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Actionable news in MCRB: Seres Therapeutics Inc,

FORM 10-Q

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

(Mark One)

For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2017

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from to

Commission file number: 001-37465

Seres Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

27-4326290

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

200 Sidney Street - 4th Floor

Cambridge, MA

02139

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

(617) 945-9626

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

☐ (Do not check if a small reporting company)

Small reporting company

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒

As of November 3, 2017, the registrant had 40,530,139 shares of common stock, $0.001 par value per share, outstanding.

Seres Therapeutics, Inc.

INDEX

Page

PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (unaudited)

4

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets as of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016

4

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016

5

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016

6

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

7

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

17

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

27

Item 4. Controls and Procedures

28

PART II – OTHER INFORMATION

Item 1. Legal Proceedings

29

Item 1A. Risk Factors

29

Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

60

Item 3. Defaults Upon Senior Securities

60

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

60

Item 5. Other Information

60

Item 6. Exhibits

61

SIGNATURES

62

2

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Quarterly Report, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy, prospective products, product approvals, research and development costs, timing and likelihood of success, plans and objectives of management for future operations and future results of anticipated products, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this Quarterly Report are only predictions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Quarterly Report and are subject to a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including the risks, uncertainties and assumptions described under the sections in this Quarterly Report titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” These forward looking statements are subject to numerous risks, including, without limitation, the following:

Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties.

You should read this Quarterly Report and the documents that we reference in this Quarterly Report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

3

PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (unaudited)

SERES THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(unaudited, in thousands, except share and per share data)

September 30,

December 31,

2017

2016

Assets

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

46,025

$

54,539

Investments

125,274

138,704

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

5,346

5,126

Total current assets

176,645

198,369

Property and equipment, net

33,724

36,125

Long-term investments

36,752

Restricted cash

1,513

1,400

Total assets

$

211,882

$

272,646

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable

$

5,380

$

7,587

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

9,594

10,812

Deferred revenue - related party

12,058

12,058

Total current liabilities

27,032

30,457

Lease incentive obligation, net of current portion

9,424

10,730

Deferred rent

2,202

2,072

Deferred revenue, net of current portion - related party

87,712

96,756

Total liabilities

126,370

140,015

Commitments and contingencies (Note 11)

Stockholders’ equity:

Preferred stock, $0.001 par value;

10,000,000 shares authorized at September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016; no shares

issued and outstanding at September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016

Common stock, $0.001 par value; 200,000,000 shares authorized at September 30, 2017

and December 31, 2016; 40,512,639 and 40,355,753 shares issued and outstanding

at September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively

40

40

Additional paid-in capital

320,189

306,931

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(99

)

(149

)

Accumulated deficit

(234,618

)

(174,191

)

Total stockholders’ equity

85,512

132,631

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

211,882

$

272,646

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

4

SERES THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

(unaudited, in thousands, except share and per share data)

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

SERES THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(unaudited, in thousands)

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Cash flows from operating activities:

Net loss

$

(60,427

)

$

(66,303

)

Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:

Stock-based compensation expense

13,150

12,865

Depreciation and amortization expense

5,356

2,511

Non-cash interest expense

3

2

Accretion of discount on investments

(166

)

(317

)

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

(220

)

(2,527

)

Deferred revenue

(9,044

)

111,545

Accounts payable

(2,502

)

84

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

(1,065

)

6,866

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

(54,915

)

64,726

Cash flows from investing activities:

Purchases of property and equipment

(3,991

)

(15,805

)

Purchases of investments

(75,728

)

(245,728

)

Sales and maturities of investments

126,125

176,230

Changes in restricted cash

(113

)

117

Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities

46,293

(85,186

)

Cash flows from financing activities:

Proceeds from exercise of stock options and common stock warrants

108

2,138

Net cash provided by financing activities

108

2,138

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

(8,514

)

(18,322

)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

54,539

73,933

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

46,025

$

55,611

Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:

Cash paid for interest

$

1

$

109

Supplemental disclosure of non-cash investing and financing activities:

Property and equipment purchases included in accounts payable and accrued expenses

$

453

$

4,484

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

SERES THERAPEUTICS, INC.

NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)

(Unaudited)

Seres Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”) was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in October 2010 under the name Newco LS21, Inc. In October 2011, the Company changed its name to Seres Health, Inc., and in May 2015, the Company changed its name to Seres Therapeutics, Inc. The Company is a microbiome therapeutics platform company developing a novel class of biological drugs, which are designed to restore health by repairing the function of a dysbiotic microbiome. The Company’s lead product candidate, SER-109, is designed to prevent further recurrences of Clostridium difficile infection (“CDI”), a debilitating infection of the colon, and, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), could be a first-in-field oral microbiome drug. The Company’s second product candidate, SER-287, is being developed to treat inflammatory bowel disease (“IBD”) including ulcerative colitis (“UC”). In addition, using its microbiome therapeutics platform, the Company is developing product candidates to treat diseases where the microbiome is implicated, including SER-262, a synthetic product candidate, to prevent an initial recurrence of primary CDI, SER-301, a synthetic inflammatory bowel disease product candidate, and SER-155, a synthetic product candidate to prevent infections and improve gastrointestinal barrier function (including the consequences of graft versus host disease) in patients following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants or solid organ transplants. The Company is also using its microbiome therapeutics platform to conduct research on metabolic diseases, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease; rare liver disorders such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC); and immuno-oncology treatments.

The Company is subject to risks common to companies in the biotechnology industry including, but not limited to, new technological innovations, protection of proprietary technology, dependence on key personnel, compliance with government regulations and the need to obtain additional financing. Product candidates currently under development will require significant additional research and development efforts, including extensive pre-clinical and clinical testing and regulatory approval, prior to commercialization. These efforts require significant amounts of additional capital, adequate personnel infrastructure and extensive compliance-reporting capabilities.

The Company’s product candidates are in development. There can be no assurance that the Company’s research and development will be successfully completed, that adequate protection for the Company’s intellectual property will be obtained, that any products developed will obtain necessary government regulatory approval or that any approved products will be commercially viable. Even if the Company’s product development efforts are successful, it is uncertain when, if ever, the Company will generate significant revenue from product sales. The Company operates in an environment of rapid change in technology and substantial competition from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, the Company is dependent upon the services of its employees and consultants.

The Company’s consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the basis of continuity of operations, realization of assets and the satisfaction of liabilities in the ordinary course of business. The Company has experienced negative cash flows and had an accumulated deficit of $234,618 and $174,191 as of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. The Company expects that its cash, cash equivalents and investments at September 30, 2017 of $171,299 will enable it to fund its operating expense and capital expenditure requirements through 2018. The future viability of the Company is dependent on its ability to generate cash from operating activities or to raise additional capital to finance its operations. The Company’s failure to raise capital as and when needed could have a negative impact on its financial condition and ability to pursue its business strategies.

Unaudited Interim Financial Information

The accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements as of September 30, 2017 and for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 have been prepared by the Company, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for interim financial statements. Certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) have been condensed or omitted pursuant to such rules and regulations. However, the Company believes that the disclosures are adequate to make the information presented not misleading. These consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto for the year ended December 31, 2016 included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, which was filed with the SEC on March 16, 2017.

The unaudited interim financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as the audited consolidated financial statements. The condensed consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2016 was derived from audited annual financial statements, but does not contain all of the footnote disclosures from the annual financial statements. In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited interim consolidated financial statements contain all adjustments which are necessary for a fair statement of the Company’s financial position as of September 30, 2017 and consolidated results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and its cash flows for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016. Such adjustments are of a normal and recurring nature. The results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2017.

The significant accounting policies and estimates used in preparation of the condensed consolidated financial statements are described in the Company’s audited financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2016, and the notes thereto, which are included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K. There have been no material changes to the Company’s significant accounting policies during the nine months ended September 30, 2017.

During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017, the Company recorded revenue in connection with its collaboration agreement. See Note 9, “Collaboration Revenue,” for additional information.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting periods. Significant estimates and assumptions reflected in these consolidated financial statements include, but are not limited to, revenue recognition, the accrual of research and development expenses and the valuation of stock-based awards. Estimates are periodically reviewed in light of changes in circumstances, facts and experience. Actual results could differ from the Company’s estimates.

Net Loss per Share

Basic net loss per share is computed using the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted net loss per share is computed using the sum of the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period and, if dilutive, the weighted average number of potential shares of common stock, including the assumed exercise of stock options and warrants and unvested restricted stock.

The restricted stock units granted by the Company entitle the holder of such awards to dividends declared or paid by the board of directors, regardless of whether such awards are unvested, as if such shares were outstanding common shares at the time of the dividend. However, the unvested restricted stock awards are not entitled to share in the residual net assets (deficit) of the Company. Accordingly, in periods in which the Company reports a net loss attributable to common stockholders, diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders is the same as basic net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, since dilutive common shares are not assumed to have been issued if their effect is anti-dilutive.

The following potential common shares, presented based on amounts outstanding at each period end, were excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders for the periods indicated because including them would have had an anti-dilutive effect:

Three and Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Stock options to purchase common stock

6,133,596

5,165,729

Unvested restricted stock units

401,900

6,535,496

5,165,729

Recently Issued Accounting Standards

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), which supersedes all existing revenue recognition requirements, including most industry-specific guidance. The new standard requires a company to recognize revenue when it transfers goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration that the company expects to receive for those goods or services. In August 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Deferral of the Effective Date, which delayed the effective date of the new standard from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018. The FASB also agreed to allow entities to choose to adopt the standard as of the original effective date. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-08, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Principal versus Agent Considerations, which clarifies the implementation guidance on principal versus agent considerations. In April 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing, which clarifies how a company identifies promised goods or services and clarifies whether an entity’s promise to grant a license provides a customer with either a right to use the entity’s intellectual property (which is satisfied at a point in time) or a right to access the entity’s intellectual property (which is satisfied over time). In May 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients related to disclosures of remaining performance obligations, as well as other amendments to guidance on collectability, non-cash consideration and the presentation of sales and other similar taxes collected from customers. In December 2016 the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-20, Technical Corrections and Improvements to Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which amends certain narrow aspects of the guidance issued in ASU 2014-09 including guidance related to the disclosure of remaining performance obligations and prior-period performance obligations, as well as other amendments to the guidance on loan guarantee fees, contract costs, refund liabilities, advertising costs and the clarification of certain examples. ASU 2016-08, ASU 2016-10 and ASU 2016-12 have the same effective dates and transition requirements as ASU 2014-09, all of which collectively are herein referred to as “ASC 606.”

The Company plans to adopt ASC 606 using the modified retrospective transition method, which will result in an adjustment to accumulated deficit in its consolidated balance sheet as of the January 1, 2018 effective date for the cumulative effect of applying the standard. As the adoption method does not result in a recast of the prior year consolidated financial statements, ASC 606 requires the Company to provide additional disclosures during the year of adoption of the amount by which each financial statement line item is affected by adoption of the new standard and explanations of the reasons for significant changes.

The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of ASC 606 on its consolidated financial statements. While its assessment is preliminary, the Company expects the adoption will change the pattern and timing of revenue recognition of amounts from its collaboration agreement with NHS. Under ASC 606, the Company will recognize revenue using the cost-to-cost method which best depicts the transfer of control to the customer. In contrast, under existing revenue recognition standard, the Company is recognizing revenue on a straight-line basis over the estimated period of performance. Under the cost-to-cost method, the extent of progress towards completion is measured based on the ratio of actual costs incurred to the total estimated costs expected upon satisfying the identified performance obligation. Under this method, revenue will be recorded as a percentage of the estimated transaction price based on the extent of progress towards completion. The estimate of the Company’s measure of progress and estimate of transaction price will be updated at each reporting date, as a change in estimate, and will require judgement. The amount of consideration allocated to satisfied performance obligations, based on the Company’s measure of progress will be recognized immediately on a cumulative catch-up basis, resulting in an adjustment to revenue in the period of change. The amount related to the unsatisfied portion will be recognized as that portion is satisfied over time. The Company is in process with calculating the revenue recognition impact under the cost-to-cost method, and the amounts that will be recognized upon adoption on January 1, 2018.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), which sets out the principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases for both parties to a contract (i.e. lessees and lessors). The new standard requires lessees to apply a dual approach, classifying leases as either finance or operating leases based on the principle of whether or not the lease is effectively a financed purchase by the lessee. This classification will determine whether lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest method or on a straight line basis over the term of the lease, respectively. A lessee is also required to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for all leases with a term of greater than 12 months regardless of their classification. Leases with a term of 12 months or less will be accounted for similar to existing guidance for operating leases today. ASC 842 supersedes the previous leases standard, ASC 840 Leases. The standard is effective on January 1, 2019, with early adoption permitted. The Company is in the process of evaluating the impact of this new guidance.

In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15, Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments. The new standard addresses specific cash flow issues with the objective of reducing existing diversity in practice. The new standard will be effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. The Company is in the process of evaluating the impact of this new guidance.

In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-18, Restricted Cash. The new standard requires restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents be included with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling the total beginning and ending amounts for the periods shown on the statement of cash flows. The new standard will be effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. The Company is in the process of evaluating the impact of this new guidance.

In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting. The new standard provides guidance about which changes to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award require an entity to apply modification accounting in Topic 718. The new standard will be effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. The Company is in the process of evaluating the impact of this new guidance.

Certain assets and liabilities are carried at fair value under GAAP. Fair value is defined as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measurement date. Valuation techniques used to measure fair value must maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs. Financial assets and liabilities carried at fair value are to be classified and disclosed in one of the following three levels of the fair value hierarchy, of which the first two are considered observable and the last is considered unobservable:

The Company’s cash equivalents and investments are carried at fair value, determined according to the fair value hierarchy described above. The Company’s investments in certificates of deposit are carried at amortized cost, which approximates fair value. Certain cash equivalents or investments that are measured at fair value using the net asset value per share (or its equivalent) practical expedient have not been classified in the fair value hierarchy. The carrying values of the Company’s accounts payable and accrued expenses approximate their fair value due to the short-term nature of these liabilities.

The following table presents information about the Company’s assets as of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016 that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis and indicate the level of the fair value hierarchy utilized to determine such fair values (note there were no liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis in either of the periods presented):

Fair Value Measurements as of September 30, 2017 Using:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Not Subject to Leveling (1)

Total

Assets:

Cash Equivalents

$

$

3,000

$

$

11,237

$

14,237

Investments:

Commercial Paper

$

$

9,737

$

$

$

9,737

Certificates of Deposit

10,142

10,142

Corporate Bonds

70,923

70,923

Government Securities

24,952

24,952

Treasury Bonds

9,520

9,520

$

$

128,274

$

$

11,237

$

139,511

(1) Certain cash equivalents and investments that are valued using the net asset value per share (or its equivalent) practical expedient have not been classified in the fair value hierarchy.

Fair Value Measurements as of December 31, 2016 Using:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Not Subject to Leveling (1)

Total

Assets:

Cash Equivalents

$

$

4,740

$

$

1,567

$

6,307

Repurchase Agreements

7,000

7,000

Investments:

Commercial Paper

$

$

19,689

$

$

$

19,689

Certificates of Deposit

10,629

10,629

Corporate Bonds

94,609

94,609

Government Securities

33,466

33,466

Treasury Bonds

17,063

17,063

$

$

187,196

$

$

1,567

$

188,763

(1) Certain cash equivalents and investments that are valued using the net asset value per share (or its equivalent) practical expedient have not been classified in the fair value hierarchy.

