lack of effective internal control over financial reporting resulting in financial and accounting irregularities and mistakes, inadequate corporate governance policies or a lack of adherence thereto and, in many cases, allegations of fraud. As a result, many of these companies are now conducting internal and external investigations into the allegations and, in the interim, are subject to shareholder lawsuits and/or SEC enforcement actions.
It is not clear what effect such negative publicity, if it would occur, could have on us. If we were to become the subject of any unfavorable allegations, whether such allegations are proven to be true or untrue, we could have to expend a significant amount of resources to investigate such allegations and/or defend ourselves. While we would strongly defend against any such short seller attacks, we may be constrained in the manner in which it can proceed against the relevant short seller by principles of freedom of speech, applicable state law or issues of commercial confidentiality. Such a situation could be costly and time-consuming, and could distract our management from growing our business. Even if such allegations are ultimately proven to be groundless, allegations against us could severely impact its business operations and stockholders equity, and any investment in our ADSs could be greatly reduced or rendered worthless.
The sale or availability for sale, or perceived sale or availability for sale, of substantial amounts of our ADSs could adversely affect their market price.
Sales of substantial amounts of our ADSs in the public market after the completion of this offering, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our ADSs and could
 
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materially impair our ability to raise capital through equity offerings in the future. The ADSs sold in this offering will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and ordinary shares held by our existing shareholders may also be sold in the public market in the future subject to the restrictions in Rule 144 and Rule 701 under the Securities Act and the applicable lock-up agreements. There will be           ADSs (equivalent to           ordinary shares) outstanding immediately after this offering. We, our officers, directors, and shareholders holding greater than 5% of our ordinary shares have agreed not to sell any of our ordinary shares or our ADSs or are otherwise subject to similar lockup restrictions for 180 days after the date of this prospectus without the prior written consent of the representative of the underwriters, subject to certain exceptions. However, the representative of the underwriters may release these securities from these restrictions at any time. We cannot predict what effect, if any, market sales of securities held by our significant shareholders or any other shareholder or the availability of these securities for future sale will have on the market price of our ADSs. See “Underwriting” and “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” for a more detailed description of the restrictions on selling our securities after this offering.
The ADSs are equity and are subordinate to our existing and future indebtedness and any preferred stock we may issue in the future.
The ADSs are our equity interests and do not constitute indebtedness. As such, ADSs will rank junior to all indebtedness and other non-equity claims on us with respect to assets available to satisfy claims on us, including in a liquidation of us. Additionally, holders of our ADSs may be subject to prior dividend and liquidation rights of any holders of our preferred stock or depositary shares representing such preferred stock then outstanding.
Our board of directors is authorized to issue additional classes or series of preferred stock without any action on the part of the shareholders. The board of directors also has the power, without shareholder approval, to set the terms of any such classes or series of preferred stock that may be issued, including voting rights, dividend rights, and preferences over our ADSs with respect to dividends or upon our dissolution, winding-up and liquidation and other terms. If we issue preferred stock in the future that has a preference over our ADSs with respect to the payment of dividends or upon our liquidation, dissolution, or winding up, or if we issue preferred stock with voting rights that dilute the voting power of our ADSs, the rights of holders of our ADSs or the market price of our ADSs could be adversely affected.
Holders of ADSs have fewer rights than shareholders and the voting rights of holders of ADSs are limited by the terms of the deposit agreement.
Holders of ADSs do not have the same rights as our shareholders and may only exercise the voting rights with respect to the underlying ordinary shares in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. As a holder of our ADSs, you will not have any direct right to attend general meetings of our shareholders or to cast any votes at such meetings. As an ADS holder, you will only be able to exercise the voting rights carried by the underlying ordinary shares indirectly by giving voting instructions to the depositary in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Under the deposit agreement, you may vote only by giving voting instructions to the depositary in the manner set forth in the deposit agreement. Upon receipt of your voting instructions, the depositary will try, as far as is practicable, to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs in accordance with your instructions. If we ask for your instructions, then upon receipt of your voting instructions, the depositary will try to vote the underlying ordinary shares in accordance with these instructions. If we do not instruct the depositary to ask for your instructions, the depositary may still vote in accordance with instructions you give, but it is not required to do so. You will not be able to directly exercise your right to vote with respect to the underlying ordinary shares unless you withdraw the shares, and become the registered holder of such shares prior to the record date for the general meeting. Under our third amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, which will become effective immediately prior to completion of this offering, the minimum notice period required for convening a general meeting is seven (7) calendar days; provided that a general meeting may be called on short notice under specified circumstances. When a general meeting is convened, you may not receive sufficient advance notice of the meeting to withdraw the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs and become the registered holder of such shares to allow you to attend the general meeting and to vote directly with respect to any specific matter or resolution to be considered and voted upon at the general meeting. In addition, under our
 
