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TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Form 10-K includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements give our expectations or forecasts of future events as of the date of this Form 10-K. In some cases, words such as “could,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “would,” “shall,” “should,” “pro forma,” “potential,” “pending,” “intend,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “future,” “assume,” and variations of these types of words or other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this Form 10-K and reflect the views of management as of the date of this Form 10-K.
All statements included herein, other than statements of historical facts, that address activities, events, or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, or that reflect our beliefs about the future and/or expectations, are forward-looking statements, including statements about the following:
Our belief that new products, new indications, global expansion, and business development are the four growth areas that will drive our business in the future;
The potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business operations, cash flow, business development, employees, and research and development projects, including clinical research projects;
Our belief that our distributors may delay or reduce purchases of products in U.S. Dollars depending on the relative price of goods in their local currencies;
Our beliefs that the use of surgical adhesives and sealants, with or without sutures and staples, in certain areas can enhance the efficacy of certain procedures through more effective and rapid wound closure;
Our beliefs and anticipation regarding the favorable attributes and benefits of our products, the basis on which our products compete, our physician education activities, the advantages of our relationships with OPOs, the FDA classification of our medical devices, our compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and the advantages of our intellectual property and its significance to our segments and our business as a whole, our relations with our employees, timelines regarding product launches and regulatory activities and approvals;
Potential competition and competitive products, potential adverse regulatory consequences, potential security vulnerabilities, and potential adverse effects on our business;
Our beliefs about the impact of the contaminated saline solution and the tissue processed with contaminated saline solution we identified in the fourth quarter of 2020;
Our beliefs regarding our global expansion efforts, including the international growth opportunity that would be provided by obtaining regulatory approval for BioGlue in China;
The dependencies affecting our ability to realize the anticipated business opportunities, growth prospects, synergies, and other benefits of the agreements with Endospan and our acquisition of Ascyrus, and our beliefs about the costs and timelines for certain clinical trial milestones for the regulatory approvals of the NEXUS stent graft system in the U.S. and the AMDS globally;
Our plans, costs, and anticipated timeline regarding regulatory approval for PerClot in the U.S. and additional international markets and the distribution of PerClot in those markets after the requisite regulatory approvals are obtained;
Our beliefs regarding the impact alternative anticoagulation therapy may have on the number of patients choosing On-X mechanical heart valves;
Our belief that revenues for preservation services, particularly revenues for certain high-demand cardiac tissues, can vary from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a variety of factors including: quantity and type of incoming tissues, yields of tissue through the preservation process, timing of receipt of donor information, timing of the release of tissues to an implantable status, demand for certain tissue types due to the number and type of procedures being performed, and pressures from competing products or services;
Our beliefs regarding the seasonal nature of the demand for some of our products and services and the reasons for such seasonality, if any;
Our belief that our cash from operations and existing cash and cash equivalents, will enable us to meet our current operational liquidity needs for at least the next twelve months, our expectations regarding future cash requirements, and the impact that our cash requirements might have on our cash flows for the next twelve months;
Our expectation regarding the impact on cash flows of undertaking significant business development activities and the potential need to obtain additional debt financing or equity financing;
Our belief that we will incur expenses for research and development projects, including for clinical research projects to gain regulatory approvals for products or indications, including On-X, PerClot, aortic stents and stent grafts, and BioGlue products, and for research and development for new products despite reduced planned spending due to COVID-19 and that our efforts to develop new products and technologies will likely require additional investment, research, and new clinical studies or data;
Our expectations regarding the timing of clinical research work and regulatory approvals for and expected distribution of products or indications, including On-X, PerClot, aortic stents and stent grafts, and BioGlue products, and CryoValve SGPV if the FDA reclassifies allograft heart valves as Class III medical devices;
Our beliefs and expectations regarding the utilization of net operating loss carryforwards from our acquisitions of On-X, Hemosphere, Inc., and Cardiogenesis Corporation;
Our beliefs about our operating results which may fluctuate significantly on a periodic basis as a result of internal and external factors, including reduced demand for our products, availability of products, materials, and supplies, strategic actions we take such as acquisitions or divestitures, unanticipated costs and expenses, market reception of our new or improved product offerings, and interest rate and currency fluctuations; and
Other statements regarding projections of future financial and business performance; anticipated growth and trends in our business and the markets relevant to our business, including as our growth relates to our competitors; future production capacity and product supply; the availability and benefits of our products in the future; and the expected timing and impact of our strategic initiatives.
These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends, current conditions, and expected future developments, as well as other factors we believe are appropriate in the circumstances. Whether actual results and developments will conform with our expectations and predictions, however, is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, including, without limitation, in addition to those specified in the text surrounding such statements, the risk factors discussed in Item 1A of this Form 10-K and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this Form 10-K are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by us will be realized, or even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, us or our business or operations. Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made in this Form 10-K and in other documents we file from time to time with the SEC that disclose risks and uncertainties that may affect our business. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the forward-looking statements in this Form 10-K do not reflect the potential impact of any divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, or other business combinations that have not been completed as of the date of this filing. We assume no obligation, and expressly disclaim any duty, to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Item 1. Business.
CryoLife, Inc. (“CryoLife,” the “Company,” “we,” or “us”) is a leader in the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of medical devices and implantable human tissues used in cardiac and vascular surgical procedures for patients with aortic disease. We have four major product families: BioGlue® Surgical Adhesive (“BioGlue”) products, aortic stents and stent grafts, On-X® mechanical heart valves and related surgical products, and implantable cardiac and vascular human tissues. Aortic stents and stent grafts include JOTEC® stent grafts and surgical products, Ascyrus Medical Dissection Stent (“AMDS”) hybrid prosthesis, and NEXUSTM endovascular stent graft system (“NEXUS”). In addition to these four major product families, we sell or distribute PhotoFixTM bovine surgical patch, PerClot® hemostatic powder, CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy, and NeoPatch® chorioamniotic allograft.
Our main operating subsidiaries include JOTEC GmbH (“JOTEC”), a Hechingen, Germany-based endovascular and surgical products company acquired on December 1, 2017 and On-X Life Technologies Holdings, Inc. (“On-X”), an Austin, Texas-based, mechanical heart valve company acquired on January 20, 2016, as well as separate country entities to support direct sales operations in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. Additionally, we have entities in China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, to provide sales and marketing support for the Asia Pacific region.
Segments and Geographic Information
We have two reportable segments organized according to our products and services: Medical Devices and Preservation Services. The Medical Devices segment includes revenues from sales of BioGlue products, aortic stents and stent grafts, On-X products, CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy, PerClot, and PhotoFix. The Preservation Services segment includes services revenues from the preservation of cardiac and vascular implantable human tissues. See Part II, Item 8, Note 17 of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for further information on our segments and for our geographic information.
CryoLife is committed to partnering with surgeons and cardiologists to deliver innovative technologies that restore the health of patients with aortic disease. Our strategic plan is focused on four growth areas that we expect to drive our business in the future. We plan to drive growth:
New Products – Through product development and commercialization of new and next-generation products and services focused on aortic repair;
New Indications – Through new regulatory approvals and expanded indications for our existing products and services in new markets;
Global Expansion – By entering new international markets, establishing new international direct sales territories, and developing our commercial infrastructure in new markets, including emerging markets, China and Brazil; and
Business Development – By pursuing select acquisitions, licensing, and distribution opportunities that are aligned to our objectives and complement our existing products, services, and infrastructure. Examples include our acquisitions of JOTEC, On-X, and Ascyrus and our distribution agreement and purchase option for NEXUS. To the extent that we identify, develop or acquire non-core products or applications, we may dispose of these assets or pursue licensing or distribution agreements with third party partners for development or commercialization.
To the extent that we may own or develop non-core products or applications, we may dispose of those assets or pursue development, licensing, or other commercialization agreements with third-party partners.
Our medical devices and preservation services are primarily used by cardiac and vascular surgeons to treat patients with aortic disease, including heart valve disease, aortic aneurysms and dissections, and, to a lesser extent, other conditions in cardiac and vascular surgery.
We face competition from several domestic and international medical device, pharmaceutical, and biopharmaceutical companies and from both for-profit and non-profit tissue processors. Many of our current and potential competitors have greater financial and personnel resources than we have. Some of these competitors might have greater experience in developing products, procuring tissues, conducting clinical trials, and obtaining regulatory approvals, and they might have large contracts with hospitals under which they can obtain purchase requirements that place our products at a disadvantage. Some of these competitors might obtain patent protection or approval or clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) or foreign regulators sooner than we do. Some might have superior manufacturing efficiency, tissue processing capacity, and/or marketing capabilities. We cannot assure that our current or future competitors will not succeed in developing alternative technologies, products, or services that have advantages over those that have been, or are being, developed by us or that would render our products or technologies obsolete or non-competitive. Any of these competitive disadvantages could materially, adversely affect us.
We discuss the cardiac and vascular surgery markets in which we compete and our products, services, and technologies with which we compete in each of these markets below.
Closing internal wounds effectively following surgical procedures is critical to the restoration of the function of tissue and to the ultimate success of the surgical procedure. Failure to seal surgical wounds effectively can result in leakage of blood in cardiac surgeries, air in lung surgeries, cerebrospinal fluid in neurosurgeries, and gastrointestinal contents in abdominal surgeries. Fluid, air, and gastric leakage resulting from surgical procedures can lead to prolonged hospitalization, greater post-operative pain, higher costs, and higher mortality rates.
Sutures and staples facilitate healing by joining wound edges to allow the body to heal naturally. Sutures and staples, however, cannot consistently eliminate air and fluid leakage at the wound site, particularly when used to close tissues containing air or fluids under pressure, such as in blood vessels, the lobes of the lung, the dural membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, the tissues may be friable, which complicates surgical wound closure. In addition, it can be difficult and time consuming for the physician to apply sutures and staples in minimally invasive surgical procedures where the physician must operate through small access openings. We believe that the use of surgical adhesives and sealants, with or without sutures and staples, in certain areas can enhance the efficacy of these procedures through more effective and rapid wound closure.
We sell BioGlue throughout the world including North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (collectively, “EMEA”), Asia Pacific (“APAC”), and Latin America (“LATAM”). Revenues from BioGlue accounted for 25% of total revenues in each of the years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
Bioprosthetic valves are readily available and are a relatively inexpensive solution for those requiring a valve replacement. Bioprosthetic tissues contain bovine, equine, or porcine tissues that are typically processed with glutaraldehyde, which may result in progressive calcification, or hardening of the tissue over time. Bioprosthetic heart valves usually have a life of 7 to 20 years, after which the valve typically must be replaced. Multiple replacements, each requiring open heart surgery, can be a significant concern for patients, particularly younger patients. These valves typically contain a synthetic sewing ring to facilitate surgical implantation. Patients receiving a bioprosthetic heart valve may not require long-term anticoagulation drug therapy, although some of these patients may require anticoagulation drug therapy for other heart or vascular conditions that are common in this patient population.
The sewing rings of both mechanical and bioprosthetic heart valves are synthetic materials that may harbor bacteria and lead to infection (endocarditis), which can be difficult to treat with antibiotics. Patients with an infected mechanical or bioprosthetic valve may require valve replacement surgery. The 2013 Society of Thoracic Surgeons Guidelines, (the “Guidelines”) as published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, have increased the indication (from Class II to Class I) and broadened the scope for using a human heart valve during aortic valve replacement surgery due to endocarditis. The Class I indication means that an aortic homograft is the recommended course of treatment when endocarditis has functionally destroyed the aortic valve annulus. The previous Class II indication meant that it was an acceptable course of treatment. Consequently, for many physicians, human heart valves are the preferred alternative to animal-derived and mechanical valves for patients who have, or are at risk to contract, endocarditis.
We currently market the On-X aortic and mitral mechanical heart valves for valve replacement procedures. We also market our cardiac preservation services, including our CryoValve and CryoValve SG human tissues, for heart valve replacement surgeries and our CryoPatch and CryoPatch SG human tissues for cardiac repair procedures. Our PhotoFix product is a bovine patch device used for cardiac and vascular repair.
The On-X product line includes the On-X prosthetic aortic and mitral heart valve and the On-X ascending aortic prosthesis (“AAP”). We also distribute CarbonAid® CO2 diffusion catheters and sell Chord-X® ePTFE sutures for mitral chordal replacement, and we offer pyrolytic carbon coating services to other medical device manufacturers as part of the On-X family of products.
On-X heart valves are bileaflet mechanical valves composed of a graphite substrate coated with On-X’s silicon-free pyrolytic carbon coating that provides a smooth microstructure surface. We believe that the smooth pyrolytic carbon surface and other characteristics of the valve, such as full, 90-degree leaflet opening of the valve and flared valve inlet, contribute to the flow dynamics of the On-X valve. The On-X AAP is an On-X aortic valve combined with a synthetic vascular graft to allow physicians to more conveniently treat patients requiring both an aortic valve replacement and replacement of a portion of the ascending aorta with an aortic graft. Each device is available in a range of valve sizes in a variety of sewing ring options to suit physicians’ preferences, along with dedicated instruments to facilitate valve sizing and implantation. On-X heart valves are FDA approved for the replacement of diseased, damaged, or malfunctioning native or prosthetic heart valves in the aortic and mitral positions and are classified as a Class III medical device. We also hold a CE Mark for On-X heart valves.