As of September 30, 2017, the Company’s cash equivalents, which were invested in money market funds and corporate bonds with original maturities of less than 90 days from the date of purchase, were valued based on Level 2 inputs.

As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s cash equivalents consisted of money market funds, corporate bonds, certificates of deposit, and repurchase agreements with original maturities of less than 90 days from the date of purchase and were valued based on Level 2 inputs. Repurchase agreements are agreements with banks to repurchase notes that are collateralized by U.S. government securities. All repurchase agreements have overnight maturities.

The fair value of the Company’s investments, which consisted of commercial paper, certificates of deposit, corporate bonds, government securities and treasury bonds as of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016 were determined using Level 2 inputs. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 there were no transfers between Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.

As of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, the fair value of available-for-sale investments by type of security was as follows:

September 30, 2017

Amortized

Cost

Gross

Unrealized Gain

Gross

Unrealized Loss

Fair

Value

Investments:

Commercial Paper

$

9,738

$

$

(1

)

$

9,737

Certificates of Deposit

10,142

10,142

Corporate Bonds

70,967

1

(45

)

70,923

Government Securities

24,995

(43

)

24,952

Treasury Bonds

9,529

(9

)

9,520

$

125,371

$

1

$

(98

)

$

125,274

December 31, 2016

Amortized

Cost

Gross

Unrealized Gain

Gross

Unrealized Loss

Fair

Value

Investments:

Commercial Paper

$

19,631

$

58

$

$

19,689

Certificates of Deposit

10,629

10,629

Corporate Bonds

94,764

(155

)

94,609

Government Securities

33,513

(47

)

33,466

Treasury Bonds

17,066

1

(4

)

17,063

$

175,603

$

59

$

(206

)

$

175,456

Investments with original maturities of less than 90 days are included in cash and cash equivalents on the consolidated balance sheets and are not included in the table above. Investments with maturities of less than 12 months are considered current and those investments with maturities greater than 12 months are considered non-current.

Property and equipment, net consisted of the following:

September 30,

2017

December 31,

2016

Laboratory equipment

$

12,544

$

10,711

Computer equipment

2,555

1,335

Furniture and office equipment

1,033

1,010

Leasehold improvements

27,896

27,807

Construction in progress

232

442

44,260

41,305

Less: Accumulated depreciation and amortization

(10,536

)

(5,180

)

$

33,724

$

36,125

Depreciation and amortization expense was $1,866, $5,356, $1,251, and $2,511 for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities consisted of the following:

September 30,

2017

December 31,

2016

Development and manufacturing costs

$

2,987

$

3,350

Payroll and payroll-related costs

3,302

3,698

Professional fees

490

448

Facility and other

2,815

3,316

$

9,594

$

10,812

On July 1, 2015, in connection with the closing of the Company’s initial public offering of its common stock (the “IPO”), the Company effected its Restated Certificate of Incorporation, which authorizes the Company to issue 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share.

Stock Options

The following table summarizes the Company’s stock option activity since December 31, 2016:

Number of

Shares

Weighted

Average

Exercise

Price

Weighted

Average

Remaining

Contractual

Term

Aggregate

Intrinsic

Value

(in years)

Outstanding as of December 31, 2016

5,069,133

$

14.36

8.26

$

16,736

Granted

1,696,000

10.19

Exercised

(156,886

)

0.69

Forfeited

(474,651

)

20.66

Outstanding as of September 30, 2017

6,133,596

$

13.07

7.92

$

36,791

Options exercisable as of September 30, 2017

2,973,186

$

11.32

7.14

$

22,602

The weighted average grant-date fair value of stock options granted during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 was $8.43, $7.06, $12.45, and $18.93 per share, respectively.

Restricted Stock Units

The Company has granted restricted stock units with time-based vesting conditions. The table below summarizes the Company’s restricted stock activity for the nine months ended September 30, 2017:

Number

of Shares

Weighted

Average Grant

Date Fair Value

Unvested restricted stock units as of December 31, 2016

115,500

$

9.78

Granted

332,500

$

10.08

Forfeited

(46,100

)

$

9.93

Vested

$

Unvested restricted stock units as of September 30, 2017

401,900

$

10.01

Stock-based Compensation Expense

The Company recorded stock-based compensation expense related to stock options and restricted stock units in the following expense categories of its condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss:

Three Months Ended

September 30,

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

2017

2016

Research and development expenses

$

2,158

$

2,334

$

6,124

$

7,416

General and administrative expenses

2,211

1,910

7,026

5,449

$

4,369

$

4,244

$

13,150

$

12,865

Nestec Ltd.

In January 2016, the Company entered into the Collaboration and License Agreement (“License Agreement”) with Nestec Ltd. (“NHS”), an affiliate of Nestlé Health Science US Holdings, Inc., a significant stockholder of the Company, for the development and commercialization of certain product candidates in development for the treatment and management of CDI and IBD, including UC and Crohn’s disease. The License Agreement will support the development of the Company’s portfolio of products for CDI and IBD in markets outside of the United States and Canada (the “Licensed Territory”). The Company has retained full commercial rights to its entire portfolio of product candidates with respect to the United States and Canada.

Under the License Agreement, the Company granted to NHS an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to develop and commercialize, in the Licensed Territory, certain products based on its microbiome technology that are being developed for the treatment of CDI and IBD, including SER-109, SER-262, SER-287 and SER-301 (collectively, the “NHS Collaboration Products”). The License Agreement sets forth the Company’s and NHS’ respective obligations for development, commercialization, regulatory and manufacturing and supply activities for the NHS Collaboration Products with respect to the licensed fields and the Licensed Territory.

In exchange for the license, NHS agreed to pay the Company an upfront cash payment of $120,000, which the Company received in February 2016. NHS also agreed to pay the Company tiered royalties, at percentages ranging from the high single digits to high teens, of net sales of NHS Collaboration Products in the Licensed Territory. The Company is eligible to receive up to $285,000 in development milestone payments, $375,000 in regulatory payments and up to an aggregate of $1,125,000 for the achievement of certain commercial milestones related to the sales of NHS Collaboration Products.

At the inception of the License Agreement, the Company identified the following deliverables: (i) a license to develop and commercialize the NHS Collaboration Products in the Licensed Territory, (ii) obligation to perform research and development services, (iii) participation on a joint steering committee, and (iv) manufacturing services to provide clinical supply to complete future clinical trials. The Company also identified a contingent deliverable, the obligation to perform manufacturing services to provide commercial supply if commercialization occurs, which is contingent upon regulatory approval. This contingent deliverable has been excluded from the initial allocation and will be treated as a separate unit of accounting when and if delivered.

The Company concluded that none of the four deliverables identified at the inception of the License Agreement has standalone value from the other undelivered elements. Accordingly, all deliverables represent a single unit of accounting.

All consideration received relating to the four identified deliverables that comprise the single unit of accounting will be recognized over the period of performance. The period of performance will be through the completion of development services for the NHS Collaboration Products which has been estimated to be ten years. The Company will periodically review and, if necessary, revise the estimated development period.

The Company will recognize revenue utilizing a time-based proportional performance model where revenue related to each payment is recognized over the ten-year performance period. As of September 30, 2017, the only consideration that is fixed and determinable is the non-refundable upfront payment of $120,000 and $580 for the reimbursement of development services since the inception of the arrangement. For additional consideration that could be received for research and development services and/or manufacturing services for clinical supply, the Company will recognize a cumulative catch-up for the amount of time that has elapsed and spread the unrecognized portion over the remaining performance period.

Development and regulatory milestones that involve substantial effort on the Company’s part and the achievement of which are not considered probable at the inception of the License Agreement are considered substantive milestones, and will be recognized in their entirety in the period in which the milestone is achieved, assuming all other revenue recognition criteria are met. All commercial milestones will be recorded as revenue upon achievement of the milestone, assuming all other revenue recognition criteria are met.

During the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company received $10,000 from NHS in connection with the initiation of the Phase 1b study for SER-262 in CDI. The Company recognizes revenue associated with substantive milestones in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 605-28, Revenue Recognition-Milestone Method. The $10,000 was recognized in full as related party collaboration revenue during the year ended December 31, 2016.

During the three months ended September 30, 2017, the Company received $20,000 from NHS in connection with the initiation of the Phase 3 study for SER-109. The Company recognizes revenue associated with substantive milestones in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 605-28, Revenue Recognition-Milestone Method. The $20,000 was recognized in full as related party collaboration revenue during the three months ended September 30 2017.

Royalties will be recorded as revenue in the period they are earned assuming all other revenue recognition criteria are met.

During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, the Company recognized $23,015, $29,044, $13,015, and $18,730, respectively, of related party revenue (see Note 12 “Related Party Transactions”) associated with the License Agreement. As of September 30, 2017, there was $99,770 of deferred revenue related to the License Agreement, which is classified as current or non-current in the consolidated balance sheets based on the Company’s estimate of revenue that will be recognized within the next twelve months. All costs associated with the License Agreement are recorded in research and development expense in the condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss.

The Company did not provide for any income taxes for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017 or 2016.

The Company has evaluated the positive and negative evidence bearing upon the realizability of its U.S. net deferred tax assets. As required by the provisions of ASC 740, Income Taxes, management has determined that it is more-likely-than-not that the Company will not utilize the benefits of federal and state U.S. net deferred tax assets for financial reporting purposes. Accordingly, the net deferred tax assets are subject to a valuation allowance at September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016.

As of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, the Company had no accrued interest or tax penalties recorded. The Company files income tax returns in the U.S. and various state jurisdictions. The Company is no longer subject to U.S. federal income tax examinations by tax authorities for years before 2012. However, to the extent the Company has tax attribute carryforwards, the tax years in which the attribute was generated my still be adjusted upon examination by the Internal Revenue Service or state tax authorities to the extent it is utilized in a future period. There are no currently ongoing or pending examinations in any jurisdictions.

Leases

On November 11, 2015, the Company entered into a non-cancelable property lease with BMR-Sidney Research Campus LLC (“BMR”) for 83,396 square feet of office, laboratory and pilot manufacturing space at 200 Sidney Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The lease term commenced in March 2016 and ends in November 2023. The Company has the option to extend the lease twice, each for a five-year period. The Company moved its corporate headquarters to this location in April 2016. BMR has contributed a total of $12,509 toward the cost of tenant improvements. BMR’s contributions toward the cost of tenant improvements is recorded as a lease incentive obligation on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. The lease incentive obligation is amortized to the Company’s consolidated statement of operations as reductions to rent expense over the lease term. As of September 30, 2017, the Company has recorded a lease incentive obligation of $10,754. During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, we amortized $1,326 of this lease incentive obligation as a reduction to rent expense.

During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, the Company recognized $1,100, $3,345, $1,406, and $2,587 respectively, of rental expense related to office and laboratory space.

Indemnification Agreements

In the ordinary course of business, the Company may provide indemnification of varying scope and terms to vendors, lessors, business partners and other parties with respect to certain matters including, but not limited to, losses arising out of breach of such agreements or from intellectual property infringement claims made by third parties. In addition, the Company has entered into indemnification agreements with members of its board of directors and its officers that will require the Company, among other things, to indemnify them against certain liabilities that may arise by reason of their status or service as directors or officers. The maximum potential amount of future payments the Company could be required to make under these indemnification agreements is, in many cases, unlimited. To date, the Company has not incurred any material costs as a result of such indemnifications. The Company does not believe that the outcome of any claims under indemnification arrangements will have a material effect on its financial position, results of operations or cash flows, and it has not accrued any liabilities related to such obligations in its consolidated financial statements as of September 30, 2017 or December 31, 2016.

Legal Contingencies

The Company accrues a liability for legal contingencies when it believes that it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and that the Company can reasonably estimate the amount of the loss. The Company reviews these accruals and adjusts them to reflect ongoing negotiations, settlements, rulings, advice of legal counsel and other relevant information. To the extent new information is obtained and the views on the probable outcomes of claims, suits, assessments, investigations or legal proceedings change, changes in the Company’s accrued liabilities would be recorded in the period in which such determination is made.

In addition, in accordance with the relevant authoritative guidance, for any matters in which the likelihood of material loss is at least reasonably possible, the Company will provide disclosure of the possible loss or range of loss. If a reasonable estimate cannot be made, however, the Company will provide disclosure to that effect. The Company expenses legal costs as they are incurred.

On September 28, 2016, a purported stockholder of the Company filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against the Company entitled Mariusz Mazurek v. Seres Therapeutics, Inc., et.al. On February 12, 2017, the Company received an amended complaint and on March 30, 2017, the Company filed a motion to dismiss. A hearing on the motion to dismiss was held on August 9, 2017. A decision by the court on the motion to dismiss is expected by early 2018. The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b), 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, by making allegedly false and misleading statements and omissions about the Company’s clinical trials for its product candidate SER-109 in the Company’s public disclosures between June 25, 2015 and July 29, 2016. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, damages in connection with the Company’s allegedly inflated stock price between June 25, 2015 and July 29, 2016 as a result of those allegedly false and misleading statements, as well as interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. The Company can make no assurances as to the time or resources that will need to be devoted to this lawsuit or its final outcome, or the impact, if any, of this lawsuit or any proceedings on its business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. While the Company is vigorously defending against all claims asserted, this litigation could result in substantial costs to the Company and a diversion of the Company’s management’s attention and resources, which could harm its business. In addition, the uncertainty of the pending lawsuit or potential filing of additional lawsuits could lead to more volatility and a reduction in the Company’s stock price. Given the early stage of the litigation, at this time the Company is unable to reasonably estimate possible losses or form a judgment that an unfavorable outcome is either probable or remote. It is not currently possible to assess whether or not the outcome of these proceedings may have a material adverse effect on the Company.

In October 2010, the Company entered into a services agreement with Flagship Ventures Management, Inc., an affiliate of one of its stockholders, Flagship Venture Funds (and now known as Flagship Pioneering), to provide general and administrative services to the Company, including the employer portions of employee health and dental benefit plans for Seres Therapeutics employees and consulting services. The Company made payments under the agreement of $17 during the nine months ended September 30, 2016. There were no payments made during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and the three months ended September 30, 2016. There were no amounts due to Flagship Ventures Management, Inc. related to the services agreement as of September 30, 2017 or December 31, 2016.

As described in Note 9, in January 2016 the Company entered into a License Agreement with NHS for the development and commercialization of certain product candidates in development for the treatment and management of CDI and IBD, including UC and Crohn’s disease. NHS is a related party since NHS is an affiliate of Nestlé Health Science, one of the Company’s significant stockholders. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, the Company recognized $23,015, $29,044, $13,015, and $18,730 of related party revenue associated with the License Agreement. As of September 30, 2017, there was $99,770 of deferred revenue related to the License Agreement, which is classified as current or non-current in the consolidated balance sheets. The Company has made no payments to NHS during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017. There is $297 due from NHS as of September 30, 2017 for the reimbursement of development costs, which is classified as other current assets in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet.

In October, 2017 the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator ("CARB-X”), an international public-private partnership focused on advancing new antimicrobial products to address the threat of antibiotic resistance, selected the Company to receive up to $2,461 in research funding for SER-155, with potential for an additional $3,119 upon the completion of milestones. In connection with this funding, the Company entered into a cost reimbursement Sub-Award Agreement (the “Sub-award Agreement”) with the Trustees of Boston University, the administrator of the program. The Company expects to begin incurring reimbursable expenses under the Sub-Award Agreement in November 2017.

