Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
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.

We also anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have an impact on the clinical and preclinical development timelines for our clinical and preclinical programs.  Estimates and assumptions about future events and their effects cannot be determined with certainty and therefore require the exercise of judgment. As of the date of issuance of these financial statements, the Company is not aware of any specific event or circumstance that would require the Company to update its estimates, assumptions and judgments or revise the carrying value of its assets or liabilities. These estimates may change as new events occur and additional information is obtained and are recognized in the consolidated financial statements as soon as they become known. Actual results could differ from those estimates and any such differences may be material to the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Significant Risks and Uncertainties

With the global spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic beginning in the first quarter of 2020, we have implemented business continuity plans designed to address and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business.  The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, our preclinical and clinical development and regulatory efforts, our corporate development objectives and the value of and market for our common stock, will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence at this time, such as the ultimate duration of the pandemic, travel restrictions, quarantines, social

distancing, safety measures and business closure requirements in the United States, Europe and other countries, and the effectiveness of actions taken globally to contain and treat the disease.  The global economic slowdown, the overall disruption of global healthcare systems and the other risks and uncertainties associated with the pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

In addition, we are subject to other challenges and risks specific to our business and our ability to execute on our strategy, as well as risks and uncertainties common to companies in the biotechnology industry with development operations, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with: obtaining regulatory feedback regarding our product candidates; delays or problems in the supply of our product candidates; loss of single source suppliers or their failure to comply with manufacturing regulations; identifying, acquiring or in-licensing additional technologies or product candidates; clinical development and the inherent uncertainty of clinical success; the challenges of protecting and enhancing our intellectual property rights; and complying with applicable regulatory requirements. In addition, to the extent the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and results of operations, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks and uncertainties discussed above.

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 and Cash Equivalents

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.


Marketable Securities

All marketable securities have been classified as “available-for-sale” and are carried at estimated fair value, based upon quoted market prices or pricing models for similar securities. The Company considers its available-for-sale portfolio as available for use in current operations.  Unrealized gains and losses are excluded from earnings and are included in other comprehensive income or loss and reported as a separate component of stockholders’ equity or deficit until realized or until a determination is made that an other-than-temporary decline in market value has occurred.  Realized gains and losses as well as credit losses, 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. If a credit loss does exist for available-for-sale debt securities and should be recognized, an allowance will be recorded rather than a write-down of the amortized cost basis. To date, no such credit losses have occurred or have been recorded.

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, 2020, the majority of the

Company’s cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were held by financial institutions in the United States, while approximately $0.1 million was held by a financial institution in Australia. Such deposits in the United States were in excess of insured limits.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

Long-lived assets include property and equipment. The Company reviews the carrying value of its long-lived assets for possible impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset 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, 2020, 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.


The Company adopted ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) on January 1, 2019 using the modified retrospective approach and utilizing the effective date as its date of initial application, for which prior periods are presented in accordance with the previous guidance in ASC 840, Leases.

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 separately accounts for 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 $58,000, $635,000 and $5,000 as a reduction of research and development expenses for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, in connection with the research and development tax incentive from the ATO. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the research and development tax credit receivable was $766,000 and $642,000, 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 expected vesting period. For share-based awards that vest subject to a performance condition, the Company will recognize compensation cost for awards if and when the Company concludes that it is probable that the awards with a performance condition will be achieved on an accelerated attribution method. 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 and pre-funded warrants 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. The pre-funded warrants are included in the computation of basic and diluted net loss per common share as the exercise price is negligible and the pre-funded warrants are fully vested and exercisable. Common share equivalents are only included in the calculation of diluted net loss per common share when their effect is dilutive.

Accounting Pronouncements Adopted in 2020

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326) as well as subsequent amendments to the initial guidance under ASU 2018-19, ASU 2019-04 and ASU 2019-05 (collectively Topic 326). Topic 326 requires the measurement and recognition of expected credit losses for financial assets. Under the new guidance, an entity will recognize as an allowance its estimate of expected credit losses. The Company adopted the new standard using the modified retrospective approach as of January 1, 2020 and the adoption did not 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, 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. The Company adopted the new standard as of January 1, 2020 and the adoption did not 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, which removes certain exceptions to the general principles found in ASC740, Income Taxes. As part of the simplification, along with other exceptions, it removes the exception to the incremental approach for intraperiod tax allocation in the event of a loss from continuing operations and income or a gain from other items. The Company early adopted ASU 2019-12 as of January 1, 2020 and the adoption did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.