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third amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, for the purposes of determining those shareholders who are entitled to attend and vote at any general meeting, our directors may fix the date notice is given of a general meeting as the record date, and the setting of such a record date may prevent you from withdrawing the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs and becoming the registered holder of such shares prior to the record date, so that you would not be able to attend the general meeting or to vote directly. If we ask for your instructions, the depositary will notify you of the upcoming vote and will arrange to deliver our voting materials to you. We have agreed to give the depositary notice of shareholder meetings sufficiently in advance of such meetings. Nevertheless, we cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote the underlying shares represented by your ADSs. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for their manner of carrying out your voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise your right to direct how the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs are voted and you may have no legal remedy if the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs are not voted as you requested. In addition, in your capacity as an ADS holder, you will not be able to call a shareholders’ meeting. Except in limited circumstances, the depositary for our ADSs will give us a discretionary proxy to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs if you do not give voting instructions to the depositary, which could adversely affect your interests.
Under the deposit agreement for the ADSs, if you do not give voting instructions to the depositary, the depositary will give us a discretionary proxy to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs at shareholders’ meetings unless:

we have instructed the depositary that we do not wish a discretionary proxy to be given;

we have informed the depositary that there is substantial opposition as to a matter to be voted on at the meeting;

a matter to be voted on at the meeting would have an adverse impact on shareholders; or

the voting at the meeting is to be made on a show of hands.
The effect of this discretionary proxy is that you cannot prevent our ordinary shares underlying your ADSs from being voted, except under the circumstances described above. This may make it more difficult for shareholders to influence the management of our company. Holders of our ordinary shares are not subject to this discretionary proxy.
Furthermore, in the event of voting by a show of hands, pursuant to the terms of the deposit agreement, the depositary will vote (or cause the custodian to vote) all ordinary shares held on deposit at that time in accordance with the voting instructions received from a majority of holders of ADSs who provide timely voting instructions, which may result in the ordinary shares underlying the ADSs held by certain ADS holders being voted in a manner contrary to such ADS holders’ voting instructions. See “Description of American Depositary Shares — Voting rights” for more information.
The depositary for the ADSs is entitled to charge holders of ADSs fees for various services, including annual service fees.
The depositary for the ADSs is entitled to charge holders of ADSs fees for various services, including for the issuance of ADSs upon deposit of ordinary shares, cancellation of ADSs, distributions of cash dividends or other cash distributions, distributions of ADSs pursuant to share dividends or other free share distributions, distributions of securities other than ADSs and annual service fees. In the case of ADSs issued by the depositary into The Depository Trust Company, or the DTC, the fees will be charged by the DTC participant to the account of the applicable beneficial owner in accordance with the procedures and practices of the DTC participant as in effect at the time. For further information, see “Description of American Depositary Shares — Fees and Charges.”
We have considerable discretion to determine how to use the net proceeds from this offering and may use them in ways with which you may not agree or that may not ultimately yield a favorable return or increase the price of the ADSs.
Although we currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering in the manner described in the section titled “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus, our management will have considerable discretion in
 
