Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Presentation and Consolidation

The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”) and include the Company’s accounts and those of its wholly owned Australian subsidiary, Kezar Life Sciences Australia Pty Ltd, which is a proprietary company limited by shares. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated upon consolidation.

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 and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include the valuation of marketable securities, useful lives of fixed assets, stock-based compensation, and accrued research and development costs. Management bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other market-specific relevant assumptions that management believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from those estimates.

Foreign Currency Translation

The functional currency of the Company’s non-U.S. subsidiary is the Australian dollar. Asset and liability balances denominated in non-U.S. dollar currency are translated into U.S. dollars using period-end exchange rates, while expenses are based upon the exchange rate at the time of the transaction, if known, or at the average rate for the period. Equity accounts, except for the change in accumulated deficit during the year, have been translated using historical exchange rates. Differences are included in stockholders’ equity as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss.

Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash

The Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less at the time of purchase to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents are stated at fair value.

Restricted cash consisted of deposits at the bank held as collateral for the Company’s credit card program. The collateral requirement was removed and released in May 2018.

The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash reported within the consolidated balance sheets that sum to the total of the same amounts shown in the consolidated statements of cash flows (in thousands):




Year Ended December 31,












Cash and cash equivalents













Restricted cash











Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash shown in the

   statements of cash flows














Marketable Securities

All marketable securities have been classified as “available-for-sale” and are carried at fair value, based upon quoted market prices. The Company considers its available-for-sale portfolio as available for use in current operations.  Unrealized gains and losses, net of any related tax effects, are excluded form earnings and are included in other comprehensive income or loss and reported as a separate component of stockholders’ equity or deficit until realized.  Realized gains and losses and declines in value judged to be other than temporary, if any, on available-for-sale securities are included in other income (expense), net.  The cost of securities sold is based on the specific-

identification method. The amortized cost of debt securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts to maturity. Such amortization and accretion, together with interest on securities, are included in interest income on the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. In accordance with the Company’s investment policy, management invests to diversify credit risk and only invests in debt securities with high credit quality, including U.S. government securities.

The Company regularly reviews all of its investments for other-than-temporary declines in estimated fair value. Its review includes the consideration of the cause of the impairment, including the creditworthiness of the security issuers, the number of securities in an unrealized loss position, the severity and duration of the unrealized losses, whether the Company has the intent to sell the securities and whether it is more likely than not that the Company will be required to sell the securities before the recovery of their amortized cost basis. When the Company determines that the decline in estimated fair value of an investment is below the amortized cost basis and the decline is other-than-temporary, it reduces the carrying value of the security and record a loss for the amount of such decline. The Company has not recorded any realized losses or declines in value judged to be other than temporary on its investments in debt securities.

Concentration of Credit Risk

Financial instruments that potentially expose the Company to significant concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. As of December 31, 2019, the majority of the Company’s cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were held by financial institutions in the United States, while approximately $0.2 million was held by a financial institution in Australia. Such deposits in the United States may be in excess of insured limits.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

Long-lived assets include property and equipment. The Company reviews the carrying value of long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the assets may not be recoverable. The Company recognizes an impairment loss when the total estimated future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset and its eventual disposition are less than the carrying amount. Through December 31, 2019, there have been no such impairment losses.

Property and Equipment

Property and equipment are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation on property and equipment is calculated on the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Furniture, laboratory and office equipment are depreciated over five to seven years. Computer equipment are depreciated over three years. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the related lease term.

Other Assets

Other assets consist of security deposits for the Company’s operating leases of office and laboratory space.


At lease commencement, the Company records a lease liability based on the present value of lease payments over the expected lease term. The Company calculates the present value of lease payments using the discount rate implicit in the lease, unless that rate cannot be readily determined. In that case, the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate, which is the rate of interest that the Company would have to pay to borrow on a collateralized basis an amount equal to the lease payments over the expected lease term. The Company records a corresponding right-of-use (“ROU”) lease asset based on the lease liability, adjusted for any lease incentives received and any initial direct costs paid to the lessor prior to the lease commencement date.

After lease commencement, the Company measures its leases as follows: (i) the lease liability based on the present value of the remaining lease payments using the discount rate determined at lease commencement; and (ii) the ROU lease asset based on the remeasured lease liability, adjusted for any unamortized lease incentives received, any

unamortized initial direct costs and the cumulative difference between rent expense and amounts paid under the lease agreement. Any lease incentives received and any initial direct costs are amortized on a straight-line basis over the expected lease term. Rent expense is recorded on a straight-line basis over the expected lease term.

The Company elected the short-term lease recognition exemption for all leases that qualify. This means, for those leases that qualify, the Company will not recognize ROU assets or lease liabilities, and this includes not recognizing ROU assets or lease liabilities for existing short-term leases of those assets in transition. The Company did not elect to apply the practical expedient to not separate lease and non-lease components for all of its leases.


Research and Development Costs

Research and development costs are expensed as incurred and consist primarily of salaries and benefits, stock-based compensation expense, lab supplies and facility costs, as well as fees paid to nonemployees and entities that conduct certain research and development activities on the Company’s behalf and expenses incurred in connection with license agreements. Nonrefundable advance payments for goods or services to be received in the future for use in research and development activities are capitalized and then expensed as the related goods are delivered or the services are performed.

