U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, prohibits U.S. corporations and individuals from engaging in certain activities to obtain or retain business abroad or to influence a person working in an official capacity. It is illegal to pay, offer to pay or authorize the payment of anything of value to any foreign government official, government staff member, political party or political candidate in an attempt to obtain or retain business or to otherwise influence a person working in an official capacity. The scope of the FCPA includes interactions with certain healthcare professionals in many countries. Equivalent laws have been adopted in other foreign countries that impose similar obligations.
As of December 31, 2017, we had 219 full‑time employees, 21 of whom hold Ph.D. or M.D. degrees, 173 of whom are engaged in research and development activities (with 133 of these employees engaged in manufacturing activities) and 46 of whom are engaged in business development, finance, information systems, facilities, human resources or administrative support. None of our employees is party to a collective bargaining agreement. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good.
Information about Segments
We currently operate in a single business segment: developing and commercializing gene therapy treatments for patients suffering from rare and life‑threatening neurological genetic diseases. See “Note 2—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies—Segment Information” to our consolidated financial statements contained in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We were originally formed under the laws of the state of Delaware in March 2010 under the name Biolife Cell Bank, LLC. In January 2012, we converted from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation, Biolife Cell Bank, Inc. In January 2014, we amended and restated our certification of incorporation to change our name to AveXis, Inc. Our principal executive offices are located at 2275 Half Day Road, Suite 200, Bannockburn, Illinois 60015, and our telephone number is (847) 572‑8280. Our website address is www.avexis.com. We file Annual Reports on Form 10‑K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, Current Reports on Form 8‑K, and other information with the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are available free of charge on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and on our website under the “Investors & Media” tab as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. You may also read and copy, at SEC prescribed rates, any document we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room located at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20549. You can call the SEC at 1‑800‑SEC‑0330 to obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room. The contents of our website are not incorporated into this Annual Report and our reference to the URL for our website is intended to be an inactive textual reference only.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Our business is subject to numerous risks. You should carefully consider the following risks and all other information contained in this Annual Report, as well as general economic and business risks, together with any other documents we file with the SEC. If any of the following events actually occur or risks actually materialize, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition and cause the trading price of our common stock to decline.
Risks related to our financial position and need for capital
We have incurred net losses since inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or maintain profitability.
Since inception, we have incurred significant net losses. Our net losses were $218.1 million, $83.0 million and $38.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, we had an