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deciding how to apply the net proceeds from this offering, and we could spend the net proceeds from this offering in ways the holders of the ADSs may not agree with or that do not ultimately yield a favorable return. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, our use of these proceeds, while applied in a manner consistent with the manner described in the section titled “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus, may differ substantially from our current plans. Additionally, in utilizing the proceeds of this offering, under the PRC laws and regulations, we are only allowed to provide funding to our PRC subsidiary through loans or capital contributions. Subject to satisfaction of the applicable government registration and approval requirements, we may extend inter-company loans to our PRC subsidiary or make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary to fund its research and development, capital expenditures or working capital. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals in a timely manner, if at all. Further, if we choose to allocate funds to our PRC subsidiary, or if we desire to re-allocate those funds, our PRC subsidiary will have to comply with various PRC laws and regulations.
The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation. You will not have the opportunity to assess whether the net proceeds from this offering are being used appropriately before making your investment decision. You must rely on the judgment of our management regarding the application of the net proceeds of this offering. We cannot assure you that the net proceeds will be used in a manner that will ultimately yield a favorable return or increase our ADS price, nor that these net proceeds will be placed only in investments that generate income or appreciate in value.
Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings.
We may from time to time distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register both the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements is available. Under the deposit agreement, the depositary will not make rights available to you unless both the rights and the underlying securities to be distributed to ADS holders are either registered under the Securities Act or exempt from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective and we may not be able to establish a necessary exemption from registration under the Securities Act. If the depositary does not distribute the rights, if any, it may, under the deposit agreement, either sell them, if possible, or allow them to lapse. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.
You may not receive cash dividends if the depositary decides it is impractical to make them available to you.
The depositary will pay cash dividends on the ADSs only to the extent that we decide to distribute dividends on our ordinary shares, and we do not have any present plan to pay any dividends on our ordinary shares. To the extent that there is a distribution, the depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or any other distributions it or the custodian receives on our ordinary shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses pursuant to the deposit agreement. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary is not responsible if it decides that it is unlawful to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. For instance, it would be unlawful to make a distribution to a holder of ADSs if it consists of securities whose offering would require registration under the Securities Act but are not so properly registered or distributed under an applicable exemption from registration. The depositary may also, at its discretion, decide that it is inequitable or impractical to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. For example, the depositary may determine that it is not practicable to distribute certain property through the mail, or that the value of certain distributions may be less than the cost of mailing them. In these cases, the depositary may decide not to distribute such property to you. We have no obligation to register under the U.S. securities laws any offering of ADSs, ordinary shares, rights or other securities that may be received through such distributions. We also have no obligation to take any other action to permit the distribution of ADSs, ordinary shares, rights or anything else to holders of ADSs. This means that you may not receive distributions
 
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we make on our ordinary shares or any value for them if such distributions to you are illegal or impractical. These restrictions may cause a material decline in the value of our ADSs.
You may be subject to limitations on transfer of your ADSs.
Your ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its books at any time or from time to time when it deems it expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. The depositary may close its books from time to time for a number of reasons, including in connection with corporate events such as a rights offering, during which time the depositary needs to maintain an exact number of ADS holders on its books for a specified period. The depositary may also close its books in emergencies, and on weekends and public holidays. The depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of the ADSs generally when our share register or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary thinks it is advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.
Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable.
We are an exempted company with limited liability incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Most of our directors and executive officers, and some of the experts named in this prospectus, are nationals and/or residents of countries other than the United States, and a significant portion of the assets of these persons may be located outside of the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for you to bring an action against us or against these individuals in the United States in the event that you believe that your rights have been infringed under the U.S. federal securities laws or otherwise. As of the date of this prospectus, none of our officers, directors or other members of our senior management are located in China. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Cayman Islands may render you unable to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers. For more information regarding the relevant laws of the Cayman Islands, see “Enforceability of Civil Liabilities.”
You may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through U.S. courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.
We are an exempted company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by, among other things, our memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Act (As Revised) of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against our directors, actions by our minority shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors to us under the Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, the Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.
Shareholders of Cayman Islands companies like us have no general rights under the Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records, or to obtain copies of the register of members of these companies, other than the memorandum and articles of association and any special resolutions passed by these companies, and the registers of mortgages and charges of these companies. The Registrar of Companies of the Cayman Islands shall make available the list of the names of the current directors of the Company (and where applicable the current alternate directors of the Company) for inspection by any person upon payment of a fee by such person. Our directors have discretion under our post-offering memorandum and articles of association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it
 
