Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
9 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2011
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]
3.  Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. 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 financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.  Significant estimates include those relating to revenue recognition, share-based compensation, and assumptions that have been used to value warrant modifications and previous put option, note term extension and warrant liabilities.
Revenue Recognition
The Company generates revenue principally from collaborative research and development arrangements, technology access fees, and government grants. Revenue arrangements with multiple components are divided into separate units of accounting if certain criteria are met, including whether the delivered component has stand-alone value to the customer. Consideration received is allocated among the separate units of accounting based on their respective selling prices.  The selling price for each unit is based on vendor-specific objective evidence, or VSOE, if available, third party evidence if VSOE is not available, or estimated selling price if neither VSOE nor third party evidence is available.  The applicable revenue recognition criteria are then applied to each of the units.
The Company recognizes revenue when the four basic criteria of revenue recognition are met: (1) a contractual agreement exists; (2) the transfer of technology has been completed or services have been rendered; (3) the fee is fixed or determinable; and (4) collectability is reasonably assured. For each source of revenue, the Company complies with the above revenue recognition criteria in the following manner:
Collaborative arrangements typically consist of non-refundable and/or exclusive technology access fees, cost reimbursements for specific research and development spending, and various milestone and future product royalty payments.  If the delivered technology does not have stand-alone value, the amount of revenue allocable to the delivered technology is deferred.  Non-refundable upfront fees with stand-alone value that are not dependent on future performance under these agreements are recognized as revenue when received, and are deferred if the Company has continuing performance obligations and has no objective and reliable evidence of the fair value of those obligations.  The Company recognizes non-refundable upfront technology access fees under agreements in which it has a continuing performance obligation ratably, on a straight-line basis, over the period in which the Company is obligated to provide services.  Cost reimbursements for research and development spending are recognized when the related costs are incurred and when collectability is reasonably assured.  Payments received related to substantive, performance-based “at-risk” milestones are recognized as revenue upon achievement of the milestone event specified in the underlying contracts, which represent the culmination of the earnings process.  Amounts received in advance are recorded as deferred revenue until the technology is transferred, costs are incurred, or a milestone is reached.
Technology license agreements typically consist of non-refundable upfront license fees, annual minimum access fees and/or royalty payments. Non-refundable upfront license fees and annual minimum payments received with separable stand-alone values are recognized when the technology is transferred or accessed, provided that the technology transferred or accessed is not dependent on the outcome of the continuing research and development efforts. Otherwise, revenue is recognized over the period of the Company’s continuing involvement.
Government grants, which support the Company’s research efforts on specific projects, generally provide for reimbursement of approved costs as defined in the terms of grant awards. Grant revenue is recognized when associated project costs are incurred.
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses include internal and external costs. Internal costs include salaries and employment related expenses of scientific personnel and direct project costs. External research and development expenses consist of sponsored stem cell research and development costs, costs associated with clinical and non-clinical development of AV-101, the Company’s lead drug development candidate, and costs related to application and prosecution of patents related to the Company’s stem cell technology, Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube ™, and AV-101. All such costs are charged to expense as incurred.
Stock-Based Compensation
The Company recognizes compensation cost for all share-based awards to employees based on the grant date fair value of the award. Share-based compensation expense is recognized over the period during which the employee is required to perform services in exchange for the award, which generally represents the scheduled vesting period. The Company has no awards with market or performance conditions. For equity awards to non-employees, the Company re-measures the fair value of the awards as they vest and the resulting value is recognized as an expense during the period over which the services are performed.
The Company recorded share-based compensation costs of $468,077 and $1,447,434 for the three and nine month periods ended December 31, 2011, respectively, and $406,921 and $1,221,916 for the three and nine month periods ended December 31, 2010, respectively.  During the nine months ended December 31, 2011, the Company has granted options to purchase an aggregate of 1,020,000 shares of its common stock at exercise prices ranging from $1.75 per share to $2.99 per share to certain of its employees and scientific and business consultants, including members of the Company's Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board, and one of the Company’s officers has exercised options to purchase 113,636 shares of its common stock at an exercise price of $0.88 per share.  The Company granted no options and there were no option exercises during the nine month period ended December 31, 2010.  At December 31, 2011, there were options outstanding to purchase 4,806,114 shares of the Company’s common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $1.53 per share.
Comprehensive Loss
There are no components of other comprehensive loss other than net loss, and accordingly the Company’s comprehensive loss is equivalent to net loss for the periods presented.
Loss per Common Share
Basic loss per share of common stock excludes the effect of dilution and is computed by dividing the net loss by the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding for the period. Diluted loss per share of common stock reflects the potential dilution that could occur if securities or other contracts to issue shares of common stock were exercised or converted into shares of common stock. For all periods presented, potentially dilutive securities are excluded from the computation in loss periods, as their effect would be antidilutive.
Potentially dilutive securities excluded from diluted net loss per common share are as follows:
    December 31,  
    2011     2010  
All series of preferred stock issued and outstanding     4,370,550       2,884,655  
Outstanding options under the 2008 and 1999 Stock Incentive 
      Plan and 1998 Scientific Advisory Board Plan
    4,806,114       3,949,153  
Outstanding warrants to purchase common stock     3,451,728       2,265,600  
Total     12,628,392       9,099,408  
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In April 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2010-17 (“ASU 2010-17”), Revenue Recognition – Milestone Method, which provides new guidance on the use of the milestone method of recognizing revenue for research and development arrangements under which consideration to be received by the vendor is contingent upon the achievement of certain milestones. ASU 2010-17 provides guidance on the criteria that should be met for determining whether the milestone method of revenue recognition is appropriate. A vendor can recognize consideration in its entirety as revenue in the period in which the milestone is achieved only if the milestone meets all criteria to be considered substantive. Additional disclosures describing the consideration arrangement and the entity’s accounting policy for recognition of such milestone payments are also required. The new guidance is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within such fiscal years, beginning on or after June 15, 2010, with early adoption permitted. The guidance may be applied prospectively to milestones achieved during the period of adoption or retrospectively for all prior periods.  The adoption of this guidance did not have, and is not expected to have, a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.