16

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Quarterly Report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business, includes forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, including those factors set forth in the ‘‘Risk Factors’’ section of this Quarterly Report, our actual results could differ materially from the results described in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements.

Overview

We are a microbiome therapeutics platform company developing a novel class of biological drugs, which are designed to treat disease by restoring the function of a dysbiotic microbiome. Our lead product candidate, SER-109, is designed to reduce recurrences of Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, infection, or CDI, a debilitating infection of the colon, in patients who have received antibiotic therapy for recurrent CDI by treating the dysbiosis of the colonic microbiome and, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, could be a first-in-field oral microbiome drug. Our second product candidate, SER-287, is being developed to treat inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, including ulcerative colitis, or UC. In addition, using our microbiome therapeutics platform, we are developing product candidates to treat diseases where the microbiome is implicated, including SER-262, a synthetic product candidate, to reduce recurrence of CDI in patients who have received antibiotic therapy for an initial or primary CDI, SER-301, a synthetic IBD candidate, and SER-155, a synthetic product candidate to prevent infections and improve gastrointestinal barrier function (including the consequences of graft versus host disease) in patients following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants or solid organ transplants. We are also using our microbiome therapeutics platform to conduct research on metabolic diseases, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease; rare liver disorders such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC); and immuno-oncology treatments.

Since our inception in October 2010, we have devoted substantially all of our resources to developing SER-109, SER-287 and SER-262, researching our pre-clinical candidates SER-155 and SER-301, building our intellectual property portfolio, developing our supply chain, business planning, raising capital and providing general and administrative support for these operations.

All of our product candidates other than SER-109, SER-262 and SER-287 are still in pre-clinical or research development. Our ability to generate product revenue sufficient to achieve profitability will depend heavily on the successful development and eventual commercialization of one or more of our product candidates. Since our inception, we have incurred significant operating losses. Our net loss was $60.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. As of September 30, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of $234.6 million.

On July 29, 2016, we announced the interim eight-week results from our SER-109 Phase 2 clinical study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled Phase 2 clinical study conducted in 89 subjects to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of SER-109 in adults with recurrent CDI. In that study, 44% of subjects (26 of 59) who received SER-109 experienced a recurrence at the eight week endpoint compared to 53% of subjects (16 of 30) who received placebo, a result that was not statically significant. SER-109 was generally safe and well-tolerated in our Phase 1b clinical study of SER-109 and in the Phase 2 clinical study. The most common adverse events for SER-109 and placebo, respectively, were diarrhea (25% vs. 14%), abdominal pain (22% vs. 14%), flatulence (12% vs. 3%), and nausea (10% vs. 10%). No drug-related serious adverse events were observed.

In order to understand the difference in outcome between Phase 1b/2 and Phase 2 clinical studies, we conducted an analysis of the available clinical, microbiome and chemistry, manufacturing and control data. This root-cause investigation looked at the clinical trial population, study conduct, and diagnostic testing used for study inclusion and endpoint analysis, assessed clinical specimens for genomic and metabolomic biomarkers that might give insight into SER-109 efficacy and potency, reviewed manufacturing procedures and processes, performed retrospective analysis using high-resolution whole metagenomics sequencing of Phase 1b/2 clinical study stool samples, and reviewed analytical methods that may have differed between the Phase 1b/2 and Phase 2 clinical studies. We identified specific factors that we believe contributed to the Phase 2 clinical study results, including issues related to both the accurate diagnosis of C. difficile recurrent infection, and potential suboptimal dosing of certain subjects in the trial. In June 2017 we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 in approximately 320 patients with multiply recurrent C. difficile infection. Study participants will be randomized 1:1 between SER-109 and placebo. Diagnosis of C. difficile infection for both study entry and for endpoint analysis will be confirmed by C. difficile cytotoxin assay, compared to the Phase 2 clinical study, where most patients were diagnosed by PCR. Patients in the SER-109 arm will receive a total SER-109 dose, administered over three days, approximately 10-fold higher than the dose used in the Phase 2 clinical study. The new study will evaluate patients for 24 weeks and the primary endpoint will compare the C. difficile recurrence rate in subjects who receive SER-109 verses placebo at up to eight weeks after dosing.

On October 2, 2017, we announced positive topline results from our Phase 1b clinical trial of SER-287 in patients with UC. The SER-287 Phase 1b study, a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multiple-dose, induction study enrolled patients with active mild-to-moderate UC, with Mayo scores of 4 to 10. The study enrolled 58 patients at 20 sites across the United States. Study subjects exhibited pre-study disease activity despite use of current therapies in a majority of subjects, which included 5-amino-salacylic acid, low dose corticosteroids, or immunomodulatory therapy.

17

Diverse analyses of microbiome data of patients in this trial, a primary endpoint, are expected to be completed in the coming months. Three SER-287 drug product lots, based on human donor material obtained from three separate individuals, were used in the Phase 1b study. Microbiome analyses will also be conducted to determine whether there are any observable differences in the drivers of response across the drug product lots.

An evaluation of SER-287 safety and tolerability was a primary study endpoint. Study results demonstrated no imbalance in adverse events in SER-287-treated patients as compared to patients treated with placebo. There were no drug related serious adverse events.

Our expenses may increase substantially in connection with our ongoing and planned activities, particularly as we:

In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution. Furthermore, we expect to continue to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company.

As a result, we will need additional financing to support our continuing operations. Until such time as we can generate significant revenue from product sales, if ever, we expect to finance our operations through a combination of public or private equity or debt financings or other sources, which may include collaborations with third parties. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. Our inability to raise capital as and when needed would have a negative impact on our financial condition and our ability to pursue our business strategy. We will need to generate significant revenue to achieve profitability, and we may never do so.

In January 2016, we entered into a Collaboration and License Agreement, or the License Agreement, with Nestec Ltd., or NHS, for the development and commercialization of certain of our product candidates in development for the treatment and management of CDI and IBD, including UC and Crohn’s disease. The License Agreement supports the development of our portfolio of products for CDI and IBD in markets outside of the United States and Canada, or the Licensed Territory, and is expected to provide financial support for our ongoing research and development. We have retained full commercial rights to our entire portfolio of product candidates with respect to the United States and Canada, where we plan to build our own commercial organization.

Under the License Agreement, we granted to NHS an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to develop and commercialize, in the Licensed Territory, certain products based on our microbiome technology that are being developed for the treatment of CDI and IBD, including SER-109, SER-262, SER-287 and SER-301, or, collectively, the NHS Collaboration Products. We also granted to NHS a non-exclusive license to export, develop and make NHS Collaboration Products in the licensed fields worldwide solely for commercialization in the licensed fields and in the Licensed Territory.

18

In exchange for the license, NHS made an upfront cash payment of $120 million to us in February 2016. NHS has also agreed to pay us tiered royalties, at percentages ranging from the high single digits to high teens, of net sales of NHS Collaboration Products in the Licensed Territory. Additionally, NHS has agreed to pay us up to $660 million for the achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones and up to an aggregate of $1.125 billion for the achievement of certain commercial milestones related to the sales of NHS Collaboration Products. We received a $10.0 million milestone payment in 2016 associated with the planned initiation of a Phase 1b study for SER-262 in CDI. In June 2017, we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 (ECOSPOR III) in patients with multiply recurrent CDI. In July 2017, we recorded revenue of $20.0 million based on the achievement of this milestone under the License Agreement. The full potential value of the upfront payment and milestone payments payable by NHS is over $1.9 billion, assuming all products receive regulatory approval and are successfully commercialized. NHS is also obligated to pay some of the costs related to our clinical trials. See “—Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

We expect that our existing cash, cash equivalents and investments, will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through 2018. See “—Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Financial Operations Overview

Revenue

To date we have not generated any revenues from the sale of products. Our revenues from collaborations have been derived from the License Agreement.

Operating Expenses

Our operating expenses since inception have consisted primarily of research and development activities and general and administrative costs.

Research and Development Expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for our research activities, including our discovery efforts, and the development of our product candidates, which include:

We expense research and development costs as incurred. We recognize external development costs based on an evaluation of the progress to completion of specific tasks using information provided to us by our vendors and our clinical investigative sites. Payments for these activities are based on the terms of the individual agreements, which may differ from the pattern of costs incurred, and are reflected in our financial statements as prepaid or accrued research and development expenses. All costs associated with the License Agreement are recorded in research and development expense in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss.

Our primary focus of research and development since inception has been on our microbiome therapeutics platform and the subsequent development of SER-109, SER-262, SER-287, SER-301 and SER-155. Our direct research and development expenses are tracked on a program-by-program basis and consist primarily of external costs, such as fees paid to investigators, consultants, CROs in connection with our pre-clinical studies and clinical trials, lab supplies and consumables, and regulatory fees. We do not allocate employee-related costs and other indirect costs to specific research and development programs because these costs are deployed across multiple product programs under development and, as such, are classified as costs of our microbiome therapeutics platform research, along with external costs directly related to our microbiome therapeutics platform.

The table below summarizes our research and development expenses incurred on our platform and by product development program for those that have begun clinical development.

Three Months Ended

September 30,

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

2017

2016

(in thousands)

Microbiome therapeutics platform

$

14,504

$

14,435

$

46,150

$

35,458

SER-109

5,105

7,024

11,806

19,682

SER-262

1,226

1,663

3,727

3,780

SER-287

1,375

1,021

3,730

2,813

Total research and development expenses

$

22,210

$

24,143

$

65,413

$

61,733

Research and development activities are central to our business model. Product candidates in later stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of later-stage clinical trials. We expect that our research and development expenses will continue to increase in the foreseeable future as we advance the clinical development of SER-287 and SER-262, conduct our ECOSPOR III Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109, continue to discover and develop additional product candidates, including SER-155 and SER-301, and pursue later stages of clinical development of our product candidates.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and other related costs, including stock-based compensation, for personnel in our executive, finance, corporate and business development and administrative functions. General and administrative expenses also include legal fees relating to patent and corporate matters; professional fees for accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services; insurance costs; travel expenses; and facility-related expenses, which include direct depreciation costs and allocated expenses for rent and maintenance of facilities and other operating costs.

Our general and administrative expenses may increase in the future if we increase our headcount to support the potential growth in our research and development activities and the potential commercialization of our product candidates. We also may continue to incur increased expenses associated with being a public company, including increased costs of accounting, audit, legal, regulatory and tax-related services associated with maintaining compliance with exchange listing and SEC requirements, director and officer insurance costs and investor and public relations costs.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Interest Income

Interest income consists of interest earned on our cash, cash equivalents and investments.

Other Income (Expense)

Other income (expense) consists of amortization of purchased premiums and discounts associated with our investments.

Income Taxes

Since our inception in 2010, we have not recorded any U.S. federal or state income tax benefits for the net losses we have incurred in each year or our earned research and development tax credits, due to our uncertainty of realizing a benefit from those items. We did not provide for any income taxes in any of the three or nine month periods ended September 30, 2017 or 2016.

Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Judgments and Estimates

Our condensed consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP). The preparation of these condensed consolidated financial statements requires the application of appropriate technical accounting rules and guidance, as well as the use of estimates. The application of these policies necessarily involves judgments regarding future events. These estimates and judgments, in and of themselves, could materially impact the condensed consolidated financial statements and disclosures based on varying assumptions. The accounting policies discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 are considered by management to be the most important to an understanding of the consolidated financial statements because of their significance to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations. There have been no material changes to that information disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017.

Results of Operations

Comparison of Three Months Ended September 30, 2017 and 2016

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

Three Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Change

(in thousands)

Revenue:

Collaboration revenue - related party

$

23,015

$

13,015

$

10,000

Total revenue

23,015

13,015

10,000

Operating expenses:

Research and development

22,210

24,143

(1,933

)

General and administrative

8,119

7,967

152

Total operating expenses

30,329

32,110

(1,781

)

Loss from operations

(7,314

)

(19,095

)

11,781

Other income (expense):

Interest income

502

719

(217

)

Other income (expense)

(123

)

(312

)

189

Total other income (expense), net

379

407

(28

)

Net loss

$

(6,935

)

$

(18,688

)

$

11,753

Revenue

Total revenue was $23.0 million and $13.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Of the $23.0 million of revenue recognized for the three months ended September 30, 2017, $20.0 million was received from NHS associated with the initiation of the Phase 3 study for SER-109 in patients with multiply recurrent CDI, which is a substantive milestone under the License Agreement Of the $13.0 million of revenue recognized for the three months ended September 30, 2016, $10.0 million was received from NHS associated with the initiation of the Phase 1b study for SER-262 in CDI, which was a substantive development milestone under the License Agreement. We recognize revenue associated with substantive milestones in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 605-28, Revenue Recognition-Milestone Method, or ASC 605-28. The $20.0 million and $10.0 million payments were recognized in full as related party collaboration revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The remaining revenue for both periods principally relates to the recognition of the $120.0 million upfront payment under the License Agreement over the estimated performance period of 10 years.

Research and Development Expenses

Three Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Change

(in thousands)

Microbiome therapeutics platform

$

14,504

$

14,435

$

69

SER-109

5,105

7,024

(1,919

)

SER-262

1,226

1,663

(437

)

SER-287

1,375

1,021

354

Total research and development expenses

$

22,210

$

24,143

$

(1,933

)

Research and development expenses were $22.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $24.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The decrease of $1.9 million was due primarily to the following:

General and Administrative Expenses

Three Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Change

(in thousands)

Personnel related (including stock-based compensation)

$

3,980

$

4,215

$

(235

)

Professional fees

2,260

1,936

324

Facility-related and other

1,879

1,816

63

Total general and administrative expenses

$

8,119

$

7,967

$

152

General and administrative expenses were $8.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $8.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The increase of $0.1 million was primarily due to the following:

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net for each of the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 was $0.4 million and $0.4 million, respectively. The $0.4 million of other income (expense), net for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and the $0.4 million of other income (expense), net for the three months ended September 30, 2016 were primarily due to interest income from investing activities.

Results of Operations

Comparison of Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017 and 2016

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Change

(in thousands)

Revenue

$

29,044

$

18,730

$

10,314

Operating expenses:

Research and development

65,413

61,733

3,680

General and administrative

25,251

24,163

1,088

Total operating expenses

90,664

85,896

4,768

Loss from operations

(61,620

)

(67,166

)

5,546

Other income (expense):

Interest income

1,892

1,483

409

Other income (expense)

(699

)

(620

)

(79

)

Total other income (expense), net

1,193

863

330

Net loss

$

(60,427

)

$

(66,303

)

$

5,876

Revenue

Total revenue was $29.0 million and $18.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Of the $29.0 million of revenue recognized for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, $20.0 million was received from NHS associated with the initiation of the Phase 3 study for SER-109 in patients with multiply recurrent CDI, which is a substantive milestone under the License Agreement. Of the $18.7 million of revenue recognized for the nine months ended September 30, 2016, $10.0 million was received from NHS associated with the initiation of the Phase 1b study for SER-262 in CDI, which is a substantive development milestone under the License Agreement. We recognize revenue associated with substantive milestones in accordance with ASC 605-28. The $20.0 million and $10.0 million payments were recognized in full as related party collaboration revenue during the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The remaining revenue for both periods principally relates to the recognition of the $120.0 million upfront payment under the License Agreement over the estimated performance period of 10 years.