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more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.
Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the United States. We may in the future rely on home country practice with respect to our corporate governance after we complete this offering. If we choose to follow home country practice in the future, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would under rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.
As a result of all of the above, public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by our management, members of our board of directors or our controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States. For a discussion of significant differences between the provisions of the Companies Act (As Revised) of the Cayman Islands and the laws applicable to companies incorporated in the United States and their shareholders, see “Description of Share Capital — Differences in Corporate Law.”
Your rights to pursue claims against the depositary as a holder of ADSs are limited by the terms of the deposit agreement.
Under the deposit agreement, any action or proceeding against or involving the depositary, arising out of or based upon the deposit agreement or the transactions contemplated thereby or by virtue of owning the ADSs may only be instituted in a state or federal court in New York, New York, and you, as a holder of our ADSs, will have irrevocably waived any objection which you may have to the laying of venue of any such proceeding, and irrevocably submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts in any such action or proceeding.
The depositary may, in its sole discretion, require that any dispute or difference arising from the relationship created by the deposit agreement be referred to and finally settled by an arbitration conducted under the terms described in the deposit agreement, although the arbitration provisions do not preclude you from pursuing claims under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act in state or federal courts. See “Description of American Depositary Shares” for more information.
ADSs holders may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to claims arising under the deposit agreement, which could result in less favorable outcomes to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.
The deposit agreement governing the ADSs representing our ordinary shares provides that, subject to the depositary’s right to require a claim to be submitted to arbitration, the federal or state courts in the City of New York have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine claims arising under the deposit agreement and in that regard, to the fullest extent permitted by law, ADS holders waive the right to a jury trial of any claim they may have against us or the depositary arising out of or relating to our ordinary shares, the ADSs or the deposit agreement, including any claim under the U.S. federal securities laws.
If we or the depositary opposed a jury trial demand based on the waiver, the court would determine whether the waiver was enforceable based on the facts and circumstances of that case in accordance with the applicable state and federal law. To our knowledge, the enforceability of a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver in connection with claims arising under the federal securities laws has not been finally adjudicated by the United States Supreme Court. However, we believe that a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver provision is generally enforceable, including under the laws of the State of New York, which govern the deposit agreement. In determining whether to enforce a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver provision, courts will generally consider whether a party knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived the right to a jury trial. We believe that this is the case with respect to the deposit agreement and the ADSs. It is advisable that you consult legal counsel regarding the jury waiver provision before investing in the ADSs.
If you or any other holders or beneficial owners of ADSs bring a claim against us or the depositary in connection with matters arising under the deposit agreement or the ADSs, including claims under federal securities laws, you or such other holder or beneficial owner may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to such claims, which may have the effect of limiting and discouraging lawsuits against us and / or the
 
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depositary. If a lawsuit is brought against us and/or the depositary under the deposit agreement, it may be heard only by a judge or justice of the applicable trial court, which would be conducted according to different civil procedures and may result in different outcomes than a trial by jury would have had, including results that could be less favorable to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.
Nevertheless, if this jury trial waiver provision is not enforced, to the extent a court action proceeds, it would proceed under the terms of the deposit agreement with a jury trial. No condition, stipulation or provision of the deposit agreement or ADSs shall relieve us or the depositary from our respective obligations to comply with the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.
Our post-offering memorandum and articles of association contain anti-takeover provisions that could have a material adverse effect on the rights of holders of our ordinary shares and ADSs.
Our post-offering memorandum and articles of association contain certain provisions that could limit the ability of others to acquire control of our company, including a provision that grants authority to our board of directors to establish from time to time one or more series of preferred shares without action by our shareholders and to determine, with respect to any series of preferred shares, the terms and rights of that series. These provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over the prevailing market price by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transactions.
We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act, and as such we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to U.S. domestic public companies.
Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the securities rules and regulations in the United States that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, including:

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K;

the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents, or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and

the selective disclosure rules by issuers of material nonpublic information under Regulation FD.
We will be required to file an annual report on Form 20-F within four months of the end of each fiscal year. In addition, we intend to publish our results on a quarterly basis as press releases, distributed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Press releases relating to financial results and material events will also be furnished to the SEC on Form 6-K. However, the information we are required to file with or furnish to the SEC will be less extensive and less timely compared to that required to be filed with the SEC by U.S. domestic issuers. As a result, you may not be afforded the same protections or information that would be made available to you were you investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.
We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.
As discussed above, we are a foreign private issuer, and therefore, we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. The determination of foreign private issuer status is made annually on the last business day of an issuer’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, and, accordingly, the next determination will be made with respect to us on June 30, 2022. We would lose our foreign private issuer status if, for example, as of the applicable determination date, more than 50% of our ordinary shares are directly or indirectly held by residents of the United States and we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to maintain our foreign private issuer status. If we lose our foreign private issuer status on June 30, 2022, we will be required to file with the SEC periodic reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms beginning on January 1, 2023, which are more detailed
 
