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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from to .

Commission file number: 001-36740

 

FIBROGEN, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

77-0357827

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

409 Illinois Street

San Francisco, CA

94158

(Address of principal executive offices)

(zip code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

(415) 978-1200

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.01 par value

FGEN

The Nasdaq Global Select Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the Registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the Registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the closing price as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, June 30, 2023, was approximately $261.5 million. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director have been excluded since such persons may be deemed affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of January 31, 2024 was 98,771,247.

 


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 (the “Annual Report”) incorporate information by reference from the definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than after 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

2

 

 

Risk Factor Summary

 

3

 

 

China Operations and Related Risks

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

6

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

30

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

66

Item 1C

 

Cybersecurity

 

66

Item 2.

Properties

67

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

68

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

68

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

69

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

69

Item 6.

[Reserved]

70

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

71

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risks

93

Item 8.

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

94

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

151

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

151

Item 9B.

Other Information

152

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

152

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

153

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

153

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

153

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

153

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

153

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

153

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

154

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

154

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

162

Signatures

163

 

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 (“Annual Report”) and the information incorporated herein by reference, particularly in the sections captioned “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” contains forward-looking statements, which involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In this Annual Report, all statements other than statements of historical or present facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our future financial condition, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “believe,” “will,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “contemplate,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “should,” “plan,” “expect,” “predict,” “could,” “potentially” or the negative of these terms or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places throughout this Annual Report and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things, our ongoing and planned preclinical development and clinical trials, the timing of and our ability to make regulatory filings and obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for roxadustat, pamrevlumab and our other product candidates, our intellectual property position, the potential safety, efficacy, reimbursement, convenience clinical and pharmaco-economic benefits of our product candidates, the potential markets for any of our product candidates, our ability to develop commercial functions, our ability to operate in the People’s Republic of China (“China”), expectations regarding clinical trial data, our results of operations, cash needs, spending of the proceeds from our initial public offering, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth and strategies, the industry in which we operate and the trends that may affect the industry or us. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs.

These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described in the section of this Annual Report captioned “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report. A summary of these risk factors can be found in the following section, however, please refer to the full risk factors in Item 1A “Risk Factors.” These risks are not exhaustive. Other sections of this Annual Report may include additional factors that could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements.

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We cannot assure you that the events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report are based on circumstances as of the date on which the statements are made. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this Annual Report or to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

This Annual Report also contains market data, research, industry forecasts and other similar information obtained from or based on industry reports and publications, including information concerning our industry, our business, and the potential markets for our product candidates, including data regarding the estimated size and patient populations of those and related markets, their projected growth rates and the incidence of certain medical conditions, as well as physician and patient practices within the related markets. Such data and information involve a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such estimates.

You should read this Annual Report with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and achievements may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

 

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RISK FACTOR SUMMARY

The success of FibroGen will depend on a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control and involve risks, including but not limited to the following:

Risks Related to the Development and Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

We are substantially dependent on the success of our lead products pamrevlumab and roxadustat.
Drug development and obtainment of marketing authorization are very difficult endeavors, and we may ultimately be unable to obtain regulatory approval for our various product candidates in one or more jurisdictions and one or more indications.
Preclinical, Phase 1, and Phase 2 clinical trial results may not be indicative of the results that may be obtained in larger clinical trials.
We do not know whether our ongoing or planned clinical trials will need to be redesigned based on interim results or if we will be able to achieve sufficient patient enrollment or complete planned clinical trials on schedule.
Our product candidates may cause or have attributed to them undesirable side effects or have other properties that delay or prevent their regulatory approval or limit their commercial potential.
If our manufacturers or we cannot properly manufacture the appropriate volume of product, we may experience delays in development, regulatory approval, launch, or successful commercialization.
We face substantial competition in the discovery, development and commercialization of product candidates.
Our product candidates may not achieve adequate market acceptance among physicians, patients, healthcare payors, and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

If our collaborations were terminated or if our partners were unwilling or unable to contribute or participate in these collaborations, our ability to successfully develop and commercialize the relevant product candidate would suffer.
If our preclinical and clinical trial contractors do not properly perform their agreed-upon obligations, we may not be able to obtain or may be delayed in receiving regulatory approvals for our product candidates.
We currently rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct many aspects of our product manufacturing and distribution, and these third parties may terminate these agreements or not perform satisfactorily.
We may have shortfalls, delays, or excesses in manufacturing.
Certain components of our products are acquired from single-source suppliers or without long-term supply agreements. The loss of these suppliers, or their failure to supply, would materially and adversely affect our business.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If our efforts to protect our proprietary and exclusively licensed technologies are not adequate, we may not be able to compete effectively in our market.
Our reliance on third parties and agreements with collaboration partners requires us to share our trade secrets, which increases the possibility that a competitor may discover them or that our trade secrets will be misappropriated or disclosed.
The cost of maintaining our patent protection is high and requires continuous review and diligence. We may not be able to effectively maintain our intellectual property position throughout the major markets of the world.
The laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as do the laws of the U.S., and we may encounter significant problems in securing and defending our intellectual property rights outside the U.S.

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Risks Related to Government Regulation

The regulatory approval process is highly uncertain and we may not obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates.
Our current and future relationships with customers, physicians, and third-party payors are subject to healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, transparency laws, and other regulations. If we are unable to comply with such laws, we could face substantial penalties.
We are subject to stringent and evolving U.S. and foreign laws, regulations, rules, contractual obligations, industry standards, policies and other obligations related to data privacy and security. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could lead to regulatory investigations or actions; litigation (including class claims) and mass arbitration demands; fines and penalties; disruptions of our business operations; reputational harm; loss of revenue or profits; and other adverse business consequences.

Risks Related to Our International Operations

We have established operations in China and are seeking approval to commercialize our product candidates outside of the U.S., and a number of risks associated with international operations could materially and adversely affect our business.
The pharmaceutical industry in China is highly regulated and such regulations are subject to change.
We use our own manufacturing facilities in China to produce roxadustat API and drug product for the market in China. There are risks inherent to operating commercial manufacturing facilities, and with these being our single source suppliers, we may not be able to continually meet market demand.
We may experience difficulties in successfully growing and sustaining sales of roxadustat in China.
The retail prices of any product candidates that we develop will be subject to pricing control in China and elsewhere.
FibroGen Beijing would be subject to restrictions on paying dividends or making other payments to us, which may restrict our ability to satisfy our liquidity requirements.
Our foreign operations, particularly those in China, are subject to significant risks involving the protection of intellectual property.
Uncertainties with respect to the China legal system and regulations could have a material adverse effect on us.
Changes in China’s economic, governmental, or social conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business.

CHINA OPERATIONS AND RELATED RISKS

We are incorporated in the state of Delaware. We operate within the Chinese market through FibroGen (China) Medical Technology Development Co., Ltd. (“FibroGen Beijing”), a wholly-owned subsidiary established in Beijing. FibroGen Beijing consists of development and commercialization operations as well as a drug product manufacturing facility. FibroGen Beijing holds the regulatory licenses issued by the Chinese regulatory authorities in respect of roxadustat. FibroGen Beijing has two branch offices located in Shanghai and Cangzhou, China. The branch office in Cangzhou operates a drug substance manufacturing facility. FibroGen Beijing also owns 51.1% of Beijing Falikang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (“Falikang”), a joint venture established by FibroGen and operated in conjunction with AstraZeneca Investment (China) Co., Ltd. for the purpose of distributing our sole drug product approved for sale in China, roxadustat. Falikang conducts distribution activities for roxadustat within China while AstraZeneca Investment (China) Co., Ltd., AstraZeneca AB (“AstraZeneca”) and AstraZeneca (Wuxi) Trading Co., Ltd. provide sales and marketing services in support of roxadustat. Thus, stockholders of FibroGen, Inc. have an ownership interest in the joint venture, Falikang, through the FibroGen, Inc. equity ownership in our subsidiaries, including FibroGen Beijing.

For a full discussion of our business in China, please see the section below titled “China - Roxadustat Commercial Program” as well as the sections titled “ANEMIA ASSOCIATED WITH MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROMES” and “CHEMOTHERAPY-INDUCED ANEMIA.” We summarize certain risks associated with our operations in China in this section, however, please refer also to the section of this Annual Report captioned “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for additional risks related to our international operations.

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To operate our business in China, each of our Chinese subsidiaries (and our joint venture with AstraZeneca, Falikang) is required to and does obtain a business license from the local counterpart of the State Administration for Market Regulation. Such business licenses list the business activities we are authorized to carry out and we would be noncompliant if we act outside of the scope of business activities set forth under the relevant business license. Due to China’s regulatory framework in general and for the pharmaceutical industry specifically, we are required to apply for and maintain many approvals or permits specific to many of our business activities, including but not limited to manufacturing, distribution, environmental protection, workplace safety and cybersecurity, from both national and local government agencies. For certain of our clinical trials conducted in China, we need to obtain, through the clinical sites, permits from the Human Genetic Resource Administrative Commission to collect samples that include human genetic resources, such as blood samples. We may also be required to obtain certain approvals from Chinese authorities before transferring certain scientific data abroad or to foreign parties or entities established or actually controlled by them. If we are unable to obtain the necessary approvals or permissions in order to operate our business in China, or if we inadvertently conclude that such approvals or permissions are not required, or if we are subject to additional requirements, approvals, or permissions, it could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, our ability to raise capital and the market price of our common stock.

Due to our operations in China and the United States (“U.S.”), any unfavorable government policies on cross-border relations and/or international trade (including increased scrutiny on companies with significant China-based operations, capital controls or tariffs) may affect the competitive position of our drug products, the hiring of personnel, the demand for our drug products, the import or export of products and product components, our ability to raise capital, the market price of our common stock, or prevent us from selling our drug products in certain countries. While we do not operate in an industry that is currently subject to foreign ownership limitations in China, China could decide to limit foreign ownership in our industry, in which case there could be a risk that we would be unable to do business in China as we are currently structured.

Our long-term plans for distributing cash flows from FibroGen Beijing may involve any number of scenarios including keeping the money onshore to fund future expansion of our China operations or paying down additional debt obligations. Our capital contributions to FibroGen Beijing and the liquidity position of FibroGen Beijing depend on many factors, including those set forth under Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report.

Our independent registered public accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, is headquartered in the U.S. and was not identified in the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) report dated December 16, 2021 as a firm that the PCAOB was unable to inspect. Therefore, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act does not apply to us.

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PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

OVERVIEW

FibroGen, Inc. is developing and commercializing a diversified pipeline of novel therapeutics that work at the frontiers of cancer biology and anemia.

In 2023, we reported results from multiple Phase 3 trials, advanced our pancreatic cancer Phase 3 trials of pamrevlumab and our preclinical work on our product candidates FG-3165 and FG-3175, in-licensed a new product candidate (FG-3246), and we continued to see robust sales growth of roxadustat in China for anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (“CKD”).

In 2024, we look forward to an approval decision in China for roxadustat in chemotherapy-induced anemia (“CIA”) and presenting data from two pivotal pancreatic cancer trials of pamrevlumab, our first-in-class antibody targeting connective tissue growth factor (“CTGF”).

Through our new partnership with Fortis Therapeutics (“Fortis”), we are also developing FG-3246 in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (“mCRPC”) and potentially other cancers, and we also look forward to advancing our late-stage pre-clinical programs: our anti-Gal9 antibody FG-3165 and our anti-CCR8 antibody FG-3175.

The following is an overview of our clinical, commercial, and research programs.

PAMREVLUMAB FOR THE TREATMENT OF PANCREATIC CANCER

Pamrevlumab is our first-in-class antibody developed to inhibit the activity of CTGF, a protein that has been shown to promote growth, survival, and spread of pancreatic tumors. To date, we have retained exclusive worldwide rights for pamrevlumab.

In clinical studies involving more than 1,000 pamrevlumab-treated patients (approximately half of whom were dosed for more than six months), pamrevlumab has been well-tolerated across the range of doses studied, and there have been no dose-limiting toxicities seen thus far.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has granted Fast Track designation to pamrevlumab for the treatment of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (“LAPC”). The FDA has granted orphan drug designation to pamrevlumab for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

In 2024, we expect to report topline results from our two ongoing pivotal studies of pamrevlumab, in LAPC and in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

PANCREATIC CANCER

Understanding Pancreatic Cancer and Current Therapies

Certain malignant solid tumors have a prominent fibrosis component consisting mostly of extracellular matrix (“ECM”) that contributes to metastasis and progressive disease. Fibrosis is an aberrant response of the body to tissue injury that may be caused by trauma, inflammation, infection, cell injury, or cancer. ECM is the connective tissue framework of an organ or tissue.

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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, or pancreatic cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Pancreatic cancer is typically not diagnosed until it is largely incurable; most patients are diagnosed after the age of 45. Approximately 64,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. in 2023, and approximately 50,000 people died of pancreatic cancer. Of all people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. between 2012 and 2018, the 5-year survival rate was 12%. Globally, an estimated 495,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020 and an estimated 466,000 people worldwide died from the disease. Because pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose, over 50% of new cases are metastatic, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 3%. An additional 15-20% of new pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed with localized resectable tumors, with the remaining 30-35% of newly diagnosed patients having localized, unresectable tumors. On average, patients with resectable tumors live for 2.5 years post-diagnosis and have a five-year survival rate of 20-30%. In its report of December 2017, Decision Resources Group estimated that the major market sales (U.S., Europe and Japan) of pancreatic cancer drugs would grow from $1.3 billion in 2016 to approximately $3.7 billion in 2026.

The majority of patients are treated with chemotherapy, but pancreatic cancer is highly resistant to chemotherapy. Approximately 15% to 20% of patients are treated with surgery; however, even for those with successful surgical resection, the median survival is approximately two years, with a five-year survival rate of 15% to 20% (Neesse et al. Gut (2011)). Radiation treatment may be used for locally advanced diseases, but it is not curative.

The duration of effect of approved anti-cancer agents to treat pancreatic cancer is limited. Gemcitabine demonstrated improvement in median overall survival from approximately four to six months, and erlotinib in combination with gemcitabine demonstrated an additional ten days of survival. Nab-paclitaxel in combination with gemcitabine was approved by the FDA in 2013 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, having demonstrated median survival of 8.5 months. The combination of folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) was reported to increase survival to 11.1 months. These drugs illustrate that progress in treatment for pancreatic cancer has been modest, and there remains a need for substantial improvement in patient survival and quality of life.

The approved chemotherapeutic treatments for pancreatic cancer target the cancer cells themselves. Tumors are composed of cancer cells and associated non-cancer tissue, or stroma, of which ECM is a major component. In certain cancers such as pancreatic cancer, both the stroma and tumor cells produce CTGF which in turn promotes the proliferation and survival of stromal and tumor cells. CTGF also induces ECM deposition that provides advantageous conditions for tumor cell adherence and proliferation, promotes blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis, and promotes metastasis, or tumor cell migration, to other parts of the body.

Pancreatic cancers are generally resistant to powerful chemotherapeutic agents, and there is now growing interest in the use of an anti-fibrotic agent to diminish the supportive role of stroma in tumor cell growth and metastasis. The anti-tumor effects observed with pamrevlumab in preclinical models indicate that it has the potential to inhibit tumor expansion through effects on tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis as well as reduce metastasis.

Phase 3 Clinical Trial in Locally Advanced Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer

LAPIS is our double-blind placebo-controlled Phase 3 clinical trial of pamrevlumab as a therapy for LAPC. We completed enrollment of 284 patients, who were randomized at a 1:1 ratio to receive either pamrevlumab or placebo, in each case in combination with chemotherapy (either FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel). We currently expect topline data for the primary endpoint of overall survival in mid-year 2024.

Phase 2/3 Clinical Trial in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

In June 2021, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) Precision PromiseSM adaptive trial platform included pamrevlumab in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy treatments for pancreatic cancer (gemcitabine and Abraxane®), for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Drug candidates in the Precision Promise study will progress from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of this seamless Phase 2/3 study, unless stopped sooner for safety or futility. The objective of Precision Promise is to expedite the study and approval of promising therapies for pancreatic cancer by bringing multiple stakeholders together, including academic, industry, and regulatory entities.