As discussed above, all mechanical valve patients require long-term anticoagulation drug therapy with a drug called warfarin to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke. Because warfarin can also cause a risk of harmful bleeding, dosage must be monitored and may require adjustment over time. Certain dietary restrictions may also be imposed on warfarin patients.
PROACT was a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing a reduced versus standard warfarin dose for On-X heart valve recipients. In the aortic valve replacement arm of PROACT, the reduced warfarin dose group had 60% fewer bleeding events without an increased risk of stroke. As a consequence, in 2015, the FDA approved the On-X aortic valve for use with a lower INR (International Normalized Ratio), which means that patients with On-X heart valves can be managed on lower doses of warfarin for anticoagulation. This new indication was, and still is, unique to the On-X aortic valve. The 2020 American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology guidelines specifically mentioned On-X aortic heart valves as the only mechanical aortic heart valve that can be managed at a low INR of 1.5 -2.0. While use of a lower INR has been approved for the On-X aortic heart valve, such use for the On-X mitral heart valve is still under clinical investigation. Enrollment in the On-X mitral valve replacement arm is now complete, and we currently intend to submit the results of this trial for FDA approval in mid 2021.
While patients with an On-X aortic heart valve can be safely maintained at a lower INR, patients with mechanical prosthetic valves would still benefit by elimination of the need for warfarin anticoagulation therapy, due to warfarin’s significant drawbacks for patients including the need to frequently draw blood for monitoring and to observe certain dietary and alcohol restrictions. We believe that providing an acceptable alternative to warfarin anticoagulation may increase the number of patients choosing an On-X aortic heart valve not only due to the valve’s existing durability and clinical superiority, but also due to the ability to avoid warfarin.
As a result, CryoLife initiated the PROACT Xa clinical trial to determine if patients with an On-X mechanical aortic valve can be maintained safely and effectively on apixaban (Eliquis®) as an alternative to warfarin, given the drawbacks associated with warfarin. This prospective, randomized, controlled, parallel-arm clinical trial is on-going and the first patient was enrolled in May 2020; enrollment will continue through 2021.
On-X heart valves compete primarily with mechanical valves from Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic, Inc. (“Medtronic”); and LivaNova PLC (“LivaNova”) (which business LivaNova recently sold to Gyrus Capital SA). On-X heart valves compete with these products based on their features and benefits, such as full, 90-degree leaflet opening, pure pyrolytic carbon, flared inlet, and approved labeling claim for reduced INR for aortic valves.
We began selling On-X heart valves in January 2016 following the acquisition of On-X. We sell On-X heart valves throughout the world including North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Revenues from On-X products accounted for 19%, 18%, and 17% of total revenues in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
We believe that the human heart valves preserved by us compare favorably with bioprosthetic and mechanical valves for certain indications and patient populations, and that the human cardiac patches preserved by us compare favorably with xenograft small intestine submucosa (“SIS”) and glutaraldehyde fixed bovine pericardial patches due to the benefits of human tissue discussed above. Human tissue is preferred by many physicians as the replacement alternative with respect to certain medical conditions, such as pediatric cardiac reconstruction, congenital cardiac defect repair, valve replacements for women in their child-bearing years, and valve replacements for patients with endocarditis. In addition, implantation of SynerGraft treated cardiac tissue reduces the risk for induction of Class I and Class II alloantibodies, based on Panel Reactive Antibody (“PRA”) measured at up to one year, compared to standard processed cardiac tissues. We believe that this reduced risk may provide a competitive advantage for CryoValve SGPV and CryoPatch SG for patients who later need a whole organ transplant, because an increased PRA can decrease the number of possible donors for subsequent organ transplants and increase time on transplant waiting lists.
We ship human cardiac tissues to implanting institutions throughout the U.S. Our CryoValve SGPV and CryoPatch SG are distributed under 510(k) clearance from the FDA. We also ship limited tissues in Canada and other countries under special access programs. Revenues from cardiac tissue preservation services accounted for 15%, 15%, and 14% of total revenues in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
Our PhotoFix product line competes with bioprosthetic and synthetic cardiac and vascular patch offerings from several other companies, including Baxter, LeMaitre, Aziyo Biologics, and Abbott Laboratories based on PhotoFix’s features and benefits, such as the photo-oxidation cross-linking process that does not use glutaraldehyde.
Stents and Stent Grafts for Aortic Arch and Thoracic Aortic Repair
Hybrid stent grafts, surgical grafts, and endovascular stent grafts can be used in the treatment of complex aortic arch and thoracic aortic disease, such as aortic dissections and thoracic aortic aneurysms.
An aortic dissection occurs when the innermost layer of the aorta tears and blood surges through the tear separating the inner layer from the outer layers of the aorta. Younger patients with inherited connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan Syndrome, and patients with bicuspid aortic valves (two leaflets on the valve instead of three) are more likely to develop aortic dissection. Left untreated, an aortic dissection often results in a ruptured aorta, leading to death.
An aortic aneurysm results from a weakening in the wall of an aorta, which causes the aorta to progressively “balloon” or expand in size. Risk factors for a patient to develop an aortic aneurysm include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and being male. As an aneurysm grows, the wall of the aorta is progressively weakened until it can split or tear, resulting in a ruptured aorta or an aortic dissection. Left untreated, aortic aneurysms can result in death.
Aortic dissections often begin in the ascending aorta or aortic arch and may also have an aneurysm or an aortic dissection extending down the descending thoracic aorta. Often, the dissection in the aortic arch and the condition in the descending thoracic aorta are repaired in a two-stage procedure, with one open surgical procedure to repair the arch followed by another procedure to repair the descending thoracic aorta. We sell the E-vita® OPEN PLUS and AMDS as well as distribute NEXUS to treat these conditions impacting the aortic arch and thoracic aorta.
E-vita OPEN PLUS and E-vita OPEN NEO
The E-vita OPEN NEO is the next generation hybrid stent graft for the E-vita OPEN PLUS that has an improved handling and delivery system. We obtained a CE Mark for E-vita OPEN NEO in the first quarter of 2020 and began limited distribution of E-vita OPEN NEO in the second quarter of 2020 with full product launch in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Aortic Aneurysm Repair
The aorta is the main artery that carries blood out of the heart through the aortic valve to the rest of the body. It extends upwards from the heart through the aortic arch and then down through the chest and into the abdomen, where it divides into larger arteries that supply each leg. The aorta is comprised of five segments: ascending, arch, thoracic, thoraco-abdominal, and abdominal. In some patients, part of the aorta can become abnormally large or bulge, referred to as an “aneurysm.”
An aneurysm results from a weakening in the wall of an aorta, which causes the aorta to progressively “balloon” or expand in size. Although an aneurysm can develop anywhere along the aorta, most occur in the section running through the abdomen (abdominal aortic aneurysms or “AAA”). Others occur in the section that runs through the chest (thoracic aortic aneurysms or “TAA”) or the area between the chest and the abdomen (thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms or “TAAA”). The precise cause of aortic aneurysms is uncertain, but risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and being male. As an aneurysm grows, the wall of the aorta is progressively weakened until it can split or tear resulting in a ruptured aorta or an aortic dissection. Left untreated, aortic aneurysms can result in death.
There are two types of aortic aneurysm repair: open surgical repair or endovascular repair. Open surgical repair can result in reasonable long-term survival but carries risks especially in older patients and those with other serious medical conditions. During open surgical repair, a vascular graft is implanted from above the aneurysm to below the aneurysm in the aorta. Blood will then flow through the graft. This surgery reinforces the diseased aorta and reduces the chance of vessel rupture.
Endovascular repair is a minimally invasive procedure, during which a stent graft is delivered through the femoral artery to the area in the aorta needing repair. The stent graft expands inside the aorta and becomes the new channel for blood flow. The stent graft shields the aneurysm and helps prevent more pressure from building on it, thus preventing it from rupturing.
Following our acquisition of JOTEC, we began commercialization of a broad portfolio of endovascular products for aortic repair. These include highly differentiated products, such as E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING, a portfolio of stent grafts tailor-made for a patient’s anatomy for TAAA repair, and the E-liac for repair of aneurysms in the iliac arteries, as well as less differentiated products, including the E-vita THORACIC 3G for TAA repair and the E-tegra for AAA repair.
E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING
E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING is a comprehensive range of stent graft systems for the treatment of aortic vascular diseases that enables surgeons to quickly and efficiently respond to individual patient’s therapeutic requirements. E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING are tailor-made for individual patients based on imaging of the patient’s own aorta. There are currently only limited off-the-shelf products to treat aneurysms in the thoraco-abdominal aorta due to the many side branches in this anatomy where blood flow to vital organs would be obstructed by unbranched stent grafts. JOTEC has pioneered a service whereby it manufactures a customized thoraco-abdominal stent graft within 3 weeks. E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING are often used in conjunction with E-vita THORACIC 3G, as well as the AAA offering, the E-tegra, or in combination with both.
We sell E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING in EMEA and in a limited number of other countries around the world. E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING competes with customized product offerings from Cook and Terumo.
Revenues from E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING accounted for 6%, 5%, and 5% of total revenues in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
The E-nside TAAA multibranch stent graft system is an off-the-shelf stent graft with pre-cannulated inner branches indicated for treatment of patients with thoraco-abdominal disease. The E-nside’s pre-cannulated inner branches are designed to reduce the overall procedure time which reduces the patient’s exposure to radiation. The vast majority of patients with thoraco-abdominal disease are treated with risky, invasive open surgical procedures, characterized by lengthy hospitalization periods and prolonged recuperation, or with custom-made stent grafts which can take up to 90 days to manufacture. We believe the addition of the E-nside positions JOTEC well to capture share in the European aortic stent graft market because E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING, provides patient-specific solutions, and E-nside, provides an off-the-shelf solution. Further, there are synergies between E-nside and JOTEC's existing portfolio of thoracic and abdominal stent grafts. E-nside competes with products from Cook and Terumo.
We obtained a CE Mark for E-nside in the fourth quarter of 2019 and began limited selling of E-nside in the second quarter of 2020. We anticipate full product launch in the first quarter of 2021.
E-vita THORACIC 3G
The E-vita THORACIC 3G is a stent graft system that enables endovascular treatment of TAAs. Its unique spring configuration gives the stent graft flexibility, helping the stent graft adapt to the vessel's shape and ensuring a good seal at the landing zone, even in the case of complex vascular anatomy. Compared to its competing products, its different proximal and distal stent graft configurations, as well as straight and conical designs, enable individual treatment of the diseased aorta. The product line includes a wide portfolio of tapered versions from proximal to distal. The wide variety ensures the possibility of adapting the stent graft to the native course of the descending aorta. The E-vita THORACIC 3G is sometimes used in conjunction with the E-vita OPEN PLUS and E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING.
We hold a CE Mark for the E-vita THORACIC 3G and additional marketing approvals have been granted in several other countries throughout the world. The E-vita THORACIC 3G competes primarily with products from Medtronic, Gore, Terumo, and Cook.
The E-nya is a thoracic stent graft system for the minimally invasive repair of lesions of the descending aorta, including thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections. The E-nya system was designed to give physicians more options and control while treating both simple and challenging anatomies. The E-nya builds upon JOTEC’s experience in the thoracic endovascular aortic repair market and increases the number of options to treat a broader range of patients. The system offers both bare spring and covered proximal configurations with tip capture technology, enhancing control and predictability during deployment while achieving optimal outcomes. The lower profile graft material leverages JOTEC’s expertise in textile manufacturing and is designed for both flexibility in conformance and long-term durability. E-nya competes primarily with products from Medtronic, Gore, Cook, and Terumo.
We obtained a CE Mark for E-nya in the fourth quarter of 2019 and began limited distribution of E-nya in the second quarter of 2020. We anticipate full product launch in the second half of 2021.
E-ventus BX is a balloon-expandable peripheral stent graft indicated for the endovascular treatment of renal and pelvic arteries in cases of ruptures, dissections, and aneurysms. The E-ventus BX stent graft has high flexibility together with high radial strength through the combination of the microporous single-layer ePTFE cover and the cobalt chromium stent. The E-ventus BX stent graft features minimal recoil and foreshortening and enables secure fixation and positioning in the vessel. The E-ventus BX delivery system has a highly flexible catheter that allows easy advancement in the vessel and enables lesions to be reliably reached by the catheter. Radiopaque markers on the delivery system enable secure and accurate positioning of the stent graft. The E-ventus BX is often used in conjunction with E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING products and the E-liac stent graft.
The E-ventus BX has a CE Mark and additional marketing approvals in several other countries throughout the world. The E-ventus BX competes with products from Maquet, Inc. (“Maquet”), Gore, BD and Bentley InnoMed.