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and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. We will also have to mandatorily comply with U.S. federal proxy requirements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders will become subject to the short-swing profit disclosure and recovery provisions of the Exchange Act. In addition, we will lose our ability to rely upon exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements under the Nasdaq Stock Market listing rules. As a U.S. listed public company that is not a foreign private issuer, we would incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we would not otherwise incur as a foreign private issuer.
As an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters that differ significantly from the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. These practices may afford less protection to shareholders than they would enjoy if we complied fully with the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards.
As a Cayman Islands exempted company listed on the Nasdaq, we are subject to the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. However, the Nasdaq permits a foreign private issuer like us to follow the corporate governance practices of its home country. Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, may differ significantly from the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. For instance, we are not required to:

have a majority of the board be independent (although all of the members of the audit committee must be independent under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act);

have a compensation committee or a nominations or corporate governance committee consisting entirely of independent directors; or

have regularly scheduled executive sessions with only independent directors each year.
We may rely on home country practice with respect to our corporate governance after we complete this offering. If we choose to follow home country practice in the future, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would enjoy under the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.
As a “controlled company”, we are exempt from certain Nasdaq corporate governance requirements, which may result in our independent directors not having as much influence as they would if we were not a controlled company.
We are a “controlled company” as defined under the Nasdaq Stock Market Rules, because one of our shareholders holds more than 50% of our voting power. As a result, for so long as we remain a controlled company as defined under that rule, we are exempt from, and our shareholders generally are not provided with the benefits of, some of the Nasdaq Stock Market corporate governance requirements, including that:

a majority of our board of directors must be independent directors;

our compensation committee must be composed entirely of independent directors; and

our corporate governance and nomination committee must be composed entirely of independent directors.
Although we intend to reconstitute our board of directors and to have a majority of independent directors, that may change in the future.
Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future, you must rely on price appreciation of our ADSs for return on your investment.
We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Therefore, you should not rely on an investment in the ADSs as a source for any future dividend income.
 
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Our Board of Directors has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends, subject to certain requirements of Cayman Islands law. In addition, our shareholders may by ordinary resolution declare a dividend, but no dividend may exceed the amount recommended by our directors. Under Cayman Islands law, a Cayman Islands company may pay a dividend out of either profit or share premium account, provided that in no circumstances may a dividend be paid if this would result in the company being unable to pay its debts as they fall due in the ordinary course of business. Even if our Board of Directors decides to declare and pay dividends, the timing, amount and form of future dividends, if any, will depend on our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiaries, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors. Accordingly, the return on your investment in the ADSs will likely depend entirely upon any future price appreciation of the ADSs. There is no guarantee that the ADSs will appreciate in value after this offering or even maintain the price at which you purchased the ADSs. You may not realize a return on your investment in the ADSs and you may even lose your entire investment in the ADSs.
We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. investors of our ADSs or ordinary shares.
Based on current estimates of our gross income and the value of our gross assets (including goodwill) and the manner in which we conduct our business, we do not expect to be a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the taxable year 2022. Despite our expectation, there can be no assurance that we will not be a PFIC in the current taxable year or any future taxable year as PFIC status is tested each taxable year and will depend on the composition of our assets and income and the value of our assets in each such taxable year.
A non-U.S. corporation is a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes for any taxable year in which (after taking into account the income and assets of subsidiaries in which it owns at least a 25% interest by value), (i) at least 75% of its gross income is “passive” income, such as interest and income from financial investments (the “income test”) or (ii) at least 50% of the average value of its assets (generally determined on a quarterly basis) consists of assets that produce or are held to produce passive income (the “asset test”). For purposes of the asset test, any cash and cash equivalents (such as bank deposits) will count as passive assets, and goodwill should be treated as an active asset to the extent associated with activities that produce or intended to produce active income. In determining the average percentage value of our gross assets, the aggregate value of our assets will generally be deemed to be equal to our market capitalization (determined by the sum of the aggregate value of our outstanding equity) plus our liabilities. We could be a PFIC for any future taxable year if our market capitalization were to decrease significantly while we hold substantial cash and cash equivalents, or if the gross income that we and our subsidiaries earn from investing the portion of cash raised in this offering is substantial in comparison with the gross income from our business operation.
If we were treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, then U.S. investors could be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences (regardless of whether we continue to be a PFIC), including increased tax liability on disposition gains and certain “excess distributions” and additional reporting requirements. See “United States Federal Income Tax Considerations — Passive Foreign Investment Company” for further information. U.S. investors should consult their tax advisers regarding our PFIC status for any taxable year and the potential application of the PFIC rules to an investment in our ADSs or ordinary shares including the availability and the advisability of making certain elections under the PFIC rules.
We are an emerging growth company within the meaning of the Securities Act and may take advantage of certain reduced reporting requirements.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from requirements applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including, most significantly, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for so long as we remain an emerging growth company. As a result, if we elect not to comply with such auditor attestation requirements, our investors may not have access to certain information they may deem important.
 