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In the third quarter of 2022, pamrevlumab graduated from Stage 1 to Stage 2, achieving a protocol pre-specified ≥ 35% predictive probability of success for the primary endpoint of overall survival at the completion of the trial. Pamrevlumab was the first experimental treatment arm to graduate to Stage 2 of the trial. The pamrevlumab combination therapy was offered to patients as either a first- or second-line treatment option.

In the first quarter of 2024, the pamrevlumab portion of the trial was completed, and we expect topline results in the second quarter of 2024. Precision Promise is a registration study, and the statistical design has been discussed by PanCAN with the FDA.

Completed Clinical Trials for Pancreatic Cancer

In addition to the aforementioned ongoing clinical trials, we have completed two other trials of pamrevlumab in pancreatic cancer.

Completed Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial in Locally Advanced Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer

We completed an open-label, randomized (2:1) Phase 1/2 trial (FGC004C-3019-069) of pamrevlumab combined with gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel chemotherapy vs. the chemotherapy regimen alone in patients with inoperable LAPC that had not been previously treated. We enrolled 37 patients in this study and completed the six-month treatment period and surgical assessment at the end of 2017. The overall goal of the trial was to determine whether pamrevlumab in combination with chemotherapy can convert inoperable pancreatic cancer to operable, or resectable, cancer. Tumor removal is the best chance for cure of pancreatic cancer, but only approximately 15% to 20% of patients are eligible for surgery.

We reported updated results from this study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June 2018. A higher proportion (70.8%) of pamrevlumab-treated patients whose tumors were previously considered unresectable became eligible for surgical exploration than patients who received chemotherapy alone (15.4%), based on pre-specified eligibility criteria at the end of six months of treatment. Furthermore, a higher proportion of pamrevlumab-treated patients (33.3%) achieved surgical resection than those who received chemotherapy alone (7.7%).

In addition, this data showed improved overall survival among patients whose tumors were resected vs. not resected (NE vs. 18.56 months, p-value=0.0141) and a trend toward improved overall survival in patients eligible for surgery vs. patients who were not (27.73 vs. 18.40 months, p-value=0.0766). No increase in serious adverse events was observed in the pamrevlumab arm and no delay in wound healing was observed post-surgery.

If pamrevlumab in combination with chemotherapy continues to demonstrate an enhanced rate of conversion from unresectable cancer to resectable cancer, it may support the possibility that pamrevlumab could provide a substantial survival benefit for LAPC patients.

Completed Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial in Pancreatic Cancer

We completed an open-label Phase 1/2 (FGCL-MC3019-028) dose finding trial of pamrevlumab combined with gemcitabine plus erlotinib in patients with previously untreated locally advanced (Stage 3) or metastatic (Stage 4) pancreatic cancer. These study results were published in the Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials (Picozzi et al., J Cancer Clin Trials 2017, 2:123). Treatment continued until progression of the cancer, or the patient withdrew for other reasons. Patients were then followed until death.

Seventy-five patients were enrolled in this study with 66 (88%) having Stage 4 metastatic cancer. The study demonstrated a drug exposure-related increase in survival. At the lowest doses, no patients survived for even one year while at the highest doses up to 31% of patients survived one year.

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A post-hoc analysis found that there was a significant relationship between survival and trough levels of plasma pamrevlumab measured immediately before the second dose (Cmin). Cmin greater than or equal to 150 µg/mL was associated with significantly improved progression-free survival (p=0.01) and overall survival (p=0.03) vs. those patients with Cmin less than 150 µg/mL. For patients with Cmin >150 µg/mL median survival was 9.0 months compared to median survival of 4.4 months for patients with Cmin <150 µg/mL. Similarly, 34.2% of patients with Cmin >150 µg/mL survived for longer than one year compared to 10.8% for patients with Cmin <150 µg/mL. These data suggest that sufficient blockade of CTGF requires pamrevlumab threshold blood levels of approximately 150 µg/mL in order to improve survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

In the study, the majority of adverse events were mild to moderate, and were consistent with those observed for erlotinib plus gemcitabine treatment without pamrevlumab. There were 99 treatment-emergent serious adverse events, six of which were assessed as possibly related to the investigational drug by the principal investigator, and 93 as not related to study treatment. After investigation, it was our determination that there was no causal relationship between pamrevlumab and the treatment-emergent serious adverse events deemed possibly related by the principal investigator. We did not identify any evolving dose-dependent pattern, and higher doses of pamrevlumab were not associated with higher numbers of serious adverse events or greater severity of the serious adverse events observed.

IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS AND DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

In June 2023, we announced topline results from ZEPHYRUS-1, our first Phase 3 trial of pamrevlumab in 356 IPF patients. The study did not meet the primary endpoint of change from baseline in forced vital capacity (“FVC”) at week 48. Preliminary safety data showed that pamrevlumab was generally safe and well tolerated, with the majority of treatment-emergent adverse events being mild or moderate.

Given the results from ZEPHYRUS-1, we discontinued ZEPHYRUS-2, our second Phase 3 trial of pamrevlumab in approximately 340 IPF patients.

In 2023, we also announced topline results from LELANTOS-1 and LELANTOS-2, our double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trials evaluating pamrevlumab in non-ambulatory and ambulatory DMD, respectively. The studies did not meet their primary endpoints. Preliminary safety data showed that pamrevlumab was generally safe and well tolerated with the majority of treatment-emergent adverse events being mild or moderate.

ROXADUSTAT FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANEMIA

CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

In collaboration with our partners Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”) and AstraZeneca, we have completed 16 Phase 3 studies worldwide in over 11,000 patients to support our marketing approvals of roxadustat (爱瑞卓®️, EVRENZOTM) to treat anemia in chronic kidney disease in China, Europe, Japan, and numerous other countries.

Background of Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD is a progressive disease characterized by gradual loss of kidney function that may eventually lead to kidney failure or end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. CKD affects approximately 15% of the global adult population. CKD is more prevalent in developed countries but is also growing rapidly in emerging markets such as China.

Anemia is a complication of CKD and can be a serious medical condition in which patients have insufficient red blood cells and low levels of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. Anemia becomes increasingly common as kidney function declines and is associated with increased risk of hospitalization, cardiovascular complications and death, and frequently causes significant fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and considerable reduction of quality of life.

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China – Roxadustat Commercial Program

Since the launch of roxadustat (tradename: 爱瑞卓®) in 2019, the anemia of CKD market has expanded significantly. Roxadustat has captured the majority of this growth, benefiting from inclusion in the 2019, 2021, and 2023 National Reimbursement Drug Lists.

In 2023, roxadustat sales in China continued to see significant volume growth in the treatment of anemia caused by CKD in non-dialysis and dialysis patients. As of December 2023, roxadustat was the top CKD anemia brand in China with approximately 42% value share within the segment of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (“ESAs”) and HIF-PH inhibitors (roxadustat is currently the only HIF-PH inhibitor on the market in China). Roxadustat has seen broad adoption across the three segments of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and non-dialysis.

In 2024, we expect continued growth of roxadustat sales in China due to continued adoption by patients and doctors and the recent two-year renewal on the 2023 National Reimbursement Drug List with a limited price reduction of 7%.

We have established significant clinical experience and market leadership in treating CKD anemia in China, and we believe roxadustat has become the standard of care for the treatment of anemia in CKD in China. In 2024, we will focus on expanding the population treated with roxadustat, as well as the duration of treatment, which we believe is important in effective management of anemia in CKD.

Europe - Roxadustat Commercial Program

In Europe, our partner Astellas continues the commercialization of EVRENZO® (roxadustat). EVRENZO is approved for the treatment of anemia associated with CKD in both non-dialysis and dialysis patients. In 2024, we expect sales of roxadustat for CKD anemia in Europe to accelerate as reimbursement has been achieved in most European countries.

Japan - Roxadustat Commercial Program

In Japan, our partner Astellas continues the commercialization of EVRENZO (roxadustat), targeting healthcare providers that care for approximately 330,000 dialysis patients across Japan. EVRENZO is approved for the treatment of anemia associated with CKD in both non-dialysis and dialysis patients. EVRENZO is one of five HIF-PH inhibitors currently on the market in Japan.

CHEMOTHERAPY-INDUCED ANEMIA

As blood cell production in bone marrow is highly prolific, it is particularly vulnerable to the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy used to treat cancer patients. Many chemotherapy agents directly impair hematopoiesis in bone marrow, including disruption of red blood cell production. The nephrotoxic effects of some cytotoxic agents, such as platinum-containing agents, can also result in decreased production of erythropoietin by the kidneys, further contributing to reduced red blood cell production. Radiation therapy has also been associated with hematologic toxicity.

There are approximately 10 million new cancer cases each year globally, 4.5 million in China. Of those, approximately half receive chemotheraphy, and half of those are anemic. The incidence and severity of CIA depend on a variety of factors, including the tumor type or the level of toxicity of the therapy, and further increases with each successive chemotherapy round. We believe the addressable population is approximately 500,000 in China.

ESAs have been recommended for patients who develop CIA with the desirable goals of improvement in anemia-related symptoms and the avoidance of blood transfusions, which increase risk of infections and the risk of complications such as heart failure and allergic reactions. However, not all CIA patients respond to ESA therapy, which may be due to the etiology of their CIA or inflammatory comorbidity. ESA use also has associated toxicities, including increased thrombotic events, possible decreased survival and accelerated tumor progression, as cited in randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses, that led to label restrictions and boxed warnings in the U.S. for ESAs in cancer populations in 2007, followed by the ESA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program.

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Phase 3 Clinical Trial in Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia

In May 2023, we announced positive topline data from our Phase 3 clinical study of roxadustat for treatment of anemia in patients receiving concurrent chemotherapy treatment for non-myeloid malignancies in China. Roxadustat demonstrated non-inferiority compared to recombinant erythropoietin alfa (SEPO ®) on the primary endpoint of change in hemoglobin (Hb) level from baseline to the average level during Weeks 9-13.

In the preliminary safety analysis, the adverse event profile of roxadustat was generally consistent with previous findings and supportive of a positive benefit risk in this patient population.

A total of 159 patients with non-myeloid malignancy (solid tumor) with a baseline hemoglobin level at or below 10 g/dL were enrolled into this Phase 3, randomized, open-label, active-controlled study investigating the efficacy and safety of roxadustat for treatment of CIA. Patients were randomly assigned roxadustat or erythropoietin alfa three times per week (TIW), during a treatment period of 12 weeks, with an additional 4-week follow-up period. We recently presented results from this study in an oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2023.

Our supplemental New Drug Application for roxadustat in CIA was accepted by the China Health Authority in August 2023, and we expect an approval decision mid-2024.

Although CIA is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, it is frequently undertreated. CIA can adversely affect long-term patient outcomes, as anemia limits both quality of life and the ability of patients to continue chemotherapy treatment. The incidence and severity of CIA depends on a variety of factors. This includes the type of cancer and the treatment, including the type of chemotherapy, schedule, and intensity of therapy. It also depends on whether the patient has received prior myelosuppressive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both.

Phase 2 Clinical Trial in Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia

The results of WHITNEY, the Phase 2 clinical trial of roxadustat in CIA in the U.S., was published by the American Journal of Hematology in January 2023. This study provided the basis for the study design for the China Phase 3 study.

ANEMIA ASSOCIATED WITH MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROMES

Myelodysplastic syndromes (“MDS”) are a diverse group of bone marrow disorders characterized by ineffective production of healthy blood cells and premature destruction of blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to anemia. In most MDS patients, the cause of the disease is unknown.

The diagnosed prevalence of MDS in the U.S. is estimated to be between 60,000 and 170,000, and continues to rise as more therapies become available and patients are living longer with MDS. Annual incidence rates are estimated to be 4.9/100,000 adults in the U.S., and 1.51/100,000 adults in China.

Anemia is the most common clinical presentation in MDS, seen in approximately 80% of MDS patients, and produces symptoms of fatigue, weakness, exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, dizziness, and cognitive impairment.

Limitations of the Current Standard of Care for Anemia in Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Stem cell transplant is the only potentially curative therapy for MDS, but it is not feasible in most patients due to their advanced age and frailty. The high rate of severe anemia leaves recurring red blood cell transfusions as the mainstay of care in MDS patients. Transfusion can result in direct organ damage through transfusional iron overload. Transfusion-dependent MDS patients suffer higher rates of cardiac events, infections, and transformation to acute leukemia, a decreased overall survival rate when compared with non-transfused patients with MDS, and decreased survival compared to an age-matched elderly population. Patients receiving red blood cell transfusions may require an iron chelator in order to address toxic elements of iron overload such as lipid peroxidation and cell membrane, protein, DNA, and organ damage.

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Lower-risk MDS patients represent approximately 77% of the total diagnosed MDS population. Most national and international guidelines recommend use of ESAs for anemia only in lower-risk MDS patients presenting with symptomatic anemia with serum EPO levels at or below 500 mU/mL.

The effectiveness of ESAs in treating anemia in lower-risk categories of MDS remains limited, with the best clinical study results showing 40% to 60% erythroid response rates, where significantly high doses of ESAs were used and enrolled patients had low serum EPO levels. New strategies to broaden the eligible population, improve anemia, and maintain adequate iron balance, as well as avoidance of transfusions, are highly desired in managing patients with MDS.

Market Opportunity for Roxadustat in Myelodysplastic Syndromes

We believe there is a significant need for a safer, more effective, and more convenient option to address anemia in patients with lower-risk MDS. Roxadustat, our orally administered small molecule HIF-PH inhibitor, stimulates the body’s natural mechanism of red blood cell production and iron hemostasis based on cellular-level oxygen-sensing and iron-regulation mechanisms. Unlike ESAs which are limited to providing exogenous EPO, roxadustat activates a coordinated erythropoietic response in the body that includes the stimulation of red blood cell progenitors, an increase in the body’s production of endogenous EPO, and an increase in iron availability for hemoglobin synthesis, which we believe is important in a broad range of MDS patients. Moreover, in anemia of CKD, roxadustat has demonstrated the ability in clinical trials to increase and maintain hemoglobin levels in the presence of inflammation as measured by CRP, where ESAs have shown limited effect. We believe that roxadustat has the potential to replicate this result in MDS anemia patients, where it is not uncommon for patients to present with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Phase 3 Clinical Trial in Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Topline 28-week data from MATTERHORN, our Phase 2/3 placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in MDS, was presented in the fourth quarter of 2023 at the American Society of Hematology annual conference.

More patients in the roxadustat arm (47.5% of 80 patients) achieved transfusion independence for 56 consecutive days (within the first 28 weeks) than the placebo arm (33.3% of 57 patients); however, the p-value was not significant.

However, in a post-hoc analysis of patients with higher transfusion burden (2 or more units of packed red blood cells every 4 weeks), 36.1% of the 36 roxadustat patients achieved transfusion independence, versus 11.5% of the 26 patients in the placebo arm (p=0.047).

PROSTATE CANCER

FG-3246 for the Treatment of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

In May 2023 we obtained an exclusive license to develop FG-3246 (previously FOR46) in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (“mCRPC”) and other cancer indications. FG-3246 is a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting a novel epitope on CD46 that is expressed at high levels in certain tumor types with limited expression in most normal tissues. The cytotoxic payload of FG-3246 is monomethyl auristatin E, an anti-mitotic agent that has been utilized in four commercially approved antibody-drug conjugate drugs.

FG-3246 showed monotherapy efficacy in a Phase 1 clinical study in patients with mCRPC. Interim efficacy results presented at ASCO 2022 showed a PSA50 response rate of 45% and an objective response rate of 19%. We expect additional data from this study by the first quarter of 2024.

An investigator-sponsored trial of FG-3246 plus enzalutimide is ongoing. Side effects have been manageable and are consistent with other monomethyl auristatin E-based antibody-drug conjugate drugs.