Research and Development Expenses

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Change

(in thousands)

Microbiome therapeutics platform

$

46,150

$

35,458

$

10,692

SER-109

11,806

19,682

(7,876

)

SER-262

3,727

3,780

(53

)

SER-287

3,730

2,813

917

Total research and development expenses

$

65,413

$

61,733

$

3,680

Research and development expenses were $65.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $61.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The increase of $3.7 million was due primarily to the following:

General and Administrative Expenses

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

Change

(in thousands)

Personnel related (including stock-based compensation)

$

12,814

$

11,452

$

1,362

Professional fees

6,372

7,644

(1,272

)

Facility-related and other

6,065

5,067

998

Total general and administrative expenses

$

25,251

$

24,163

$

1,088

General and administrative expenses were $25.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $24.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The increase of $1.1 million was primarily due to the following:

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net for each of the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 was $1.2 million and $0.9 million, respectively. The $1.2 million of other income (expense), net for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and the $0.9 million of other income (expense), net for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 were primarily due to interest income from investing activities.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Since our inception, we have generated revenue only from collaborations and have incurred recurring net losses. We anticipate that we will continue to incur losses for at least the next several years. Our research and development and general and administrative expenses may continue to increase and, as a result, we will need additional capital to fund our operations, which we may obtain from additional financings, public offerings, research funding, additional collaborations, contract and grant revenue or other sources.

In January 2016, we entered into the License Agreement with NHS, for the development and commercialization of certain of our product candidates in development for the treatment and management of CDI and IBD, including UC and Crohn’s disease. In exchange for the license, NHS agreed to pay us an upfront cash payment of $120 million, which we received in February 2016. NHS has also agreed to pay us tiered royalties, at percentages ranging from the high single digits to high teens, of net sales of NHS Collaboration Products in the Licensed Territory. We are eligible to receive up to $285.0 million in development milestone payments, $375.0 million in regulatory payments and up to an aggregate of $1.1 billion for the achievement of certain commercial milestones related to the sales of NHS Collaboration Products. The full potential value of the up-front payment and milestone payments payable by NHS is over $1.9 billion, assuming all products receive regulatory approval and are successfully commercialized. In September 2016, we received a $10.0 million milestone payment associated with the initiation of the Phase 1b clinical study for SER-262 in CDI. In June 2017, we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 (ECOSPOR III) in patients with multiply recurrent CDI. In July 2017, we recorded revenue of $20.0 million based on the achievement of this milestone under the License Agreement.

For the development of NHS Collaboration Products for IBD under a global development plan, we agreed to pay the costs of clinical trials of such products up to and including Phase 2 clinical trials, and 67% of the costs for Phase 3 and other clinical trials of such products, with NHS bearing the remaining 33% of such costs. For other clinical development of NHS Collaboration Products for IBD, we agreed to pay the costs of such activities to support approval in the United States and Canada, and NHS agreed to bear the cost of such activities to support approval of NHS Collaboration Products in the Licensed Territory.

With respect to development of NHS Collaboration Products for CDI under a global development plan, we agreed to pay all costs of Phase 2 clinical trials for SER-109 and for Phase 3 clinical trials for SER-109. We agreed to bear all costs of conducting any Phase 1 or Phase 2 clinical trials under a global development plan for NHS Collaboration Products other than SER-109 for CDI. We agreed to pay 67% and NHS agreed to pay 33% of other costs of Phase 3 clinical trials conducted for NHS Collaboration Products other than SER-109 for CDI under a global development plan. For other clinical development of NHS Collaboration Products for CDI, we agreed to pay costs of such development activities to support approval in the United States and Canada, and NHS agreed to bear the cost of such activities to support approval of NHS Collaboration Products in the Licensed Territory.

As of September 30, 2017, we had cash, cash equivalents and investments totaling $171.3 million and an accumulated deficit of $234.6 million.

Cash Flows

The following table summarizes our sources and uses of cash for each of the periods presented:

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2017

2016

(in thousands)

Cash provided by (used in) operating activities

$

(54,915

)

$

64,726

Cash provided by (used in) investing activities

46,293

(85,186

)

Cash provided by financing activities

108

2,138

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

$

(8,514

)

$

(18,322

)

Operating Activities

During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, operating activities used $54.9 million of cash, primarily due to a net loss of $60.4 million and cash used from changes in our operating assets and liabilities of $12.8 million, partially offset by non-cash charges of $18.3 million. Net cash used for changes in our operating assets and liabilities during the nine months ended September 30, 2017 consisted of a $1.1 million decrease in accrued expenses and other current liabilities, a decrease in accounts payable of $2.5 million, and a decrease in deferred revenue of $9.0 million, and an increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets of $0.2 million. The decreases in accrued expenses and accounts payable were due to the timing of payments. The decrease in deferred revenue was due to the recognition of revenue related to the $120.0 million upfront payment under the License Agreement over the estimated performance period of 10 years.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2016, operating activities provided $64.7 million of cash, primarily due to upfront cash of $120.0 million and a milestone payment of $10.0 million received in connection with the License Agreement, and cash provided by changes in our operating assets and liabilities of $4.4 million. The increase was partially offset by a net loss of $66.3 million, less non-cash charges of $15.1 million. Net cash provided by changes in our operating assets and liabilities during the nine months ended September 30, 2016 consisted of a $6.9 million increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities and an increase in accounts payable of $0.1 million, offset in part by a $2.5 million increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets. The increases in our accrued expenses and accounts payable were due to the timing of payments and an increase in amounts accrued for clinical trial expenses. The increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets was due primarily to prepayments made for clinical trial activities and insurance premiums.

Investing Activities

During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, net cash provided by investing activities was $46.3 million, consisting of sales and maturities of investments of $126.1 million. The increase was partially offset by purchases of investments of $75.7 million and purchases of property and equipment of $4.0 million.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2016, net cash used in investing activities was $85.2 million, consisting of purchases of investments of $245.7 million and purchases of property and equipment of $15.8 million. The decrease was partially offset by sales and maturities of investments of $176.2 million.

Financing Activities

During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, net cash provided by financing activities was $0.1 million in connection with the exercise of options to purchase our common stock.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2016, net cash provided by financing activities was $2.1 million in connection with the exercise of options to purchase our common stock.

Funding Requirements

Our expenses may increase substantially in connection with our ongoing development activities related to SER-109 and SER-287, which are in clinical development, and our follow-on therapeutic candidates and other programs. In addition we expect to continue to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company. We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially if and as we:

We continue to expect that our existing cash, cash equivalents and investments will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through 2018. This estimate excludes net cash flows from future business development activities. The specifics of future SER-109 related activities could impact capital requirements and cash projections. We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we may use our available capital resources sooner than we currently expect. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with the development of SER-109, SER-262 and SER-287 or our follow-on programs, we are unable to estimate the amounts of increased capital outlays and operating expenses associated with completing the research and development of our product candidates. Our future capital requirements for SER-109, SER-262 and SER-287 or our other programs will depend on many factors, including:

Identifying potential product candidates and conducting pre-clinical testing and clinical trials is a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain marketing approval and achieve product sales. In addition, our product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of products that we do not expect to be commercially available for many years, if ever. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funds to achieve our business objectives.

Adequate additional funds may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. We do not currently have any committed external source of funds. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, our shareholders’ ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect our shareholders’ rights as common stockholders. Additional debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends and may require the issuance of warrants, which could potentially dilute our shareholders’ ownership interest.

If we raise additional funds through collaborations, strategic alliances or licensing arrangements with third parties, in addition to the License Agreement, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams, research programs, or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development programs or any future commercialization efforts or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

Contractual Obligations and Commitments

The disclosure of our contractual obligations and commitments was included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. There have been no material changes from the contractual commitments and obligations previously disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

As of September 30, 2017, we did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements as defined in the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

Interest Rate Fluctuation Risk

We are exposed to market risk related to changes in interest rates. As of September 30, 2017, our cash, cash equivalents and investments consisted of cash, money market accounts, and investments in corporate bonds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, treasury bonds, and government securities. Our primary exposure to market risk is interest income sensitivity, which is affected by changes in the general level of U.S. interest rates. However, because of the short-term nature of the instruments in our portfolio, an immediate 10% change in market interest rates would not have a material impact on the fair market value of our investment portfolio or on our financial position or results of operations.

Item 4. Controls and Procedures.

Limitations on Effectiveness of Controls and Procedures

In designing and evaluating our disclosure controls and procedures, management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving the desired control objectives. In addition, the design of disclosure controls and procedures must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints and that management is required to apply judgment in evaluating the benefits of possible controls and procedures relative to their costs.

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, evaluated, as of the end of the period covered by this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)). Based on that evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at the reasonable assurance level as of September 30, 2017.

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

No change in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) occurred during the three months ended September 30, 2017 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

28

PART II - OTHER INFORMATION

Item 1. Legal Proceedings.

Shareholder Litigation

On September 28, 2016, a purported stockholder filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against us entitled Mariusz Mazurek v. Seres Therapeutics, Inc., et. al. On February 12, 2017, we received an amended complaint, and on March 30, 2017, we filed a motion to dismiss. A hearing on the motion to dismiss was held on August 9, 2017. A decision by the court on the motion to dismiss is expected by early 2018. The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b), 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, by making allegedly false and misleading statements and omissions about our clinical trials for our product candidate SER-109 in our public disclosures between June 25, 2015 and July 29, 2016. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, damages in connection with our allegedly inflated stock price between June 25, 2015 and July 29, 2016 as a result of those allegedly false and misleading statements, as well as interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. We can make no assurances as to the time or resources that will need to be devoted to this lawsuit or its final outcome, or the impact, if any, of this lawsuit or any proceedings on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We are vigorously defending against all claims asserted.

Opposition Proceeding

On October 19, 2016, the European Patent Office granted European Patent No. 2 575 835 B1 to The University of Tokyo. On April 25, 2017, we filed a notice of opposition to this patent in the European Patent Office, requesting that it be revoked in its entirety for the reasons set forth in our opposition. Although we believe this patent should be revoked in its entirety, the ultimate outcome of the opposition remains uncertain.

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the risks described below, together with the other information included or incorporated by reference in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. If any of the following risks occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations and future growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In these circumstances, the market price of our common stock could decline.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital

We are a development-stage company and have incurred significant losses since our inception. We expect to incur losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or maintain profitability.

Since inception, we have incurred significant operating losses. Our net loss was $91.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, and $60.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. As of September 30, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of $234.6 million. To date, we have financed our operations through the initial public offering of our common stock, private placements of our preferred stock, milestone payments under the licensing agreement with Nestec, Ltd., or NHS, and loan financing. We have devoted substantially all of our financial resources and efforts to developing our microbiome therapeutics platform, identifying potential product candidates and conducting pre-clinical studies and clinical trials. We are in the early stages of development of our product candidates, which we call Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics, and we have not completed development of any Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics or other drugs or biologics. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses for the foreseeable future. We anticipate that our expenses may increase substantially as we:

To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing and eventually commercializing products that generate significant revenue. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing pre-clinical testing and clinical trials of our product candidates, discovering additional product candidates, obtaining regulatory approval for these product candidates and manufacturing, marketing and selling any products for which we may obtain regulatory approval. We are only in the preliminary stages of most of these activities. We may never succeed in these activities and, even if we do, may never generate revenue that is significant enough to achieve profitability.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with pharmaceutical product and biological development, we are unable to accurately predict the timing or amount of increased expenses or when, or if, we will be able to achieve profitability. If we are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, or the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, or other regulatory authorities to perform studies in addition to those currently expected, or if there are any delays in completing our clinical trials or the development of any of our product candidates, our expenses could increase and revenue could be further delayed.

Even if we do achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress our value and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, maintain our research and development efforts, diversify our product offerings or even continue our operations.

We will need additional funding in order to complete development of our product candidates and commercialize our products, if approved. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we could be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development programs or commercialization efforts.

Our expenses may increase in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we continue the clinical development of SER-109, including conducting the Phase 3 clinical study, continue the clinical development of SER-287, including conducting future clinical studies, complete our Phase 1b clinical study of SER-262, and continue to research, develop and initiate clinical trials of SER-301 and SER-155 and our other product candidates. In addition, if we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution. Furthermore, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our continuing operations. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we could be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs or any future commercialization efforts.

We continue to expect that our existing cash, cash equivalents and investments will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through 2018. This estimate excludes net cash flows from future business development activities. In addition, the specifics of future SER-109 related activities could impact capital requirements and cash projections. We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could use our capital resources sooner than we currently expect. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

Any additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from their day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates. In addition, we cannot guarantee that future financing will be available in sufficient amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Moreover, the terms of any financing may adversely affect the holdings or the rights of our stockholders and the issuance of additional securities, whether equity or debt, by us, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our shares to decline. The sale of additional equity or convertible securities would dilute all of our stockholders. The incurrence of indebtedness could result in increased fixed payment obligations and we may be required to agree to certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire, sell, or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. We could also be required to seek funds through arrangements with collaborators or others at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable and we may be required to relinquish rights to some of our technologies or product candidates or otherwise agree to terms unfavorable to us, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and prospects.

If we are unable to obtain funding on a timely basis, we may be required to significantly curtail, delay, or discontinue one or more of our research or development programs or the commercialization of any product candidates, or be unable to expand our operations or otherwise capitalize on our business opportunities, as desired, which could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our limited operating history may make it difficult to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.

Since our inception in October 2010, we have devoted substantially all of our resources to developing SER-109, SER-262, SER-287, SER-301, and SER-155, building our intellectual property portfolio, developing our supply chain, planning our business, raising capital and providing general and administrative support for these operations. We have completed our Phase 1b and a Phase 2 clinical study of SER-109, our lead product candidate, and have reported top-line data in our Phase 1b study of SER-287. In our Phase 2 clinical study of SER-109, the primary endpoint of reducing the relative risk of C. difficile infection, or CDI, recurrence at up to eight weeks after treatment was not achieved. In June 2017, we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 (ECOSPOR III) in patients with multiply recurrent CDI. We have not yet demonstrated our ability to successfully complete any Phase 3 clinical study or other pivotal clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture a commercial scale product, or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful product commercialization. Additionally, we expect our financial condition and operating results to continue to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Consequently, any predictions made about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history.

Risks Related to the Discovery, Development and Regulatory Approval of Our Product Candidates

Other than SER-109, we are early in our development efforts and may not be successful in our efforts to use our microbiome therapeutics platform to build a pipeline of product candidates and develop marketable drugs.

We are using our microbiome therapeutics platform to develop Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics. We are at an early stage of development and our platform has not yet, and may never lead to, approvable or marketable drugs. We are developing additional product candidates that we intend to be used to treat diseases where the microbiome is implicated. We may have problems applying our technologies to these areas, and our product candidates may not be effective in preventing infection and disease. Our product candidates may not be suitable for clinical development, including as a result of their harmful side effects, limited efficacy or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to be products that will receive marketing approval and achieve market acceptance.

The success of our product candidates will depend on several factors, including the following:

For example, on July 29, 2016, we announced the interim eight-week results from our SER-109 Phase 2 clinical study for the prevention of multiply recurrent CDI. The study’s primary endpoint of reducing the relative risk of CDI recurrence at up to eight weeks after treatment was not achieved. In order to understand the difference in outcome between the Phase 1b and Phase 2 clinical studies for SER-109, we conducted an analysis of the Phase 2 clinical study. In June 2017, we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 (ECOSPOR III) in patients with multiply recurrent CDI. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates, such as SER-109, we will not be able to obtain product revenue in future periods, which likely would result in significant harm to our financial position and adversely affect our stock price.