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The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards. Pursuant to the JOBS Act, we have elected to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. As a result, our operating results and financial statements may not be comparable to the operating results and financial statements of other companies who have adopted the new or revised accounting standards.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (a) the last day of the fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of at least US$1.07 billion; (b) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering; (c) the date on which we have, during the preceding three-year period, issued more than US$1.0 billion in non-convertible debt; or (d) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of the ADSs that are held by non-affiliates exceeds US$700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter. Once we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will not be entitled to the exemptions provided in the JOBS Act discussed above.
We cannot predict if investors will find our ADSs less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our ADSs less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our ADSs and the price of our ADSs may be more volatile.
We expect to incur increased costs as a result of being a public company, and will incur further increased costs after we cease to qualify as an “emerging growth company.”
We will become a public company after this offering, and expect to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we would not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and the Nasdaq Stock Market, impose various requirements on the corporate governance practices of public companies. As a company with less than US$1.07 billion in revenues for our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include exemption from the auditor attestation requirement under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the assessment of the emerging growth company’s internal control over financial reporting and permission to delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies.
We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some corporate activities more time-consuming and costly. After we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” we expect to incur significant expenses and devote substantial management effort toward ensuring compliance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the other rules and regulations of the SEC. For example, as a result of becoming a public company, we need to increase the number of independent directors and adopt policies regarding internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures. We also expect that operating as a public company will make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. In addition, we will incur additional costs associated with our public company reporting requirements. It may also be more difficult for us to find qualified persons to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. We are currently evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these rules and regulations, and we cannot predict or estimate with any degree of certainty the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.
In the past, shareholders of a public company often brought securities class action suits against the company following periods of instability in the market price of that company’s securities. If we were involved in a class action suit, it could divert a significant amount of our management’s attention and other resources from our business and operations, which could harm our results of operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit. Any such class action suit, whether or not successful, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, if a claim is successfully made against us, we may be required to pay significant damages.
 
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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current expectations and views of future events. The forward-looking statements are contained principally in the sections entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business.” Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under “Risk Factors,” may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
You can identify some of these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “is/are likely to,” “potential,” “continue” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include statements relating to:

the timing of the initiation, progress and potential results of our preclinical studies, clinical trials and our discovery programs;

the timing and likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals, including with respect to additional indications beyond the initial indication for which we are seeking approval for our product candidates;

our ability to advance our product candidates into drugs, and the successful completion of clinical trials;

the approval, commercialization, pricing and reimbursement of our product candidates;

the competitive landscape and size of the market opportunity for our product candidates, including our estimates of the number of patients who suffer from the diseases we are targeting;

estimates of our costs, expenses, future revenues, capital expenditures and our needs for additional financing;

our ability to continue as a going concern;

our ability to attract and retain senior management and key employees;

our future business development, financial condition and results of operations;

future developments, trends, conditions and competitive landscape in the industry and markets in which we operate;

our strategies, plans, objectives and goals and our ability to successfully implement these strategies, plans, objectives and goals;

costs associated with enforcing or defending against intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or violation, product liability and other claims;

our ability to establish and maintain collaborations or licensing agreements;

our ability to identify and integrate new product candidates, technologies and/or suitable acquisition targets;

our ability to effectively manage our growth;

our proposed use of proceeds;

changes to regulatory and operating conditions in our industry and markets.

potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our current and future business development, financial condition and results of operations.
You should read this prospectus completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and worse than what we expect. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all the risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on
 
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our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this prospectus. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
 