We anticipate the initiation of a PET biomarker-driven Phase 2 trial of FG-3246 for mCRPC in the second half of 2024. This trial is expected to have a dose-ranging lead-in portion prior to the biomarker-driven portion of the study. Development of the CD46-targeted PET biomarker is continuing with UCSF. We are also exploring additional potential tumor indications in which CD46 is commonly expressed.

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PRECLINICAL PIPELINE

Our preclinical pipeline consists of two antibodies for immuno-oncology that are in investigational New Drug Application-enabling studies.

FG-3165: Anti-Gal9 Antibody

FG-3165 is a galectin-9 (“Gal9”) targeted antibody under development for treatment of solid tumors characterized by high Gal9 levels of expression. Gal9 has been reported to bind to multiple immune checkpoints on lymphocytes that suppress T and natural killer cell activation, and it is a driver of cancer progression in acute myeloid leukemia. In preclinical studies FG-3165 and its variants inhibit Gal9 mediated T cell death, and also promotes anti-tumor immune responses in combination with other immune checkpoint targeted drugs. We plan to submit an investigational new drug application (IND) in the first quarter of 2024.

FG-3175: Anti-CCR8 Antibody

FG-3175 is a c-c motif chemokine receptor 8 (“CCR8”) targeted antibody under development for treatment of solid tumors that are highly infiltrated by CCR8-positive T regulatory cells. T regulatory cells contribute to an immune suppressed tumor microenvironment, and multiple preclinical studies have demonstrated immune activation and tumor regression following depletion of this cell type from the tumor microenvironment. FG-3175 is a variant of our previous lead anti-CCR8 antibody, FG-3163, and was deemed to be a superior clinical candidate following extended characterization of both antibodies. FG-3175 has enhanced antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity activity and induces potent killing of CCR8 expressing cells by natural killer cells in in vitro assay systems. We plan to submit an investigational new drug application (IND) in 2025.

COLLABORATIONS

Collaboration Partnerships for Roxadustat

Our revenue to date has been generated primarily from our collaboration agreements with Astellas and AstraZeneca for the development and commercialization of roxadustat. In addition, we started roxadustat commercial sales in China in 2019. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, 25% of our revenue was related to our collaboration agreements, and 68% of our revenue was from roxadustat commercial sales in China. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, 40% of our revenue was related to our collaboration agreements, and 59% of our revenue was from roxadustat commercial sales in China. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, 76% of our revenue was related to our collaboration agreements, and 20% of our revenue was from roxadustat commercial sales in China.

Astellas

We have two agreements with Astellas for the development and commercialization of roxadustat, one for Japan, and one for Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and South Africa. Under these agreements, we provided Astellas the right to develop and commercialize roxadustat for anemia in these territories.

We share responsibility with Astellas for clinical development activities required for U.S. and Europe regulatory approval of roxadustat, and equally share those development costs under the agreed development plan for such activities. Astellas will be responsible for clinical development activities and all associated costs required for regulatory approval in all other countries in the Astellas territories. Astellas will hold and have responsibility for regulatory filings in its territories. We are responsible, either directly or through our contract manufacturers, for the manufacture and supply of all quantities of roxadustat to be used in development and commercialization under the agreements, other than roxadustat drug product for Japan. Astellas is responsible for roxadustat commercialization activities in the Astellas territories.

AstraZeneca

Our collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca for roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in the U.S. and all territories except for China and those territories previously licensed to Astellas (the “AstraZeneca U.S./RoW Agreement”) was terminated (except South Korea) on February 23, 2024.

However, our ongoing collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca for the development and commercialization of roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in China (the “AstraZeneca China Agreement”) continues in full force and is unaffected.

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Under the AstraZeneca China Agreement, which is conducted through FibroGen China Anemia Holdings, Ltd., FibroGen Beijing, and FibroGen International (Hong Kong) Limited (collectively, “FibroGen China”), the commercial collaboration was structured as a 50/50 profit share, which was amended by the AstraZeneca China Amendment in the third quarter of 2020, as discussed and defined below.

In 2020, we entered into a Master Supply Agreement under the AstraZeneca U.S./RoW Agreement to define general forecast, order, supply, and payment terms for AstraZeneca to purchase roxadustat bulk drug product from FibroGen in support of commercial supplies.

In July 2020, FibroGen China and AstraZeneca entered into an amendment, effective July 1, 2020, to the AstraZeneca China Agreement, relating to the development and commercialization of roxadustat in China (the “AstraZeneca China Amendment”).

Under the AstraZeneca China Amendment, in September 2020, FibroGen Beijing and AstraZeneca completed the establishment of a jointly owned entity, Beijing Falikang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (“Falikang”), which performs roxadustat distribution, as well as conduct sales and marketing through AstraZeneca.

FibroGen Beijing manufactures and supplies commercial product to Falikang based on a gross transaction price, adjusted for the estimated profit share. Revenue is recognized upon the transfer of control of commercial products to Falikang in an amount that reflects the allocation of transaction price of the China manufacturing and supply obligation to the performance obligation satisfied during the reporting period.

Additional Information Related to Collaboration Agreements

Additional information related to our collaboration agreements is set forth in Item 7 of this Annual Report, and Note 3, Collaboration Agreements, License Agreement and Revenues, to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8 of this Annual Report. Information about collaboration partners that accounted for more than 10% of our total revenue or accounts receivable for the last three fiscal years is set forth in Note 17, Segment and Geographic Information, to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8 of this Annual Report.

Exclusive License from HiFiBiO

In June 2021, we entered into an exclusive license and option agreement with HiFiBiO (HK) Ltd. (d.b.a. HiFiBiO Therapeutics) (“HiFiBiO”), pursuant to which we exclusively licensed from HiFiBiO all product candidates in HiFiBiO’s Galectin-9 program and subsequently exclusively licensed all product candidates in HiFiBiO’s CCR8 program. In addition to the upfront payments we previously paid, HiFiBiO may receive up to a total of $345 million in future clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for each program. HiFiBiO will also be eligible to receive tiered royalties based upon worldwide net sales.

Exclusive License and Option to Acquire Fortis Therapeutics

On May 5, 2023, we entered into an exclusive option agreement to acquire Fortis with its novel Phase 1 antibody-drug conjugate, FG-3246 (previously FOR46), that targets a novel epitope on CD46 preferentially expressed on certain cancer cells. FG-3246 is in development for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer with potential applicability in other solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

Pursuant to an evaluation agreement entered into with Fortis concurrent with the option agreement, FibroGen has exclusively licensed FG-3246 and will control and fund future research and development, including a Phase 2 clinical study sponsored by FibroGen, and manufacturing of FG-3246 during the option period. As part of the clinical development strategy, we will continue the work to develop a PET-based biomarker utilizing a radiolabeled version of the targeting antibody for patient selection.

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FibroGen is obligated to make four quarterly payments totaling $5.0 million to Fortis in support of its continued development obligations.

If we exercise the option to acquire Fortis, we will pay Fortis $80.0 million, and thereafter, Fortis would be eligible to receive from FibroGen up to $200.0 million in contingent payments associated with the achievement of various regulatory approvals. If we acquire Fortis, we would also be responsible to pay UCSF, an upstream licensor to Fortis, development milestone fees and a single digit royalty on net sales of therapeutic or diagnostic products arising from the collaboration. If FibroGen chooses not to acquire Fortis, its exclusive license to FG-3246 would expire.

Exclusive License with Eluminex

In July 2021, we exclusively licensed to Eluminex Biosciences (Suzhou) Limited (“Eluminex”) global rights to our investigational biosynthetic cornea derived from recombinant human collagen type III. FibroGen may receive up to a total of $64.0 million in future manufacturing, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for the biosynthetic cornea program, as well as $36.0 million in commercial milestones for the first recombinant collagen III product that is not the biosynthetic cornea. FibroGen will be eligible to receive mid-single-digit to low double-digit royalties based upon worldwide net sales of cornea products, and low single-digit to mid-single-digit royalties based on worldwide net sales of other recombinant human collagen type III products that are not cornea products.

We received an $8.0 million upfront payment from Eluminex in 2022 and thereafter recognized a $3.0 million milestone payment based on Eluminex implanting a biosynthetic cornea in the first patient of its clinical trial in China, a $3.0 million manufacturing related milestone payment and a $1.0 million upfront payment. Additional information related to the Eluminex license revenue is set forth in Note 3, Collaboration Agreements, License Agreement and Revenues, to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8 of this Annual Report.

STRATEGIC FINANCING AGREEMENT

On November 4, 2022, we entered into a revenue interest financing agreement (“RIFA”) with an affiliate of NovaQuest Capital Management (“NovaQuest”) with respect to our revenues from Astellas’ sales of roxadustat in Europe, Japan and the other Astellas territories.

Pursuant to the RIFA, we received $49.8 million from NovaQuest, representing the gross proceeds of $50.0 million net of initial issuance costs, in consideration for a portion of future revenues we will receive from Astellas. For additional details about this financing transaction, see Note 10, Liability Related to Sale of Future Revenues, to the consolidated financial statements.

On April 29, 2023, we entered into a financing agreement (the “Financing Agreement”) with a $75.0 million senior secured term loan with investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, as lenders, and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as the administrative agent. For additional details about this financing transaction, see Note 9, Senior Secured Term Loan Facilities, to the consolidated financial statements.

COMPETITION

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are highly competitive, particularly in some of the indications of our developing drug candidates, including pancreatic cancer and anemia in CKD. We face competition from multiple other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, many of which have significantly greater financial, technical and human resources and experience in product development, manufacturing and marketing. These potential advantages of our competitors are particularly a risk in pancreatic cancer, where we do not currently have a development or commercialization partner.

We expect any products that we develop and commercialize to compete based on, among other things, efficacy, safety, convenience of administration and delivery, price, the level of generic competition, and the availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors.

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We expect that in many cases, the products that we commercialize will compete with existing marketed products, as well as product candidates that may be approved in the future, from companies that have large, established commercial organizations. In addition, we will likely face competition in patient recruitment and enrollment for clinical trials from other companies developing or seeking to pursue products or treatments in the same diseases or indications as us.

We also face competition from generics that could enter the market after expiry of our composition of matter patent. As of the end of 2023, the Chinese health authority has accepted abbreviated New Drug Applications (“NDAs”) for nineteen (19) generic roxadustat applicants. As these generic manufacturers would offer unpatented versions of roxadustat at a significantly reduced price, this competition could materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

MANUFACTURE AND SUPPLY

We continue to enter into contractual arrangements with qualified third-party manufacturers to manufacture and package our products and product candidates. We believe this manufacturing strategy enables us to more efficiently direct financial resources to the research, development and commercialization of product candidates rather than diverting resources to establishing a significant internal manufacturing infrastructure, unless there is additional strategic value for establishing manufacturing capabilities, such as in China. As our product candidates proceed through development, we explore or enter into longer-term commercial supply agreements with key suppliers and manufacturers in order to meet the ongoing and planned clinical and commercial supply needs for ourselves and our partners. Our timing of entry into these agreements is based on the current development and commercialization plans.

Roxadustat

Roxadustat is a small-molecule drug manufactured from generally available commercial starting materials and chemical technologies and multi-purpose equipment available from many third-party contract manufacturers. We have entered into commercial supply arrangements with Shanghai SynTheAll Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“WuXi STA”) and Catalent Pharma Solutions, LLC (“Catalent”) as our primary manufacturers of roxadustat drug substance (also known as active pharmaceutical ingredient or “API”) and roxadustat drug product, respectively. WuXi STA is located in China and currently supplies our API globally except for China, for which it manufactures an intermediate to be further manufactured by FibroGen Beijing. WuXi STA has passed inspections by several regulatory agencies, including the FDA and NMPA, and is Current Good Manufacturing Practice (“cGMP”) compliant. Catalent is located in the U.S. and supplies our drug product tablets globally except for Japan, where they are manufactured by Astellas, and China, where they are manufactured by FibroGen Beijing. Catalent has passed several regulatory inspections, including by the FDA, and manufactures commercial products for other clients.

In China, our Beijing facility received the Good Manufacturing Practice license for API and drug product. We are manufacturing drug product at our FibroGen Beijing manufacturing facility for commercial supply, but we are not currently manufacturing API at this facility. We are manufacturing API at our Cangzhou manufacturing facility, which is fully qualified and licensed. We may also qualify a third-party manufacturer to produce commercial API under the Marketing Authorization Holder System program.

Pamrevlumab

We have entered into a clinical and commercial supply agreement for the manufacture of pamrevlumab with Samsung Biologics Co., Ltd., which passed several regulatory inspections, including by the FDA, and manufactures commercial products for other clients. We are transitioning our manufacturing of pamrevlumab from Boehringer Ingelheim to Samsung Biologics Co., Ltd.

GOVERNMENT REGULATION

Our business activities and operations, including the clinical testing, manufacturing, labeling, storage, distribution, record keeping, advertising, promotion, import, export and marketing of our product candidates, among other things, are subject to extensive regulation by governmental authorities in the U.S., China, and other countries. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations, including in Europe and China, requires the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Compliance with environmental laws, rules, and regulations has not had, and is not expected to have, a material effect on our capital expenditures, results of operations, or competitive position, and we do not currently anticipate material capital expenditures for environmental control facilities.

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Failure to comply with the applicable requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval may subject an applicant and/or sponsor to a variety of administrative or judicial sanctions, including refusal by the applicable regulatory authority to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, imposition of a clinical hold, issuance of warning letters and other types of letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement of profits, or civil or criminal investigations and penalties brought by FDA and the Department of Justice, or other governmental entities.

U.S. Product Approval Process

In the U.S., the FDA regulates drugs and biological products, or biologics, under the Public Health Service Act, as well as the FDCA, which is the primary law for regulation of drug products. Both drugs and biologics are subject to the regulations and guidance implementing these laws.

The results of the preclinical studies, together with manufacturing information and analytical data, are submitted to the FDA as part of the IND, which includes a protocol detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial. The IND will become effective automatically 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions about the conduct of the trials as outlined in the IND prior to that time. In this case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before clinical trials can proceed.

While we have an Exclusive Option Agreement and Evaluation Agreement with Fortis, Fortis currently holds the IND for FG-3246/FOR46.

Further, the protocol for each clinical trial must be reviewed and approved by an independent institutional review board, either centrally or individually at each institution at which the clinical trial will be conducted.

The results of preclinical studies and clinical trials, together with detailed information on the manufacture, composition and quality of the product candidate, are submitted to the FDA in the form of an NDA (for a drug) or Biologics License Application (“BLA”) (for a biologic), requesting approval to market the product. The application must be accompanied by a significant user fee payment. The FDA has substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept any application or decide that the data is insufficient for approval and require additional preclinical, clinical or other studies.

Review of Application

Once the NDA or BLA submission is accepted for filing, which occurs, if at all, 60 days after submission, the FDA informs the applicant of the specific date by which the FDA intends to complete its review. During the approval process, the FDA reviews NDAs and BLAs to determine, among other things, whether the proposed product is safe and effective for its intended use, and whether the product is manufactured in accordance with cGMPs to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality and purity. The FDA may require Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy to assure safe use of the product, and inspections of manufacturing facilities (for cGMP compliance) and clinical trial sites (for integrity of data supporting safety and efficacy). The FDA may also convene an advisory committee of external experts to review issues relating to risk, benefit and interpretation of clinical trial data. The FDA may require post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor safety or efficacy of a product. FDA will issue either an approval of the NDA or BLA or a CRL detailing the deficiencies and information required in order for reconsideration of the application.

Post-Approval Requirements

Even after approval, drugs and biologics manufactured or distributed pursuant to FDA approvals are subject to continuous regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, requirements relating to recordkeeping, periodic reporting, product distribution, advertising and promotion and reporting of adverse experiences with the product.

In addition, entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drugs and biologics are required to register their establishments with the FDA and state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and these state agencies for compliance with cGMP requirements. The FDA requires prior approval before implementing any changes to the manufacturing process, investigations and corrections of any deviations from cGMP, and impose reporting and documentation requirements on the sponsor and any third-party manufacturer the sponsor may use. Accordingly, manufacturers must expend time, money, and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain cGMP compliance.