Revenues from the distribution of E-ventus BX accounted for 2%, 3%, and 3% of total revenues in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
The E-liac is a stent graft used to treat aneurysmal iliac arteries as well as aneurysmal iliac side branches. The E-liac is a self-expanding stent graft characterized by easy and safe handling, which makes it possible to safely reach the lesion and accurately position the stent graft in the vessel. We estimate that 20% of patients who have an AAA also have an aneurysmal iliac artery, and as such, the E-liac is often used in conjunction with the E-tegra AAA device as well as one or two E-ventus BX devices.
We hold a CE Mark for the E-liac and additional marketing approvals have been granted in several other countries throughout the world. The E-liac competes with products from Gore and Cook.
Revenues from the E-liac accounted for 2%, of total revenues in each of the years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
The E-tegra is a AAA stent graft system with special stent design for secure sealing that makes difficult vascular anatomies treatable, thus expanding endovascular treatment options for infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms. The design of the E-tegra enables optimal fixation and sealing. It is a proximal laser cut stent with anchors for suprarenal stent graft fixation. Its asymmetric stent design and seamless cover ensure excellent adaptation to the vessel. The product also features a low-profile delivery system with its unique squeeze-to-release mechanism supporting the user by ensuring excellent control during each phase of the implantation. The E-tegra is often used in combination with E-xtra DESIGN ENGINEERING and the E-liac.
We hold a CE Mark for the E-tegra and additional marketing approvals have been granted in several other countries throughout the world. The E-tegra competes with products from several companies, including Medtronic, Gore, Terumo, Endologix, Antegraft, Inc, and Cook.
Revenues from the E-tegra accounted for 5%, 6%, and 5% of total revenues for in each of the years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
We also entered into a securities purchase option agreement with Endospan in September 2019 which provides CryoLife the option to purchase all the outstanding securities of Endospan from Endospan’s securityholders at the time of acquisition (or the option to acquire all of Endospan’s assets) up through a certain period of time after FDA approval of NEXUS.
Patients with peripheral vascular disease can experience reduced blood flow, usually in the arms and legs. This can result in poor circulation, pain, and sores that do not heal. Failure to achieve revascularization of an obstructed vessel may result in the loss of a limb or even death of the patient. When patients require peripheral bypass surgery, the surgeon’s first choice generally is a graft of the patient’s own tissue (an autograft). In cases of advanced vascular disease, however, patients may not have suitable vascular tissue for transplantation. Other artery and vascular repair procedures include procedures related to infected abdominal aortic grafts, vascular access for dialysis patients, carotid endarterectomy, or vessel repair. These procedures may include the use of bioprosthetic grafts or patches, synthetic grafts or patches, or donated human vascular tissues. Alternative treatments may include the repair, partial removal, or complete removal of the damaged tissue.
Bioprosthetic vascular grafts and patches, including those made of bovine or porcine tissue can be used for a variety of vascular repair procedures. Bioprosthetic grafts are readily available and are a relatively inexpensive solution for those requiring a vascular repair procedure. Bioprosthetic tissues are typically processed with glutaraldehyde, which may result in progressive calcification.
Synthetic vascular grafts and patches can be used for a variety of vascular repair procedures. Synthetic grafts are readily available and are a relatively inexpensive solution for those requiring a vascular repair procedure. Synthetic grafts and patches, however, are generally not suitable for use in infected areas because they may harbor bacteria and are difficult to treat with antibiotics. Synthetic vascular grafts have a tendency to obstruct over time, particularly in below-the-knee surgeries.
Human vascular tissues tend to respond better to treatment for infection and remain open and accessible for longer periods of time and, as such, are used in indications where synthetic grafts typically fail, such as in infected areas and for below-the-knee surgeries. Human vascular and arterial tissues are also used in a variety of other reconstruction procedures such as cardiac bypass surgery and as vascular access grafts for hemodialysis patients. The transplant of human tissue that has not been preserved must be accomplished within extremely short time limits. Cryopreservation expands the treatment options available by extending these timelines.
We market our vascular preservation services, including our CryoVein® and CryoArtery® tissues, and a synthetic surgical graft portfolio for peripheral vascular reconstruction surgeries.
We believe that we compete favorably with other entities that preserve human vascular tissues on the basis of surgeon preference, documented clinical data, technology, and customer service, particularly with respect to the capabilities of our field representatives.
Our synthetic surgical vascular grafts have CE Marks and additional marketing approvals have been granted in several other countries throughout the world.
Our synthetic grafts compete with products from Bard, BD, Gore, LeMaitre, Vascutek Ltd., and Maquet.
Revenues from synthetic surgical vascular grafts accounted for 2%, of total revenues in each of the years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
Angina consists of pressure, discomfort, or pain in the chest typically due to narrowed or blocked arteries, which may result in ischemic heart disease. Patients with severe angina are often treated with surgical procedures including angioplasty or coronary artery bypass or with medications such as aspirin, nitrates, beta-blockers, statins, or calcium channel blockers. Pain may be chronic or may become pronounced with exercise. Angina can also be treated with Transmyocardial Revascularization (“TMR”), a procedure that can be performed as an open surgical procedure or through a minimally invasive surgery either as a stand-alone procedure or concurrently with coronary artery bypass. During TMR, the surgeon uses a disposable handpiece to deliver precise bursts of laser energy directly to an area of heart muscle that is suffering from ischemic heart disease through a small incision or small ports with the patient under general anesthesia and without stopping the heart. TMR is typically performed with a CO2 or Holmium: YAG laser. It takes approximately 6 to 10 pulses of the laser to traverse the myocardium and create channels of one millimeter in diameter. During a typical procedure, approximately 20 to 40 channels are made in the heart muscle. The external openings seal with little blood loss. Angina usually subsides with improved oxygen supply to the targeted areas of the damaged heart muscle. We currently sell the CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy product line to perform TMR.
CardioGenesis Cardiac Laser Therapy
Our CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy product line consists of Holmium: YAG laser consoles, related service and maintenance, and single-use, fiber-optic handpieces, which are used in TMR to treat patients with severe angina resulting from diffuse coronary artery disease. Patients undergoing TMR treatment with CardioGenesis products have been shown to have angina reduction, longer event-free survival, reduction in cardiac related hospitalizations, and increased exercise tolerance. Our SolarGen 2100s Console (“console”) uses the solid-state technology of the Holmium: YAG laser system to provide a stable and reliable energy platform that is designed to deliver precise energy output. The console has an advanced electronic and cooling system technology, which allows for a smaller and lighter system, while providing 115V power capability. We also provide service plan options to ensure that the console is operating within the critical factory specifications. We sell the SoloGrip® III disposable handpieces (“handpieces”), which consist of multiple, fine fiber-optic strands in a one-millimeter diameter bundle and are designed to work with the console. The handpiece has an ergonomic design and is pre-calibrated in the factory to provide easy and convenient access for treating all regions of the left ventricle. See Part 1, Item I, “Business—Suppliers, Sources, and Availability of Raw Materials and Tissues,” for a discussion of the limitations around our supply of handpieces and consoles.
Our CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy competes with other methods for the treatment of coronary artery disease, including drug therapy, percutaneous coronary intervention, coronary artery bypass surgery, and enhanced external counter pulsation. There is currently no directly competitive laser technology for the performance of TMR as Stryker discontinued the directly competitive CO2 Heart Laser System. Currently, Laser Engineering Inc. services the Stryker laser system, but no more handpieces are being sold. Our CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy product competes with other methods for the treatment of coronary artery disease on the basis of its ease of use, versatility, size of laser console, and improved access to the treatment area with a smaller fiber-optic system. We did not have a supply of handpieces for cardiac laser therapy while we waited for the FDA to approve our supplier’s change in manufacturing location through our PMA-supplement. In January 2021 we received PMA-S approval for this change in manufacturing site and we anticipate resuming limited sales of TMR handpieces in first half of 2021.
We sell handpieces and consoles primarily in the U.S. Revenues from CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy accounted for less than 1%, 2%, and 2% of total revenues in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
Hemostatic agents are frequently utilized as an adjunct to sutures and staples to control intraoperative bleeding. Hemostatic agents prevent excess blood loss and can help maintain good visibility of the operative site. These products may reduce operating room time and decrease the number of blood transfusions required in surgical procedures. Hemostatic agents are available in various forms including pads, sponges, liquids, and powders. We currently distribute the powdered hemostatic agent PerClot.
PerClot is an absorbable powdered hemostat, consisting of plant starch modified into ultra-hydrophilic, adhesive-forming hemostatic polymers. PerClot granules are biocompatible, absorbable polysaccharides containing no animal or human components. PerClot granules have a molecular structure that rapidly absorbs water, forming a gelled adhesive matrix that provides a mechanical barrier to any further bleeding and results in the accumulation of platelets, red blood cells, and coagulation proteins (thrombin, fibrinogen, etc.) at the site of application. PerClot does not require additional operating room preparation or special storage conditions and is easy to apply. PerClot is readily dissolved by saline irrigation and is totally absorbed by the body within several days. In September 2010, we entered into a distribution agreement and a license and manufacturing agreement with Starch Medical, Inc. (“SMI”), which allows us to distribute PerClot worldwide, except in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, North Korea, Iran, and Syria. We are approved to distribute SMI’s PerClot in approximately 70 countries.
PerClot has a CE Mark and additional marketing approvals have been granted in a number of other countries throughout the world. PerClot is indicated for use in surgical procedures, including cardiac, vascular, orthopaedic, neurological, gynecological, ENT, and trauma surgery as an adjunct hemostat when control of bleeding from capillary, venular, or arteriolar vessels by pressure, ligature, and other conventional means is either ineffective or impractical.
PerClot competes with various topical absorbable hemostats including offerings from Pfizer, Inc., Baxter, Ethicon, Bard, and BioCer Entwicklungs-GmbH. Other competitive products may include topical thrombin and fibrin sealants. A number of companies have surgical hemostat products under development. PerClot competes on the basis of safety, clinical efficacy, absorption rates, and ease of use.
In January 2019 we completed enrolling patients in a clinical trial for the purpose of obtaining FDA Premarket Approval (“PMA”) to sell PerClot in the U.S., as discussed further in “Research and Development and Clinical Research” below. We anticipate PMA submission to the FDA during the third quarter of 2021. Revenues from PerClot accounted for 1% of total revenues in each of 2020, 2019, and 2018.
In the U.S and Canada, we market our products and preservation services primarily to physicians and sell our products through our approximately 50-person direct sales team to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. We also have a team of regional managers, a national accounts manager, and sales and marketing management. Through our field representatives and our physician relations and education department, we conduct field training for surgeons regarding the surgical applications of our products and tissues.
In EMEA, we market our products through JOTEC, based in Hechingen, Germany, as well as through several other subsidiaries based throughout Europe. We employ approximately 90 direct field service representatives and distributor managers in Germany, the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland in the EMEA region. We provide customer service, logistics, marketing, and clinical support to cardiac, vascular, thoracic, and general surgeons throughout the EMEA region.
In Asia Pacific and Latin America, we commercialize our products through our independent distributors and our subsidiaries through approximately 23 sales and clinical support specialists.
Our physician relations and education staff, clinical research staff, and field representatives assist physicians by providing educational materials, seminars, and clinics on methods for using our products and implanting tissue preserved by us, including virtual and remote programs in 2020. We sponsor programs, and work with other companies such as Endospan to sponsor programs, where surgeons train other surgeons in best-demonstrated techniques. In addition, we host several workshops throughout the year that provide didactic and hands-on training to surgeons. We also produce educational videos for physicians and coordinate peer-to-peer training at various medical institutions. We believe that these activities enhance the medical community’s understanding of the clinical benefits of the products and tissues offered by us and help to differentiate us from other medical device companies and tissue processors.
Our human tissues are obtained in the U.S. through organ and tissue procurement organizations (“OPOs”) and tissue banks. To assist OPOs and tissue banks, we provide educational materials and training on procurement, dissection, packaging, and shipping techniques. We produce educational videos and coordinate laboratory sessions for OPO and tissue bank personnel to improve their recovery techniques and increase the yield of usable tissue. We also maintain staff 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, for OPO and tissue bank support.
Suppliers, Sources, and Availability of Raw Materials and Tissues
We obtain a number of our raw materials and supplies from a small group of suppliers or a single- or sole-source supplier. Certain raw materials and components used in our products and tissue processing have stringent specifications. Supply interruptions or supplier quality, financial, regulatory or operational issues could cause us to have to temporarily reduce, temporarily halt, or permanently halt manufacturing, processing, marketing, selling or distribution activities. Ongoing sustaining efforts are in process to find alternative suppliers for single- or sole-source raw materials and supplies wherever feasible. The process of qualifying alternative suppliers could result in additional costs or lengthy delays or may not be possible. Any of these adverse outcomes could have a material, adverse effect on our revenues or profitability. Supplies of materials are discussed for each of our main products and services below. See also Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors – Operational Risks.”