Our product candidates are based on microbiome therapeutics, which is an unproven approach to therapeutic intervention.

All of our product candidates are based on microbiome therapy, a therapeutic approach that is designed to treat disease by restoring the function of a dysbiotic microbiome. We have not, nor to our knowledge has any other company, received regulatory approval for, or manufactured on a commercial scale, a therapeutic based on this approach. We cannot be certain that our approach will lead to the development of approvable or marketable products or that we will be able to manufacture at commercial scale. In addition, our Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics may have different effectiveness rates in various indications and in different geographical areas. Finally, the FDA or other regulatory agencies may lack experience in evaluating the safety and efficacy of products based on microbiome therapeutics, which could result in a longer than expected regulatory review process, increase our expected development costs and delay or prevent commercialization of our product candidates. For example, on July 29, 2016, we announced the interim eight-week results from our SER-109 Phase 2 clinical study for the prevention of multiply recurrent CDI. The study’s primary endpoint of reducing the relative risk of CDI recurrence at up to eight-weeks after treatment was not achieved. In order to understand the difference in outcome between the Phase 1b and Phase 2 clinical studies for SER-109, we conducted an analysis of the Phase 2 clinical study. In June 2017, we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 (ECOSPOR III) in patients with multiply recurrent CDI.

Our microbiome therapeutics platform relies on third parties for biological materials, including human stool. Some biological materials have not always met our expectations or requirements, and any disruption in the supply of these biological materials could materially adversely affect our business. For example, if any supplied biological materials are contaminated with disease organisms, we would not be able to use such biological materials. Although we have control processes and screening procedures, biological materials are susceptible to damage and contamination and may contain active pathogens. Improper storage of these materials, by us or any third-party suppliers, may require us to destroy some of our materials or products, which could delay the development or commercialization of our product.

Clinical drug development involves a risky, lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome. We may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our product candidates.

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 the risk of failure through the development process is high. Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of any product candidate, we must complete pre-clinical development and then conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans. Clinical testing is expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete and is uncertain as to outcome. A failed clinical trial can occur at any stage of

testing. The outcome of pre-clinical testing and early clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of a clinical trial do not necessarily predict final results. A number of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or adverse safety profiles, notwithstanding promising results in earlier studies, and we cannot be certain that we will not face similar setbacks.

In addition, we cannot be certain as to what type and how many clinical trials the FDA, or other regulators, will require us to conduct before we may successfully gain approval to market SER-109 or any of our other product candidates. Prior to approving a new therapeutic product, the FDA generally requires that safety and efficacy be demonstrated in two adequate and well-controlled clinical trials. In some situations, evidence from a Phase 2 trial and a Phase 3 trial or from a single Phase 3 trial can be sufficient for FDA approval, such as in cases where the trial or trials provide highly reliable and statistically strong evidence of an important clinical benefit. In 2014, the FDA had indicated that we may be required to conduct more than one Phase 3 clinical trial of SER-109 in order to gain approval. More recently, the FDA has indicated that a single Phase 3 study for SER-109 will be sufficient for approval provided that we show a persuasive clinical effect and certain chemistry, manufacturing and controls parameters.

We may experience numerous unforeseen events during, or as a result of, clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize our product candidates, including:

If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of our product candidates beyond those that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of our product candidates or other testing, if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only modestly positive or if there are safety concerns, we may:

We completed our Phase 1b clinical study of SER-109 in 2014, completed the analysis of our Phase 2 clinical study of SER-109 in January 2017, and initiated our Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 in June 2017. Although most clinical research performed in the United States must be authorized in advance by the FDA under its investigational new drug application, or IND, regulations, we did not conduct our Phase 1b clinical study under an IND pursuant to the FDA’s exercise of enforcement discretion with regard to IND requirements for use of fecal microbiota for transplantation, or FMT, to treat CDI not responsive to standard therapies. Although the FDA provided confirmation that it intended to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to our Phase 1b clinical study of SER-109, it stated that continued clinical evaluation of SER-109 will require an IND. In April 2015, the FDA authorized the conduct of our Phase 2 clinical study, and all subsequent studies, of SER-109 under an IND. We have since conducted and intend to continue to conduct clinical studies of SER-109 under this IND. Unlike with SER-109, we expect that the FDA will require an IND before we initiate clinical testing of our other product candidates and may also require us to conduct more extensive pre-clinical tests prior to the start of clinical trials than were required for SER-109. For our other and future product candidates, we initiated or will initiate INDs.

On July 29, 2016, we announced the interim eight-week results from our SER-109 Phase 2 clinical study for the prevention of multiply recurrent CDI. The study’s primary endpoint of reducing the relative risk of CDI recurrence at up to eight-weeks after treatment was not achieved. In order to understand the difference in outcome between the Phase 1b and Phase 2 clinical studies for SER-109, we conducted an analysis of the Phase 2 clinical study. In June 2017, we initiated a Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109 (ECOSPOR III) in patients with multiply recurrent CDI. Study participants will be randomized 1:1 between SER-109 and placebo and will receive a dose that is approximately 10-fold higher than in the Phase 2 clinical study dose, administered over three consecutive days. Additional clinical trials or changes in our development plans could cause us to incur significant development costs, delay or prevent the commercialization of SER-109 or otherwise adversely affect our business.

Our product development costs will increase if we experience delays in clinical testing or marketing approvals. We do not know whether any of our pre-clinical studies or clinical trials will begin as planned, will need to be restructured or will be completed on schedule, or at all. Significant pre-clinical or clinical trial delays also could shorten any periods during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our product candidates or allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do, potentially impairing our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and harming our business and results of operations.

If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.

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 trials as required by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States. We are developing our lead product candidate, SER-109, to reduce recurrence of CDI in patients suffering from recurrent CDI. There is a limited number of patients from which to draw for clinical studies.

Patient enrollment is also affected by other factors including:

Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials would result in significant delays and could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidates, which would cause the value of our company to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing.

If we are not able to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals, we will not be able to commercialize our product candidates or will not be able to do so as soon as anticipated, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.

Our product candidates and the activities associated with their development and commercialization, including their design, testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, recordkeeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale and distribution, are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory agencies in the United States and by the EMA and similar regulatory authorities outside the United States. Failure to obtain marketing approval for a product candidate in any jurisdiction will prevent us from commercializing the product candidate in that jurisdiction, and may affect our plans for commercialization in other jurisdictions as well. We have not received approval to market any of our product candidates from regulatory authorities in any jurisdiction. We have only limited experience in filing and supporting the applications necessary to gain marketing approvals and expect to rely on third parties to assist us in this process. Securing marketing approval requires the submission of extensive pre-clinical and clinical data and supporting information to regulatory authorities for each therapeutic indication to establish the product candidate’s safety and efficacy. Securing marketing approval also requires the submission of information about the product manufacturing process to, and inspection of manufacturing facilities by, the regulatory authorities. Our product candidates may not be effective, may be only moderately effective or may prove to have undesirable or unintended side effects, toxicities or other characteristics that may preclude our obtaining marketing approval or prevent or limit commercial use.

The process of obtaining marketing approvals, both in the United States and abroad, is expensive, risky and may take many years. The scope and amount of clinical data required to obtain marketing approvals can vary substantially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it may be difficult to predict whether a particular regulatory body will require additional or different studies than those conducted by a sponsor, especially for novel product candidates such as our Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics. The FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may delay, limit, or deny approval to market our product candidates for many reasons, including: our inability to demonstrate that the clinical benefits of our product candidates outweigh any safety or other perceived risks; the regulatory authority’s disagreement with the interpretation of data from nonclinical or clinical studies; the regulatory agency’s requirement that we conduct additional pre-clinical studies and clinical trials; changes in marketing approval policies during the development period; changes in or the enactment of additional statutes or regulations, or changes in regulatory review process for each submitted product application; or the regulatory authority’s failure to approve the manufacturing processes or third-party manufacturers with which we contract. Regulatory authorities have substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept a marketing application if deficient. In addition, varying interpretations of the data obtained from pre-clinical and clinical testing could delay, limit or prevent marketing approval of a product candidate. Any marketing approval we ultimately obtain may be limited or subject to restrictions or post-approval commitments that render the approved product not commercially viable. Of the large number of drugs in development, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or other regulatory approval processes and are commercialized.

Furthermore, our product candidates may not receive marketing approval even if they achieve their specified endpoints in clinical trials. Clinical data is often susceptible to varying interpretations and many companies that have believed that their products performed satisfactorily in clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain regulatory agency approval for their products. The FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our trial design and our interpretation of data from nonclinical and clinical studies. Upon the FDA’s review of data from any pivotal trial, it may request that the sponsor conduct additional analyses of the data and, if it believes the data are not satisfactory, could advise the sponsor to delay filing a marketing application.

Even if we eventually complete clinical testing and receive approval of a biologics license application, or BLA, or foreign marketing authorization for one of our product candidates, the FDA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly additional clinical trials, which may be required after approval. The FDA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency may also approve our product candidates for a more limited indication and/or a narrower patient population than we originally request, and the FDA, or applicable foreign regulatory agency, may not approve the labeling that we believe is necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of our product candidates. Any delay in obtaining, or inability to obtain, applicable regulatory approval would delay or prevent commercialization of our product candidates and would materially adversely impact our business and prospects.

The development of therapeutic products targeting the underlying biology of the human microbiome is an emerging field, and it is possible that the FDA and other regulatory authorities could issue regulations or new policies in the future affecting our Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics that could adversely affect our product candidates.

If we experience delays in obtaining approval or if we fail to obtain approval of our product candidates, the commercial prospects for our product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate revenues will be materially impaired.

A Fast Track designation by the FDA may not actually lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process.

We may seek Fast Track designation for some of our product candidates. If a drug or biologic is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and nonclinical or clinical data demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the drug or biologic sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track designation. Fast Track designation provides increased opportunities for sponsor meetings with the FDA during pre-clinical and clinical development, in addition to the potential for rolling review once a marketing application is filed. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant this designation, and even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, we cannot be certain that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even if we do receive Fast Track designation, we may not experience a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures. Fast Track designation does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. The FDA may withdraw Fast Track designation if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program.

A Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for our product candidates may not lead to a faster development, regulatory review or approval process, and it does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

We have received Breakthrough Therapy designation for SER-109, and we may seek a Breakthrough Therapy designation for our other product candidates. A Breakthrough Therapy is defined as a drug or biologic that is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug or biologic may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed in early clinical development. For drugs that have been designated as breakthrough therapies, interaction and communication between the FDA and the sponsor can help to identify the most efficient path for clinical development. Drugs designated as breakthrough therapies by the FDA are also eligible for rolling review of the associated marketing application, meaning that the agency may review portions of the marketing application before the sponsor submits the complete application, as well as priority review, where the agency aims to act on the application within eight months.

Designation as a Breakthrough Therapy is within the discretion of the FDA. Accordingly, even if we believe one of our product candidates meets the criteria for designation as a Breakthrough Therapy, the FDA may disagree and instead determine not to make such designation. The availability of Breakthrough Therapy designation was established with the passage of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, and the FDA has only recently released additional guidance as to the criteria it uses in designating drugs as breakthrough therapies. As a result, we cannot be sure that our evaluation of our product candidates as qualifying for Breakthrough Therapy designation will meet the FDA’s expectations. In any event, the receipt of a Breakthrough Therapy designation for a product candidate may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures and does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. In addition, not all products designated as breakthrough therapies ultimately will be shown to have the substantial improvement over available therapies suggested by the preliminary clinical evidence at the time of designation. As a result, if the Breakthrough Therapy designation for SER-109 or any future designation we receive is no longer supported by subsequent data, the FDA may rescind the designation.

We may seek orphan drug designation for some of our product candidates, but may not be able to obtain it.

We have obtained orphan drug designation from the FDA for SER-109 for recurrent CDI and may seek orphan drug designation and exclusivity for some of our future product candidates. Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and Europe, may designate drugs and biologics for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. In the United States, the FDA may designate a drug or biologic as an orphan drug if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is defined as a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals annually in the United States.

Generally, if a product with an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first marketing approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to a period of marketing exclusivity, which precludes the EMA or the FDA from approving another marketing application for the same drug or biologic for that time period. The applicable 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 product no longer meets the criteria for orphan drug designation or if the product is sufficiently profitable so that market exclusivity is no longer justified. Orphan drug exclusivity may be lost if the FDA or EMA determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure a sufficient quantity of the drug or biologic to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition.

Orphan drug exclusivity for a product may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition. 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.

Risks Related to our Dependence on Third Parties and Manufacturing

The Collaboration and License Agreement, or the License Agreement, with NHS is important to our business. If we or NHS fail to adequately perform under the License Agreement, or if we or NHS terminate the License Agreement, the development and commercialization of our CDI and IBD product candidates, including SER-109, SER-262, SER-287, and SER-301, would be delayed or terminated and our business would be adversely affected.

The License Agreement may be terminated:

Upon termination of the License Agreement, all licenses granted to NHS by us will terminate, and all rights in and to the NHS Collaboration Products held by NHS will revert to us. If we commit a material breach of the License Agreement, NHS may elect not to terminate the License Agreement but instead apply specified adjustments to its payment obligations and other terms and conditions of the License Agreement. If NHS were to make such adjustments, the funding from and benefits of the License Agreement could be diminished, which could adversely affect our financial condition. Unless the License Agreement is terminated by us for NHS’ uncured material breach, upon termination of the License Agreement, NHS will be eligible to receive post-termination royalties from us until NHS has recouped certain development costs related to the NHS Collaboration Products and specified percentages of any milestone payments paid to us under the License Agreement prior to termination, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Termination of the License Agreement could cause significant delays in our product development and commercialization efforts that could prevent us from commercializing our CDI and IBD product candidates, outside of the United States and Canada, without first expanding our internal capabilities or entering into another agreement with a third party. Any alternative collaboration or license could also be on less favorable terms to us. In addition, under the License Agreement, NHS agreed to provide funding for certain clinical development activities. If the License Agreement were terminated, we may need to refund those payments and seek additional financing to support the research and development of any terminated products or discontinue any terminated products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Under the License Agreement, we are dependent upon NHS to successfully commercialize any NHS Collaboration Products outside of the United States and Canada. We cannot directly control NHS’ commercialization activities or the resources it allocates to our product candidates. Our interests and NHS’ interests may differ or conflict from time to time, or we may disagree with NHS’ level of effort or resource allocation. NHS may internally prioritize our product candidates differently than we do or it may not allocate sufficient resources to effectively or optimally commercialize them. If these events were to occur, our business would be adversely affected.

We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct our clinical trials, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for the completion of such trials.

We expect to continue to rely on third parties, such as contract research organizations, or CROs, clinical data management organizations, medical institutions and clinical investigators, to conduct and manage our clinical trials.

Our reliance on these third parties for research and development activities will reduce our control over these activities but does not relieve us of our responsibilities. For example, we remain responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trial. Moreover, the FDA requires us to comply with regulatory standards, commonly referred to as good clinical practices, for conducting, recording and reporting the results of clinical trials to assure that data and reported results are credible and accurate and that the rights, safety and welfare of trial participants are protected. Other countries’ regulatory agencies also have requirements for clinical trials with which we must comply. We also are required to register ongoing clinical trials and post the results of completed clinical trials on a government-sponsored database, ClinicalTrials.gov, within specified timeframes. Failure to do so can result in fines, adverse publicity and civil and criminal sanctions.