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The FDA strictly regulates marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses, and a company in violation may be subject to significant liability.

Federal and State Fraud and Abuse and Healthcare and Transparency Laws and Regulations

In addition to FDA restrictions on marketing of pharmaceutical products, federal and state healthcare laws restrict certain business practices in the biopharmaceutical industry. These laws include, but are not limited to, anti-kickback, false claims, data privacy and security, and transparency statutes and regulations.

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce, or in return for, purchasing, leasing, ordering or arranging for the purchase, lease or order of any good, facility, item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federal healthcare programs. Although there are a number of statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain common activities from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly. The intent standard under the Anti-Kickback Statute was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively “PPACA”), to a stricter intent standard such that a person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of this statute or the specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. In addition, PPACA codified case law that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the civil False Claims Act (discussed below).

The federal false claims laws and federal civil monetary penalties statute prohibit, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval to the federal government or knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to the federal government. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services.

In addition, we may be subject to federal and state healthcare privacy and security laws. For example, HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and its implementing regulations, imposes certain requirements on covered entities, business associates and their covered subcontractors relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. In addition, state laws complicate compliance efforts by the way they govern the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and with varying effects.

Additionally, the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act within the PPACA, and its implementing regulations, require that certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report information related to certain payments or other transfers of value made or distributed to physicians, other healthcare professionals, and teaching hospitals, or to entities or individuals at the request of, or designated on behalf of, such healthcare professionals and teaching hospitals and to report annually certain ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.

Also, many states have similar healthcare statutes or regulations that apply to items and services reimbursed under Medicaid and other state programs, or, in several states, apply regardless of the payor. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the health regulatory laws described above or any other laws that apply to us, we may be subject to penalties, including potentially significant criminal, civil and/or administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, individual imprisonment, exclusion of products from reimbursement under government programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, administrative burdens, diminished profits and future earnings and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations. To the extent that any of our products will be sold in a foreign country, we may be subject to similar foreign laws and regulations, which may include, for instance, applicable post-marketing requirements, including safety surveillance, anti-fraud and abuse laws and implementation of corporate compliance programs and reporting of payments or transfers of value to healthcare professionals.

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Data Privacy and Security

In the ordinary course of our business, we may process confidential, proprietary, and sensitive information, including personal data. Accordingly, we are, or may become, subject to numerous data privacy and security obligations, including federal, state, local, and foreign laws, regulations, guidance, and industry standards related to data privacy and security. Such obligations may include, without limitation, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (“EU GDPR”), the EU GDPR as it forms part of United Kingdom (“UK”) law by virtue of section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“UK GDPR”), China’s Personal Information Protection Law, the ePrivacy Directive, and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Several states within the United States have enacted or proposed data privacy and security laws. For example, Virginia passed the Consumer Data Protection Act, and Colorado passed the Colorado Privacy Act. Additionally, we are, or may become, subject to various U.S. federal and state consumer protection laws that require us to publish statements that accurately and fairly describe how we handle personal data and choices individuals may have about the way we handle their personal data.

The CCPA and EU GDPR are examples of the increasingly stringent and evolving regulatory frameworks related to personal data processing that may increase our compliance obligations and exposure for any noncompliance. For example, the CCPA imposes obligations on covered businesses to provide specific disclosures related to a business’s collection, use, and disclosure of personal data and to respond to certain requests from California residents related to their personal data (for example, requests to know of the business’s personal data processing activities, to delete the individual’s personal data, and to opt out of certain personal data disclosures). Also, the CCPA provides for civil penalties and a private right of action for data breaches which may include an award of statutory damages. In addition, the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”), effective January 1, 2023, expanded the CCPA by, among other things, giving California residents the ability to limit use of certain sensitive personal data, establishing restrictions on personal data retention, expanding the types of data breaches that are subject to the CCPA’s private right of action, and establishing a new California Privacy Protection Agency to implement and enforce the new law.

Foreign data privacy and security laws (including but not limited to the EU GDPR and UK GDPR) impose significant and complex compliance obligations on entities that are subject to those laws. As one example, the EU GDPR applies to any company established in the EEA and to companies established outside the EEA that process personal data in connection with the offering of goods or services to data subjects in the EEA or the monitoring of the behavior of data subjects in the EEA. These obligations may include limiting personal data processing to only what is necessary for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes; requiring a legal basis for personal data processing; requiring the appointment of a data protection officer in certain circumstances; increasing transparency obligations to data subjects; requiring data protection impact assessments in certain circumstances; limiting the collection and retention of personal data; increasing rights for data subjects; formalizing a heightened and codified standard of data subject consents; requiring the implementation and maintenance of technical and organizational safeguards for personal data; mandating notice of certain personal data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority(ies) and affected individuals; and mandating the appointment of representatives in the UK and/or the EU in certain circumstances.

See the section titled “Risk Factors” for additional information about the laws and regulations to which we may become subject and about the risks to our business associated with such laws and regulations.

Pharmaceutical Coverage, Pricing and Reimbursement

In both domestic and foreign markets, our sales of any approved products will depend in part on the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors. Third-party payors include government health administrative authorities, managed care providers, private health insurers and other organizations. Patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers performing the prescribed services generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs. Patients are unlikely to use our products unless coverage is provided and reimbursement is adequate to cover a significant portion of the cost of our products. Third-party payors are increasingly focused on containing healthcare costs by challenging the price and examining the cost-effectiveness of medical products and services. In addition, significant uncertainty exists as to the coverage and reimbursement status of newly approved healthcare product candidates.

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Because each third-party payor individually approves coverage and reimbursement levels, obtaining coverage and adequate reimbursement is a time-consuming, costly and sometimes unpredictable process. We may be required to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of any product to each third-party payor separately with no assurance that approval would be obtained, and we may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of our products. This process could delay the market acceptance of any product and could have a negative effect on our future revenues and operating results. We cannot be certain that our products and our product candidates will be considered cost-effective. If we are unable to obtain coverage of, and adequate reimbursement and payment levels for, our product candidates from third-party payors, physicians may limit how much or under what circumstances they will prescribe or administer them and patients may decline to purchase them. This in turn could affect our ability to successfully commercialize our products and impact our profitability, results of operations, financial condition and future success.

In addition, in many foreign countries, particularly the countries of the European Union and China, the pricing of prescription drugs is subject to government control. In some non-U.S. jurisdictions, the proposed pricing for a drug must be approved before it may be lawfully marketed. The requirements governing drug pricing vary widely from country to country. We may face competition for our product candidates from lower-priced products in foreign countries that have placed price controls on pharmaceutical products. In addition, there may be importation of foreign products that compete with our own products.

Healthcare Reform

In the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions, we expect there will continue to be a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the healthcare system that could affect the future results of our operations as we directly commercialize our products. In particular, there continues to be a number of initiatives at the U.S. federal and state level that seek to reduce healthcare costs.

For example, as a cost containment measure, PPACA established: an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic agents; revised the methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers to the state and federal government for covered outpatient drugs under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated; increased the minimum Medicaid rebates owed by most manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program; and extended the Medicaid Drug Rebate program to utilization of prescriptions of individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations. There have been executive, judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the PPACA. In addition, on August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) into law, which among other things, extends enhanced subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance coverage in PPACA marketplaces through plan year 2025. The IRA also eliminates the “donut hole” under the Medicare Part D program beginning in 2025 by significantly lowering the beneficiary maximum out-of-pocket cost and creating a new manufacturer discount program. It is possible that the PPACA will be subject to future judicial or Congressional challenges, other litigation, and healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration that may impact the PPACA and our business.

Further, in the U.S. there was heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which resulted in several Presidential executive orders, Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under government payor programs, and review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs. The IRA also, among other things, (1) directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS") to negotiate the price of certain single-source drugs and biologics covered under Medicare and (2) imposes rebates under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D to penalize price increases that outpace inflation. These provisions take effect progressively starting in fiscal year 2023. On August 29, 2023, HHS announced the list of the first ten drugs that will be subject to price negotiations, although the Medicare drug price negotiation program is currently subject to legal challenges. It is currently unclear how the IRA will be implemented but is likely to have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry. Further, on February 14, 2023, HHS released a report outlining three new models for testing by the CMS Innovation Center which will be evaluated on their ability to lower the cost of drugs, promote accessibility, and improve quality of care. It is unclear whether the models will be utilized in any health reform measures in the future. Further, on December 7, 2023, the Biden administration announced an initiative to control the price of prescription drugs through the use of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. On December 8, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published for comment a Draft Interagency Guidance Framework for Considering the Exercise of March-In Rights which for the first time includes the price of a product as one factor an agency can use when deciding to exercise march-in rights. While march-in rights have not previously been exercised, it is uncertain if that will continue under the new framework. It is unclear whether these or similar policy initiatives will be implemented in the future.

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Some states implemented, and other states are considering, price controls or patient access constraints under the Medicaid program, and some states are considering price-control regimes that would apply to broader segments of their populations that are not Medicaid-eligible. Due to the volatility in the current economic and market dynamics, we are unable to predict the impact of any unforeseen or unknown legislative, regulatory, payor or policy actions, which may include cost containment and healthcare reform measures. Such policy actions could impact on our business.

Approval Process and Other Regulation in China

The pharmaceutical industry in China is highly regulated. The primary regulatory authority is the NMPA, including its provincial and local branches. As a developer, manufacturer and supplier of drugs, we are subject to regulation and oversight by the NMPA and its provincial and local branches. The Drug Administration Law of China provides the basic legal framework for the administration of the production and sale of pharmaceuticals in China and covers the manufacturing, distributing, packaging, pricing and advertising of pharmaceutical products. Its implementing regulations set forth detailed rules with respect to the administration of pharmaceuticals in China. In addition, we are, and we will be, subject to other Chinese laws and regulations that are applicable to business operators, manufacturers and distributors in general.

Pharmaceutical Clinical Development

A new drug must be approved by the NMPA before it can be manufactured and marketed for sale. To obtain NMPA approval, the applicant must conduct clinical trials, which must be approved by the NMPA and are subject to the NMPA’s supervision and inspection. There are four phases of clinical trials. Application for registration of new drugs requires completion of Phase 1, 2 and 3 of clinical trials, similar to the U.S. In addition, the NMPA may require the conduct of Phase 4 studies as a condition to approval.

Phase 4 studies are post-marketing studies to assess the therapeutic effectiveness of and adverse reactions to the new drug, including an evaluation of the benefits and risks, when used among the general population or specific groups, with findings used to inform adjustments to dosage, among other things.

NDA and Approval to Market

China requires approval of the NDA as well as the manufacturing facility before a drug can be marketed in China. Approval and oversight are performed at national and provincial levels of the NMPA, involve multiple agencies and consist of various stages of approval.

Under the applicable drug registration regulations, drug registration applications are divided into three different types, namely Domestic NDA, Domestic Generic Drug Application, and Imported Drug Application. Drugs fall into one of three categories, namely chemical medicine, biological product, or traditional Chinese or natural medicine.

Foreign Regulation Outside of China

In order to market any product outside of the U.S., we would need to comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements of other countries and jurisdictions regarding quality, safety and efficacy and governing, among other things, clinical trials, manufacturing, marketing authorization, commercial sales and distribution of our products. Whether or not we obtain FDA approval for a product, we would need to obtain the necessary approvals by the comparable foreign regulatory authorities before we can commence clinical trials or marketing of the product in foreign countries and jurisdictions. Although many of the issues discussed above with respect to the U.S. apply similarly in the context of other countries we are seeking approval in, including Europe and China, the approval process varies between countries and jurisdictions and can involve different amounts of product testing and additional administrative review periods. For example, in Europe and in China, a sponsor must submit a clinical trial application, much like an IND prior to the commencement of human clinical trials. A clinical trial application must be submitted to each national health authority and an independent ethics committee.

For other countries outside of the European Union, such as China and the countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America or Asia, the requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing, and reimbursement vary from country to country. Regulatory approval in one country or jurisdiction does not ensure regulatory approval in another, but a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one country or jurisdiction may negatively impact the regulatory approval process in other countries.

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Regulatory Exclusivity for Approved Products

U.S. Patent Term Restoration

Depending upon the timing, duration, and specifics of the FDA approval of our product candidates, some of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent restoration term of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during product development and the FDA regulatory review process. The patent term restoration period is generally one-half the time between the effective date of an initial IND and the submission date of an NDA or BLA, plus the time between the submission date of the NDA or BLA and the approval of that product candidate application, to the extent such period occurs after grant of the patent. Patent term restoration cannot, however, extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the product’s approval date. In addition, only one patent applicable to an approved product is eligible for the extension and the application for the extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in consultation with the FDA, reviews and approves applications for any patent term extension or restoration. In the future, we expect to apply for restoration of patent term for patents relating to each of our product candidates in order to add patent life beyond the current expiration date of such patents, depending on the length of the clinical trials and other factors involved in the filing of the relevant NDA or BLA.

Market exclusivity provisions under the U.S. federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act can also delay the submission or the approval of certain applications of companies seeking to reference another company’s NDA or BLA. The Hatch-Waxman Act provides a 5-year period of exclusivity to any approved NDA for a product containing a New Chemical Entity (“NCE”) never previously approved by FDA either alone or in combination with another active moiety. No application or abbreviated NDA directed to the same NCE may be submitted during the 5-year exclusivity period, except that such applications may be submitted after four years if they contain a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement of the patents listed with the FDA by the innovator NDA.

Biologic Price Competition and Innovation Act

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (“BPCIA”) established an abbreviated pathway for the approval of biosimilar and interchangeable biological products. The abbreviated regulatory approval pathway establishes legal authority for the FDA to review and approve biosimilar biologics, including the possible designation of a biosimilar as “interchangeable” based on similarity to an existing branded product. Under the BPCIA, an application for a biosimilar product cannot be approved by the FDA until 12 years after the original branded product was approved under a BLA. However, an application may be submitted after four years if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement with respect to the patents listed with the FDA by the innovator BLA holder.

Orphan Drug Act

Pamrevlumab has received orphan drug designation in pancreatic cancer in the U.S. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug or biological product intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., or if it affects more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making a drug product available in the U.S. for this type of disease or condition will be recovered from sales of the product. Orphan product designation must be requested before submitting an NDA. After the FDA grants orphan product designation, the identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. Orphan product designation does not convey any advantage in or shorten the duration of the regulatory review and approval process.

If a product that has orphan designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease or condition for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications to market the same drug or biological product for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan exclusivity. The designation of such drugs also entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and user-fee waivers. Competitors, however, may receive approval of different products for the indication for which the orphan product has exclusivity or obtain approval for the same product but for a different indication for which the orphan product has exclusivity. Orphan product exclusivity also could block the approval of one of our products for seven years if a competitor obtains approval of the same drug or biological product as defined by the FDA or if our drug candidate is determined to be contained within the competitor’s product for the same indication or disease. If a drug product designated as an orphan product receives marketing approval for an indication broader than what is designated, it may not be entitled to orphan product exclusivity in any indication.

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Products receiving orphan designation in Europe can receive ten years of market exclusivity, during which time no similar medicinal product for the same indication may be placed on the market. The ten-year market exclusivity may be reduced to six years if, at the end of the fifth year, it is established that the product no longer meets the criteria for orphan designation; for example, if the product is sufficiently profitable not to justify maintenance of market exclusivity. Additionally, marketing authorization may be granted to a similar product for the same indication at any time if the second applicant can establish that its product, although similar, is safer, more effective or otherwise clinically superior; the initial applicant consents to a second orphan medicinal product application; or the initial applicant cannot supply enough orphan medicinal product. An orphan product can also obtain an additional two years of market exclusivity in Europe for pediatric studies. No extension to any supplementary protection certificate can be granted on the basis of pediatric studies for orphan indications.