Our BioGlue product has three main product components: bovine protein, a cross linker, and a molded plastic resin delivery device. The bovine protein and cross linker are obtained from a small number of qualified suppliers. The delivery devices are manufactured by a single supplier, using resin supplied by a single supplier. We maintain an inventory of finished delivery devices to help mitigate the effects of a potential supply interruption.
We purchase grafts for our On-X AAP from a single supplier. We also purchase various components for our On-X valves from single suppliers. We maintain inventories of these grafts and components to help mitigate the effects of a potential supply interruption.
We purchase handpieces for our CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy product line from a separate single-source contract manufacturer. In addition, this manufacturer obtains certain fiber-optic components and subassemblies from single sources. Our manufacturer of handpieces has been unable to supply handpieces until the FDA recently approved our supplier’s change in manufacturing location through approval of our PMA supplement. On January 21, 2021 we received notice that the FDA had approved our PMA supplement. We currently anticipate resumption of supply during the first half of 2021. See also Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Operational Risks—We are dependent on single- and sole-source suppliers and single facilities.” In addition, we no longer have a supplier for consoles and do not intend to manufacture consoles in the future, although we will continue to sell consoles in our inventory and provide parts and service for customers with whom we have service contracts for laser consoles.
We purchase PerClot for distribution from SMI pursuant to the above referenced agreements. We maintain an inventory of PerClot purchased from SMI to supply our customer orders and place orders for additional product from SMI to maintain inventory at appropriate levels based on demand. Our business may be subject to interruption if SMI were unable or became unwilling to supply PerClot to us for a sustained period of time.
Our preservation services business and our ability to supply needed tissues is dependent upon donation of tissues from human donors by donor families. Donated human tissue is procured from deceased human donors by OPOs and tissue banks. We must rely on the OPOs and tissue banks that we work with to educate the public on the need for donation, to foster a willingness to donate tissue, to follow our donor screening and procurement procedures, and to send donated tissue to us. We have active relationships with 58 OPOs and tissue banks throughout the U.S. We believe these relationships with our OPOs are critical in the preservation services industry and that the breadth of these existing relationships provides us with a significant advantage over potential new entrants to this market.
We also use various raw materials, including medicines and solutions, in our tissue processing. Some of these raw materials are manufactured by single suppliers or by a small group of suppliers. All of these factors subject us to risk of supply interruption. In the fourth quarter of 2020 we became aware that a supplier shipped to us a lot of saline solution that we use in our tissue processing that contained some contamination. The contamination was identified by our in-process quality controls. The contaminated solution is currently estimated to have impacted a small percentage of the tissue processed with this lot of solution, causing us to write-off those contaminated tissues. We are conducting further review to determine if remaining tissue processed with this lot of solution can be released for distribution. See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations – Preservation Services,” see also Part I, Item IA, “Risk Factors – Operational Risks – We are dependent on single- and sole-source suppliers and single facilities.”
The endovascular stent graft systems consist of two main product components: the stent graft and the delivery system.
The stent graft is manufactured out of several different raw materials that are manufactured by JOTEC and various external suppliers, including single suppliers. The delivery systems are manufactured by JOTEC from several different raw materials with different processing techniques. Primary processes are the assembly of injection molded parts and machine drilled parts, suturing of stent grafts, processing of Nitinol, and weaving of textiles.
The conventional polyester grafts consist of two main product components: polyester fabric and collagen coating.
The polyester fabric is manufactured by JOTEC out of a few different yarns that are supplied by an external supplier. The collagen suspension is manufactured by JOTEC out of a collagenous tissue that is supplied by a single supplier.
The conventional ePTFE grafts are manufactured by JOTEC out of various raw materials supplied by several suppliers. For some products the ePTFE grafts are heparin coated. For these products, the heparin suspension is manufactured by JOTEC out of a heparin solution that is also supplied by an external supplier.
The NEXUS product is solely manufactured by Endospan in Herzelia, Israel, and our AMDS product is solely manufactured by our supplier in Charlotte, North Carolina.
We maintain a facility, which contains our corporate headquarters and laboratory space, and an additional off-site warehouse in Kennesaw, Georgia. We manufacture BioGlue and PhotoFix and process human tissues at our headquarters facility. Our headquarters also includes a CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy console maintenance and evaluation laboratory space.
We maintain a facility of combined manufacturing and office space in Atlanta, Georgia, and additional office space in Kennesaw, Georgia, both of which we currently sublet to third-parties. Our Atlanta facility was sublet beginning in 2018 and our Kennesaw, Georgia additional space was sublet beginning in 2016.
Our On-X facility consists of combined manufacturing, warehouse, and office space in Austin, Texas, where our On-X products, including On-X heart valves and AAPs, are manufactured.
Our JOTEC facility consists of combined manufacturing, warehousing, and office space in Hechingen, Germany and is our EMEA headquarters.
We also maintain sales offices, some of which have distribution operations in Brazil, the U.K., Italy, Poland, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland. See also Part I, Item 2, “Properties.”
In all of our facilities, we are subject to regulatory standards for good manufacturing practices, including current Quality System Regulations, which are the FDA regulatory requirements for medical device manufacturers, and current Good Tissue Practices (“cGTPs”), which are the FDA regulatory requirements for the processing of human tissue. We also operate according to International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) 13485 Quality System Requirements, an internationally recognized voluntary system of quality management for companies that design, develop, manufacture, distribute, and service medical devices. We maintain a Certification of Approval to ISO 13485.
The Medical Device Directive (“MDD”) is the governing document for the European Economic Area (“EEA”) that details requirements for safety and risk of devices. Currently scheduled to be fully implemented by May 26, 2021 the Medical Device Regulation (“MDR”) will replace MDD and will impose more stringent requirements on manufacturers and European Notified Bodies, who have already begun the transition to these new requirements. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Industry Risks—Our products and tissues are highly regulated and subject to significant quality and regulatory risks,” for a discussion of risks related to the transition to MDR.
We work with a number of organizations officially designated as Notified Bodies by European Union Member States to perform assessments of compliance to the MDD and MDR for our various product lines. These organizations include LNE/G-Med (“G-Med”), Deutscher Kraftfahrzeug-Überwachungs-Verein (“DEKRA”), the British Standards Institute (“BSI”), and DQS Holding GmbH (“DQS”). These organizations as well as Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Limited (“LRQA”) also perform assessments and issue certifications affirming compliance to quality system standard ISO 13485:2016. In addition, we work with auditing organizations BSI and DEKRA to perform assessments affirming compliance to the Medical Device Single Audit Program (“MDSAP”), which certifies conformance to the regulations of five key jurisdictions: the U.S., Japan, Australia, Canada, and Brazil.
On June 13, 2019 LRQA informed us that it would no longer provide Notified Body services for medical devices effective September 2019. The governing German competent authority, the Regierungspraesidium-Tubingen, has granted us an extended grace period until December 31, 2021 to transfer LRQA-issued certifications for BioGlue and PhotoFix to a new Notified Body. We are currently in the process of transferring to a new Notified Body for BioGlue and PhotoFix. See also Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Industry Risks—Our products and tissues are highly regulated and subject to significant quality and regulatory risks,” for a discussion of the risks related to LRQA’s decision.
We employ a comprehensive quality assurance program in our product manufacturing and tissue preservation activities. Materials, solutions, and components utilized in our manufacturing and tissue processing are received and inspected by trained quality control personnel according to written specifications and standard operating procedures. Those items found to comply with our standards are utilized in our operations. Materials, components, subassemblies, and tissues are documented throughout manufacturing or processing to assure traceability.
We evaluate and inspect both our manufactured and distributed products to ensure conformity to product specifications. Processes are validated to review whether products manufactured meet our specifications. Each process is documented along with inspection results, including final finished product inspection and acceptance. Records are maintained as to the consignees of products to track product performance and to facilitate product removals or corrections, if necessary.
We maintain controls over our tissue processing to ensure conformity with our procedures. OPOs and tissue banks must follow our procedures related to tissue recovery practices and are subject to periodic audits to confirm compliance. Samples are taken from donated tissue for microbiological testing, and tissue must be shown to be free of certain detectable microbial contaminants before being released for distribution. Tissue processing records and donor information are reviewed to identify characteristics that would disqualify the tissue for processing or implantation. Once tissue is released for distribution, it is moved from quarantine to an implantable status. Tissue is stored by us until it is shipped to a hospital, where the tissue is thawed and implanted immediately or held in a liquid nitrogen freezer pending implantation.
Medical devices and human tissues are subject to a number of regulations from various government bodies including the U.S., federal, state, and local governments, as well as various international regulatory bodies. Government regulations are continually evolving, and requirements may change with or without notice. Changes in government regulations or changes in the enforcement of existing government regulations could have a material, adverse impact on us. See also Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” for a discussion of risks related to government regulations.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) provides that, unless exempted by regulation, medical devices may not be distributed in the U.S. unless they have been approved or cleared by the FDA. Medical devices may receive clearance through either a 510(k) process or an approval through an investigational device exemption (“IDE”) and PMA process.
Under a Section 510(k) process, a medical device manufacturer provides premarket notification that it intends to begin commercializing a product and shows that the product is substantially equivalent to another legally marketed predicate product. To be found substantially equivalent to a predicate device, the device must be for the same intended use and have either the same technological characteristics or different technological characteristics that do not raise new questions of safety or effectiveness. In some cases, the submission must include data from clinical studies in order to demonstrate substantial equivalency to a predicate device. Commercialization may commence when the FDA issues a clearance letter finding such substantial equivalence.
FDA regulations require approval through the IDE/PMA process for all Class III medical devices and for medical devices not deemed substantially equivalent to a predicate device. An IDE authorizes distribution of devices that lack PMA or 510(k) clearance for clinical evaluation purposes. After a product is subjected to clinical testing under an IDE, we may file a PMA application. Once a PMA application has been submitted, the FDA’s review may be lengthy and may include requests for additional data, which may require us to undertake additional human clinical studies. Commercialization of the device may begin when the FDA approves the PMA.
The FDCA requires all medical device manufacturers and distributors to register with the FDA annually and to provide the FDA with a list of those medical devices they distribute commercially. The FDCA also requires manufacturers of medical devices to comply with labeling requirements and to manufacture devices in accordance with Quality System Regulations, which require that companies manufacture their products and maintain their documents in compliance with good manufacturing practices, including: design, document production, process, labeling, and packaging controls, process validation, and other applicable quality control activities. The FDA’s medical device reporting regulation requires that a device manufacturer provide information to the FDA on death or serious injuries alleged to have been associated with the use of its products, as well as product malfunctions that would likely cause or contribute to death or serious injury if the malfunction were to recur. The FDA further requires that certain medical devices that may not be sold in the U.S. follow certain procedures before they are exported. The FDA periodically inspects our facilities to review our compliance with these and other regulations and has authority to seize non-complying medical devices, enjoin and/or impose civil penalties on manufacturers and distributors marketing non-complying medical devices, criminally prosecute violators, and order recalls in certain instances.
The following products are, or we believe would be, upon approval, classified as Class III medical devices: BioGlue, On-X heart valves, On-X AAP, PerClot, CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy, E-vita OPEN PLUS, E-Vita OPEN NEO, E-vita THORACIC 3G, E-tegra, E-liac, E-nya, E-nside, NEXUS, and AMDS. CryoPatch SG is classified as a Class II medical device. We obtained 510(k) clearance from the FDA to commercialize the CryoValve SGPV; however, these tissues are not officially classified as Class II or III medical devices.
In December 2019 we learned that the FDA is preparing to issue a proposed rule for reclassification of more than minimally manipulated (“MMM”) allograft heart valves, including our CryoValve SGPV, from unclassified medical devices to a Class III medical devices. Following a comment period and subsequent publication of a final rule, should the CryoValve SGPV be determined to be MMM, we expect to have approximately thirty months to submit a PMA application, after which the FDA will determine if, and for how long, we may continue to provide these tissues to customers during review of the PMA application. To date, the FDA has not issued a final rule for reclassification of MMM allograft heart valves. See also Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Industry Risks— Reclassification by the FDA of CryoValve SGPV may make it commercially infeasible to continue processing the CryoValve SGPV”.
The FDA regulates human tissues pursuant to Section 361 of the Public Health Services Act, which in turn provides the regulatory framework for regulation of human cellular and tissue products. The FDA regulations focus on donor screening and testing to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of HIV-1 and -2, Hepatitis B and C, and other communicable diseases and disease agents. The regulations set minimum requirements to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases from human tissue used for transplantation. The regulations define human tissue as any tissue derived from a human body which is (i) intended for administration to another human for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any condition or disease and (ii) recovered, preserved, stored, or distributed by methods not intended to change tissue function or characteristics. The FDA definition excludes, among other things, tissue that currently is regulated as a human drug, biological product, or medical device, and it also excludes kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, or any other vascularized human organ. The current regulations applicable to human tissues include requirements for donor suitability, processing standards, establishment registration, product listing, testing, and screening for risks of communicable diseases. The FDA periodically audits our tissue preservation facilities for compliance with its requirements and has the authority to enjoin the distribution, force a recall, or require the destruction of tissues that do not meet its requirements.
