Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

(8) Commitments and Contingencies


Operating Leases


The Company accounts for its leases under ASC 842. The Company has elected to apply the short-term lease exception to leases of one year or less.


Our corporate office is currently located at 14 Norfolk Avenue, South Easton, Massachusetts 02375. We are currently paying $6,950 per month, on a lease extension, signed on December 30, 2020, that expires December 31, 2021, for our corporate office. We expanded our space to include offices, warehouse and a loading dock on the first floor starting May 1, 2017 with a monthly rent increase already reflected in the current payments.


We extended our lease for our space in Medford, MA (the “Medford Lease”) from December 30, 2020 to December 30, 2023. The lease requires monthly payments of $7,282 subject to annual cost of living increases. The lease shall be automatically extended for additional three years unless either party terminates at least six months prior to the expiration of the current lease term.


The Company accounted for the lease extension of our Medford Lease as a lease modification under ASC 842. At the effective date of modification, the Company recorded an adjustment to the right-of-use asset and lease liability in the amount of $221,432 based on the net present value of lease payments discounted using an estimated borrowing rate of 12%.


Following is a schedule by years of future minimum rental payments required under operating leases with initial or remaining non-cancelable lease terms in excess of one year as of December 31, 2020:


2021   $ 170,783  
2022     87,383  
2023     87,383  
Total minimum payments required   $ 345,549  


Battelle Memorial Institute


In December 2008, we entered into an exclusive patent license agreement with the Battelle Memorial Institute (“Battelle”). The licensed technology is the subject of a patent application filed by Battelle in 2008 and relates to a method and a system for improving the analysis of protein samples, including through an automated system utilizing pressure and a pre-selected agent to obtain a digested sample in a significantly shorter period of time than current methods, while maintaining the integrity of the sample throughout the preparatory process. In addition to royalty payments on net sales on “licensed products,” we are obligated to make minimum royalty payments for each year that we retain the rights outlined in the patent license agreement and we are required to have our first commercial sale of the licensed products within one year following the issuance of the patent covered by the licensed technology. After re-negotiating the terms of the contract in 2013, the minimum annual royalty was $1,200 in 2014 and $2,000 in 2015; the minimum royalties were $3,000 in 2016, $4,000 in 2017 and $5,000 in 2018 and each calendar year thereafter during the term of the agreement.


Target Discovery Inc.


In March 2010, we signed a strategic product licensing, manufacturing, co-marketing, and collaborative research and development agreement with Target Discovery Inc. (“TDI”), a related party. Under the terms of the agreement, we have been licensed by TDI to manufacture and sell a highly innovative line of chemicals used in the preparation of tissues for scientific analysis (“TDI reagents”). The TDI reagents were designed for use in combination with our pressure cycling technology. The companies believe that the combination of PCT and the TDI reagents can fill an existing need in life science research for an automated method for rapid extraction and recovery of intact, functional proteins associated with cell membranes in tissue samples. We did not incur any royalty obligation under this agreement in 2020 or 2019.


In April 2012, we signed a non-exclusive license agreement with TDI to grant the non-exclusive use of our pressure cycling technology. We executed an amendment to this agreement on October 1, 2016 wherein we agreed to pay a monthly fee of $1,400 for the use of a lab bench, shared space and other utilities, and $2,000 per day for technical support services as needed. The agreement requires TDI to pay the Company a minimum royalty fee of $50,000 in 2019 and $60,000 in 2020.


Severance and Change of Control Agreements


Each of Mr. Schumacher, and Drs. Ting, and Lazarev, executive officers of the Company, are entitled to receive a severance payment if terminated by us without cause. The severance benefits would include a payment in an amount equal to one year of such executive officer’s annualized base salary compensation plus accrued paid time off. Additionally, the officer will be entitled to receive medical and dental insurance coverage for one year following the date of termination.


Each of these executive officers, other than Mr. Schumacher, is entitled to receive a change of control payment in an amount equal to one year of such executive officer’s annualized base salary compensation, accrued paid time off, and medical and dental coverage, in the event of their termination upon a change of control of the Company. In the case of Mr. Schumacher, this payment would be equal to two years of annualized base salary compensation, accrued paid time off, and two years of medical and dental coverage. The severance payment is meant to induce the aforementioned executives to remain in the employ of the Company, in general; and particularly in the occurrence of a change in control, as a disincentive to the control change.