Foreign Country Data Exclusivity

Europe also provides opportunities for additional market exclusivity. For example, in Europe, upon receiving marketing authorization, a NCE or new biologic generally receives eight years of data exclusivity and an additional two years of market exclusivity. If granted, data exclusivity prevents regulatory authorities in Europe from referencing the innovator’s data to assess a generic application. During the additional two-year period of market exclusivity, a generic marketing authorization can be submitted, and the innovator’s data may be referenced, but no generic product can be marketed until the expiration of the market exclusivity.

In China, there may also be an opportunity for data exclusivity for a period of six years for data included in an NDA applicable to a NCE. According to the Implementing Regulations of the China Drug Administration Law, the Chinese government would protect undisclosed data from drug studies and prevent the approval of an application made by another company that uses the undisclosed data for the approved drug. However, even though the NMPA issued a draft regulation on regulatory data protection on April 25, 2018 for public comment, the regulation has yet to be finalized and implemented. As such, data exclusivity is currently not enforced.

In addition, if an approved drug manufactured in China qualified as an innovative drug or an improved new drug before December 1, 2019, such drugs were eligible for a monitoring surveillance period for up to five years for the purpose of protecting public health. Under the regulations, during this post-marketing surveillance period, the NMPA would not accept marketing authorization applications filed by another company for the same product, nor approve marketing authorization applications filed by another company to produce, change dosage form of, or import the drug. The approved manufacturer was required to provide an annual report to the regulatory department of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the central government where it is located during the surveillance period. Although this procedure was reportedly still active for drugs that had qualified prior to changes in the law ending the monitoring surveillance provisions, the CDE started accepting marketing authorization applications for generic forms of roxadustat, starting in May 2023.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

We own or license numerous patents in the U.S. and foreign countries primarily covering our products. We have also developed and are developing brand names and trademarks for our products. We consider the overall protection of our patents, trademarks, licenses, and other intellectual property rights to be of material value and act to protect these rights from infringement. Our success depends in part upon our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates including compositions-of-matter, dosages, and formulations, manufacturing methods, and novel applications, uses and technological innovations related to our product candidates and core technologies. We also rely on trade secrets, know-how and continuing technological innovation to further develop and maintain our competitive position.

Our policy is to seek to protect our proprietary position by, among other methods, filing U.S. and foreign patent applications related to our proprietary technologies, inventions and any improvements that we consider important to the development and implementation of our business and strategy. Our ability to maintain and solidify our proprietary position for our products and technologies will depend, in part, on our success in obtaining and enforcing valid patent claims. Additionally, we may benefit from a variety of regulatory frameworks in the U.S., Europe, China, and other territories that provide periods of non-patent-based exclusivity for qualifying drug products. Refer to “Government Regulation — Regulatory Exclusivity for Approved Products.”

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We cannot ensure that patents will be granted with respect to any of our pending patent applications or with respect to any patent applications that may be filed by us in the future, nor can we ensure that any of our existing or subsequently granted patents will be useful in protecting our drug candidates, technological innovations, and processes. Additionally, any existing or subsequently granted patents may be challenged, invalidated, circumvented or infringed. We cannot guarantee that our intellectual property rights or proprietary position will be sufficient to permit us to take advantage of current market trends or otherwise to provide or protect competitive advantages. Furthermore, our competitors may be able to independently develop and commercialize similar products, or may be able to duplicate our technologies, business model, or strategy, without infringing our patents or otherwise using our intellectual property.

The protection afforded by any particular patent depends upon many factors, including the type of patent, scope of coverage encompassed by the granted claims, availability of extensions of patent term, availability of legal remedies in the particular territory in which the patent is granted, and validity and enforceability of the patent. Changes in either patent laws or in the interpretation of patent laws in the U.S. and other countries could diminish our ability to protect our inventions and to enforce our intellectual property rights. Accordingly, we cannot predict with certainty the enforceability of any granted patent claims or of any claims that may be granted from our patent applications.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are characterized by extensive litigation regarding patents and other intellectual property rights. Our ability to maintain and solidify our proprietary position for our products and core technologies will depend on our success in obtaining effective claims and enforcing those claims once granted. We have been in the past and are currently involved in various legal proceedings with respect to our patents and patent applications and may be involved in such proceedings in the future. Additionally, we may claim that a third party infringes our intellectual property, or a third party may claim that we infringe its intellectual property. Such legal proceedings may be associated with significant expenses, damages, attorneys’ fees, costs of proceedings, and experts’ fees, and management and employees may be required to spend significant time in connection with these actions.

Because of the extensive time required for clinical development and regulatory review of a product candidate we may develop, it is possible that any patent related to our product candidates may expire before any of our product candidates can be commercialized, or may remain in force for only a short period of time following commercialization, thereby reducing the advantage afforded by any such patent.

The patent positions for our most advanced programs are summarized below.

Roxadustat Patent Portfolio

While the composition-of-matter patents covering roxadustat expire in 2024 (except in the U.S., where they expire in 2025), the roxadustat patent portfolio includes additional patents providing protection for roxadustat, including protection for the commercial crystalline form, pharmaceutical compositions, and key intermediates in roxadustat synthesis. Subject to the additional details outlined below for particular territories, and exclusive of any patent term extension, U.S. and foreign patents relating to crystalline forms of roxadustat and key intermediates in roxadustat synthesis are due to expire in 2033, and U.S. and foreign patents relating to photostable formulations of roxadustat are due to expire in 2034.

Supplemental Protection Certificates (SPCs) are pending or have been granted in European Union member states, where roxadustat has been granted marketing approval, on our European Patent No. 3470397 (the “`397 Patent”), which claims formulations comprising the commercial crystalline form of roxadustat, thereby extending patent protection to 2036. Patent term extensions (PTEs) have also been granted for several roxadustat-related patents in Japan, where roxadustat has been granted marketing approval, including on composition-of-matter and crystal form patents extending patent protection to 2029 and 2035, respectively.

In China, no photostable formulation patent has yet been granted (applications are pending). Our roxadustat China patent portfolio additionally includes a granted patent and pending patent applications directed to roxadustat particle size distribution (PSD) in commercial formulations and use of roxadustat to treat select CIA patient populations. These patents and patent applications, upon grant, could extend the exclusivity of the roxadustat franchise with respect to the claimed subject matter to 2043.

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Several patents in our roxadustat patent portfolio have been challenged in Europe and China. In particular, patent challenges have been filed against our crystal form patents in Europe and China, and against our photostable formulations patent in Europe. While European Patent No. 2872488 (the “`488 Patent”), which claims the commercial crystalline form of roxadustat, was originally revoked in opposition, the decision is currently under appeal. While both the `397 Patent and our European Patent No. 3003284 (the “`284 Patent”), which claims photostable formulations of roxadustat, were upheld in opposition, the opponents have appealed the decision in the `284 Patent and we anticipate the opponents will appeal the decision in the `397 Patent. In China, three roxadustat crystal form patents were revoked in first-round proceedings and two revocations were upheld on first appeal; however, all decisions currently remain on appeal. Final resolution of these proceedings in Europe and China will take time and we cannot be assured that these patents will survive these proceedings as originally granted or at all.

Pamrevlumab Patent Portfolio

Our pamrevlumab patent portfolio includes U.S. and foreign patents providing composition-of-matter protection for pamrevlumab. Exclusive of any patent term extension, the last of the U.S. patents relating to pamrevlumab composition-of-matter is due to expire in 2025 and corresponding foreign patents are due to expire, exclusive of any patent term extension, in 2024. Therefore, in most jurisdictions, exclusivity for pamrevlumab will rely primarily on regulatory exclusivities, including a 12-year reference product exclusivity period from approval in the U.S. and a 10-year marketing protection period from approval in Europe. Similar regulatory exclusivities exist in other jurisdictions. Refer to “Government Regulation — Regulatory Exclusivity for Approved Products — Biologic Price Competition and Innovation Act” and “Government Regulation — Regulatory Exclusivity for Approved Products — Foreign Country Data Exclusivity.”

We also hold additional granted U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications directed to the use of pamrevlumab to treat pancreatic cancer. Upon marketing approval of pamrevlumab in most jurisdictions, we can request patent term extension on a non-expired patent in that jurisdiction that is relevant to the approved label. For example, we believe that if pamrevlumab is approved in the U.S. prior to expiration of the composition-of-matter patent, a full five-year patent term extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act will be available, extending the term of that patent to 2030.

FG-3246 Patent Portfolio

Our FG-3246 patent portfolio includes U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications providing, upon grant, composition-of-mater protection for FG-3246 that are due to expire in 2035 exclusive of any patent term extension.

Trade Secrets and Know-How

In addition to patents, we rely upon proprietary trade secrets and know-how and continuing technological innovation to develop and maintain our competitive position. We seek to protect our proprietary information, in part, using confidentiality and other terms in agreements with our commercial partners, collaboration partners, consultants, and employees. Such agreements are designed to protect our proprietary information and may also grant us ownership of technologies that are developed through a relationship with a third party, such as through invention assignment provisions. Agreements may expire and we could lose the benefit of confidentiality, or our agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any breach. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or be independently discovered by competitors.

To the extent that our commercial partners, collaboration partners, employees and consultants use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know-how and inventions.

In-Licenses

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (Medarex, Inc.)

Effective July 9, 1998, and as amended on June 30, 2001 and January 28, 2002, we entered into a research and commercialization agreement with Medarex, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary GenPharm International, Inc. (now, collectively, part of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“Medarex”)) to develop fully human monoclonal antibodies for potential anti-fibrotic therapies. Under the agreement, Medarex was responsible for using its proprietary immunizable transgenic mice (“HuMAb-Mouse technology”) during a specified research period (the “Research Period”), to produce fully human antibodies against our proprietary antigen targets, including CTGF, for our exclusive use.

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The agreement granted us an option to obtain an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing, commercial license to develop antibodies derived from Medarex’s HuMAb-Mouse technology, for use in the development and commercialization of diagnostic and therapeutic products. In December 2002, we exercised that option with respect to twelve antibodies inclusive of the antibody from which pamrevlumab is derived. We granted back to Medarex an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable license, with the right to sublicense, to certain inventions created during the parties’ research collaboration, with such license limited to use by Medarex outside the scope of our licensed antibodies.

As a result of the exercise of our option to obtain the commercial license, Medarex is precluded from:

 

(i) knowingly using any technology involving immunizable transgenic mice containing unrearranged human immunoglobulin genes with any of our antigen targets that were the subject of the agreement,

 

(ii) granting to a third party a commercial license that covers such antigen targets or those antibodies derived by Medarex during the Research Period, and

(iii) using any antibodies derived by Medarex during the Research Period, except as permitted under the agreement for our benefit or to prosecute patent applications in accordance with the agreement.

Medarex retained ownership of the patent rights relating to certain mice, mice materials, antibodies and hybridoma cell lines used by Medarex in connection with its activities under the agreement, and Medarex also owns certain claims in patents covering inventions that arise during the Research Period, which claims are directed to (i) compositions of matter (e.g., an antibody) except formulations of antibodies for therapeutic or diagnostic use, or (ii) methods of production. We own the patent rights to any inventions that arise during the Research Period that relate to antigens, as well as claims in patents covering inventions directed to (a) methods of use of an antibody, or (b) formulations of antibodies for therapeutic or diagnostic use. Upon exercise of our option to obtain the commercial license, we obtained the sole right but not obligation to control prosecution of patents relating solely to the licensed antibodies or products. Medarex has back-up patent prosecution rights in the event we decline to further prosecute or maintain such patents.

In addition to research support payments by us to Medarex during the Research Period, and an upfront commercial license fee in the form of 181,819 shares of FibroGen Series D Convertible Preferred Stock paid upon exercise of our option, we committed development-related milestone payments of up to $11 million per therapeutic product containing a licensed antibody, and we have paid a $1 million development-related milestone, in the form of 133,333 shares of FibroGen Series G Convertible Preferred Stock, and a cash payment of $2 million, for pamrevlumab to date. At our election, the remaining milestone payments may be paid in common stock of FibroGen, Inc., or cash.

With respect to our sales and sales by our affiliates, the agreement also requires us to pay Medarex low single-digit royalties for licensed therapeutic products and low double-digit royalties plus certain capped sales-based bonus royalties for licensed diagnostic products. With respect to sales of licensed products by a sublicensee, we may elect to pay the foregoing royalties based on our sublicensee’s sales, or a percentage (in the high-teens) of all payments received by us from such sublicensee. We are also required to reimburse Medarex any pass-through royalties, if any, payable under Medarex’s upstream license agreements with Medical Research Council and DNX. Royalties payable by us under the agreement are on a licensed product-by-licensed product and country-by-country basis and subject to reductions in specified circumstances, and royalties are payable for a period until either expiration of patents covering the applicable licensed product or a specified number of years following the first commercial sale of such product in the applicable country.

Unless earlier terminated, the agreement will continue in effect for as long as there are royalty payment obligations by us or our sublicensees. Either party may terminate the agreement for certain material breaches by the other party, or for bankruptcy, insolvency or similar circumstances. In addition, we may also terminate the agreement for convenience upon written notice.

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Fortis Therapeutics / University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Effective May 5, 2023, we entered into an Evaluation Agreement with Fortis Therapeutics, Inc., under which FibroGen was granted an exclusive license to certain Fortis intellectual property (IP) and additional IP in-licensed by Fortis from UCSF for the purpose of performing evaluation activities associated with use of FG-3246/FOR46 particularly for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The IP includes know-how, patents, and patent applications related to FG-3246 composition-of-matter and variants thereof, anti-CD46 antibodies and immunoconjugates made therefrom, and formulations, dosing regimens, and uses thereof. Composition-of-matter patents for FG-3246 are due to expire in 2035, and formulation and dosing regimen patents are due to expire in 2041, in each case exclusive of any patent term extension or adjustment that may be available.

Under the agreement, we have first right to prepare, file, prosecute, and maintain patents and patent applications in the Fortis IP at our own expense and using mutually agreed-upon counsel. We are also obligated to reimburse Fortis for all payments made by Fortis to UCSF for expenses incurred by UCSF in prosecution and maintenance of the in-licensed patent portfolio, and other payments made by Fortis to UCSF under their license agreement during the term of the Evaluation Agreement.

Unless terminated according to terms in the Evaluation Agreement, the term of the license is subject to an Option Agreement and Plan of Merger by and between FibroGen, Fortis Therapeutics, and Shareholder Representative Services LLC dated May 5, 2023. If we exercise our merger option on or before the option exercise deadline, we will acquire Fortis Therapeutics and all benefits and obligations associated with the Fortis IP and license with UCSF, subject to contingent payments of up to $200 million based on certain milestones. If we do not exercise our merger option, the license will terminate at the option exercise deadline which is the earlier of 90 days from the receipt of end of phase 2 meeting minutes from FDA regarding FG-3246 or May 5, 2027 absent extension.

HiFiBiO Therapeutics

Effective June 16, 2021, we entered into an Exclusive License and Option Agreement with HiFiBiO (HK) Ltd. (d.b.a. HiFiBiO Therapeutics), under which FibroGen was granted an exclusive, worldwide license to HiFiBiO know-how and patent rights to all galectin-9 (Gal-9)-directed products for all uses, and a sublicense from HiFiBiO to in-licensed anti-Gal-9 antibodies from Société d’Accélération du Transfert de Technologie (“SATT-NORD”). The patent rights include U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications directed to specific anti-Gal-9 antibodies, fragments, and uses, and are due to expire in 2041 exclusive of any patent term extension or adjustment that may be available. The licensed patents relate to FG-3165 and related products.

We were also granted an option under the agreement to license a second program from HiFiBiO which we exercised on December 10, 2021, with respect to HiFiBiO know-how and patent rights to all CCR8-directed products for all uses. The patent rights include U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications directed to specific anti-CCR8 antibodies, fragments, and uses, and are due to expire in 2042 exclusive of any patent term extension or adjustment that may be available. The licensed patents relate to FG-3175 and related products.

Under the agreement, we have first right to prepare, file, prosecute, and maintain patents and patent applications in the HiFiBiO patent rights at our own expense and using mutually agreed-upon counsel. We are also obligated to pay an upfront licensing and option fee totaling $35 million and a subsequent option exercise payment of $35 million for the CCR8 program, all of which have been paid, and R&D and regulatory milestone payments of up to $175 million, as well as sales milestones of up to $170 million, and an escalating royalty based on calendar year aggregate net sales of licensed product capped at 10%, subject to certain reductions.