Our activities in preserving and transporting human hearts and certain other organs are also subject to federal regulation under the National Organ Transplant Act (“NOTA”), which makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human organ for valuable consideration for use in human transplantation if the transfer affects interstate commerce. NOTA excludes from the definition of “valuable consideration” reasonable payments associated with the removal, transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, and storage of a human organ. The purpose of this statutory provision is to allow for compensation for legitimate services. We believe that, to the extent our activities are subject to NOTA, we meet this statutory provision relating to the reasonableness of our charges.
Some states have enacted statutes and regulations governing the manufacture, sale, marketing or distribution of medical devices, and we believe we are in compliance with such applicable state laws and regulations.
Some states have enacted statutes and regulations governing the preservation, transportation, and storage of human organs and tissues. The activities we engage in require us to be either licensed or registered as a clinical laboratory or tissue bank under California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Oregon law. We have such licenses or registrations, and we believe we are in compliance with applicable state laws and regulations relating to clinical laboratories and tissue banks that store, preserve, and distribute donated human tissue designed to be used for medical purposes in human beings.
Some of our employees have obtained other required state licenses. The regulatory bodies of states may perform inspections of our facilities as required to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.
Sales of medical devices and shipments of human tissues outside the U.S. are subject to international regulatory requirements that vary widely from country to country. Approval of a product by comparable regulatory authorities of other countries must be obtained and compliance with applicable regulations for tissues must be met prior to commercial distribution of the products or human tissues in those countries. The time required to obtain these approvals may be longer or shorter than that required for FDA approval. Countries in which we distribute products and tissue may perform inspections of our facilities to ensure compliance with local country regulations.
The EEA recognizes a single medical device approval CE Mark which allows for distribution of an approved product throughout the EEA without additional general applications in each country. Individual EEA members, however, reserve the right to require additional labeling or information to address particular patient safety issues prior to allowing marketing. Third-parties called “Notified Bodies” award the CE Mark. These Notified Bodies are approved and subject to review by the “Competent Authorities” of their respective countries. Our Notified Bodies perform periodic on-site inspections to independently review our compliance with systems and regulatory requirements. A number of countries outside of the EEA accept the CE Mark in lieu of marketing submissions as an addendum to that country’s application process. We have CE Marks for BioGlue, On-X heart valves, On-X AAP, On-X Chord-X sutures, PhotoFix, E-vita OPEN PLUS, E-vita OPEN NEO, E-vita THORACIC 3G, E-tegra, E-liac, E-nya, E-nside, AMDS, and other devices. We are currently addressing the cessation of LRQA as a Notified Body as it pertains to our BioGlue and PhotoFix CE Mark certifications. In addition, PerClot, E-ventus and NEXUS, which we distribute, have CE Marks.
As a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, or “Brexit,” the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”) has announced that CE Marking will continue to be recognized in the U.K. and certificates issued by EU-recognized Notified bodies will continue to be valid in the U.K. market until June 30, 2023. Going forward, all devices marketed in the U.K. will require U.K. Conformity Assessed (“UKCA”) Marks certified by a U.K. Approved Body (the re-designation of the U.K. Notified Body). See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Industry Risks— Our products and tissues are highly regulated and subject to significant quality and regulatory risks.”
Our tissue preservation activities generate some biomedical wastes, consisting primarily of human and animal pathological and biological wastes, including human and animal tissue and body fluids removed during laboratory procedures. The biomedical wastes generated by us are placed in appropriately constructed and labeled containers and are segregated from other wastes generated by us. We contract with third-parties for transport, treatment, and disposal of biomedical waste. Some of our products, including our On-X products, are sterilized using ethylene oxide (“EtO”). Although we have a small-scale EtO facility in Austin, Texas, we rely primarily on large-scale EtO facilities to sterilize our products. In addition, some of our suppliers use, or rely upon third parties to use, EtO to sterilize some of our product components. Concerns about the release of EtO into the environment at unsafe levels have led to various regulatory enforcement activities against EtO facilities, including closures and temporary closures, as well as proposals increasing regulations related to EtO. Although we believe we are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, regarding the disposal of our waste regarding tissue preservation activities, as well as in our other production and sterilization activities, the failure by us, or the companies with which we contract, to comply fully with any such regulations could result in an imposition of penalties, fines, or sanctions, which could materially, adversely affect our business. See also, Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Legal, Quality, and Regulatory Risks—Some of our products and technologies are subject to significant intellectual property risks and uncertainty,” for additional discussion of risks related to our use of EtO sterilization. We do not currently anticipate compliance with these laws and regulations relating to our waste disposal and sterilization activities will require any material capital expenditures.
As of December 31, 2020, we did not have a firm backlog of orders related to BioGlue, On-X heart valves, PerClot, or PhotoFix. The limited supply of certain types or sizes of preserved tissue can result in a backlog of orders for these tissues. The amount of backlog fluctuates based on the tissues available for shipment and varies based on the surgical needs of specific cases. Our backlog of human tissue consists mostly of pediatric tissues that have limited availability. Our backlog is generally not considered firm and must be confirmed with the customer before shipment. Certain JOTEC products are specifically designed to meet specifications of a particular patient which can result in a limited backlog of these products. We have not had a supply of handpieces for cardiac laser therapy while we waited for the FDA to approve our supplier’s change in manufacturing location through our PMA-supplement. On January 21, 2021 we received notice that the FDA had approved our PMA supplement. We currently anticipate resumption of supply during the first half of 2021.
We use our technical and scientific expertise to identify market opportunities for new products or services, or to expand the use of our current products and services, through expanded indications or product or tissue enhancements. Our research and development strategy is to allocate most of our available resources among our core market areas based on the potential market size, estimated development time and cost, and the expected efficacy for any potential product or service offering. To the extent we identify new non-core products or additional applications for our core products, we may attempt to license these products to corporate partners for further development or seek funding from outside sources to continue commercial development. We may also attempt to acquire or license additional strategically complementary products or technologies from third-parties to supplement our product lines.
Research on these and other projects is conducted in our research and development laboratory or at universities or clinics where we sponsor research projects. We also conduct preclinical and clinical studies at universities, medical centers, hospitals, and other third-party locations under contract with us. Research is inherently risky, and any potential products or tissues under development ultimately may not be deemed safe or effective or worth commercializing for other reasons and, therefore, may not generate a return on investment for us. Our clinical research department also collects and maintains clinical data on the use and effectiveness of our products and services. We use this data to gain regulatory approvals to market the products and services, to inform third-parties on the benefits of our products and services, and to help direct our continuing improvement efforts.
In 2020, 2019, and 2018 we spent approximately $24.2 million, $23.0 million, and $23.1 million, respectively, on research and development activities on new and existing products. These amounts accounted for approximately 10%, 8%, and 9% of our revenues for each of 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
We are in the process of developing or investigating several new products and technologies, as well as changes and enhancements to our existing products and services. Our strategies for driving growth include new product approvals or indications, global expansion, and business development. These activities will likely require additional research, new clinical studies, and/or compilation of clinical data.
We are currently seeking regulatory approval for BioGlue in China. Enrollment was completed in the third quarter of 2018 and the submission for market approval was filed in March 2019 with Chinese regulatory authorities.
We are currently conducting clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of an additional size of the On-X aortic heart valve. This study is ongoing, and enrollment will continue through 2021.
We are currently conducting a clinical trial to assess reduced levels of required anticoagulation or warfarin for the On-X mitral heart valve. This study is ongoing, and enrollment was completed in 2019. Follow-up data collection on these patients will continue through 2021. We anticipate PMA submission to the FDA mid 2021.
At the FDA’s request, we are conducting a post-approval study to collect long-term clinical data for the On-X aortic heart valve managed with reduced warfarin therapy. This study is ongoing and data collection is expected to continue into the fourth quarter of 2021.
We have initiated the PROACT Xa clinical trial to determine if patients with an On-X aortic heart valve can be maintained safely and effectively on apixaban (Eliquis®) rather than on warfarin. In December 2019 we received authorization from the FDA pursuant to an Investigational New Drug application to begin the PROACT Xa clinical trial. This study is ongoing with the first patient enrolled in May 2020 and enrollment will continue through 2021.
We are conducting our pivotal clinical trial to gain approval to commercialize PerClot for surgical indications in the U.S. Enrollment was completed in January 2019. We anticipate PMA submission to the FDA during the third quarter of 2021. See also Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Operational Risks—Our investment in PerClot is subject to significant risks, including our ability to fully realize our investment by obtaining FDA approval and to successfully commercialize PerClot in the U.S. either directly or indirectly.”
We will be conducting a pivotal clinical trial to gain approval to commercialize the AMDS hybrid prosthesis in the U.S. for treatment of acute Type A aortic dissections. We anticipate IDE approval in the fourth quarter of 2021 followed by study initiation and first patient enrollment.
The FDA granted Breakthrough Device Designation in the second quarter of 2020, for E-vita OPEN NEO, our next-generation hybrid stent graft system used in the treatment of patients with either an aneurysm or dissection in the aortic arch and in the descending thoracic aorta. The Breakthrough Device Designation program is designed to provide timely access to medical devices that potentially provide a more effective treatment for life-threatening conditions by prioritizing review of its regulatory submissions, thereby expediting the device development process. We expect to submit an IDE application for E-vita OPEN NEO to initiate an Early Feasibility clinical trial in the US in late 2021.
We rely on a combination of patents, trademarks, confidentiality agreements, and security procedures to protect our proprietary products, preservation technology, trade secrets, and know-how. We believe that our patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and technology licensing rights provide us with important competitive advantages. We currently own rights to numerous U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications relating to our technology for various product lines. There can be no assurance that any pending applications will ultimately be issued as patents. We have also obtained rights through license and distribution agreements for additional products and technologies, including PerClot and NEXUS. In the aggregate, these intellectual property assets and licenses are of material importance to our businesses; however, with the exception of BioGlue as discussed below, we believe that no single intellectual property asset or license is material in relation to any segment of our business or to our business as a whole.
The main patent for BioGlue expired in mid-2012 in the U.S. and expired in mid-2013 in the majority of the rest of the world. Although the patents for BioGlue have expired, this technology is still protected by trade secrets and manufacturing know-how, as well as the time and expense to obtain regulatory approvals.
We have confidentiality agreements with our employees, our consultants, and our third-party vendors to maintain the confidentiality of trade secrets and proprietary information. There can be no assurance that the obligations of our employees, consultants, and third-parties, with whom we have entered into confidentiality agreements, will effectively prevent disclosure of our confidential information or provide meaningful protection for our confidential information if there is unauthorized use or disclosure, or that our trade secrets or proprietary information will not be independently developed by our competitors.
See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Legal, Quality, and Regulatory Risks—Some of our products and technologies are subject to significant intellectual property risks and uncertainty,” for a discussion of risks related to our patents, licenses, and other proprietary rights.
See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Seasonality,” regarding seasonality of our products and services.
As of December 31, 2020 we had approximately 1,200 employees. Most of our employees are located in Kennesaw, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Hechingen, Germany, where our employees have a Works Council. None of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and we have never experienced a work stoppage or interruption due to labor disputes. We believe our relations with our employees worldwide and with the Works Council in Germany are good.
Our business and future operating results depend in significant part upon the continued contributions of our key personnel, including qualified personnel with medical device and tissue processing experience, and senior management with experience in the medical device or tissue processing space, many of whom would be difficult to replace. Our business and future operating results, including production at our manufacturing and tissue processing facilities, also depend in significant part on our ability to attract and retain qualified management, operations, processing, marketing, sales, and support personnel for our operations. Our main facilities are in Kennesaw, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Hechingen, Germany, where the local supply of qualified personnel in the medical device and tissue processing industries is limited and competition for such personnel is intense. We have programs and processes in place to help ensure that our compensation and benefits programs, and our work environment, attract and retain such personnel. See also Part II, Item 7, “Effects of COVID-19” for discussion about COVID-19’s impact on our employees.
Our business is subject to a number of risks. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” below for a discussion of these and other risk factors.
It is our policy to make all our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, available free of charge on our website, www.cryolife.com, on the day of filing. All such filings made on or after November 15, 2002 have been made available on this website.
We also make available on the Corporate Governance portion of our website: (i) our Code of Conduct; (ii) our Corporate Governance Guidelines; (iii) the charter of each active committee of our Board of Directors; and (iv) our Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers. We also intend to disclose any amendments to our Codes of Conduct, or waivers of our Codes of Conduct on behalf of our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, or Chief Accounting Officer, on the Corporate Governance portion of website. All of these corporate governance materials are also available free of charge in print to shareholders who request them in writing to: Jean F. Holloway, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, 1655 Roberts Blvd NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144.
