Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Licensing And Collaborative Agreements

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Licensing And Collaborative Agreements
9 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2011
Licensing And Collaborative Agreements [Text Block]
6.  Licensing and Collaborative Agreements
 
University Health Network
 
On September 17, 2007, the Company and University Health Network ("UHN") entered a Sponsored Research Collaboration Agreement (“SRCA”) to develop certain stem cell technologies for drug discovery and drug rescue technologies. The SRCA was amended on April 19, 2010 to extend the term to five years and give the Company various options to extend the term for an additional three years. On December 15, 2010, the Company and UHN entered into a second amendment to expand the scope of work to include induced pluripotent stem cell technology and to further expand the scope of research and term extension options. On April 25, 2011, the Company and UHN amended the SRCA a third time to expand the scope to include therapeutic and stem cell therapy applications of induced pluripotent cells and to extend the date during which the Company may elect to fund additional projects to April 30, 2012.  On October 24, 2011, the Company and UHN amended the SRCA a fourth time to identify five key programs that will further support the Company’s core drug rescue initiatives and potential cell therapy applications.  Under the terms of the fourth amendment, the Company is committed to make monthly payments of $50,000 per month from October 2011 through September 2012 to fund these programs.
 
Concurrent with the execution of the fourth amendment to the SRCA, the Company and UHN entered into a License Agreement under the terms of which UHN granted the Company exclusive rights to the use of a novel molecule that can be employed in the identification and isolation of mature and immature human cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells, as well as methods for the production of cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells that express this marker. In consideration for the grant of the license, the Company has agreed to make payments to UHN totaling $3.9 million, if, and when, it achieves certain milestones set forth in the License Agreement, and to pay UHN royalties based on the receipt of revenue by the Company attributable to the licensed patents.

U.S. National Institutes of Health
 
During fiscal years 2006 through 2008, the U.S. National Institutes of Health ("NIH") awarded the Company a $4.3 million grant to support preclinical development of AV-101, the Company’s lead drug candidate for treatment of neuropathic pain and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In April 2009, the NIH awarded the Company a $4.2 million grant to support the Phase I clinical development of AV-101, which amount was subsequently increased to a total of $4.6 million in July 2010. The Company recognized NIH grant revenue related to AV-101 in the amounts of $(18,000) (resulting from the subsequent adjustment of an accrual at September 30, 2011) and $714,000 in the three month and nine month periods ended December 31, 2011, respectively, and $264,000 and $1,224,000 in the three month and nine month periods ended December 31, 2010, respectively.
 
Cato Research Ltd.
 
The Company has built a strategic development relationship with Cato Research Ltd. ("CRL"), a global contract research and development organization, or CRO. CRL has provided the Company with access to essential CRO services supporting its AV-101 preclinical and clinical development programs. The Company recorded research and development expenses for CRO services provided by CRL in the amounts of $360,000 and $1,019,000 in the three month and nine month periods ended December 31, 2011, respectively, and $124,000 and $338,000 in the three month and nine month periods ended December 31, 2010, respectively.