Unless earlier terminated, the agreement will continue in effect, on a country-by-country basis, until the expiration of all licensed patents in a country, after which the license will become perpetual, irrevocable, fully-paid up, and royalty free. HiFiBiO may terminate the agreement for our uncured material breach or bankruptcy. We may terminate the agreement for HiFiBiO’s uncured material breach, bankruptcy, or at any time on prior written notice to HiFiBiO.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

We had a total of 486 employees at FibroGen as of December 31, 2023. None of our U.S. employees are represented by a labor union. The employees of FibroGen Beijing are represented by a labor union under the China Labor Union Law. None of our employees have entered into a collective agreement with us.

We are highly committed to building a diverse, dedicated, and impassioned team to deliver innovative therapies to patients facing serious unmet medical needs. Our core values of excellence, respect for people, integrity, and empowerment are fundamental to how we attract, grow, engage, and retain our people.

In 2023, we conducted a company-wide employee engagement survey. We had an overall participation rate of 96% with an 89% overall engagement score (China 96%. U.S. 79%). Just as in 2022, we exceeded our corporate goal of an 85% overall engagement score. Further, in 2022, an independent firm established a diversity, equity, and inclusion index based upon 10 employee questions within the survey to measure the effectiveness of, and employee sentiment about, our progress in nurturing a culture of diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion; our diversity index score was 89% (China 90%, U.S. 88%), an increase compared to 88% in 2022. These scores significantly exceed normative industry participation and engagement benchmarks.

The biotechnology industry is an extremely competitive labor market and recruiting and retaining employees is critical to the continued success of our business. We focus on recruiting, retaining, and developing employees from a diverse range of backgrounds to conduct our research, development, commercialization, and administrative activities. As in 2022, we have been able to contain regrettable turnover to less than 6%, and we closed 2023 with only 3.1% regrettable losses. We also believe that to be an employer of choice, we must support the communities in which we live and operate. In 2023, we doubled the size of our high school and college internship program (after re-launching the program in 2022), which provides opportunities for people of color and/or economically disadvantaged youth to contribute and learn for eight to twelve weeks at our U.S. operations.

We consistently review and evaluate our people practices to ensure that we attract, develop and retain a diverse, engaged and talented workforce. Our offerings include competitive, innovative and equitable pay practices, comprehensive health and wellness benefits, retirement and life insurance offerings, learning and giving programs, and flexible work arrangements. In addition to our employee and manager fundamentals programs, we offer personal coaching and resiliency sessions, as well as access to an on-demand global learning management system. In addition to annual compliance training on harassment prevention, our Code of Conduct, Anti-Bribery and data privacy, our employees are offered internal career development programs each year in addition to tuition reimbursement eligibility.

Our state-of-art, human capital management system, implemented in 2020, has significantly expanded our capabilities to develop and assess our employees. We build comprehensive development and succession plans at all levels in the organization to ensure that we have a strong pipeline of ready talent to meet our business outcomes.

Ensuring diversity in our workforce begins with role modeling and striving for diversity in senior management. On our Board of Directors, 3 of 9 members (33%) are female. Further, 2 of 9 members (22%) identify as Asian or Hispanic ethnicity. Notably, our U.S. workforce is 50% female. Our U.S. employees that self-report ethnicity are 58% Asian, Hispanic or Black. Of our U.S. Executive population (Vice President and above), 37.5% are female and of our U.S. executives that self-report ethnicity, 25% identify as Asian or Hispanic. Our China workforce is 57% female (largely unchanged), and of our China Executives (Vice President and above) 67% are female, an increase from 50% in 2022. Across our workforce and our leadership, we have increased our female and ethnicity representation year over year and continue to expand our efforts and corporate objectives accordingly. One of our goals in 2024 is to increase female diversity at the executive director level and above, which was 49% in the U.S. and 67% in China at the end of 2023.

In addition to furthering our investments in our human resources, we plan to continue our efforts in 2024 in critical environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) areas. In 2023, we performed an ESG assessment of our operations, finding that we accomplished most of our yearly goals, including high-impact goals such as providing disclosure on investor outreach and feedback on Say-on-Pay proposals and resulting changes, improving Compensation Discussion and Analysis (CD&A) disclosure, and adopting a policy to increase patient diversity in clinical trials. In 2023, we also determined a number of goals for 2024, including adopting a cybersecurity incidence response policy and committee charter, drafting a 2024 Equity Incentive Plan, and performing a climate impact analysis once the SEC adopts final climate disclosure regulations.

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FACILITIES

Our corporate and research and development operations are located in San Francisco, California, where we lease approximately 234,000 square feet of office and laboratory space with approximately 12,000 square feet subleased. We are currently under contract to stay at our San Francisco headquarters until the end of 2028. We also lease approximately 67,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space in Beijing, China, and multiple office spaces in Beijing and Shanghai, China. Our leases in China expire in 2026. We have constructed a commercial manufacturing facility of approximately 5,500 square meters in Cangzhou, China, on approximately 33,000 square meters of land. Our right to use such land expires in 2068. We believe our facilities are adequate for our current needs and that suitable additional or substitute space would be available if needed.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

Our internet website address is www.fibrogen.com. In addition to the information about us and our subsidiaries contained in this Annual Report, information about us can be found on our website. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report.

Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additionally the Securities and Exchange Commission maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information. The address of the SEC’s website is www.sec.gov.

CORPORATE INFORMATION

Our headquarters are located at 409 Illinois Street, San Francisco, California 94158 and our telephone number is (415) 978-1200. Our website address is www.FibroGen.com.

Our subsidiaries consist of the following: 1) FibroGen Europe Oy, a majority-owned entity incorporated in Finland in 1996; 2) Skin Sciences, Inc., a majority-owned entity incorporated in the State of Delaware in 1995; 3) FibroGen International (Cayman) Limited, a majority-owned entity incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2011; 4) FibroGen China Anemia Holdings Ltd., a majority-owned entity incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2012; 5) FibroGen International (Hong Kong) Limited, a majority-owned entity incorporated in Hong Kong in 2011; 6) FibroGen INTL LLC, a majority-owned entity incorporated in the State of Delaware in 2021; 7) FibroGen (China) Medical Technology Development Co., Ltd., a majority-owned entity incorporated in China in 2011; and 8) Beijing Falikang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., an unconsolidated variable interest entity incorporated in China in 2020.

“FibroGen,” the FibroGen logo and other trademarks or service marks of FibroGen, Inc. appearing in this Annual Report are the property of FibroGen, Inc. This Annual Report contains additional trade names, trademarks and service marks of others, which are the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trade names, trademarks or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, these other companies.

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below in addition to the other information included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 (“Annual Report”), including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” before deciding whether to invest in our common stock. The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. In such an event, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. Although we have discussed all known material risks, the risks described below are not the only ones that we may face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we deem immaterial may also impair our business operations.

Risks Related to the Development and Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

We are substantially dependent on the success of our lead products pamrevlumab and roxadustat.

To date, we have invested substantially in the research and development of pamrevlumab and roxadustat.

The near-term value drivers for the Company depend in large part on pamrevlumab, which is in clinical development for locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer (“LAPC”) and metastatic pancreatic cancer. Even if one or both of the Phase 3 clinical trials are successful, pamrevlumab will require substantial further investment. At this time, we do not have a collaboration partner to support the development and commercialization of pamrevlumab. Additionally, as a monoclonal antibody, it will cost significantly more to manufacture pamrevlumab than it would for a typical small molecule drug.

Our near-term value drivers also include continued development and commercialization of roxadustat in the People’s Republic of China (“China”), Japan, Europe, and elsewhere. We continue to co-commercialize roxadustat in China with AstraZeneca AB (“AstraZeneca”) and develop roxadustat in China in chemotherapy-induced anemia (“CIA”).

After terminating (except for South Korea) our collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca for roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in the U.S. and all territories except for China and those territories previously licensed to Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”) (the “AstraZeneca U.S./RoW Agreement”) on February 23, 2024, we are currently investigating new licensing opportunities for roxadustat; however, there can be no assurance that we will find such a partner or be able to agree to a license on reasonable terms.

As we continue to fulfill our mission to develop novel therapeutics, we are investing in new drug programs to expand our early oncology pipeline. While we see great potential value in our early development oncology pipeline, these programs are years away from commercialization, and the success of any development program is not guaranteed. Our biggest value drivers in the near term rely on the success of pamrevlumab Phase 3 trials and roxadustat commercialization.

Drug development and obtaining marketing authorization is a very difficult endeavor and we may ultimately be unable to obtain regulatory approval for our various product candidates in one or more jurisdictions and in one or more indications.

The development, manufacturing, marketing, and selling of our products and product candidates are and will continue to be subject to extensive and rigorous review and regulation by numerous government authorities in the U.S. and in other countries where we intend to develop and, if approved, market any product candidates. Before obtaining regulatory approval for the commercial sale of any product candidate, we must demonstrate through extensive preclinical trials and clinical trials that the product candidate is safe and effective for use in each indication for which approval is sought.

The drug development and approval processes are expensive and require substantial resources and time, and in general, very few product candidates that enter development ultimately receive regulatory approval. In addition, our collaboration partners for roxadustat have final control over development decisions in their respective territories and they may make decisions with respect to development or regulatory authorities that delay or limit the potential approval of roxadustat, or increase the cost of development or commercialization. Accordingly, we may be unable to successfully develop or commercialize any of our other product candidates in one or more indications and jurisdictions.

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Moreover, for any clinical trial to support a New Drug Application (“NDA”)/Biologics License Application (“BLA”) submission for approval, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and foreign regulatory authorities require compliance with regulations and standards (including good clinical practices (“GCP”) requirements for designing, conducting, monitoring, recording, analyzing, and reporting the results of clinical trials) to ensure that (1) the data and results from trials are credible and accurate; and (2) that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of trial participants are protected. Although we rely on third parties to conduct our clinical trials, we as the sponsor remain responsible for ensuring that each of these clinical trials is conducted in accordance with its general investigational plan and protocol under legal and regulatory requirements, including GCP.

Regulatory authorities may take actions or impose requirements that delay, limit or deny approval of our product candidates for many reasons, including, among others:

our failure to adequately demonstrate to the satisfaction of regulatory authorities or an independent advisory committee that our product candidate is safe and effective in a particular indication, or that such product candidate’s clinical and other benefits outweigh its safety risks;
our failure of clinical trials to meet the level of statistical significance required for approval;
the determination by regulatory authorities that additional information (including additional preclinical or clinical data or trials) is necessary to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a product candidate,
disagreement over the design or implementation of our clinical trials;
our product candidates exhibiting an unacceptable safety signal at any stage of development;
failure either by us or the clinical research organizations (“CROs”) or investigators that conduct clinical trials on our behalf, to comply with regulations or GCPs, clinical trial protocols, or contractual agreements, which may adversely impact our clinical trials;
disagreement over whether to accept results from clinical trial sites in a country where the standard of care is potentially different from that in the U.S.;
failure either by us or third-party contractors manufacturing our product candidates to maintain current good manufacturing practices (“cGMP”), successfully pass inspection, or meet other applicable manufacturing regulatory requirements;
requirements by regulatory authorities to exclude the use of patient data from unreliable clinical trials, or disagreement with our interpretation of the data from our preclinical trials and clinical trials; or
failure by collaboration partners to perform or complete their clinical programs in a timely manner, or at all.

Any of these factors, many of which are beyond our control, could delay or jeopardize our or our collaboration partners’ abilities to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates in one or more indications.

Even if we believe our clinical trials are successful, regulatory authorities may not agree that our completed clinical trials provide adequate data on safety or efficacy. Approval by one regulatory authority does not ensure approval by any other regulatory authority.

Even if we do obtain regulatory approval, our product candidates may be approved for fewer or more limited indications than we request, approval may be contingent on the performance of costly post-marketing clinical trials, or approval may require labeling that does not include the labeling claims necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of that product candidate. In addition, if our product candidates produce undesirable side effects or safety issues, the FDA may require the establishment of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (or other regulatory authorities may require the establishment of a similar strategy), that may restrict distribution of our approved products, if any, and impose burdensome implementation requirements on us.

Any of the foregoing scenarios could materially harm the commercial prospects for our product candidates.

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Preclinical, Phase 1, and Phase 2 clinical trial results may not be indicative of the results that may be obtained in larger clinical trials.

Clinical development is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. Success in preclinical and early clinical trials, which are often highly variable and use small sample sizes, may not be predictive of similar results in humans or in larger, controlled clinical trials, and successful results from clinical trials in one indication may not be replicated in other indications.

Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials after achieving positive results in early-stage development, and we may face similar setbacks.

We do not know whether our ongoing or planned clinical trials will need to be redesigned based on interim results or if we will be able to achieve sufficient patient enrollment or complete planned clinical trials on schedule.

Clinical trials can be delayed, suspended, or terminated by us, by the relevant institutional review boards at the sites at which such trials are being conducted, or by the FDA or other regulatory authorities, for a variety of reasons or factors, including:

delay or failure to address any physician or patient safety concerns that arise during the course of the trial, including unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, or a principal investigator’s determination that a serious adverse event could be related to our product candidates;
delay or failure to obtain required regulatory or institutional review board approval or guidance;
delay or failure to reach timely agreement on acceptable terms with prospective CROs and clinical trial sites;
delay or failure to recruit, enroll and retain patients through the completion of the trial;
patient recruitment, enrollment, or retention, clinical site initiation, or retention problems associated with civil unrest or military conflicts around the world;
delay or failure to maintain clinical sites in compliance with clinical trial protocols or to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical protocols;
delay or failure to initiate or add a sufficient number of clinical trial sites;
delay or failure to manufacture sufficient quantities of product candidate for use in clinical trials;
difficulty enrolling a sufficient number of patients to conduct our clinical trials as planned;
inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or other regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, warning letter, or other regulatory action; and
changes in laws or regulations.

In particular, identifying and qualifying patients to participate in clinical trials of our product candidates is critical to our success. The timing of our clinical trials depends on the rate at which we can recruit and enroll patients in testing our product candidates. Patients may be unwilling to participate in clinical trials of our product candidates for a variety of reasons, some of which may be beyond our control, including:

severity of the disease under investigation;
availability of alternative treatments;
size and nature of the patient population;
eligibility criteria for and design of the study in question;
perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study;
ongoing clinical trials of competitive agents;
physicians’ and patients’ perceptions of the potential advantages of our product candidates being studied in relation to available therapies or other products under development;

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our CRO’s and our trial sites’ efforts to facilitate timely enrollment in clinical trials;
patient referral practices of physicians; and
ability to monitor patients and collect patient data adequately during and after treatment.

Any delays in completing our clinical trials will increase the costs of the trial, delay the product candidate development and approval process and jeopardize our ability to commence marketing and generate revenues. Any of these occurrences may materially and adversely harm our business, operations, and prospects.

Our product candidates may cause or have attributed to them undesirable side effects or have other properties that delay or prevent their regulatory approval or limit their commercial potential.

Undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates or that may be identified as related to our product candidates by physician investigators conducting our clinical trials or even competing products in development that utilize a similar mechanism of action or act through a similar biological disease pathway could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other regulatory authorities and potential product liability claims. If we determine that there is a likely causal relationship between a serious adverse event and our product candidate, and such safety event is material or significant enough, it may result in:

our clinical trial development plan becoming longer and more expensive;
terminating some of our clinical trials for the product candidates or specific indications affected;
regulatory authorities increasing the data and information required to approve our product candidates and imposing other requirements; and
our collaboration partners terminating our existing agreements.

The occurrence of any or all of these events may cause the development of our product candidates to be delayed or terminated, which could materially and adversely affect our business and prospects.

Clinical trials of our product candidates may not uncover all possible adverse effects that patients may experience.