Furthermore, these third parties may also have relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, do not meet expected deadlines, experience work stoppages, terminate their agreements with us or need to be replaced, or do not conduct our clinical trials in accordance with regulatory requirements or our stated protocols, we may need to enter into new arrangements with alternative third parties, which could be difficult, costly or impossible, and our clinical trials may be extended, delayed, or terminated or may need to be repeated. If any of the foregoing occur, we may not be able to obtain, or may be delayed in obtaining, marketing approvals for our product candidates and may not be able to, or may be delayed in our efforts to, successfully commercialize our product candidates.

We also expect to rely on other third parties to store and distribute drug supplies for our clinical trials. Any performance failure on the part of our distributors could delay clinical development or marketing approval of our product candidates or commercialization of our products, producing additional losses and depriving us of potential product revenue.

We rely on third parties for certain aspects of the manufacture of our product candidates for pre-clinical and clinical testing and expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This reliance on third parties increases the risk that we will not have sufficient quantities of our product candidates or that such quantities may not be available at an acceptable cost, which could delay, prevent or impair our development or commercialization efforts.

We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties for certain aspects of materials supply for our product candidates in pre-clinical and clinical testing, as well as for commercial manufacture if any of our product candidates receive marketing approval. This reliance on third parties increases the risk that we will not have sufficient quantities of our product candidates on a timely basis or at all, or that such quantities will be available at an acceptable cost or quality, which could delay, prevent or impair our development or commercialization efforts.

We may be unable to establish any agreements with third-party manufacturers on acceptable terms or at all. Even if we are able to establish agreements with third-party manufacturers, reliance on third-party manufacturers entails additional risks, including:

Third-party manufacturers may not be able to comply with current good manufacturing processes, or cGMP, regulations or similar regulatory requirements inside or outside the United States. Our failure, or the failure of our third-party manufacturers, to comply with applicable regulations could result in sanctions being imposed on us, including clinical holds, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocations, seizures or recalls of product candidates or products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions, any of which could significantly and adversely affect supplies of our products. The contract manufacturer we rely on to produce SER-109 and SER-287 has never produced an FDA-approved therapeutic. If our manufacturers are unable to comply with cGMP regulation or if the FDA or other regulators do not approve their facility upon a pre-approval inspection, our therapeutic candidates may not be approved or may be delayed in obtaining approval. In addition, there are a limited number of manufacturers that operate under cGMP regulations and that might be capable of manufacturing our products. Therefore, our product candidates and any future products that we may develop may compete with other products for access to manufacturing facilities. Any failure to gain access to these limited manufacturing facilities could severely impact the clinical development, marketing approval and commercialization of our product candidates.

Any performance failure on the part of our existing or future manufacturers could delay clinical development or marketing approval. Except for our clinical production facility in Massachusetts, we do not currently have arrangements in place for redundant supply of SER-109 and SER-287 product. We do not currently have a second source for required materials used for the manufacture of finished SER-109 product. If our current manufacturers cannot perform as agreed, we may be required to replace such manufacturers and we may be unable to replace them on a timely basis or at all. Our current and anticipated future dependence upon others for the manufacture of our product candidates or products could delay, prevent or impair our development and commercialization efforts.

We have no experience manufacturing our product candidates at commercial scale, and if we decide to establish our own manufacturing facility, we cannot assure you that we can manufacture our product candidates in compliance with regulations at a cost or in quantities necessary to make them commercially viable.

We have manufacturing facilities at our Cambridge, Massachusetts locations where we conduct process development, scale-up activities and a portion of the manufacture of Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics. The FDA and other comparable foreign regulatory agencies must, pursuant to inspections that are conducted after submitting a BLA or relevant foreign marketing submission, confirm that the manufacturing processes for the product meet cGMP. We have not yet had any of our manufacturing facilities inspected.

We may establish a manufacturing facility for our product candidates for production at a commercial scale. We have no experience in commercial-scale manufacturing of our product candidates. We currently intend to develop our manufacturing capacity in part by expanding our current facility or building additional facilities. This activity will require substantial additional funds and we would need to hire and train significant numbers of qualified employees to staff these facilities. We may not be able to develop commercial-scale manufacturing facilities that are adequate to produce materials for additional later-stage clinical trials or commercial use.

The equipment and facilities employed in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals are subject to stringent qualification requirements by regulatory agencies, including validation of facility, equipment, systems, processes and analytics. We may be subject to lengthy delays and expense in conducting validation studies, if we can meet the requirements at all.

In addition, some of our product candidates require donor material, of which we may not be able to collect sufficient quantities for commercial-scale or other manufacturing.

Risks Related to Commercialization of Our Product Candidates and

Other Legal Matters

Even if any of our product candidates receives marketing approval, it may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, hospitals, third-party payors and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.

If any of our product candidates receives marketing approval, it may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community. For example, current CDI treatment involves the use of antibiotics that are well established in the medical community or the use of FMT and physicians may continue to rely on these treatments. If our product candidates receive approval but do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant product revenue and we may not become profitable. The degree of market acceptance of our approved product candidates, if any, will depend on a number of factors, including:

If we are unable to establish effective sales, marketing and distribution capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties with such capabilities, we may not be successful in commercializing our product candidates if and when they are approved.

We have limited sales or marketing infrastructure and have no experience in the sale, marketing or distribution of pharmaceutical products. To achieve commercial success for any product for which we obtain marketing approval, we will need to establish a sales and marketing organization or make arrangements with third parties to perform sales and marketing functions and we may not be successful in doing so.

In the future, we expect to build a focused sales and marketing infrastructure to market or co-promote our product candidates in the United States and potentially elsewhere, if and when they are approved. There are risks involved with establishing our own sales, marketing and distribution capabilities. For example, recruiting and training a sales force is expensive and time-consuming and could delay any product launch. If the commercial launch of a product candidate for which we recruit a sales force and establish marketing capabilities is delayed or does not occur for any reason, we would have prematurely or unnecessarily incurred these commercialization expenses. This may be costly, and our investment would be lost if we cannot retain or reposition our sales and marketing personnel.

Factors that may inhibit our efforts to commercialize our products on our own include:

Outside the United States, we rely and may increasingly rely on third parties, including NHS, to sell, market and distribute our product candidates. We may not be successful in entering into arrangements with such third parties or may be unable to do so on terms that are favorable to us. In addition, our product revenue and our profitability, if any, may be lower if we rely on third parties for these functions than if we were to market, sell and distribute any products that we develop ourselves. We likely will have little control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell and market our products effectively. If we do not establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, we will not be successful in commercializing our product candidates.

We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing competing products before or more successfully than we do.

The development and commercialization of new drug and biologic products is highly competitive and is characterized by rapid and substantial technological development and product innovations. We face competition with respect to our current product candidates, and will face competition with respect to any product candidates that we may seek to develop or commercialize in the future, from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies worldwide. We are aware of a number of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as smaller, early-stage companies, that are pursuing the development of products, including microbiome therapeutics, for reducing CDI and other disease indications we are targeting. Some of these competitive products and therapies are based on scientific approaches that are the same as or similar to our approach, and others may be based on entirely different approaches. For example, FMT is a procedure that has resulted in high cure rates for recurrent CDI and our competitors and physicians may continue to seek to standardize and implement this procedure. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies, not-for-profits, 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 the companies against which we are competing or against which we may compete in the future have significantly greater financial resources, established presence in the market and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, pre-clinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and reimbursement and marketing approved products than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors.

These third parties compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific, sales and marketing and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs.

Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than any products that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market, especially for any competitor developing a microbiome therapeutic which will likely share our same regulatory approval requirements. In addition, our ability to compete may be affected in many cases by insurers or other third-party payors seeking to encourage the use of generic or biosimilar products.

Even if we are able to commercialize any product candidates, the products may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations or third-party coverage and reimbursement policies, any of which would harm our business.

Our ability to commercialize any product candidates successfully will depend, in part, on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for these products 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 impact reimbursement levels.

Obtaining and maintaining adequate reimbursement for our products may be difficult. We cannot be certain if and when we will obtain an adequate level of reimbursement for our products by third-party payors. Even if we do obtain adequate levels of reimbursement, third-party payors, such as government or private healthcare insurers, carefully review and increasingly question the coverage of, and challenge the prices charged for, drugs. Reimbursement rates from private health insurance companies vary depending on the company, the insurance plan and other factors. A primary trend in the U.S. healthcare industry and elsewhere is cost containment. Government authorities and 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 drug companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for drugs. We may also be required to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies to justify coverage and reimbursement or the level of reimbursement relative to other therapies. If coverage and reimbursement are not available or reimbursement is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval, and the royalties resulting from the sales of those products may also be adversely impacted.

There may be significant delays in obtaining reimbursement for newly approved drugs, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the drug is approved by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that a drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution. Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs, if applicable, may also not be sufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may vary according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on reimbursement levels already set for lower cost treatment approaches 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 relaxation 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 adequate reimbursement rates from both government-funded and private payors for any approved products that we develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products and our overall financial condition.

The regulations that govern marketing approvals, pricing, coverage and reimbursement for new drug products vary widely from country to country. Current and future legislation may significantly change the approval requirements in ways that could involve additional costs and cause delays in obtaining approvals. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be reimbursed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control, including possible price reductions, even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain marketing approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay our commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods, and negatively impact the revenues we are able to generate from the sale of the product 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 marketing approval. There can be no assurance that our product candidates, if they are approved for sale in the United States or in other countries, will be considered medically necessary for a specific indication or cost-effective, or that coverage or an adequate level of reimbursement will be available.

Product liability lawsuits against us could cause us to incur substantial liabilities and limit commercialization of any products that we may develop.

We face an inherent risk of product liability exposure related to the testing of our product candidates in clinical trials and will face an even greater risk if we commercially sell any products that we may develop. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against claims that our product candidates or products caused injuries, we will incur substantial liabilities. Regardless of merit or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

We currently hold $5.0 million in product liability insurance coverage in the aggregate, with a per occurrence limit of $5.0 million, which may not be adequate to cover all liabilities that we may incur. We may need to increase our insurance coverage as we expand our clinical trials or if we commence commercialization of our product candidates. Insurance coverage is increasingly expensive. We may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in an amount adequate to satisfy any liability that may arise.

We may face competition from biosimilars, which may have a material adverse impact on the future commercial prospects of our product candidates.

Even if we are successful in achieving regulatory approval to commercialize a product candidate faster than our competitors, we may face competition from biosimilars. In the United States, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, or BPCIA, enacted in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, created an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products that are demonstrated to be “highly similar,” or biosimilar, to or “interchangeable” with an FDA-approved biological product. Under the BPCIA, an application for a biosimilar product may not be submitted to the FDA until four years following the date that the reference product was first licensed by the FDA. In addition, the approval of a biosimilar product may not be made effective by the FDA until 12 years from the date on which the reference product was first licensed. During this 12-year period of exclusivity, another company may still market a competing version of the reference product if the FDA approves a full BLA for the competing product containing the sponsor’s own preclinical data and data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, purity and potency of their product. This new pathway could allow competitors to reference data from innovative biological products 12 years after the time of approval of the innovative biological product. This data exclusivity does not prevent another company from developing a product that is highly similar to the innovative product, generating its own data and seeking approval. Data exclusivity only assures that another company cannot rely upon the data within the innovator’s application to support the biosimilar product’s approval.

We believe that any of our product candidates approved as a biological product under a BLA should qualify for the 12-year period of exclusivity. However, there is a risk that this exclusivity could be shortened due to congressional action or otherwise, or that the FDA will not consider our product candidates to be reference products for competing products, potentially creating the opportunity for generic competition sooner than anticipated. It is possible that Congress or the FDA may take these or other measures to reduce or eliminate periods of exclusivity. The BPCIA is complex and only beginning to be interpreted and implemented by the FDA. As a result, its ultimate impact is subject to uncertainty. The FDA has issued several guidance documents to date discussing the biosimilar pathway, and the FDA approved the first biosimilar under the BPCIA in March 2015. However, several issues still remain unclear with respect to the FDA’s final implementation of the BPCIA, and such FDA implementation could have a material adverse effect on the future commercial prospects for our product candidates.

In Europe, the European Commission has granted marketing authorizations for several biosimilars pursuant to a set of general and product class-specific guidelines for biosimilar approvals issued over the past few years. In Europe, a competitor may reference data supporting approval of an innovative biological product, but will not be able to get on the market until 10 years after the time of approval of the innovative product. This 10-year marketing exclusivity period will be extended to 11 years if, during the first eight of those 10 years, the marketing authorization holder obtains an approval for one or more new therapeutic indications that bring significant clinical benefits compared with existing therapies. In addition, companies may be developing biosimilars in other countries that could compete with our products. If competitors are able to obtain marketing approval for biosimilars referencing our products, our products may become subject to competition from such biosimilars, with the attendant competitive pressure and consequences.

Failure to obtain marketing approval in international jurisdictions would prevent our product candidates from being marketed abroad.

In order to market and sell our products in the European Union, or EU, and many other jurisdictions, we or our collaborators must obtain separate marketing approvals and comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements. The approval procedure varies among countries and can involve additional testing. The time required to obtain approval in foreign countries may differ substantially from that required to obtain FDA approval. Clinical trials conducted in one country may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other countries. The regulatory approval process outside the United States generally includes all of the risks associated with obtaining FDA approval. In addition, in many countries outside the United States, it is required that the product be approved for reimbursement before the product can be approved for sale in that country. We or our collaborators may not obtain approvals for our product candidates from regulatory authorities outside the United States on a timely basis, if at all. Approval by the FDA does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions, and approval by one regulatory authority outside the United States does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions or by the FDA. However, a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one country may have a negative effect on the regulatory process in others. We may not be able to file for marketing approvals and may not receive necessary approvals to commercialize our products in any market.

Any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval could be subject to post- marketing restrictions or withdrawal from the market, and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or if we experience unanticipated problems with our products, when and if any of them are approved.

Any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval, along with the manufacturing processes, post-approval clinical data, labeling, advertising and promotional activities for such product, will be subject to the continual requirements of and review by the FDA and other regulatory authorities. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration and listing requirements, cGMP requirements relating to manufacturing, quality control, quality assurance and corresponding maintenance of records and documents, requirements regarding the distribution of samples to physicians and recordkeeping. We and our contract manufacturers will also be subject to continual review and periodic inspections to assess compliance with cGMP. Accordingly, we and others with whom we work must continue to expend time, money and effort in all areas of regulatory compliance, including manufacturing, production and quality control.

Even if marketing approval of a product candidate is granted, the approval may be subject to limitations on the indicated uses for which the product may be marketed or to specific conditions of approval, including a requirement to implement a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, which could include requirements for a medication guide, communication plan, or restricted distribution system. If any of our product candidates receives marketing approval, the accompanying label may limit the approved use of our drug, which could limit sales of the product.

The FDA may also impose requirements for costly post-marketing studies or clinical trials and surveillance to monitor the safety or efficacy of our approved products. The FDA closely regulates the post-approval marketing and promotion of drugs and biologics to ensure they are marketed only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved labeling. The FDA imposes stringent restrictions on manufacturers’ communications regarding off-label use, and if we market our products outside of their approved indications, we may be subject to enforcement action for off-label marketing. Violations of the FDA’s restrictions relating to the promotion of prescription drugs may also lead to investigations alleging violations of federal and state health care fraud and abuse laws, as well as state consumer protection laws.