Risks Relating to Our Business
Our business involves a variety of risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, including, among others, the risks discussed below. These risks should be carefully considered together with the other information provided in this Annual Report and in our other filings with the SEC. Our failure to adequately anticipate or address these risks and uncertainties may have a material, adverse impact on our business, reputation, revenues, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. Additional risks and uncertainty not presently known or knowable to us, or that we currently believe to be immaterial, may also adversely affect our business.
In 2020, businesses, communities, and governments worldwide have taken and continue to take a wide range of actions to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19, leading to an unprecedented impact on the global economy. Hospitals and other healthcare providers have adopted differing approaches to address the surge and resurgence of COVID-19 cases, including their impact on healthcare workers, such as postponing elective and non-emergent procedures, restricting access to their facilities, cancelling elective procedures, or re-allocating scarce resources to some critically ill patients. Although some areas have seen a decline in COVID-19 cases, the potential for additional impact from new waves of COVID-19 and longer than anticipated timelines for widespread therapeutic and vaccine availability remain. These conditions have impacted and could continue to impact our business activities, including the following activities:
Our product sales. We have experienced an impact on revenues in the twelve months ending December 31, 2020, due principally to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent to which our financial performance will be impacted by the pandemic in 2021 and beyond will depend largely on future developments, including the availability of the vaccine.
Our business operations. In 2020, we took several steps to address the impact of COVID-19 on our employees, cash consumption, and operations, including reducing expenditures and delaying investments. The reductions and delays we adopted could adversely impact our business operations or delay our recovery from the effects of the pandemic. The COVID-19 virus is contagious and our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among our employees, including our key personnel, and to protect our supply chain may not succeed.
Our management of our indebtedness. Partly as a precautionary measure to increase cash and maintain maximum financial flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, we issued $100.0 million aggregate principal amount of 4.25% convertible senior notes with a maturity date of July 1, 2025 (“Convertible Senior Notes”), using portions of those proceeds to repay our Revolving Credit Facility and retaining the remainder for general
corporate purposes which may limit our operational flexibility and adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital.
Our research and development projects. We have reduced spending on research and development projects, including clinical research projects. These reductions could adversely impact future revenue, and additional reductions in spending might be required, further impacting future revenue. In addition, our ability to conduct our ongoing research and development projects in markets that are affected by COVID-19 has been, and could continue to be, adversely impacted. Enrollment and timelines for our clinical trials have been and might continue to be impacted as healthcare providers reprioritize resources and limit access to healthcare facilities or as patients decline to participate or are hesitant to voluntarily visit healthcare facilities. In addition, COVID-19-related impacts on government and regulatory agencies have slowed and might continue to slow timelines for regulatory actions, including approvals.
If COVID-19 continues to spread, if efforts to contain COVID-19 continue or are unsuccessful, if we experience new infections of COVID-19 in areas previously successful in containing its spread, or if COVID-19 spreads among our employees or impacts our supply chain, it could materially, adversely affect our revenues, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. These adverse developments or a prolonged period of uncertainty could adversely affect our financial performance.
Our international operations subject us to a number of risks, which may vary significantly from the risks we face in our U.S. operations, including:
Difficulties and costs associated with staffing, establishing and maintaining internal controls, managing foreign operations and distributor relationships, and selling directly to customers;
Broader exposure to corruption and expanded compliance obligations, including under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Law, local anti-corruption laws, Office of Foreign Asset Control administered sanction programs, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation;
Overlapping and potentially conflicting, or unexpected changes in, international legal and regulatory requirements or reimbursement policies and programs;
Longer and more expensive collection cycles in certain countries, particularly those in which our primary customers are government-funded hospitals;
Changes in currency exchange rates, particularly fluctuations in the Euro as compared to the U.S. Dollar;
Potential adverse tax consequences of overlapping tax structures; and
Potential adverse financial and regulatory consequences resulting from the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, or “Brexit.”
Our strategic plan is focused on four areas – new products, new indications, global expansion and business development – to drive growth and/or increase the size of our total addressable markets, primarily in the cardiac and vascular surgery segment, but we cannot be certain that these strategies will ultimately drive business expansion and enhance shareholder value.
The market for our products and services is competitive and affected by new product introductions and activities of other industry participants. We face intense competition in virtually all of our product lines. A significant percentage of market revenues from competitive products are generated by Baxter International, Inc.; Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson Company); Medtronic, Inc.; Abbott Laboratories; Edwards Lifesciences Corp.; Bard, a subsidiary of Becton, Dickinson and Company; Integra Life Sciences Holdings; LifeNet; Anteris Technologies, Inc.; Aziyo Biologics; Cook Medical; Gore & Associates; Terumo Aortic Corp.; LeMaitre Vascular, Inc.; Maquet, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; and BioCer Entwicklungs-GmbH. Several of our competitors enjoy competitive advantages over us, including:
Greater financial and other resources for research and development, commercialization, acquisitions, and litigation;
Greater name recognition as well as more recognizable trademarks for products similar to products that we sell;
More established record of obtaining and maintaining regulatory product clearances or approvals;
More established relationships with healthcare providers and payors;
Lower cost of goods sold or preservation costs; and
Larger direct sales forces and more established distribution networks.
Tissue preservation services are a significant source of our revenues, accounting for 29% of revenues in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 and as such, we face risks if we are unable to:
Source sufficient quantities of some human tissue or address potential excess supply of others. We rely primarily upon the efforts of third-parties to educate the public and foster a willingness to donate tissue. Factors beyond our control such as supply, regulatory changes, negative publicity concerning methods of tissue recovery or disease transmission from donated tissue, or public opinion of the donor process as well as our own reputation in the industry can negatively impact the supply of tissue;
Compete effectively, as we may be unable to capitalize on our clinical advantages or our competitors may have advantages over us in terms of cost structure, pricing, back office automation, marketing, and sourcing; or
Mitigate sufficiently the risk that tissue can become contaminated during processing; that processed tissue cannot be end-sterilized and hence carries an inherent risk of infection or disease transmission or that our quality controls can eliminate that risk.
In addition, U.S. and foreign governmental authorities have adopted laws and regulations that restrict tissue preservation services. Any of these laws or regulations could change, including becoming more restrictive or our interpretation of them could be challenged by governmental authorities.
BioGlue Surgical Adhesive (“BioGlue”) is a significant source of our revenues, accounting for 25% of revenues in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 and as such, any risk adversely affecting our BioGlue products or business would likely be material to our financial results. We face the following risks related to BioGlue:
Competing effectively with our major competitors, as they may have advantages over us in terms of cost structure, supply chain, pricing, sales force footprint, and brand recognition;
We may be unable to obtain approval to commercialize BioGlue in certain non U.S. countries as fast as our competitors do of their products or at all. We also may not be able to capitalize on new BioGlue approvals, including for new indications, in non U.S. countries;
BioGlue contains a bovine blood protein. Animal-based products are subject to increased scrutiny from the public and regulators, who may seek to impose additional regulations or product bans in certain countries on such products; BioGlue is a mature product and other companies may use the inventions disclosed in expired BioGlue patents to develop and make competing products; and
BioGlue faces potential adverse regulatory consequences resulting from the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, or “Brexit.” See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Industry Risks— Our products and tissues are highly regulated and subject to significant quality and regulatory risks.”
Aortic stents and stent grafts is a significant source of our revenues, accounting for 24% of revenues in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 and as such, any risk adversely affecting aortic stents and stent grafts would likely be material to our financial results. We face the following aortic stents and stent grafts related risks based on our ability to:
Compete effectively with our major competitors, as they may have advantages over us in terms of cost structure, supply chain, pricing, sales force footprint, and brand recognition;
Develop innovative and in-demand aortic repair products;
Respond adequately to enhanced regulatory requirements and enforcement activities;
Meet demand for aortic stents and stent grafts as we seek to expand our business globally; and
Maintain a productive working relationship with our Works Council in Germany.
On-X is a significant source of our revenues, accounting for 19%, 18%, and 17% of revenues in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively and as such, any risk adversely affecting our On-X products or business would likely be material to our financial results. We face risks based on our ability to:
Compete effectively with some of our major competitors, as they may have advantages over us in terms of cost structure, supply chain, pricing, sales force footprint, and brand recognition;
Take market share in the mechanical heart valve market based on the FDA’s approved lower International Normalized Ratio (“INR”) indication or complete the associated FDA mandated post-approval studies;
Address clinical trial data or changes in technology that may reduce the demand for mechanical heart valves, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or “TAVR” devices;
Manage risks associated with less favorable contract terms for On-X products on consignment at hospitals;
Respond adequately to enhanced OUS regulatory requirements or enforcement activities; and
Receive timely renewal certifications in certain markets.
The majority of our foreign product revenues are denominated in Euros and, as such, are sensitive to changes in exchange rates. In addition, a portion of our dollar-denominated and euro-denominated product sales are made to customers in other countries who must convert local currencies into U.S. Dollars or Euros in order to purchase these products. We also have balances, such as cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accruals that are denominated in foreign currencies. These foreign currency transactions and balances are sensitive to changes in exchange rates. Fluctuations in exchange rates of Euros or other local currencies in relation to the U.S. Dollar could materially reduce our future revenues as compared to the comparable prior periods. Should this occur, it could have a material, adverse impact on our revenues, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.
We account for the completion of acquisitions using the purchase method of accounting. Our financial results could be adversely affected by a number of financial adjustments required by purchase accounting such as:
We may incur added amortization expense over the estimated useful lives of some acquired intangible assets;
We may incur additional depreciation expense as a result of recording purchased tangible assets;
We may be required to incur material charges relating to any impairment of goodwill and intangible assets;
Cost of sales may increase temporarily if acquired inventory is recorded at fair market value;
If acquisition consideration consists of earn-outs, our earnings may be affected by changes in estimates of future contingent consideration; or
Earnings may be affected by transaction and integration costs, which are expensed immediately.
We maintain claims-made insurance policies to mitigate our financial exposure to securities, as well as product and tissue processing liability, claims that are reported to the insurance carrier while the policy is in effect. These policies do not include coverage for punitive damages. Although we have insurance for product and tissue processing liabilities, securities, property, and general liabilities, if we are unsuccessful in arranging cost-effective acceptable resolutions of claims, it is possible that our insurance program may not be adequate to cover any or all possible claims or losses, including losses arising out of natural disasters or catastrophic circumstances. Any significant claim could result in an increase in our insurance rates or jeopardize our ability to secure coverage on reasonable terms, if at all.
Any securities or product liability/tissue processing claim, even a meritless or unsuccessful one, could be costly to defend, and result in diversion of our management’s attention from our business, adverse publicity, withdrawal of clinical trial participants, injury to our reputation, or loss of revenue.
The materials and supplies used in our product manufacturing and tissue processing are subject to regulatory requirements and oversight. If materials or supplies used in our processes fail to meet these requirements or are subject to regulatory enforcement action, they may have to be scrapped, or our products or tissues could be rejected during or after processing, recalled, or rejected by customers. In these cases, we may have to immediately scrap raw or in process materials or expense the costs of manufacturing or preservation.
As an example of this risk, in the fourth quarter of 2020 we became aware that a supplier shipped to us a lot of saline solution that we use in our tissue processing that contained some contamination. The contamination was identified by our routine quality controls. The contaminated solution is currently estimated to have impacted a small percentage of the tissue processed with this lot of solution, causing us to write-off those contaminated tissues. We are conducting further review to determine if the remaining tissue processed with this lot of solution can be released for distribution.
In addition, if these materials or supplies or changes to them do not receive regulatory approval or are recalled, if the related suppliers and/or their facilities are shut down temporarily or permanently, for any reason, or if the related suppliers are otherwise unable or unwilling to supply us, we may not have sufficient materials or supplies to manufacture our products or process tissues. In addition, we rely on contract manufacturers to manufacture some of our products or to provide additional manufacturing capacity for some products. If these contract manufacturers fail to meet our quality standards or other requirements or if they are unable or unwilling to supply the products, we may not be able to meet demand for these products. Our ability to fully recover all possible losses from these suppliers and contract manufacturers may have practical limitations imposed by factors like industry standard contractual terms or the financial resources of the adverse party.
Some of the materials, supplies, and services in our product manufacturing or tissue processing, as well as some of our products, are sourced from single- or sole-source suppliers. As a result, our ability to negotiate favorable terms with those suppliers may be limited, and if those suppliers experience operational, financial, quality, or regulatory difficulties, or if those suppliers and/or their facilities refuse to supply us or cease operations temporarily or permanently, we could be forced to cease product manufacturing or tissue processing until the suppliers resume operations, until alternative suppliers could be identified and qualified, or permanently if the suppliers do not resume operations and no alternative suppliers could be identified and qualified. We could also be forced to purchase alternative materials, supplies, or services with unfavorable terms due to diminished bargaining power.
As an example of these risks, in 2019 we lost our supply of handpieces for cardiac laser therapy resulting from a manufacturing location change at our supplier that ultimately required a PMA supplement and FDA approval before handpiece manufacturing and distribution could resume. We anticipate resumption of limited supply during the first half of 2021.