Clinical trials are conducted in representative samples of the potential patient population, which may have significant variability. Pamrevlumab is being studied in patient populations that are at high risk of death and adverse events, and even if unrelated to pamrevlumab, adverse safety findings in these trials may limit its further development or commercial potential. Clinical trials are by design based on a limited number of subjects and of limited duration for exposure to the product used to determine whether, on a potentially statistically significant basis, the planned safety and efficacy of any product candidate can be achieved. As with the results of any statistical sampling, we cannot be sure that all side effects of our product candidates may be uncovered, and it may be the case that only with a significantly larger number of patients exposed to the product candidate for a longer duration, that a more complete safety profile is identified. Further, even larger clinical trials may not identify rare serious adverse effects or the duration of such studies may not be sufficient to identify when those events may occur. Patients treated with our products, if approved, may experience adverse reactions and it is possible that the FDA or other regulatory authorities may ask for additional safety data as a condition of, or in connection with, our efforts to obtain approval of our product candidates. If safety problems occur or are identified after our product candidates reach the market, we may, or regulatory authorities may require us to amend the labeling of our products, recall our products or even withdraw approval for our products.

If our manufacturers or we cannot properly manufacture the appropriate volume of product, we may experience delays in development, regulatory approval, launch or successful commercialization.

Completion of our clinical trials and commercialization of our products require access to, or development of, facilities to manufacture and manage our product candidates at sufficient yields, quality and at commercial scale. Although we have entered into commercial supply agreements for roxadustat and pamrevlumab, we will need to enter into additional commercial supply agreements, including for backup or second source third-party manufacturers. We may not be able to enter into these agreements with satisfactory terms or on a timely manner. In addition, we may experience delays or technical problems associated with technology transfer of manufacturing processes to any new suppliers.

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We have relatively limited experience manufacturing or managing third parties in manufacturing any of our product candidates in the volumes that are expected to be necessary to support large-scale clinical trials and sales. In addition, we have limited experience forecasting supply requirements or coordinating supply chain (including export and customs management) for launch or commercialization, which is a complex process involving our third-party manufacturers and logistics providers, and for roxadustat, our collaboration partners. We may not be able to accurately forecast supplies for commercial launch or do so in a timely manner and our efforts to establish these manufacturing and supply chain management capabilities may not meet our requirements as to quantities, scale-up, yield, cost, potency or quality in compliance with cGMP, particularly if the marketing authorization or market uptake is more rapid than anticipated or we have an unanticipated surge in demand.

We have a limited amount of roxadustat and pamrevlumab in storage, limited capacity reserved at our third-party manufacturers, and, even if we have or are able to put sufficient supply agreements in place for our development and commercialization plan, there are long lead times required to manufacture and scale-up the manufacture of additional supply, as well as for raw materials and components for manufacture of our products, as required for both late-stage clinical trials, post-approval trials, and commercial supply. There is a general risk of delayed drug supply due to delays experienced by any third-party provider in the supply chain, including raw material and components suppliers, export and customs locations, and shipping companies. In addition, if we or a partner are not able to obtain regulatory approval of roxadustat in the U.S. in anemia associated with MDS, we may have excess supply manufactured in anticipation of commercialization. Such roxadustat excess supply could be wasted, for example, if it expires prior to being used in other clinical trials or prior to being used in other territories where such roxadustat formulation is approved. If we are unable to forecast, order or manufacture sufficient quantities of roxadustat or pamrevlumab on a timely basis, it may delay our development, launch or commercialization in some or all indications we are currently pursuing. Insufficient supply could be a particular risk if we were to obtain regulatory approval of pamrevlumab in the indications being studied (LAPC and metastatic pancreatic cancer). Any delay or interruption in the supply of our product candidates or products could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.

Our commercial drug product and the product we use for clinical trials must be produced under applicable cGMP regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations by us or our third-party manufacturers may require us to recall commercial product or repeat clinical trials, which would impact sales revenue and/or delay the regulatory approval process.

We or our partners may add or change manufacturers, change our manufacturing processes, or change packaging specifications to accommodate changes in regulations, manufacturing equipment or to account for different processes at new or second source suppliers. Changes made to roxadustat or pamrevlumab including, but not limited to, demonstration of comparability to regulatory approved/ in approval products and processes, additional clinical trials, delays in development or commercialization, earlier expiration dates, shorter shelf life, or specification failures, may materially impact our operations and potential profitability.

We, and even an experienced third-party manufacturer, may encounter difficulties in production. Difficulties may include:

costs and challenges associated with scale-up and attaining sufficient manufacturing yields, in particular for biologic products such as pamrevlumab, which is a monoclonal antibody;
contracting with additional suppliers and validation/qualification of additional facilities to meet growing demand;
supply chain issues, including coordination of multiple contractors in our supply chain and securing necessary licenses (such as export licenses);
the timely availability and shelf-life requirements of raw materials and supplies;
limited stability and product shelf life;
equipment maintenance issues or failure;
quality control and quality assurance issues;
shortages of qualified personnel and capital required to manufacture large quantities of product;
compliance with regulatory requirements that vary in each country where a product might be sold;

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capacity or forecasting limitations and scheduling availability in contracted facilities;
natural disasters, such as pandemics, floods, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, and droughts, or accidents such as fire, that affect facilities, possibly limit or postpone production, and increase costs; and
failure to obtain license to proprietary starting materials.

FibroGen may also elect to transition its manufacturing responsibilities to another party. There may be risks underlying this manufacturing transition, as well as new risks that may emerge after the new organization takes over manufacturing, if that were to happen.

Regulatory authorities will do their own benefit risk analysis and may reach a different conclusion than we or our partners have, and these regulatory authorities may base their approval decision on different analyses, data, and statistical methods than ours.

Even if we believe we have achieved positive clinical results, regulatory authorities conduct their own benefit-risk analysis and may reach different conclusions. Regulatory authorities may use, among other things, different statistical methods, different endpoints or definitions thereof, and different patient populations or sub-populations. For example, the Precision Promise study employs a Bayesian statistical methodology for analysis of the study primary endpoint, and while PanCAN consulted with the FDA regarding the study design and statistical methodology, there is a risk that the FDA may employ different statistical methodologies in their review, and may not view positive study results as sufficient for regulatory approval. Furthermore, while we may seek regulatory advice or agreement in key commercial markets prior to and after application for marketing authorization, regulatory authorities may change their approvability criteria based on the data, their internal analyses and external factors, including discussions with expert advisors. Regulatory authorities may approve one of our product candidates for fewer or more limited indications than we request or may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly post-approval clinical trials. In addition, even if we are able to provide positive data with respect to certain analyses, regulatory authorities may not include such claims on any approved labeling. The failure to obtain regulatory approval, or any label, population or other approval limitations in any jurisdiction, may significantly limit or delay our ability to generate revenues, and any failure to obtain such approval for all of the indications and labeling claims we deem desirable could reduce our potential revenue.

We face substantial competition in the discovery, development and commercialization of product candidates.

The development and commercialization of new pharmaceutical products is highly competitive. Our future success depends on our ability and/or the ability of our collaboration partners to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage with respect to the development and commercialization of our product candidates. Our objective is to discover, develop and commercialize new products with superior efficacy, convenience, tolerability, and safety.

We expect that in many cases, the products that we commercialize will compete with existing marketed products of companies that have large, established commercial organizations. We face competition from generics that could enter the market after expiry of our composition of matter patent. As of the end of 2023, the Chinese health authority has accepted abbreviated New Drug Applications for 19 generic roxadustat applicants.

In addition, we will likely face competition from other companies developing products in the same diseases or indications in which we are developing or commercializing products. We will also face competition for patient recruitment and enrollment for clinical trials.

The success of any or all of these potential competitive products may negatively impact the development and potential for success of our products.

Moreover, many of our competitors have significantly greater resources than we do. Large pharmaceutical companies have extensive experience, greater scale, and efficiency, in clinical testing, obtaining regulatory approvals, recruiting patients, manufacturing pharmaceutical products, and commercialization. If our collaboration partners and we are not able to compete effectively against existing and potential competitors, our business and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.

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Our product candidates may not achieve adequate market acceptance among physicians, patients, healthcare payors, and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.

Even if our product candidates receive regulatory approval, they may not gain adequate market acceptance among physicians, patients, healthcare payors, and others in the medical community. Demonstrating safety and efficacy of our product candidates and obtaining regulatory approvals will not guarantee future revenue. The degree of market acceptance of any of our approved product candidates will depend on several factors, including:

the efficacy of the product candidate as demonstrated in clinical trials;
the safety profile and perceptions of safety of our product candidates relative to competitive products;
acceptance of the product candidate as a safe and effective treatment by healthcare providers and patients;
the clinical indications for which the product candidate is approved;
the potential and perceived advantages of the product candidate over alternative treatments, including any similar generic treatments;
the inclusion or exclusion of the product candidate from treatment guidelines established by various physician groups and the viewpoints of influential physicians with respect to the product candidate;
the cost of the product candidate relative to alternative treatments;
adequate pricing and reimbursement by third parties and government authorities as described below;
the relative convenience and ease of administration;
the frequency and severity of adverse events;
the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts; and
any unfavorable publicity relating to the product candidate.

In addition, see the risk factor titled “Our product candidates may cause or have attributed to them undesirable side effects or have other properties that delay or prevent their regulatory approval or limit their commercial potential” above. If any product candidate is approved but does not achieve an adequate level of acceptance by such parties, we may not generate or derive sufficient revenue from that product candidate and may not become or remain profitable.

No or limited reimbursement or insurance coverage of our approved products, by third-party payors may render our products less attractive to patients and healthcare providers.

Market acceptance and sales of any approved products will depend significantly on reimbursement or coverage of our products by government or third-party payors and may be affected by existing and future healthcare reform measures or prices of related products for which the government or third-party reimbursement applies. Coverage and reimbursement by the government or a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including the payor’s determination that use of a product is:

a covered benefit under applicable health plan;
safe, effective and medically necessary;
appropriate for the specific patient;
cost-effective; and
neither experimental nor investigational.

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Obtaining coverage and reimbursement approval for a product from a government or other third-party payor is a time consuming and costly process that could require us to provide supporting scientific, clinical and cost-effectiveness data for the use of our products to the payor, which we may not be able to provide. Furthermore, the reimbursement policies of governments and third-party payors may significantly change in a manner that renders our clinical data insufficient for adequate reimbursement or otherwise limits the successful marketing of our products. Even if we obtain coverage for our product candidates, the pricing may be subject to re-negotiations or third-party payors may not establish adequate reimbursement amounts, which may reduce the demand for, or the price of, our products.

Reference pricing is used by various Europe member states and parallel distribution, or arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. In some countries, our partner or we may be required to conduct a clinical trial or other studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of our product candidates to other available products in order to obtain or maintain reimbursement or pricing approval. Publication of discounts by third-party payors or authorities may lead to further pressure on the prices or reimbursement levels within the country of publication and other countries. If reimbursement of our products is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unacceptable levels, our partner or we may elect not to commercialize our products in such countries, and our business and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

If our collaborations were terminated or if our partners were unwilling or unable to contribute or participate in the collaborations, our ability to successfully develop and commercialize the relevant product candidate would suffer.

We have entered into an Evaluation Agreement with Fortis Therapeutics, Inc. (“Fortis”) under which we rely, in part, on Fortis and its development partners, including UCSF, for the continued development of FOR46 (now referred to as “FG-3246”). While we control development of FG-3246 up to the 4-year evaluation period, we will be doing so under Fortis’s investigational new drug application. If Fortis were unable or unwilling to continue their development efforts, our ability to develop FG-3246 would be delayed.

We rely on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (“PanCAN”) to run its Precision PromiseSM Phase 2/3 registration study in metastatic pancreatic cancer. While this study includes pamrevlumab in combination with standard of care chemotherapy, PanCAN is the sponsor of the study and we do not run or control its conduct. Therefore, pamrevlumab’s success in this indication is highly dependent on PanCAN’s ability and willingness to run the Precision Promise study. Similarly, we depend on PanCAN to perform certain analyses of the study data and provide these to us to support the submission of a market authorization application to applicable regulatory authorities, if appropriate.

While we have recently terminated the AstraZeneca U.S./RoW Agreement (except for South Korea), we have active collaboration agreements with respect to the development and commercialization of roxadustat with Astellas and with AstraZeneca in China and South Korea. These agreements provide for reimbursement of our development costs by our collaboration partners and also provide for the commercialization of roxadustat throughout the major territories of the world.

Our current agreements with Astellas and AstraZeneca provide them with the right to terminate their agreements with us upon the occurrence of negative clinical results, delays in the development and commercialization of our product candidates or adverse regulatory requirements or guidance. In addition, each of those agreements provides our partners the right to terminate any of those agreements upon written notice for convenience. The termination of any of our collaboration agreements would require us to fund and perform the further development and commercialization of roxadustat in the affected territory or pursue another collaboration, which we may be unable to do, either of which could have an adverse effect on our business and operations. Moreover, if Astellas or AstraZeneca, or any successor entity, were to determine that their collaborations with us are no longer a strategic priority, or if either of them or a successor were to reduce their level of commitment to their collaborations with us, our ability to commercialize roxadustat could suffer.

For instance, the AstraZeneca U.S./RoW Agreement was terminated on February 23, 2024 (except for South Korea). , Although our ongoing collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca for the development and commercialization of roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in China (the “AstraZeneca China Agreement”) continues in full force and is unaffected, this eliminates any additional potential milestones or other payments AstraZeneca would have made under the AstraZeneca U.S./RoW Agreement except for potentially in South Korea. Such payments were remote due to our withdrawal of the U.S. NDA for CKD anemia. And while we are now investigating new licensing opportunities for roxadustat, there can be no assurance that we will find such a partner or be able to agree to a license on reasonable terms.

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In addition, if our collaboration partners are unsuccessful in their commercialization efforts (particularly in Europe and China), our results will be negatively affected.

If we do not establish and maintain strategic collaborations related to our product candidates, we will bear all of the risk and costs related to the development and commercialization of any such product candidate, and we may need to seek additional financing, hire additional employees and otherwise develop expertise at significant cost. This in turn may negatively affect the development of our other product candidates as we direct resources to our most advanced product candidates.

We may conduct proprietary research programs in specific disease areas that are not covered by our collaboration agreements. Our pursuit of such opportunities could, however, result in conflicts with our collaboration partners in the event that any of our collaboration partners take the position that our internal activities overlap with those areas that are exclusive to our collaboration agreements. Moreover, disagreements with our collaboration partners could develop over rights to our intellectual property, including the enforcement of those rights. In addition, our collaboration agreements may have provisions that give rise to disputes regarding the rights and obligations of the parties. Any conflict with our collaboration partners could lead to the termination of our collaboration agreements, delay collaborative activities, reduce our ability to renew agreements or obtain future collaboration agreements, or result in litigation or arbitration and would negatively impact our relationship with existing collaboration partners, as well as potentially impacting our commercial results.

Certain of our collaboration partners could also become our competitors in the future. If our collaboration partners develop competing products, fail to obtain necessary regulatory approvals, terminate their agreements with us prematurely, or fail to devote sufficient resources to the development and commercialization of our product candidates, the development and commercialization of our product candidates and products could be delayed.

If our preclinical and clinical trial contractors do not properly perform their agreed upon obligations, we may not be able to obtain or may be delayed in receiving regulatory approvals for our product candidates.

We rely heavily on university, hospital, and other institutions and third parties, including the principal investigators and their staff, to carry out our clinical trials in accordance with our clinical protocols and designs. We also rely on a number of third-party CROs to assist in undertaking, managing, monitoring and executing our ongoing clinical trials. We expect to continue to rely on CROs, clinical data management organizations, medical institutions and clinical investigators to conduct our development efforts in the future. We compete with many other companies for the resources of these third parties, and other companies may have significantly more extensive agreements and relationships with such third-party providers, and such third-party providers may prioritize these relationships over ours. The third parties on whom we rely may terminate their engagements with us at any time, which may cause delay in the development and commercialization of our product candidates. If any such third party terminates its engagement with us or fails to perform as agreed, we may be required to enter into alternative arrangements, which would result in significant cost and delay to our product development program. Moreover, our agreements with such third parties generally do not provide assurances regarding employee turnover and availability, which may cause interruptions in the research on our product candidates by such third parties.