In addition, if a regulatory agency or we later discover previously unknown problems with our products, such as adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, problems with manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, the regulatory agency may impose restrictions on the products or us, including requiring withdrawal of the product from the market. Any failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements may yield various results, including:

Noncompliance with similar EU requirements regarding safety monitoring or pharmacovigilance can also result in significant financial penalties. Similarly, failure to comply with U.S. and foreign regulatory requirements regarding the development of products for pediatric populations and the protection of personal health information can also lead to significant penalties and sanctions.

Any government investigation of alleged violations of law could require us to expend significant time and resources in response, and could generate negative publicity. Any failure to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements may significantly and adversely affect our ability to commercialize and generate revenues. If regulatory sanctions are applied or if regulatory approval is withheld or withdrawn, the value of our company and our operating results will be adversely affected.

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

Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors will play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Our future arrangements with third-party payors, physicians and customers may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations that may restrict the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we market, sell and distribute any products for which we obtain marketing approval. Restrictions under applicable federal and state healthcare laws and regulations include the following:

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare and Medicaid; a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it to have committed a violation. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act (described below);

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, may apply to our business practices, including but not limited to, research, distribution, sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government and may require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers, pricing information or marketing expenditures; and

The risk of our being found in violation of these laws is increased by the fact that many of them have not been fully interpreted by the regulatory authorities or the courts, and their provisions are open to a variety of interpretations. Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business. The shifting compliance environment and the need to build and maintain a robust system to comply with multiple jurisdictions with different compliance and reporting requirements increases the possibility that we may violate one or more of the requirements.

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

Recently enacted and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates and affect the prices we may obtain.

In the United States and some foreign 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 or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to profitably sell any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval.

In the United States, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, or collectively the Affordable Care Act, 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 Affordable Care Act of importance to our potential product candidates are the following:

There have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act, and we expect there will be additional challenges and amendments to the Affordable Care Act in the future, particularly in light of the new presidential administration and U.S. Congress. At this time, the full effect that the Affordable Care Act would have on our business remains unclear.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. In August 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created measures for spending reductions by Congress. A Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with recommending a targeted deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion for the years 2013 through 2021, was unable to reach required goals, thereby triggering the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This includes aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year, which went into effect on April 1, 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments, will remain in effect through 2025 unless additional Congressional action is taken. On January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals, and an increase in the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. These new laws may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding and otherwise affect the prices we may obtain.

We expect that the Affordable Care Act, as well as other healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future, may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding, more rigorous coverage criteria, new payment methodologies and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability, or commercialize our product candidates, if approved.

Moreover, there has recently been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products. Individual states in the United States have become increasingly aggressive in implementing regulations designed to contain pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures. Legally mandated price controls on payment amounts by third-party payors or other restrictions could harm our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. In addition, regional healthcare authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine what pharmaceutical products and which suppliers will be included in their prescription drug and other healthcare programs. This could reduce the ultimate demand for our product candidates, if approved, or put pressure on our product pricing, which could negatively affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

Legislative and regulatory proposals have been made to expand post-approval requirements and restrict sales and promotional activities 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, or what the impact of such changes on the marketing approvals of our product candidates, if any, may be. In addition, increased scrutiny by 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 testing and other requirements.

Governments outside the United States tend to impose strict price controls, which may adversely affect our revenues, if any.

In some countries, particularly the countries of the EU, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after the receipt of marketing approval for a product. In addition, there can be considerable pressure by governments and other stakeholders on prices and reimbursement levels, including as part of cost containment measures. Political, economic and regulatory developments may further complicate pricing negotiations, and pricing negotiations may continue after coverage and reimbursement have been obtained. Reference pricing used by various EU member states and parallel distribution or arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we may be required to conduct a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of our product candidate to other available therapies. If coverage and reimbursement of our products are unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business could be harmed, possibly materially.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to adequately protect our proprietary technology, or obtain and maintain issued patents that are sufficient to protect our product candidates, others could compete against us more directly, which would have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection in the United States and other countries with respect to our proprietary technology and products. We seek to protect our proprietary position by filing patent applications in the United States and abroad related to our novel technologies and product candidates. We also rely on trade secrets to protect aspects of our business that are not amenable to, or that we do not consider appropriate for, patent protection.

The patent prosecution process is expensive and time-consuming, and we may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost, in a timely manner, or in all jurisdictions. Prosecution of our patent portfolio is at a very early stage. For some patent applications in our portfolio, we have filed national stage applications based on our Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, applications, thereby limiting the jurisdictions in which we can pursue patent protection for the various inventions claimed in those applications. 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. It is possible that defects of form in the preparation or filing of our patents or patent applications may exist, or may arise in the future, such as, with respect to proper priority claims, inventorship, claim scope or patent term adjustments. If there are material defects in the form or preparation of our patents or patent applications, such patents or applications may be invalid and unenforceable. Moreover, our competitors may independently develop equivalent knowledge, methods and know-how. Any of these outcomes could impair our ability to prevent competition from third parties, which may have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and operating results.

We have obtained licenses and options to obtain licenses from third parties and may obtain additional licenses and options in the future. In some circumstances, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications, or to maintain the patents, covering technology that we license from third parties. We may also require the cooperation of our licensors to enforce any licensed patent rights, and such cooperation may not be provided. Therefore, these patents and applications may not be prosecuted and enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. Moreover, if we do obtain necessary licenses, we will likely have obligations under those licenses, and any failure to satisfy those obligations could give our licensor the right to terminate the license. Termination of a necessary license could have a material adverse impact on our business.

Our patent portfolio is in the early stages of prosecution. We currently have seven issued U.S. patents. Although we have numerous patent applications pending, substantive prosecution has begun in only a small number of those applications. We cannot provide any assurances that any of our pending patent applications will mature into issued patents and, if they do, that such patents or our current patents will include claims with a scope sufficient to protect our product candidates or otherwise provide any competitive advantage. For example, we are pursuing claims to therapeutic, binary compositions of certain bacterial populations. Any claims that may issue may provide coverage for such binary compositions and/or their use. However, such claims would not prevent a third party from commercializing alternative compositions that do not include both of the bacterial populations claimed in pending applications, potential applications or patents that have or may issue. There can be no assurance that any such alternative composition will not be equally effective. Further, given that our SER-109 product candidate is a complex composition with some variation from lot-to-lot and that, likewise, third-party compositions may have similar complexity and variability, it is possible that a patent claim may provide coverage for some but not all lots of a product candidate or third-party product. These and other factors may provide opportunities for our competitors to design around our patents, should they issue.

Moreover, other parties have developed technologies that may be related or competitive to our approach, and may have filed or may file patent applications and may have received or may receive patents that may overlap or conflict with our patent applications, either by claiming similar methods or by claiming subject matter that could dominate our patent position or cover one or more of our products. In addition, given the early stage of prosecution of our portfolio, it may be some time before we understand how patent offices react to our patent claims and whether they identify prior art of relevance that we have not already considered.

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 know with certainty whether we were the first to make the inventions claimed in any owned patents or pending patent applications, or that we were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions, nor can we know whether those from whom we may license patents were the first to make the inventions claimed or were the first to file. For these and other reasons, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our patent rights are subject to a level of uncertainty. Our pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued which protect our technology or products, in whole or in part, or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. 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 patents or narrow the scope of our patent protection.

We may be subject to third-party preissuance submissions of prior art to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, or in a foreign jurisdiction in which our applications are filed, or become involved in opposition, derivation, reexamination, inter partes review, post-grant review or interference proceedings challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. For example, on April 25, 2017, we filed a notice of opposition in the European Patent Office challenging the validity of a patent issued to The University of Tokyo. See “—Third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.” An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights. In addition, if the breadth or strength of protection provided by our patents and patent applications is threatened, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to license, develop or commercialize current or future product candidates. Furthermore, an adverse decision in an interference proceeding can result in a third party receiving the patent right sought by us, which in turn could affect our ability to develop, market or otherwise commercialize our product candidates. The issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our patents are subject to a level of uncertainty.

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. Due to legal standards relating to patentability, validity, enforceability and claim scope of patents covering biotechnological and pharmaceutical inventions, our ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patents is uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions. Even if issued, a patent’s validity, inventorship, ownership or enforceability is not conclusive. Accordingly, rights under any existing patent or any patents we might obtain or license may not cover our product candidates, or may not provide us with sufficient protection for our product candidates to afford a commercial advantage against competitive products or processes, including those from branded and generic pharmaceutical companies.

The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain, and we cannot ensure that:

Any litigation to enforce or defend our patent rights, even if we were to prevail, could be costly and time-consuming and would divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded if we were to prevail may not be commercially meaningful. Even if we are successful, domestic or foreign litigation, or USPTO or foreign patent office proceedings, may result in substantial costs and distraction to our management. We may not be able, alone or with our licensors or potential collaborators, to prevent misappropriation of our proprietary rights, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect such rights as fully as in the United States. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation or other proceedings, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation or other proceedings. In addition, during the course of this kind of litigation or proceedings, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments or public access to related documents. If investors perceive these results to be negative, the market price for our common stock could be significantly harmed.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets and know-how, our business and competitive position may be harmed.

In addition to seeking patents for some of our technology and product candidates, we also utilize our trade secrets, including unpatented know-how, technology and other proprietary information, to maintain our competitive position. We seek to protect these trade secrets, in part, by entering into non- disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to them, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties. We also seek to enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees, advisors and consultants. Despite these efforts, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our proprietary information, including our trade secrets, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. Our trade secrets may also be obtained by third parties by other means, such as breaches of our physical or computer security systems. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts inside and outside the United States are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets. Moreover, if any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent them, or those to whom they communicate it, from using that technology or information to compete with us. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor, our competitive position would be harmed.

Changes in U.S. patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

As is the case with other biotechnology companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biotechnology industry involves both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. In addition, patent reform legislation could further increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents. On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or the Leahy-Smith Act, was signed into law. The Leahy-Smith Act includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law. These include provisions that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation. The USPTO developed new regulations and procedures to govern administration of the Leahy-Smith Act, and many of the substantive changes to patent law associated with the Leahy-Smith Act, in particular the first to file provisions, only became effective on March 16, 2013. A third party that files a patent application in the USPTO after that date but before us could therefore be awarded a patent covering an invention of ours even if we had made the invention before it was made by the third party. This will require us to be cognizant going forward of the time from invention to filing of a patent application. Thus, for our U.S. patent applications containing a priority claim after March 16, 2013, there is a greater level of uncertainty in the patent law. Moreover, some of the patent applications in our portfolio will be subject to examination under the pre-Leahy- Smith Act law and regulations, while other patent applications in our portfolio will be subject to examination under the law and regulations, as amended by the Leahy-Smith Act. This introduces additional complexities into the prosecution and management of our portfolio.

In addition, the Leahy-Smith Act limits where a patentee may file a patent infringement suit and provides opportunities for third parties to challenge any issued patent in the USPTO. These provisions apply to all of our U.S. patents, even those issued before March 16, 2013. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in U.S. federal court 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 federal court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims because it

may be easier for them to do so relative to challenging the patent in a federal court action. It is not clear what, if any, impact the Leahy-Smith Act will have on the operation of our business. However, the Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

In addition, United States Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. From time to time, the U.S. Supreme Court, other federal courts, the United States Congress, or the USPTO, may change the standards of patentability and any such changes could have a negative impact on our business.

A number of cases decided by the Supreme Court have involved questions of when claims reciting abstract ideas, laws of nature, natural phenomena and/or natural products are eligible for a patent, regardless of whether the claimed subject matter is otherwise novel and inventive. These cases include Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 12-398 (2013) or Myriad; Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 13-298 (2014); and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., or Prometheus, 566 U.S. 10-1150 (2012). In response to these cases, the USPTO has issued guidance to the examining corps.

The full impact of these decisions is not yet known. For example, in view of these and subsequent court decisions, the USPTO has issued various materials to patent examiners providing guidance for determining the patent eligibility of claims reciting laws of nature, natural phenomena or natural products. Our current product candidates include natural products, therefore, this decision and its interpretation by the courts and the USPTO may impact prosecution, defense and enforcement of our patent portfolio. On March 4, 2014, the USPTO issued a memorandum reflecting the USPTO’s interpretation of the cases related to patent eligibility of natural products. The March 4, 2014 memorandum was superseded by interim guidance published on December 15, 2014. Additional guidance was published in July 2015 (July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility) and May 2016 (May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update). The USPTO’s interpretation of the case law and new guidelines for examination may influence, possibly adversely, prosecution and defense of certain types of claims in our portfolio.

In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain future patents, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on these and other decisions by Congress, the federal courts and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change or be interpreted in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce any patents that may issue to us in the future. In addition, these events may adversely affect our ability to defend any patents that may issue in procedures in the USPTO or in courts.

Third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.

Our commercial success depends upon our ability, and the ability of our collaborators, to develop, manufacture, market and sell our product candidates and use our proprietary technologies without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties. There is considerable intellectual property litigation in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. While no such litigation has been brought against us and we have not been held by any court to have infringed a third party’s intellectual property rights, we cannot guarantee that our technology, products or use of our products do not infringe third-party patents.

We are aware of numerous patents and pending applications owned by third parties in the fields in which we are developing product candidates, both in the United States and elsewhere. However, we may have failed to identify relevant third-party patents or applications. For example, applications filed before November 29, 2000 and certain applications filed after that date that will not be filed outside the United States remain confidential until patents issue. Moreover, it is difficult for industry participants, including us, to identify all third-party patent rights that may be relevant to our product candidates and technologies because patent searching is imperfect due to differences in terminology among patents, incomplete databases and the difficulty in assessing the meaning of patent claims. We may fail to identify relevant patents or patent applications or may identify pending patent applications of potential interest but incorrectly predict the likelihood that such patent applications may issue with claims of relevance to our technology. In addition, we may be unaware of one or more issued patents that would be infringed by the manufacture, sale or use of a current or future product candidate, or we may incorrectly conclude that a third-party patent is invalid, unenforceable or not infringed by our activities. Additionally, pending patent applications that have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our technologies, our products or the use of our products. We are aware of several pending patent applications containing one or more claims that could be construed to cover some of our product candidates or technology, should those claims issue in their original form or in the form presently being pursued. In addition, we are aware of third-party patent families that include issued and allowed patents, including claims that, if valid and enforceable, could be construed to cover some of our product candidates or their methods of use. On April 25, 2017, we filed a notice of opposition in the European Patent Office challenging the validity of a patent issued to The University of Tokyo and requesting that it be revoked in its entirety for the reasons set forth in our opposition. Although we believe this patent should be revoked in its entirety, the ultimate outcome of the opposition remains uncertain.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are characterized by extensive litigation regarding patents and other intellectual property rights. Other parties may allege that our product candidates or the use of our technologies infringes patent claims or other intellectual property rights held by them or that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. We may become party to, or threatened with, future adversarial proceedings or litigation regarding intellectual property rights with respect to our products and technology, including interference or derivation proceedings before the USPTO and similar bodies in other countries. Third parties may assert infringement claims against us based on existing intellectual property rights and intellectual property rights that may be granted in the future. If we were to challenge the validity of an issued U.S. patent in court, such as an issued U.S. patent of potential relevance to some of our product candidates or methods of use, we would need to overcome a statutory presumption of validity that attaches to every U.S. patent. This means that in order to prevail, we would have to present clear and convincing evidence as to the invalidity of the patent’s claims. There is no assurance that a court would find in our favor on questions of infringement or validity.