We also conduct all of our own manufacturing operations at three facilities: Austin, Texas for On-X products, Hechingen, Germany for JOTEC products, and Kennesaw, Georgia for all other products. The NEXUS product is solely manufactured by Endospan in Herzelia, Israel, and the AMDS product is solely manufactured by a supplier in Charlotte, North Carolina. If one of these facilities ceases operations temporarily or permanently, for any reason, our business could be substantially disrupted.
Our business and future operating results depend in significant part upon the continued contributions of our key personnel, including qualified personnel with medical device and tissue processing experience, and senior management with experience in the medical device or tissue processing space, some of whom would be difficult to replace. Our business and future operating results, including production at our manufacturing and tissue processing facilities, also depend in significant part on our ability to attract and retain qualified management, operations, processing, marketing, sales, and support personnel. Our facilities are in Kennesaw, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Hechingen, Germany, where the supply of qualified medical device and tissue processing personnel is limited. Competition for such personnel is significant, and we cannot ensure that we will be successful in attracting or retaining them. We face risks if we lose any key employees to other employers or due to severe illness, death or retirement, if any of our key employees fail to perform adequately, or if we are unable to attract and retain skilled employees.
One of our growth strategies is to pursue select acquisitions, licensing, or distribution rights with companies or technologies that complement our existing products, services, and infrastructure. In connection with one or more of these transactions, we may:
Issue additional equity securities that would dilute our stockholders’ ownership interest;
Use cash we may need in the future to operate our business;
Incur debt, including on terms that could be unfavorable to us or debt we might be unable to repay;
Structure the transaction resulting in unfavorable tax consequences, such as a stock purchase that does not permit a step-up in basis for the assets acquired;
Be unable to realize the anticipated benefits of the transaction; or
Assume material unknown liabilities associated with the acquired business.
As part of our efforts to drive growth by pursuing select acquisition, license, and distribution opportunities that are aligned to our objectives and complement our existing products, services, and infrastructure, we have completed several transactions in recent years and may pursue similar additional transactions in the future. Examples of these activities include the following:
On December 1, 2017 we acquired JOTEC AG, a Swiss entity that we converted to JOTEC GmbH and subsequently merged with our Swiss acquisition entity, Jolly Buyer Acquisition GmbH and its subsidiaries;
On September 11, 2019 we entered into various agreements with Endospan, Ltd. (“Endospan”), an Israeli medical device manufacturer (the “Endospan Transaction”). The Endospan Transaction included an exclusive distribution agreement for the NEXUS stent graft system (“NEXUS”) in Europe; an agreement (“Endospan Loan”) for a secured loan from CryoLife to Endospan; and a security purchase option agreement for CryoLife to purchase all the then outstanding Endospan securities from Endospan’s existing securityholders upon FDA approval of NEXUS; and
On September 2, 2020 we acquired 100% of the outstanding shares of Ascyrus Medical LLC (“Ascyrus”), the developer of the Ascyrus Medical Dissection Stent (“AMDS”).
Our ability to realize the anticipated business opportunities, growth prospects, cost savings, synergies, and other benefits of these transactions depends on a number of factors including our ability to:
Leverage our global infrastructure to sell and cross-market the acquired products;
Drive adoption of NEXUS and AMDS in the European and other markets, including our ability to manage the substantial requirements for NEXUS procedures for product training, implant support, and proctoring;
Bring acquired products to the U.S. market, including AMDS, and the JOTEC products;
Harness the JOTEC product pipeline and research and development capabilities;
Obtain regulatory approvals in relevant markets, including our ability to obtain Conformité Européene Mark product certification (“CE Mark”) for pipeline products and obtain or maintain certification for pipeline and current products at all;
Execute on development and clinical trial timelines for acquired products;
Carry, service, and manage significant debt and repayment obligations; and
Manage the unforeseen risks and uncertainties related to these transactions, including any related to intellectual property rights.
Additionally, our ability to realize the anticipated business opportunities, growth prospects, synergies, and other benefits of the Endospan Transaction depends on a number of additional factors including Endospan’s ability to (a) comply with the Endospan Loan and other debt obligations, and avoid an event of default; (b) successfully commercialize NEXUS in markets outside of Europe; (c) meet demand for NEXUS; (d) meet quality and regulatory requirements; (e) manage any intellectual property risks and uncertainties associated with NEXUS; and (f) obtain FDA approval of NEXUS.
Many of these factors are outside of our control and any one of them could result in increased costs, decreased revenues, and diversion of management’s time and energy. The benefits of these transactions may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame or at all. Any of these factors could negatively impact our earnings per share, decrease or delay the expected accretive effect of the acquisition, and negatively impact the price of our common stock. In addition, if we fail to realize the anticipated benefits of an acquisition, we could experience an interruption or loss of momentum in our existing business activities.
In 2010 and 2011, we entered into various agreements with SMI pursuant to which, among other things, we (i) may distribute PerClot in certain international markets.; (ii) acquired technology to assist in the production of a key component in PerClot; and (iii) obtained the exclusive right to pursue, obtain, and maintain FDA Pre-Market Approval (“PMA”) for PerClot. We are currently conducting our pivotal trial to gain PMA for PerClot for surgical indications, and we completed enrollment in January 2019. We anticipate being in a position to submit to the FDA during the third quarter of 2021. There is no guarantee, however, that we will obtain FDA approval when anticipated or at all including based on factors such as, unforeseen scheduling difficulties and unfavorable results at stages in the PMA process. We may also decide to delay or terminate our pursuit of PMA at any time due to changing conditions at CryoLife, in the marketplace, or in the economy in general. Even if we receive PMA for PerClot, we may be unsuccessful in selling PerClot in the U.S. By the time we secure approvals, competitors may have substantial market share or significant market protections. We may also be unsuccessful in selling outside the U.S. due, in part, to a proliferation of generic competitors, any breach by SMI of its contractual obligations, or the lack of adequate intellectual property protection or enforcement.
We rely upon a combination of sophisticated information technology systems as well as traditional recordkeeping to operate our business. In the ordinary course of business, we collect, store, and transmit confidential information (including, but not limited to, information about our business, personal information, intellectual property, and, in some instances, patient data). Our information technology and information security systems and records are potentially vulnerable to security breaches, service interruptions, or data loss from inadvertent or intentional actions by our employees, vendors or other third parties. In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented remote work arrangements for some employees, and those employees may use outside technology and systems that are vulnerable to security breaches, service interruptions, data loss or malicious attacks, including by third parties.
As an example of these risks, on November 1, 2019, we were notified that we had become a victim of a business e-mail compromise. During the fourth quarter of 2019, a company email account was compromised by a third-party impersonator and a payment intended for one of our U.S. vendors in the amount of $2.6 million was fraudulently re-directed into an individual bank account controlled by this third-party impersonator. Our cyber-insurance covered all but $25,000 of the unrecovered losses from this compromise.
While we have invested, and continue to invest, in our information technology and information security systems, there can be no assurance that our efforts will prevent security breaches, service interruptions, or data losses. We have limited cyber-insurance coverage that may not cover all possible events, and this insurance is subject to deductibles and coverage limitations. Any security breaches, service interruptions, or data losses could adversely affect our business operations or result in the loss of critical or sensitive confidential information or intellectual property, or in financial, legal, business, and reputational harm to us or allow third parties to gain material, inside information that they may use to trade in our securities.
The commercialization of medical devices and processing and distribution of human tissues are highly complex and subject to significant global quality and regulatory risks and as such, we face the following risks:
Our products and tissues allegedly have caused, and may in the future cause, patient injury, which has exposed, and could in the future expose, us to liability claims that could lead to additional regulatory scrutiny;
Our manufacturing and tissue processing operations are subject to regulatory scrutiny, inspections and enforcement actions, and regulatory agencies could require us to change or modify our operations or take other action, such as issuing product recalls or holds;
Regulatory agencies could reclassify, reevaluate, or suspend our clearances or approvals, or fail, or decline, to issue or reissue our clearances or approvals that are necessary to sell our products and distribute tissues;
Regulatory and quality requirements are subject to change, which could adversely affect our ability to sell our products or distribute tissues; and
Adverse publicity associated with our products, processed tissues or our industry could lead to a decreased use of our products or tissues, increased regulatory scrutiny, or product or tissue processing liability claims.
Further, on May 25, 2017, the European Union adopted a new Medical Device Regulation (MDR 2017/745) (“MDR”), which is currently scheduled to be fully implemented by May 26, 2021. Upon implementation, among other changes, MDR will place stricter requirements on manufacturers and European Notified Bodies regarding, among other things, product classifications and pre- and post-market clinical studies for product clearances and approvals which could result in product reclassifications or the imposition of other regulatory requirements that could delay, impede, or prevent our ability to commercialize existing, improved, or new products in the EEA.
At the same time, European Notified Bodies have begun engaging in more rigorous regulatory enforcement and may continue to do so. For example, in anticipation of MDR, Notified Bodies have declined to review many routine submissions unless they are in accordance with MDR, and Notified Bodies may continue to do so despite the postponement of MDR implementation. Our inability to timely adapt to these new requirements of our Notified Bodies could adversely impact our clearances or approvals.
Finally, we anticipate additional regulatory impact as a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (“Brexit”). The U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”) has announced that CE Marking will continue to be recognized in the U.K. and certificates issued by EU-recognized Notified bodies will continue to be valid in the U.K. market until June 30, 2023. Going forward, all devices marketed in the U.K. will require U.K. Conformity Assessed (“UKCA”) Marks certified by a U.K. Approved Body (the re-designation of the U.K. Notified Body). In 2019 we were informed of the cancellation of notified body services by our former Notified Body for BioGlue and PhotoFix, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Limited. The German competent authority, Regierungspraesidium-Tubingen, granted us an extended grace period until December 31, 2021, to complete the transfer of our registration to a new notified body, provided that we meet certain conditions, including the demonstration of adequate progress in the CE Mark certification process with our new Notified Body. If we are delayed or unsuccessful in transferring to a new Notified Body for BioGlue and PhotoFix in the EEA, or if we are otherwise unable to timely meet applicable regulatory requirements, we may be unable to place BioGlue or PhotoFix on the market in the EEA until we resolve the situation.
In December 2019, we learned that the FDA is preparing to issue a proposed rule for reclassification of more than minimally manipulated (“MMM”) allograft heart valves, which could include our CryoValve SGPV, from unclassified medical devices to a Class III medical device. Following a comment period and subsequent publication of any final rule, should the CryoValve SGPV be determined to be MMM, we expect to have approximately thirty months to submit a PMA application, after which the FDA will determine if, and for how long, we may continue to provide these tissues to customers during review of the PMA application. To date, the FDA has not issued such a proposed final rule.
If the FDA ultimately classifies our CryoValve SGPV as a Class III medical device, and if there are delays in obtaining the PMA, if we are unsuccessful in obtaining the PMA, or if the costs associated with these activities are significant, we could decide that the requirements for continued processing of the CryoValve SGPV are too onerous, leading us to discontinue distribution of these tissues.
Our growth and profitability depends in part upon our ability to develop, and successfully introduce, new products and services, or expand upon existing indications, requiring that we invest significant time and resources to obtain required regulatory clearances/approvals, including investment into pre and post-market clinical studies. Although we believe certain products and services under development may be effective in a particular application, we cannot be certain until we successfully execute on a clinical trial, and the results we obtain from pre and post-market clinical studies may be insufficient for us to obtain or maintain any required regulatory approvals or clearances.
We are currently engaged in several pre and post-market clinical studies, including PROACT Xa which will determine if patients with an On-X mechanical aortic valve can be maintained safely and effectively on apixaban (Eliquis®) rather than on warfarin, and a U.S. IDE for PerClot. We also have begun to initiate U.S. clinical trials for certain JOTEC products, initiate U.S. and international clinical trials for the AMDS, and we support Endospan’s U.S. clinical trial efforts for NEXUS. Each of these trials or studies is subject to the risks outlined herein.
We cannot give assurance that regulatory agencies will clear or approve these products and services or indications, or any new products and services or new indications, on a timely basis, if ever, or that the products and services or new indications will adequately meet the requirements of the market or achieve market acceptance. Pre and post-market clinical studies may also be delayed or halted due to many factors beyond our control.
If we are unable to successfully complete the development of a product, service, or application, or if we determine for any reason not to complete development or obtain regulatory approval or clearance of any product, service, or application, particularly in instances when we have expended significant capital, this could materially, adversely affect our financial performance. Research and development efforts are time consuming and expensive, and we cannot be certain that these efforts will lead to commercially successful products or services. Even the successful commercialization of a new product or service in the medical industry can be characterized by slow growth and high costs associated with marketing, under-utilized production capacity, and continuing research and development and education costs, among other things. The introduction of new products or services may require significant physician training or years of clinical evidence in order to gain acceptance in the medical community.