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USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately US$       million, or approximately US$       million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and the estimated offering expenses payable by us. These estimates are based upon an assumed initial public offering price of US$       per ADS, which is the midpoint of the price range shown on the front page of this prospectus. A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of US$ per ADS would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by US$      , assuming the number of ADSs offered by us, as set forth on the front cover of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us.
The primary purposes of this offering are to create a public market for our shares for the benefit of all shareholders, retain talented employees by providing them with equity incentives, and obtain additional capital. We plan to use the net proceeds of this offering as follows:

approximately 6.1% for our Phase 3 clinical trial of LBS-008 for STGD1,

approximately 60.2% for further clinical development of LBS-008 for dry AMD, such as Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials, and

the remainder for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
We estimate the net proceeds of this offering would enable us to complete our ongoing Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials of LBS-008 for STGD1, and to obtain interim results of our anticipated Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials of LBS-008 for dry AMD.
The foregoing represents our current intentions based upon our present plans and business conditions to use and allocate the net proceeds of this offering. Our management, however, will have broad discretion in the application of our net proceeds from this offering, and investors will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of these proceeds. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to This Offering and Our ADSs — We have considerable discretion to determine how to use the net proceeds from this offering and may use them in ways with which you may not agree or that may not ultimately yield a favorable return or increase the price of the ADSs.” Due to the many variables inherent in the development of product candidates, such as the size and timing of patient enrollment, evolving regulatory requirements and the associated costs, we cannot currently predict the stage of development that we will be able to achieve for the product candidates in our pipeline with the net proceeds of this offering. The amounts and timing of our actual expenditures may vary significantly depending on numerous factors, including the results of the preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates, our operating costs and expenditures, any strategic collaborations that we may enter into with third parties and the amount of cash generated by our operations. If an unforeseen event occurs or business conditions change, we may use the proceeds of this offering differently than as described in this prospectus.
In using the proceeds of this offering, we are permitted as an offshore holding company to provide funding under PRC laws and regulations to our PRC subsidiary only through loans or capital contributions. Subject to satisfaction of the applicable government registration and approval requirements, we may extend inter-company loans to our PRC subsidiary or make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary to fund its research and development, capital expenditures or working capital. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals on a timely basis, or at all.
 
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DIVIDEND POLICY
We have not previously declared or paid cash dividends on our ordinary shares and we have no plan to declare or pay any dividends in the near future on our ordinary shares or ADSs. We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business.
Our Board of Directors has discretion as to whether to distribute dividends, subject to certain requirements of Cayman Islands law. In addition, subject to the provisions in our articles of association, our shareholders may by ordinary resolution declare a dividend, but no dividend may exceed the amount recommended by our Board of Directors. Even if our Board of Directors decides to pay dividends, the form, frequency and amount will depend upon our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that the board of directors may deem relevant.
We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. We have not received and do not have any present plan to receive dividends paid by our U.S., Australia, Hong Kong and PRC subsidiaries, but we have discretion as to whether such dividends are paid, subject to applicable statutory and contractual restrictions, including PRC regulations which may govern the ability of our PRC subsidiary to pay dividends to us.
If we pay any dividends on our ordinary shares, we will pay those dividends which are payable in respect of the underlying ordinary shares represented by the ADSs to the depositary, as the registered holder of such ordinary shares, and the depositary then will pay such amounts to the ADS holders in proportion to the underlying ordinary shares represented by the ADSs held by such ADS holders, subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, including the fees and expenses payable thereunder. See “Description of American Depositary Shares.”
 
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CAPITALIZATION
The following table sets forth our capitalization as of December 31, 2021:

on an actual basis;

on a pro forma basis to reflect the automatic conversion of all of the issued and outstanding preferred shares on a one-for-one basis into ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering; and

on a pro forma as adjusted basis to reflect (i) the automatic conversion of all of the issued and outstanding preferred shares on a one-for-one basis into ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering; and (ii) the issuance and sale of           ordinary shares in the form of ADSs by us in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of US$      per ADS, the midpoint of the estimated range of the initial public offering price shown on the front cover of this prospectus, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus and the information under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
As of December 31, 2021
Actual
Pro forma
Pro forma
as adjusted(1)
(amounts in US$ thousands, except
for shares and per share data)
$ $ $
Convertible preferred shares:
Series A convertible preferred shares, US$0.0001 par value; 2,377,642 shares (actual) and no shares (pro forma and pro forma as adjusted) authorized; 2,377,642 shares issued and outstanding (actual);        shares issued and outstanding (pro forma and pro forma as adjusted)
$ 8,806
Series B convertible preferred shares, US$0.0001 par value; 5,443,272 shares (actual) and no shares (pro forma and pro forma as adjusted) authorized; 5,443,272 shares issued and outstanding (actual);        shares issued and outstanding (pro forma and pro forma as adjusted)
$ 23,000
Total convertible preferred shares
$ 31,806
Shareholders’ deficit:
Ordinary shares, par value of US$0.0001 per share; 492,179,086 shares authorized; 10,274,403 shares issued and outstanding (actual);       shares issued and outstanding (pro forma and pro forma as adjusted)
1
Additional paid-in capital
12,325
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
(196)
Accumulated deficit
(27,223)
Total shareholders’ equity (deficit)
(15,093)
Total capitalization
$ 18,348 $ $
 