The Company accrues for estimated costs of research and development activities conducted by third-party service providers, which include the conduct of preclinical and clinical studies and contract manufacturing activities. The Company estimates the amount of work completed through discussions with internal personnel and external service providers as to the progress or stage of completion of the services and the agreed-upon fee to be paid for such services. The Company makes significant judgments and estimates in determining the accrued balance in each reporting period. As actual costs become known, the Company adjusts the accrued estimates. Although the Company does not expect the estimates to be materially different from amounts actually incurred, the status and timing of services performed, the number of patients enrolled and the rate of patient enrollment may vary from the Company’s estimates and could result in the Company reporting amounts that are too high or too low in any particular period. The Company’s accrued expenses are dependent, in part, upon the receipt of timely and accurate reporting from clinical research organizations and other third-party service providers. To date, there have been no material differences from the Company’s accrued expenses to actual expenses.

Research and Development Tax Incentive

The Company is eligible under the AusIndustry Research and Tax Development Tax Incentive Program to obtain a cash amount from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The tax incentive is available to the Company on the basis of specific criteria with which the Company must comply related to research and development expenditures in Australia. These research and development tax incentives are recognized as contra research and development expense when the right to receive has been attained and funds are considered to be collectible.

The Company recognized $635,000, $5,000 and $499,000 as a reduction of research and development expenses for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, in connection with the research and development tax incentive from the ATO. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, the research and development tax credit receivable was $642,000 and $5,000, respectively, which is included in other current assets in the consolidated balance sheets.

Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-based awards issued to employees, directors and nonemployee consultants, including stock options, are recorded at fair value as of the grant date using the Black-Scholes option pricing model and recognized as expense on a straight line-basis over the employee’s or director’s requisite service period (generally the vesting period). The Company accounts for forfeitures as they occur by reversing any expense recognized for unvested awards.

Income Taxes

Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are

measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.

The Company records a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets if it is more likely than not that a portion or all of the asset will not be realized in future periods. In making such determination, the Company considers all available positive and negative evidence, including future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies and recent financial operations.

The Company recognizes benefits of uncertain tax positions if it is more likely than not that such positions will be sustained upon examination based solely on their technical merits, as the largest amount of benefit that is more likely than not to be realized upon the ultimate settlement. The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and penalties related to the underpayment of income taxes as a component of income tax expense or benefit. To date, there have been no interest charges or penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits.

Net Loss per Share

Basic net loss per share is calculated by dividing the net loss by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period, without consideration for potentially dilutive securities. Diluted net loss per share is the same as basic net loss per share for the periods presented since the effects of potentially dilutive securities are antidilutive given the net loss of the Company.

Accounting Pronouncements Adopted in 2019

Leases (Topic 842)

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), or ASU 2016-02. ASU 2016-02 increases transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet and requires disclosing key information about leasing arrangements. In July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, Leases (Topic 842): Targeted Improvements, which provides entities the option to initially apply the transition provisions of ASU 2016-02 at its adoption date and recognize a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption.

The Company adopted the new standard on January 1, 2019 and used the effective date as its date of initial application. Consequently, financial information will not be restated and the disclosures required under the new standard will not be provided for dates and periods before January 1, 2019. The Company elected the package of transition practical expedients that allows the Company not to reassess the lease classification for any expired or existing contracts, whether initial direct costs were incurred, or whether any expired or existing contracts contained leases.

This standard had a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements. The most significant effects relate to: (1) the recognition of new ROU asset and lease liabilities on the balance sheet for the operating lease for the Company’s headquarters at 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 300, South San Francisco, California; and (2) providing significant new disclosures about its leasing activities.

The following table discloses the impact on the Company’s balance sheet upon adoption (in thousands):



January 1, 2019



December 31, 2018


Operating lease ROU asset








Operating lease liabilities, current








Operating lease liabilities, noncurrent








Deferred rent, current








Deferred rent, noncurrent








Stock Compensation (Topic 718)

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718), which simplifies the accounting for nonemployee share-based payment transactions. This ASU is effective for public entities for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018. The Company adopted the new standard on January 1, 2019 and determined that it did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

New Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326), which requires measurement and recognition of expected credit losses for financial assets. This guidance will become effective for us beginning in the first quarter of 2020 and must be adopted using a modified retrospective approach, with certain exceptions. Early adoption is permitted beginning in the first quarter of 2019. The Company does not expect the adoption of this guidance to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework-Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement, or ASU 2018-13, which modifies the disclosure requirements on fair value measurements. The amendment of ASU No. 2018-13 removes disclosure requirements from Topic 820 in the areas of (1) the amount of and reasons for transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy; (2) the policy for timing of transfers between levels, and (3) the valuation processes for Level 3 fair value measurements. This guidance is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted. The Company does not expect the adoption of this guidance to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.

In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12, Income Taxes: Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes. The new guidance is intended to simplify aspects of the accounting for income taxes, including the elimination of certain exceptions to the guidance in ASC740, Income Taxes related to the approach for intraperiod tax allocation, among other changes. This guidance will be effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020 and interim periods within, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the effect the new guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements.