Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies

Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]
Note 2 — Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The Company’s financial statements have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) and are stated in U.S. dollars. The Company has no subsidiaries.
The financial statements may not be indicative of future performance and may not reflect what their results of operations, financial position, and cash flows would have been had Avenue operated as an independent entity. Certain estimates, including allocations from Fortress, have been made to provide financial statements for stand-alone reporting purposes. Avenue became a stand-alone entity following the
Initial Public Offering (“IPO”)
on June 26, 2017. All inter-company transactions between Fortress and Avenue are classified as Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses — Related Party in the financial statements. The Company believes that the assumptions underlying the financial statements are reasonable. The cost allocation methods used prior to the IPO in June 2017 applied to certain common costs include the following:
Specific identification.  Where the amounts were specifically identified to Avenue, they were classified accordingly.
Reasonable allocation.  Where the amounts were not clearly or specifically identified, management determined if a reasonable allocation method could be applied.
Reverse stock split
On June 26, 2017, the Company effected a 3.0-to-1.0 reverse stock split of Company's common stock. No fractional shares were issued in connection with the stock split. The par value and other terms of these classes of stock were not affected by the reverse stock split. 
All share and per share amounts, including stock options, have been retroactively adjusted in these financial statements for all periods presented to reflect the 3.0-to-1.0 reverse stock split. Further, the fair value of stock issuances has been retroactively adjusted in these financial statements for all periods presented to reflect the 3.0-to-1.0 reverse stock split.
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 and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all short-term investments with an original maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2018 and at December 31, 2017 consisted of cash, money market funds and certificates of deposit in institutions in the United States. Balances at certain institutions have exceeded Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insured limits and U.S. government agency securities.
Short-term Investments
The Company classifies its certificates of deposit as short-term investments in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") ASC 320, 
Investments - Debt and Equity Securities
. The Company considers all short-term investments with an original maturity in excess of three months
but less than a year 
purchased to be short-term investments. There were no investments as of December 31, 2018. In July 2017 and in September 2017, the Company purchased $5.0 million of certificates of deposit with an original maturity of six months. At December 31, 2017, the Company had approximately $10.0 million in certificates of deposit with an original maturity of greater than three months. The Company reassesses the appropriateness of the classification of its investments at the end of each reporting period. The Company has determined that its certificates of deposits with an original maturity of six months should be classified as short-term investments as of December 31, 2017. This classification was based upon management’s determination that it has the positive intent and ability to hold the securities until their maturity dates, as its investments mature within one year and the underlying cash invested in these securities is not required for current operations.
Investments consist of short-term FDIC insured certificates of deposit carried at amortized cost using the effective interest method. The cost of the Company’s certificates of deposit approximated fair value.
Research and Development
Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. Advance payments for goods and services that will be used in future research and development activities are expensed when the activity has been performed or when the goods have been received rather than when the payment is made. Upfront and milestone payments due to third parties that perform research and development services on the Company’s behalf will be expensed as services are rendered or when the milestone is achieved.
Research and development costs primarily consist of personnel related expenses, including salaries, benefits, travel, and other related expenses, stock-based compensation, payments made to third parties for license and milestone costs related to in-licensed products and technology, payments made to third party contract research organizations for preclinical and clinical studies, investigative sites for clinical trials, consultants, the cost of acquiring and manufacturing clinical trial materials, costs associated with regulatory filings and patents, laboratory costs and other supplies.
Costs incurred in obtaining technology licenses are charged to research and development expense if the technology licensed has not reached commercial feasibility and has no alternative future use. The licenses purchased by the Company require substantial completion of research and development, regulatory and marketing approval efforts in order to reach commercial feasibility and have no alternative future use. Accordingly, the total purchase price for the licenses acquired are reflected as research and development — licenses acquired on the Company’s Statements of Operations.
Annual Stock Dividend
In September 2016, in connection with the Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, the Company issued 250,000 Class A preferred shares to Fortress. The Class A preferred shares entitled the holder to a stock dividend equal to 2.5% of the fully diluted outstanding equity of the Company (“The Annual Stock Dividend”) to be paid on February 17 of each year. On June 13, 2018, the Company’s Stockholders adopted an amendment to the Company’s Third Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation amending the payment date going forward to January 1 of each year. Concurrently with the execution and delivery of the SPMA, the Company, InvaGen and Fortress entered into a waiver agreement (“the Waiver Agreement”), pursuant to which, among other things, Fortress irrevocably waived its right to receive dividends of the Company’s common shares under the terms of the Class A Preferred Stock and any fees, payments, reimbursements or other distributions under a certain management services agreement between the Company and Fortress and the Founders Agreement (as defined in the SPMA), for the period November 12, 2018 to the termination of InvaGen’s rights under Section 4 of the Stockholders Agreement that was signed between the Company, certain stockholders of the Company, and InvaGen.
The Company recorded the Annual Stock Dividend due to Fortress as contingent consideration. Contingent consideration is recorded when probable and reasonably estimable. The Company’s future share prices cannot be estimated due to the nature of its assets and the Company’s stage of development. Due to these uncertainties, the Company concluded that it could not reasonably estimate the contingent consideration until shares were actually issued on February 17, 2018. Because the issuance of shares on February 17, 2018 occurred prior to the issuance of the December 31, 2017 financial statements, the Company recorded approximately $1.1 million in research and development - licenses acquired for the year ended December 31, 2017. Due to the Waiver Agreement, the Company recorded $0 in research and development - licenses acquired for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Fair Value Measurement
The Company follows accounting guidance on fair value measurements for financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis. Under the accounting guidance, fair value is defined as an exit price, representing the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. As such, fair value is a market-based measurement that should be determined based on assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or a liability.
The accounting guidance requires fair value measurements be classified and disclosed in one of the following three categories:
Level 1: 
Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Level 2
: Observable inputs other than Level 1 prices, for similar assets or liabilities that are directly or indirectly observable in the marketplace.
Level 3
: Unobservable inputs which are supported by little or no market activity and that are financial instruments whose values are determined using pricing models, discounted cash flow methodologies, or similar techniques, as well as instruments for which the determination of fair value requires significant judgment or estimation.
The fair value hierarchy also requires an entity to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value. Assets and liabilities measured at fair value are classified in their entirety based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires management to make judgments and consider factors specific to the asset or liability.
Stock-Based Compensation
The Company expenses stock-based compensation to employees and board members over the requisite service period based on the estimated grant-date fair value of the awards. Stock-based awards with graded-vesting schedules are recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period for each separately vesting portion of the award. For stock-based compensation awards to non-employees, the Company measures the fair value of the non-employee awards at each reporting period prior to vesting and finally at the vesting date of the award. Changes in the estimated fair value of these non-employee awards are recognized as compensation expense in the period of change.
The assumptions used in calculating the fair value of stock-based awards represent management’s best estimates and involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management’s judgment.
Fair Value Option
As permitted under ASC 825,
Financial Instruments
, (“ASC 825”), the Company has elected the fair value option to account for its convertible notes that were issued during 2016. In accordance with ASC 825, the Company records these convertible notes at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in the Statement of Operations. As a result of applying the fair value option, direct costs and fees related to the convertible notes were recognized in earnings as incurred and were not deferred.
Valuation of Warrant Related to NSC Note
In accordance with ASC 815
Derivatives and Hedging
, the Company classified the fair value of the warrant (“Contingently Issuable Warrants”) that it may be obligated to issue to National Securities, Inc. (“NSC”), in connection with the transfer on October 31, 2015 of $3.0 million of indebtedness to NSC, as a derivative liability as there was a potential that the Company would not have a sufficient number of authorized common shares available to settle this instrument. The Company valued these Contingently Issuable Warrants using a Black-Scholes model and used estimates for an expected dividend yield, a risk-free interest rate, and expected volatility together with management’s estimate of the probability of issuance of the Contingently Issuable Warrants. At each reporting period, as long as the Contingently Issuable Warrants were potentially issuable and there was a potential for an insufficient number of authorized shares available to settle the Contingently Issuable Warrants, the Contingently Issuable Warrants had to be revalued and any difference from the previous valuation date would be recognized as a change in fair value in the Company’s statement of operations. On June 26, 2017, the warrants were issued (See Note 9).
Income Taxes
The Company accounts for income taxes under ASC 740,
Income Taxes
(“ASC 740”). ASC 740 requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for both the expected impact of differences between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities and for the expected future tax benefit to be derived from tax loss and tax credit carry forwards. ASC 740 additionally requires a valuation allowance to be established when it is more likely than not that all or a portion of deferred tax assets will not be realized.
ASC 740 also clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in an enterprise’s financial statements and prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement process for financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. For those benefits to be recognized, a tax position must be more-likely-than-not to be sustained upon examination by taxing authorities. ASC 740 also provides guidance on de-recognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim period, disclosure and transition. Based on the Company’s evaluation, it has been concluded that there are no significant uncertain tax positions requiring recognition in the Company’s financial statements. Since the Company was incorporated on February 9, 2015, the 2015 through 2018 tax years are the only periods subject to examination upon filing of appropriate tax returns. The Company believes that its income tax positions and deductions would be sustained on audit and does not anticipate any adjustments that would result in a material change to its financial position.
The Company’s policy for recording interest and penalties associated with audits is to record such expense as a component of income tax expense. There were no amounts accrued for penalties or interest as of or during the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. Management is currently unaware of any issues under review that could result in significant payments, accruals or material deviations from its position.
Net loss per Share
Loss per share is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding, excluding unvested restricted stock and stock options, during the period. Since dividends are declared paid and set aside among the holders of shares of common stock and Class A common stock pro-rata on an as-if-converted basis, the two-class method of computing net loss per share is not required.  
The following table sets forth the potential common shares that could potentially dilute basic income per share in the future that were not included in the computation of diluted income (loss) per share because to do so would have been anti-dilutive for the periods presented:
For the Years Ended
December 31,
December 31,
Restricted stock units/awards
Preferred shares
Total potential dilutive effect
Comprehensive Loss
The Company has no components of other comprehensive loss, and therefore, comprehensive loss equals net loss.
Recently Adopted Accounting Standards
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-01,
Business Combinations (Topic 805) Clarifying the Definition of a Business
(“ASU 2017-01”). The amendments in this ASU clarify the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses. The definition of a business affects many areas of accounting including acquisitions, disposals, goodwill, and consolidation. The guidance is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those periods. The Company adopted ASU 2017-01 in the first quarter of 2018 and its adoption did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.
In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-09,
Compensation-Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting
, (“ASU 2017-09”) which clarifies when to account for a change to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award as a modification. Under the new guidance, modification accounting is required only if the fair value, the vesting conditions, or the classification of the award (as equity or liability) changes as a result of the change in terms or conditions. It is effective prospectively for the annual period ending December 31, 2018 and interim periods within that annual period. Early adoption is permitted. The Company early adopted ASU 2017-09 in the first quarter of 2018 and its adoption did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.
In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07,
Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting
, (“ASU 2018-07”) which simplifies the accounting for share-based payments granted to nonemployees for goods and services. Under the ASU, most of the guidance on such payments to nonemployees would be aligned with the requirements for share-based payments granted to employees. The changes take effect for public companies for fiscal years starting after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within that fiscal year. For all other entities, the amendments are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020. Early adoption is permitted, but no earlier than an entity’s adoption date of Topic 606. The Company adopted ASU 2018-07 in the first quarter of 2019 and its adoption did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements and related disclosures.