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Notes:
(1)
The pro forma as adjusted information discussed above is illustrative only. Our additional paid-in capital, total shareholders’ (deficit) equity, and total convertible preferred shares and shareholders’ (deficit) equity following the completion of this offering are subject to adjustment based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.
A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of US$      per ADS, the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) each of additional paid-in capital, total shareholders’ (deficit)/equity, and total mezzanine equity and shareholders’ (deficit)/equity by US$      million.
 
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DILUTION
If you invest in the ADSs, your interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per ADS and our net tangible book value per ADS after this offering. Dilution results from the fact that the initial public offering price per ordinary share is substantially in excess of the net tangible book value per ordinary share attributable to the existing shareholders for our presently outstanding ordinary shares.
Our net tangible book value as of December 31, 2021 was approximately US$16.7 million, representing US$     per ordinary share on a pro forma basis and US$       per ADS. Net tangible book value represents the amount of our total consolidated tangible assets less total consolidated liabilities. Pro Forma net tangible book value per ordinary share is calculated after giving effect to the automatic conversion of all of our issued and outstanding convertible preferred shares. Dilution is determined by subtracting pro forma net tangible book value per ordinary share, after giving effect to the additional proceeds we will receive from this offering, from the assumed initial public offering price of US$       per ordinary share, which is the midpoint of the estimated initial public offering price range set forth on the front cover of this prospectus adjusted to reflect the ADS-to-ordinary share ratio, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
Without taking into account any other changes in pro forma net tangible book value after December 31, 2021, after giving effect to our sale of the ADSs offered in this offering at the assumed initial public offering price of US$       per ADS, which is the midpoint of the estimated initial public offering price range, after deduction of the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2021 would have been US$      , or US$       per ordinary share and US$       per ADS. This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of US$       per ordinary share and US$       per ADS to the existing shareholders and an immediate dilution in net tangible book value of US$       per ordinary share and US$       per ADS to investors purchasing ADSs in this offering. The following table illustrates such dilution:
Per
Ordinary
Share
Per
ADS
Assumed initial public offering price
US$
US$
Net tangible book value as of December 31, 2021
US$
US$
Pro forma net tangible book value after giving effect to the conversion of our preferred shares
US$
Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value after giving effect to the conversion of our preferred shares and this offering
US$
US$
Amount of dilution in net tangible book value to new investors in this offering
US$
US$
A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of US$       per ADS would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value after giving effect to this offering by US$      , the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ordinary share and per ADS after giving effect to this offering by US$            per ordinary share and US$       per ADS, and the dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ordinary share and per ADS to new investors in this offering by US$       per ordinary share and US$       per ADS, assuming no change to the number of ADSs offered by us as set forth on the front cover of this prospectus, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
If the representative of the underwriters exercise in full the option to purchase additional ADSs from us, based on the assumed public offering price of US$       per ADS, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value after this offering would be US$       per ordinary share and US$       per ADS, and the dilution to new investors purchasing ADSs in this offering would be US$       per ordinary share and US$       per ADS.
The following table summarizes, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as of December 31, 2021, the differences between existing shareholders and the new investors with respect to the number of ordinary
 
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shares (represented by ADSs) purchased from us, the total consideration paid and the average price per ordinary share and per ADS paid before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. The total number of ordinary shares does not include ordinary shares underlying the ADSs issuable upon the exercise of the option to purchase additional ADSs granted to the underwriters.
Ordinary Shares
Purchased
Total Consideration
Average
Price Per
Ordinary
Share
Average
Price
Per
ADS
Number
Percent
Amount
Percent
Existing shareholders
% US$ % US$ US$