Some of our products, including our On-X products, are sterilized using ethylene oxide (“EtO”). Although we have a small-scale EtO facility in Austin, Texas, we rely primarily on large-scale EtO facilities to sterilize our products. In addition, some of our suppliers use, or rely upon third parties to use, EtO to sterilize some of our product components. Concerns about the release of EtO into the environment at unsafe levels have led to various regulatory enforcement activities against EtO facilities, including closures and temporary closures, as well as proposals increasing regulations related to EtO. The number of EtO facilities in the U.S. is limited, and any permanent or temporary closures or disruption to their operations could delay, impede, or prevent our ability to commercialize our products. In addition, any regulatory enforcement activities against us for our use of EtO could result in financial, legal, business, and reputational harm to us.
Our business and future growth depend on the continued use of our products for approved uses. Generally, regulators contend that, unless our products are approved or cleared by a regulatory body for alternative uses, we may not make claims about the safety or effectiveness of our products, or promote them, for such uses. Such limitations present a risk that law enforcement could allege that the nature and scope of our sales, marketing, or support activities, though designed to comply with all regulatory requirements, constitute unlawful promotion of our products for an unapproved use. We also face the risk that such authorities might pursue enforcement based on past activities that we discontinued or changed. Investigations concerning the promotion of unapproved uses and related issues are typically expensive, disruptive, and burdensome and generate negative publicity. If our promotional activities are found to be in violation of the law, we may face significant fines and penalties and may be required to substantially change our sales, promotion, grant, and educational activities. In addition, we or our officers could be excluded from participation in government healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
In response to perceived increases in healthcare costs in recent years, there have been, and continue to be, proposals by the governmental authorities, third-party payors, and elected office holders and candidates to control these costs and, more generally, to reform the healthcare systems. Additional uncertainty is anticipated particularly in light of the recent presidential election in the United States and the impact the results of the presidential and congressional elections may have on U.S. law relating to the healthcare industry. Many U.S. healthcare laws, such as the Affordable Care Act, are complex, subject to change, and dependent on interpretation and enforcement decisions from government agencies with broad discretion. The application of these laws to us, our customers or the specific services and relationships we have with our customers is not always clear. Our failure to anticipate accurately any changes to, or the repeal or invalidation of all or part of the Affordable Care Act and similar or future laws and regulations, or our failure to comply with them, could create liability for us, result in adverse publicity and negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Further, the growth of our business, results of operations and financial condition rely, in part, on customers in the healthcare industry that receive substantial revenues from governmental and other third-party payer programs. A reduction or less than expected increase in government funding for these programs or a change in reimbursement or allocation methodologies could negatively affect our customers’ businesses and, in turn, negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. Any changes that lower reimbursement for our products or reduce medical procedure volumes, however, could adversely affect our business and profitability.
Our relationships with physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers are subject to scrutiny under various U.S. and international bribery, anti-kickback, false claims, privacy, transparency, and similar laws, often referred to collectively as “healthcare compliance laws.” Healthcare compliance laws are broad, sometimes ambiguous, complex, and subject to change and changing interpretations. Possible sanctions for violation of these healthcare compliance laws include fines, civil and criminal penalties, exclusion from government healthcare programs, and despite our compliance efforts, we face the risk of an enforcement activity or a finding of a violation of these laws.
We have entered into consulting and product development agreements with healthcare professionals or healthcare organizations, including some who may order our products or make decisions to use them. We have also adopted the AdvaMed Code of Conduct and the MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice, which govern our relationships with healthcare professionals to bolster our compliance with healthcare compliance law. While our relationships with healthcare professional and organizations are structured to comply with such laws and we conduct training sessions on these laws and Codes, it is possible that enforcement authorities may view our relationships as prohibited arrangements that must be restructured or for which we would be subject to other significant civil or criminal penalties or debarment. In any event, any enforcement review of or action against us such review, regardless of outcome, could be costly and time consuming. Additionally, we cannot predict the impact of any changes in or interpretations of these laws, whether these changes will be retroactive or will have effect on a going-forward basis only.
An increasing number of federal, state, and foreign data privacy laws and regulations, which can be enforced by private parties or governmental entities, have been or are being promulgated and are constantly evolving. These laws and regulations may include new requirements for companies that receive or process an individual’s personal data (including employees), which increases our operating costs and requires significant management time and energy. Many of these laws and regulations, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) also include significant penalties for noncompliance. Although our personal data practices, policies, and procedures are intended to comply with GDPR and other data privacy laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that regulatory or enforcement authorities will view our arrangements as being in compliance with applicable laws, or that one or more of our employees or agents will not disregard the rules we have established. Any privacy related government enforcement activities may be costly, result in negative publicity, or subject us to significant penalties.
In recent years, shareholder activists have become involved in numerous public companies. Shareholder activists from time to time propose to involve themselves in the governance, strategic direction, and operations of a company. Such involvement may disrupt our business and divert the attention of our management, and any perceived uncertainties as to our future direction resulting from such involvement could result in the loss of business opportunities, be exploited by our competitors, cause concern for our current or potential customers, cause significant fluctuations in stock price, or make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel and business partners. We have had investors who we believe to be activist investors with respect to some of their positions recently invest in our stock.
We own trade secrets, patents, patent applications, and licenses relating to our technologies, which we believe provide us with important competitive advantages. We cannot be certain that we will be able to maintain our trade secrets, that our pending patent applications will issue as patents, or that no one will challenge the validity or enforceability of any patent that we own or license. Competitors may independently develop our proprietary technologies or design non-infringing alternatives to patented inventions. We do not control the maintenance, prosecution, enforcement, or strategy for in-licensed intellectual property and as such are dependent in part on the owners of these rights to maintain their viability. Their failure to do so could significantly impair our ability to exploit those technologies. Additionally, our technologies, products, or services could infringe intellectual property rights owned by others, or others could infringe our intellectual property rights. If we become involved in an intellectual property dispute, the costs could be expensive, and if we were to lose or decide to settle, the amounts or effects of the settlement or award by a tribunal could be costly.
The agreements governing our indebtedness contain, and any instruments governing future indebtedness of ours may contain, covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us and certain of our subsidiaries, including (subject in each case to certain exceptions) restrictions or prohibitions on our and certain of our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:
Incur or guarantee additional debt or create liens on certain assets;
Deviate from a minimum liquidity of at least $12.0 million as of the last day of any month in 2020, and as of the last day of any quarter through the third quarter of 2021 when our Revolving Credit Facility is drawn in excess of 25% (or $7.5 million) of the amount available as of the last day of any fiscal quarter during that period;
Pay dividends on or make distributions of our share capital, including repurchasing or redeeming capital stock, or make other restricted payments, including restricted junior payments;
Enter into agreements that restrict our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends to us, repay debt owed to us or our subsidiaries, or make loans or advances to us or our other subsidiaries;
Comply with certain financial ratios set forth in the agreement;
Enter into certain transactions with our affiliates including any transaction or merger or consolidation, liquidation, winding-up, or dissolution; convey, sell, lease, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or any part of our business, assets or property; or sell, assign, or otherwise dispose of any capital stock of any subsidiary;
Enter into certain rate swap transactions, basis swaps, credit derivative transactions, and other similar transactions, whether relating to interest rates, commodities, investments, securities, currencies, or any other relevant measure, or transactions of any kind subject to any form of master purchase agreement governed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc., any International Foreign Exchange Master Agreement, or any other master agreement;
Amend, supplement, waive, or otherwise modify our or our subsidiaries organizational documents in a manner that would be materially adverse to the interests of the lenders, or change or amend the terms of documentation regarding junior financing in a manner that would be materially adverse to the interests of the lenders;
Make changes to our and our subsidiaries’ fiscal year without notice to the administrative agent under the agreement;
Enter into agreements which restrict our ability to incur liens;
Engage in any line of business substantially different from that in which we are currently engaged; and
Make certain investments, including strategic acquisitions or joint ventures.
Our current and future levels of indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital, limit our operational flexibility, and hinder our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry. It may also limit our ability to borrow money, require us to dedicate substantial portions of our cash flow to repayment, and expose us to increased interest rate fluctuation risk as most of our borrowings are at a variable rate of interest.
A failure to comply with the covenants in our existing Credit Agreement could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and profitability. In the event of any such default, the holders of our indebtedness:
Will not be required to lend any additional amounts to us;
Could elect to declare all indebtedness outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit, if applicable; or
Could require us to apply all of our available cash to repay such indebtedness.
If we are unable to repay those amounts, the holders of our secured indebtedness could proceed against their secured collateral. If our indebtedness were to be accelerated, there can be no assurance that our assets would be sufficient to repay such indebtedness in full.
In December 2015 our Board of Directors discontinued dividend payments on our common stock for the foreseeable future. If we do not pay cash dividends, our shareholders may receive a return on their investment in our common stock only through appreciation of shares of our common stock that they own. In addition, restrictions in our credit facility limit our ability to pay future dividends.
We are subject to the Florida affiliated transactions statute, which generally requires approval by the disinterested directors or supermajority approval by shareholders for “affiliated transactions” between a corporation and an “interested stockholder.” Additionally, our organizational documents contain provisions that restrict persons who may call shareholder meetings, allow the issuance of blank-check preferred stock without the vote of shareholders, and allow the Board of Directors to fill vacancies and fix the number of directors. These provisions of Florida law and our articles of incorporation and bylaws could prevent attempts by shareholders to remove current management, prohibit or delay mergers or other changes of control transactions, and discourage attempts by other companies to acquire us, even if such a transaction would be beneficial to our shareholders.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Our corporate headquarters and laboratory facilities consist of approximately 190,400 square feet of leased manufacturing, administrative, laboratory, and warehouse space located on a 21.5-acre setting, with an additional 14,400 square feet of off-site warehouse space both located in Kennesaw, Georgia. The manufacturing and tissue processing space includes approximately 20,000 square feet of class 10,000 clean rooms and 8,000 square feet of class 100,000 clean rooms. This extensive clean room environment provides a controlled aseptic environment for manufacturing and tissue preservation. Two back-up emergency generators assure continuity of our manufacturing operations and liquid nitrogen freezers maintain preserved tissue at or below –135C. We manufacture products from our Medical Devices segment, including BioGlue and PhotoFix, and process and preserve tissues from our Preservation Services segment at our headquarters facility. Our corporate headquarters also includes a CardioGenesis cardiac laser therapy maintenance and evaluation laboratory space.
Our corporate complex includes the Ronald C. Elkins Learning Center, a 3,600 square foot auditorium that holds 225 participants, and a 1,500 square foot training lab, both equipped with closed-circuit and satellite television broadcast capability allowing live broadcasts from and to anywhere in the world. The Ronald C. Elkins Learning Center provides visiting surgeons with a hands-on training environment for surgical and implantation techniques for our technology platforms.
Our primary European subsidiary, JOTEC, located in Hechingen, Germany, maintains facilities that consist of approximately 80,000 square feet of leased manufacturing, administrative, laboratory, and warehouse space. We are in the process of constructing a 76,000 square feet facility that we anticipate leasing in 2021 for future growth.
Our On-X facility consists of approximately 75,000 square feet of combined manufacturing, warehouse, and office space leased in Austin, Texas.
We also lease a facility, which consists of 15,600 square feet of combined manufacturing and office space in Atlanta, Georgia, and a facility, which consists of approximately 25,000 square feet of additional office space in Kennesaw, Georgia, both of which we sublet to a third party. Our Atlanta facility was sublet beginning in 2018.
We lease small amounts of ancillary additional office and warehouse space in various countries in which we operate direct sales subsidiaries, including in Brazil, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
From time to time, we are involved in legal proceedings concerning matters arising in connection with the conduct of our business activities. We regularly evaluate the status of legal proceedings in which we are involved in order to assess whether a loss is probable or there is a reasonable possibility that a loss or additional loss may been incurred, and to determine if accruals are appropriate. We further evaluate each legal proceeding to assess whether an estimate of possible loss or range of loss can be made.
Based on current knowledge, management does not believe that there are any pending matters that potentially could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. However, we are engaged in various legal actions in the normal course of business. There can be no assurances in light of the inherent uncertainties involved in any potential legal proceedings, some of which are beyond our control, and an adverse outcome in any legal proceeding could be material to our results of operations or cash flows for any particular reporting period.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Market Price of Common Stock
Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “CRY.” The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the intra-day high and low sale prices per share of common stock on the NYSE.
As of February 12, 2021 we had 232 shareholders of record.
No dividends were paid in 2020, 2019, or 2018.
On December 1, 2017 we entered into a Credit and Guaranty Agreement (the “Credit Agreement”), among CryoLife, as borrower, CryoLife International, Inc., On-X Life Technologies Holdings, Inc. (“On-X Holdings”), On-X Life Technologies, Inc., AuraZyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as guarantor subsidiaries, the financial institutions party thereto from time to time as lenders, and Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch, as administrative agent and collateral agent. The Credit Agreement prohibits the payment of certain restricted payments, including cash dividends. See also Part II, Item 8, Note 10 of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for further discussion of the Credit Agreement.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information about purchases we made during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 of equity securities that are registered by us pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
of Common Shares
of Common Shares
Total Number of
Part of Publicly
That May Yet Be
Purchased Under the