Patent and other types of intellectual property litigation can involve complex factual and legal questions, and their outcome is uncertain. If we are found, or believe there is a risk we may be found, to infringe a third party’s intellectual property rights, we could be required or may choose to obtain a license from such third party to continue developing and marketing our products and technology. However, we may not be able to obtain any such license on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we were able to obtain a license, it could be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us. We could be forced, including by court order, to cease commercializing the infringing technology or product. In addition, we could be found liable for monetary damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees if we are found to have willfully infringed a patent. A finding of infringement could prevent us from commercializing our product candidates or force us to cease some of our business operations, which could materially harm our business. Claims that we have misappropriated the confidential information or trade secrets of third parties could have a similar negative impact on our business.

Even if we are successful in these proceedings, we may incur substantial costs and divert management time and attention in pursuing these proceedings, which could have a material adverse effect on us. If we are unable to avoid infringing the patent rights of others, we may be required to seek a license, defend an infringement action or challenge the validity of the patents in court, or redesign our products. Patent litigation is costly and time-consuming. We may not have sufficient resources to bring these actions to a successful conclusion. In addition, intellectual property litigation or claims could force us to do one or more of the following:

Any of these risks coming to fruition could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

Issued patents covering our product candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable or could be interpreted narrowly if challenged in court.

Competitors may infringe our intellectual property, including our patents or the patents of our licensors. As a result, we may be required to file infringement claims to stop third-party infringement or unauthorized use. This can be expensive, particularly for a company of our size, and time-consuming. If we initiated legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent, if and when issued, covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that the patent covering our product candidate is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge include alleged failures to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement, or failure to claim patent eligible subject matter. Grounds for unenforceability assertions include allegations that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Third parties may also raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include re-examination, post grant review and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions, such as opposition proceedings. Such proceedings could result in revocation or amendment of our patents in such a way that they no longer cover our product candidates or competitive products. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. With respect to validity, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our product candidates. Moreover, even if not found invalid or unenforceable, the claims of our patents could be construed narrowly or in a manner that does not cover the allegedly infringing technology in question. Such a loss of patent protection would have a material adverse impact on our business.

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 noncompliance with these requirements.

Periodic maintenance fees on any issued patent are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patent and, in some jurisdictions, during the pendency of a patent application. The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process. While an inadvertent lapse 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 noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Noncompliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, non-payment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. In such an event, our competitors might be able to enter the market, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.

We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents and other intellectual property.

It is our policy to enter into confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, contractors and advisors. These agreements generally provide that inventions conceived by the party in the course of rendering services to us will be our exclusive property. However, these agreements may not be honored and may not effectively assign intellectual property rights to us. For example, even if we have a consulting agreement in place with an academic advisor pursuant to which such academic advisor is required to assign any inventions developed in connection with providing services to us, such academic advisor may not have the right to assign such inventions to us, as it may conflict with his or her obligations to assign all such intellectual property to his or her employing institution.

Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship or ownership. 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, valuable intellectual property. Such an outcome could have a material adverse effect on our business. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.

We may be subject to claims by third parties asserting that our employees or we have misappropriated their intellectual property, or claiming ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.

Many of our employees were previously employed at universities or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. We may also engage advisors and consultants who are concurrently employed at universities or other organizations or who perform services for other entities. Although we try to ensure that our employees, advisors and consultants 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 our employees, advisors or consultants have used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such party’s former or current employer or in violation of an agreement with another party. Although we have no knowledge of any such claims being alleged to date, if such claims were to arise, litigation may be necessary to defend against any such claims.

In addition, while it is our policy to require our employees, consultants, advisors 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. Our and their assignment agreements may not be self-executing or may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. Similarly, we may be subject to claims that an employee, advisor or consultant performed work for us that conflicts with that person’s obligations to a third party, such as an employer, and thus, that the third party has an ownership interest in the intellectual property arising out of work performed for us. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. Although we have no knowledge of any such claims being alleged to date, if such claims were to arise, litigation may be necessary to defend against any such claims.

If we fail in prosecuting or 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 prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.

If our trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, then we may not be able to build name recognition in our markets of interest and our business may be adversely affected.

Our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names, which we need to build name recognition among potential collaborators or customers in our markets of interest. At times, competitors may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. In addition, there could be potential trade name or trademark infringement claims brought by owners of other registered trademarks or trademarks that incorporate variations of our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names. Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, then we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected. Our efforts to enforce or protect our proprietary rights related to trademarks, trade secrets, domain names, copyrights or other intellectual property may be ineffective and could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.

We will not seek to protect our intellectual property rights in all jurisdictions throughout the world and we may not be able to adequately enforce our intellectual property rights even in the jurisdictions where we seek protection.

Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on product candidates in all countries and jurisdictions throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States could be less extensive than in the United States, assuming that rights are obtained in the United States and assuming that rights are pursued outside the United States. The statutory deadlines for pursuing patent protection in individual foreign jurisdictions are based on the priority date of each of our patent applications. For each of the patent families that we believe provide coverage for our product candidates, we decide whether and where to pursue protection outside the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as federal and state laws in the United States. Consequently, even if we do elect to pursue patent rights outside the United States, we may not be able to obtain relevant claims and/or we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions.

Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we do not pursue and obtain patent protection to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our products and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Even if we pursue and obtain issued patents in particular jurisdictions, our patent claims or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent third parties from so competing.

The laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in certain foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of some countries, particularly developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents and other intellectual property protection, especially those relating to biotechnology. This could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents, if obtained, or the misappropriation of our other intellectual property rights. For example, many foreign countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner must grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against third parties, including government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, patents may provide limited or no benefit. Patent protection must ultimately be sought on a country-by-country basis, which is an expensive and time-consuming process with uncertain outcomes. Accordingly, we may choose not to seek patent protection in certain countries, and we will not have the benefit of patent protection in such countries.

If our ability to obtain and, if obtained, enforce our patents to stop infringing activities is inadequate, third parties may compete with our products, and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Accordingly, our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property we develop or license.

Risks Related to Our Operations

Our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.

We are highly dependent on Roger Pomerantz, our President and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, as well as the other principal members of our management, scientific and clinical team. Although we have entered into employment agreements with our executive officers, each of them may terminate their employment with us at any time. We do not maintain “key person” insurance for any of our executives or other employees.

Recruiting and retaining qualified 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. Furthermore, 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 products. Competition to hire 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 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for similar personnel. We also experience competition for the hiring of scientific and clinical personnel from universities and research institutions. 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 by employers other than us and may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability to us. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high quality personnel, our ability to pursue our growth strategy will be limited.

We may expand our operational capabilities, and as a result, we may encounter difficulties in managing our growth, which could disrupt our operations.

We may experience significant growth in the number of our employees and the scope of our operations, particularly in the areas of lead discovery and product development, regulatory affairs, clinical affairs and manufacturing and, if any of our product candidates receives marketing approval, sales, marketing and distribution. To manage potential future growth, we must 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 and the limited experience of our management team in managing a company with such potential growth, 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.

We will continue to incur increased costs as a result of being a public company, and our management will continue to devote substantial time to compliance initiatives and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, we have incurred and will continue to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses, particularly after we are no longer an emerging growth company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of The NASDAQ Global Select Market and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel devote and will need to continue to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations have increased and will continue to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect that these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to maintain director and officer liability insurance, which in turn could make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors.

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Section 404, we are required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting. 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. If we are unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may not have adequate, accurate or timely financial information, and we may be unable to meet our reporting obligations as a public company or comply with the requirements of the SEC or Section 404. This could result in a restatement of our financial statements, the imposition of sanctions, including the inability of registered broker dealers to make a market in our common stock, or investigation by regulatory authorities. Any such action or other negative results caused by our inability to meet our reporting requirements or comply with legal and regulatory requirements or by disclosure of an accounting, reporting or control issue could adversely affect the trading price of our securities and our business. Material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting could also reduce our ability to obtain financing or could increase the cost of any financing we obtain. This could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements.

A variety of risks associated with operating internationally could materially adversely affect our business.

We currently have limited international operations, but our business strategy incorporates potentially expanding internationally if any of our product candidates receive regulatory approval. We currently plan to rely on collaborators, including NHS, to commercialize any approved products outside of the United States. Doing business internationally involves a number of risks, including but not limited to:

Any of these factors could significantly harm our future international expansion and operations and, consequently, our results of operations.

Our business and operations would suffer in the event of information technology and other system failures.

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our current and future contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. While we are not aware of any such material system failure, accident 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 rely on third parties to manufacture our product candidates and conduct clinical trials, and similar events relating to their computer systems could also have a material adverse effect on our business. 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 liability and the further development and commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed.

Acquisitions or joint ventures could disrupt our business, cause dilution to our stockholders and otherwise harm our business.

We may acquire other businesses, products or technologies as well as pursue strategic alliances, joint ventures, technology licenses or investments in complementary businesses. We have not made any acquisitions to date, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven. Any of these transactions could be material to our financial condition and operating results and expose us to many risks, including:

Foreign acquisitions involve unique risks in addition to those mentioned above, including those related to integration of operations across different cultures and languages, currency risks and the particular economic, political and regulatory risks associated with specific countries.

Also, the anticipated benefit of any acquisition may not materialize. Future acquisitions or dispositions could result in potentially dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or amortization expenses or write-offs of goodwill, any of which could harm our financial condition. We cannot predict the number, timing or size of future joint ventures or acquisitions, or the effect that any such transactions might have on our operating results.

We are currently subject to securities class action litigation and may be subject to similar or other litigation in the future, which may harm our business.

On September 28, 2016, a purported stockholder filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against us entitled Mariusz Mazurek v. Seres Therapeutics, Inc., et.al. On February 12, 2017, we received an amended complaint, and on March 30, 2017 we submitted a motion to dismiss. A hearing on the motion to dismiss was held on August 9, 2017. A decision by the court on the motion to dismiss is expected by early 2018. The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b), 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, by making allegedly false and misleading statements and omissions about our clinical trials for our product candidate SER-109 in our public disclosures between June 25, 2015 and July 29, 2016. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, damages in connection with our allegedly inflated stock price between June 25, 2015 and July 29, 2016 as a result of those allegedly false and misleading statements, as well as interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. We can make no assurances as to the time or resources that will need to be devoted to this lawsuit or its final outcome, or the impact, if any, of this lawsuit or any proceedings on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. While we are vigorously defending against all claims asserted, this litigation could result in substantial costs to us and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources, which could harm our business. In addition, the uncertainty of the pending lawsuit or potential filing of additional lawsuits could lead to more volatility and a reduction in our stock price.

If we fail to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could harm our business.

We are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological materials such as human stool. 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 for failure to comply with such laws and regulations.

Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of hazardous materials, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. We do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us in connection with our storage or disposal of biological, hazardous or radioactive materials.

In addition, we may incur substantial costs in order 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. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations also may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

The price of our common stock may be volatile and fluctuate substantially, which could result in substantial losses for purchasers of our common stock.

Our stock price is likely to be volatile. Furthermore, the stock market in general and the market for smaller biopharmaceutical 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, our stockholders may not be able to sell their common stock at or above the price they paid for their common stock. The market price for our common stock may be influenced by many factors, including:

Our executive officers, directors and principal stockholders, if they choose to act together, have the ability to control or significantly influence all matters submitted to stockholders for approval.

Our executive officers, directors and stockholders who owned more than 5% of our outstanding common stock and their respective affiliates, in the aggregate, hold shares representing approximately 63% of our outstanding voting stock. As a result, if these stockholders were to choose to act together, they would be able to control or significantly influence all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, as well as our management and affairs. For example, these persons, if they choose to act together, would control or significantly influence the election of directors and approval of any merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets. This concentration of ownership control may:

A significant portion of our total outstanding shares are eligible to be sold into the market, which could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock. Moreover, holders of an aggregate of approximately 18.3 million shares of our common stock as of September 30, 2017 have rights, subject to specified conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders, until such shares can otherwise be sold without restriction under Rule 144 promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, or until the rights terminate pursuant to the terms of the investors’ rights agreement between us and such holders. We have also registered and intend to continue to register all shares of common stock that we may issue under our equity compensation plans. Once we register these shares, they can be freely sold in the public market upon issuance, subject to volume limitations applicable to affiliates.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company” as that term is used in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, and may remain an emerging growth company until the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the closing of the initial public offering of our common stock. However, if certain events occur prior to the end of such five-year period, including if we become a “large accelerated filer,” our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion or we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt in any three-year period, we will cease to be an emerging growth company prior to the end of such five-year period. For so long as we remain an emerging growth company, we are permitted and intend to rely on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies. These exemptions include:

We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive if we rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be reduced or more volatile. In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of these accounting standards until they would otherwise apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this exemption and, therefore, we will be subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies.

If securities or industry analysts issue an adverse or misleading opinion regarding our business, our common stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock is influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. If any of the analysts who cover us issue an adverse or misleading opinion regarding us, our business model, our intellectual property or our stock performance, or if our clinical studies and operating results fail to meet the expectations of analysts, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

Provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company, which may be beneficial to our stockholders, more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws may discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of our company that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. These provisions could also limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, thereby depressing the market price of our common stock. In addition, because our board of directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our board of directors. Among other things, these provisions include those establishing:

Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, which prohibits a person who owns in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock from merging or combining with us for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person acquired in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner. Furthermore, our restated certificate of incorporation specifies that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for most legal actions involving actions brought against us by stockholders. We believe this provision benefits us by providing increased consistency in the application of Delaware law by chancellors particularly experienced in resolving corporate disputes, efficient administration of cases on a more expedited schedule relative to other forums and protection against the burdens of multi-forum litigation. However, the provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with any applicable action brought against us, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in our restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in such action.

Because we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future, capital appreciation, if any, will be your sole source of gain.

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock will be our stockholders’ sole source of gain for the foreseeable future.

Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

None.

Item 3. Defaults Upon Senior Securities.

None.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

None.

Item 5. Other Information.

None.

Item 6. Exhibits.

Incorporated by Reference

Filed/

Exhibit

Number

Exhibit Description

Form

File No.

Exhibit

Filing

Date

Furnished

Herewith

3.1

Restated Certificate of Incorporation, filed on July 1, 2015

8-K

001-37465

3.1

7/1/15

3.2

Amended and Restated Bylaws

8-K

001-37465

3.2

7/1/15

4.1

Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement, dated December 19, 2014, by and between the Registrant and each of the investors listed on Schedule A thereto

S-1

333-204484

4.1

5/27/15

31.1

Rule 13a-14(a)/15d-14(a) Certification of Chief Executive Officer

*

31.2

Rule 13a-14(a)/15d-14(a) Certification of Chief Financial Officer

*

32.1

Section 1350 Certification of Chief Executive Officer

**

32.2

Section 1350 Certification of Chief Financial Officer

**

101.INS

XBRL Instance Document

*

101.SCH

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document

*

101.CAL

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document

*

101.LAB

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document

*

101.PRE

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document

*

101.DEF

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document

*

SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned thereunto duly authorized.

SERES THERAPEUTICS, INC.

Date: November 8, 2017

By:

/s/ Eric D. Shaff

Eric D. Shaff

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

(Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)


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