Despite our reliance on third parties for certain development and management activities, such as clinical trials, we, as the sponsor, remain responsible for ensuring that these activities are conducted in accordance with the FDA and foreign regulatory authorities’ investigational plans and protocols, including GCP requirements. Regulatory enforcement of GCP requirements can occur through periodic inspections of trial sponsors, principal investigators, and trial sites.

To ensure the quality and accuracy of our data remains uncompromised and reliable, our third-party service providers must comply with applicable GCP requirements, regulations, protocols, and agreements. Failures to do so by such third-party partners, or needing to replace such third-party service providers, may delay, suspend or terminate development of our product candidates, result in exclusion of patient data from approval applications, or require additional clinical trials before approval of marketing applications. Such events may ultimately prevent regulatory approval for our product candidates on a timely basis, at a reasonable cost, or at all.

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We currently rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct many aspects of our product manufacturing and distribution, and these third parties may terminate these agreements or not perform satisfactorily.

We do not have operating manufacturing facilities at this time other than our roxadustat manufacturing facilities in China. We currently rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to scale-up, manufacture and supply roxadustat and our other product candidates for drug product in Europe and other countries, and on our partner Astellas for drug product in Japan. We rely on third parties for distribution, including our collaboration partners and their vendors, except in China where we have established a jointly owned entity with AstraZeneca to manage most of the distribution in China. Risks arising from our reliance on third-party manufacturers include:

reduced control and additional burdens of oversight as a result of using third-party manufacturers and distributors for all aspects of manufacturing activities, including regulatory compliance and quality control and quality assurance;
termination of manufacturing agreements, termination fees associated with such termination, or nonrenewal of manufacturing agreements with third parties may negatively impact our planned development and commercialization activities;
significant financial commitments we may be required to make with third-party manufacturers for early-stage clinical or pre-clinical programs that may fail to produce scientific results that would justify further development (without the ability to mitigate the manufacturing investments);
the possible misappropriation of our proprietary technology, including our trade secrets and know-how;
disruptions to the operations of our third-party manufacturers, distributors or suppliers unrelated to our product, including the merger, acquisition, or bankruptcy of a manufacturer or supplier or a catastrophic event, affecting our manufacturers, distributors or suppliers; and
inability for FibroGen to meet timing and volume obligations to Astellas due to insufficient resources.

Any of these events could lead to development delays or failure to obtain regulatory approval or affect our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates. Some of these events could be the basis for action by the FDA or another regulatory authority, including injunction, recall, seizure or total or partial suspension of production.

Considering we do not control our contract manufacturers’ facilities and operations used to manufacture our product candidates, but are still responsible for cGMP adherence, if our contract manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture material that conforms to our or our collaboration partners’ specifications, or the regulatory requirements, our development and commercialization plans and activities may be adversely affected. Although our longer-term agreements are expected to provide for requirements to meet our quantity and quality requirements (e.g., through audit rights) to manufacture our products candidates for clinical studies and commercial sale, we have limited or minimal direct control over the ability of our contract manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If our contract manufacturers’ facilities do not pass inspection, are not approved or have their approvals withdrawn by regulatory authorities, we would need to identify and qualify alternative manufacturing facilities, which would significantly impact our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for or market our products, if approved. Moreover, any failure of our third-party manufacturers, to comply with applicable regulations could result in legal sanctions/penalties being imposed on us or adverse regulatory consequences, which would be expected to significantly and adversely affect our product supplies.

If any third-party manufacturers terminate their engagements with us or fail to perform as agreed, we may be required to identify, qualify, and contract with replacement manufacturers (including entering into technical transfer agreements to share know-how), which process may result in significant costs and delays to our development and commercialization programs.

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We may have shortfalls, delays, or excesses in manufacturing.

We have entered into an initial commercial supply agreement for the manufacture of pamrevlumab with Samsung Biologics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”).

We have made certain manufacturing commitments to Samsung, and there is a contractual risk we will not require the quantities of pamrevlumab we have committed to, particularly if we do not submit a Biologics License Application (“BLA”) for pamrevlumab. In addition, our product candidates and any products that we may develop may compete with other product candidates and products for access and prioritization to manufacture. Certain third-party manufacturers may be contractually prohibited from manufacturing our product due to non-compete agreements with our competitors or a commitment to grant another party priority relative to our products. There are a limited number of third-party manufacturers that operate under cGMP and that might be capable of manufacturing to meet our requirements. Due to the limited number of third-party manufacturers with the contractual freedom, expertise, required regulatory approvals and facilities to manufacture our products on a commercial scale, identifying and qualifying a replacement third-party manufacturer would be expensive and time-consuming and may cause delay or interruptions in the production of our product candidates or products, which in turn may delay, prevent or impair our development and commercialization efforts. We also carry the risk that we may need to pay termination fees to Samsung or other manufacturers in the event that we have to manufacture lower volumes or not at all depending on the results of our clinical trials. We may be subject to payments to Samsung to cover portions or all of the committed manufacturing campaigns even if we do not need the material for clinical or commercial usage. In addition, third-party manufacturers tend to change their upfront fees or postponement/cancelation fees over time or upon initiation of additional contracts, and this may lead to unanticipated financial loss for FibroGen.

There may also be additional delays in importing or exporting products, intermediates, or raw materials between countries.

Certain components of our products are acquired from single-source suppliers or without long-term supply agreements. The loss of these suppliers, or their failure to supply, would materially and adversely affect our business.

Entering into new long-term commercial supply arrangements on commercially reasonable terms, could take significant time or may not be possible. Although we have entered into long-term clinical and commercial supply arrangements for pamrevlumab, we currently rely on our contract manufacturers to purchase from third-party suppliers some of the materials necessary to produce our product candidates. We do not have direct control over the acquisition of those materials by our contract manufacturers.

The logistics of our supply chain, which include shipment of materials and intermediates from countries such as China and India add additional time and risk (including risk of loss) to the manufacture of our product candidates. While we have in the past maintained sufficient inventory of materials, API, and drug product to meet our and our collaboration partners’ needs to date, the lead-time and regulatory approvals required to source from and into countries outside of the U.S. increase the risk of delay and potential shortages of supply.

In addition, one of our suppliers, Catalent, was recently acquired by a private company, which could add additional risk to our ability to manufacture at such supplier, including entering into new or extended agreements with this supplier.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If our efforts to protect our proprietary and exclusively licensed technologies are not adequate, we may not be able to compete effectively in our market.

We rely upon a combination of patents, trade secret protection, and contractual arrangements to protect the intellectual property related to our technologies. We will only be able to protect our products and proprietary information and technology to the extent that our patents, trade secrets, contractual position, and governmental regulations and laws allow us to do so. Any unauthorized use or disclosure of our proprietary information or technology could compromise our competitive position. Moreover, we are, have been, and may in the future be involved in legal proceedings initiated by third parties involving our intellectual property, which proceedings can be associated with significant costs and commitment of management time and attention.

We have in the past been involved, and may in the future be involved, in initiating legal or administrative proceedings involving the product candidates and intellectual property of our competitors. These proceedings can result in significant costs and commitment of management time and attention, and there can be no assurance that our efforts would be successful in preventing or limiting the ability of our competitors to market competing products.

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Composition-of-matter patents are generally considered the strongest form of intellectual property protection for pharmaceutical products, as such, patents provide protection not limited to any one method of use. Method-of-use patents protect the use of a product for the specified method(s), and do not prevent a competitor from making and marketing a product that is identical to our product for an indication that is outside the scope of the patented method. We rely on a combination of these and other types of patents to protect our product candidates, and there can be no assurance that our intellectual property will create and sustain the competitive position of our product candidates.

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical product patents involve highly complex legal and scientific questions and can be uncertain. Any patent applications we own or license may fail to result in granted or issued patents. Even if patents do successfully issue from our applications, third parties may challenge their validity or enforceability, which may result in such patents being narrowed, invalidated, or held unenforceable. Even if our patents and patent applications are not challenged by third parties, those patents and patent applications may not prevent others from designing around our claims and may not otherwise adequately protect our product candidates. If the breadth or strength of protection provided by the patents and patent applications we hold with respect to our product candidates is threatened, generic manufacturers and competitors with significantly greater resources could threaten our ability to commercialize our product candidates.

Intellectual property protecting our roxadustat product is either being challenged or will expire at various times in the coming years, raising the possibility of generic competition. The introduction of generic competition for a patented branded medicine typically results in a significant and rapid reduction in net sales and operating income for the branded product because generic manufacturers typically offer their unpatented versions at sharply lower prices. Such competition can occur after successful challenges to intellectual property rights or the regular expiration of the term of the patent or other intellectual property rights. Such competition can also result from a Declaration of Public Interest or the compulsory licensing of our drugs by governments, or from a general weakening of intellectual property laws in certain countries around the world. In addition, generic manufacturers sometimes take an aggressive approach to challenging intellectual property rights, including conducting so-called "launches at risk" of products that are still under legal challenge for infringement before final resolution of legal proceedings. In China, numerous generic manufacturers have filed abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) seeking marketing approval for generic versions of our EVRENZOTM product (爱瑞卓®️, roxadustat). While we are taking steps to both defend our roxadustat patents and challenge these ANDA filers, the outcome is uncertain.

Discoveries are generally published in the scientific literature well after their actual development, and patent applications in the U.S. and other countries are typically not published until 18 months after their filing, and in some cases are never published. Therefore, we cannot be certain that our licensors or we were the first to make the inventions claimed in our owned and licensed patents or patent applications, or that our licensors or we were the first to file for patent protection covering such inventions. Subject to meeting other requirements for patentability, for U.S. patent applications filed prior to March 16, 2013, the first to invent the claimed invention is entitled to receive patent protection for that invention while, outside the U.S., the first to file a patent application encompassing the invention is entitled to patent protection for the invention. The U.S. moved to a “first to file” system under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, effective March 16, 2013. This system also includes procedures for challenging issued patents and pending patent applications, which creates additional uncertainty. We have, are, and may again become involved in, opposition, invalidation, or interference proceedings challenging our patents and patent applications, or the patents and patent applications of others, and the outcome of any such proceedings are highly uncertain. An unfavorable outcome in any such proceedings could reduce the scope of or invalidate our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology and compete directly with us, or result in our inability to manufacture, develop or commercialize our product candidates without infringing the patent rights of others.

In addition to the protection afforded by patents, we seek to rely on trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements to protect proprietary know-how, information, or technology that is not covered by our patents. Although our agreements require employees to acknowledge ownership by us of inventions conceived as a result of employment from the point of conception and, to the extent necessary, perfect such ownership by assignment, and we require employees, consultants, advisors and third parties who have access to our trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information and technology to enter into appropriate confidentiality agreements, we cannot be certain that our trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information and technology will not be subject to unauthorized disclosure, use, or misappropriation or that our competitors will not otherwise gain access to or independently develop substantially equivalent trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other information and technology. Furthermore, the laws of some foreign countries, in particular, China, where we have operations, do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent or in the same manner as the laws of the U.S. As a result, we may encounter significant problems in protecting and defending our intellectual property globally. If we cannot prevent unauthorized disclosure of our intellectual property related to our product candidates and technology to third parties, we may not establish or maintain a competitive advantage in our market, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operations.

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Intellectual property disputes may be costly, time consuming, and may negatively affect our competitive position.

Our commercial success may depend on our avoiding infringement of the patents and other proprietary rights of third parties as well as on enforcing our patents and other proprietary rights against third parties.

Our collaboration partners or we may be subject to patent infringement claims from third parties. We attempt to ensure that our product candidates do not infringe third-party patents and other proprietary rights. However, the patent landscape in competitive product areas is highly complex, and there may be patents of third parties of which we are unaware that may result in claims of infringement. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that our product candidates do not infringe proprietary rights of third parties, and parties making claims against us may seek and obtain injunctive or other equitable relief, which could potentially block further efforts to develop and commercialize our product candidates, including roxadustat, pamrevlumab or FG-3246. Any litigation involving defense against claims of infringement, regardless of the merit of such claims, would involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of management time.

We may consider administrative proceedings and other means for challenging third-party patents and patent applications. An unfavorable outcome in any such challenge could require us to cease using the related technology and to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing third party, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all, in which case our business could be harmed.

Third parties have challenged and may again challenge our patents and patent applications. In particular, patent challenges have been filed against our crystal form patents in Europe and China, and against our photostable formulations patent in Europe. While European Patent No. 2872488 (the “`488 Patent”), which claims the commercial crystalline form of roxadustat, was originally revoked in opposition, the decision is currently under appeal. While both the `397 Patent and our European Patent No. 3003284 (the “`284 Patent”), which claims photostable formulations of roxadustat, were upheld in opposition, the opponents have appealed the decision in the `284 Patent and we anticipate the opponents will appeal the decision in the `397 Patent. In China, three roxadustat crystal form patents were revoked in first-round proceedings and two revocations were upheld on first appeal; however, all decisions currently remain on appeal. Final resolution of these proceedings in Europe and China will take time and we cannot be assured that these patents will survive these proceedings as originally granted or at all.

Furthermore, there is a risk that any public announcements concerning the status or outcomes of intellectual property litigation or administrative proceedings may adversely affect the price of our stock. If securities analysts or our investors interpret such status or outcomes as negative or otherwise creating uncertainty, our common stock price may be adversely affected.

Our reliance on third parties and agreements with collaboration partners requires us to share our trade secrets, which increases the possibility that a competitor may discover them or that our trade secrets will be misappropriated or disclosed.

Our reliance on third-party contractors to develop and manufacture our product candidates is based upon agreements that limit the rights of the third parties to use or disclose our confidential information, including our trade secrets and know-how. Despite the contractual provisions, the need to share trade secrets and other confidential information increases the risk that such trade secrets and information are disclosed or used, even if unintentionally, in violation of these agreements. In the highly competitive markets in which our product candidates are expected to compete, protecting our trade secrets, including our strategies for addressing competing products and generic competition, is imperative, and any unauthorized use or disclosure could impair our competitive position and may have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.

In addition, our collaboration partners are larger, more complex organizations than ours, and the risk of inadvertent disclosure of our proprietary information may be increased despite their internal procedures and contractual obligations that we have in place with them. Despite our efforts to protect our trade secrets and other confidential information, a competitor’s discovery of such trade secrets and information could impair our competitive position and have an adverse impact on our business.

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The cost of maintaining our patent protection is high and requires continuous review and diligence. We may not be able to effectively maintain our intellectual property position throughout the major markets of the world.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and foreign patent authorities require maintenance fees and payments as well as continued compliance with a number of procedural and documentary requirements. Noncompliance may result in abandonment or lapse of the subject patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Non-compliance may result in reduced royalty payments for lack of patent coverage in a particular jurisdiction from our collaboration partners or may result in competition, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We have made, and will continue to make, certain strategic decisions in balancing costs and the potential protection afforded by the patent laws of certain countries. As a result, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries throughout the world, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the U.S. or other countries. Third parties may use our technologies in territories in which we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and, further, may infringe our patents in territories which provide inadequate enforcement mechanisms, even if we have patent protection. Such third-party products may compete with our product candidates, and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.

The laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as do the laws of the U.S., and we may encounter significant problems in securing and defending our intellectual property rights outside the U.S.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in certain countries. The legal systems of certain countries do not always favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets, and other intellectual property rights, particularly those relating to pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, which could make it difficult for us to stop infringement of our patents, misappropriation of our trade secrets, or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights. In China, our intended establishment of significant operations will depend in substantial part on our ability to effectively enforce our intellectual property rights in that country. Proceedings to enforce our intellectual property rights in foreign countries could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, and could put our patents in these territories at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly, or our patent applications at risk of not being granted, and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in all legal or other proceedings that we may initiate and, if we were to prevail, the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.

Intellectual property rights do not address all potential threats to any competitive advantage we may have.

The degree of future protection afforded by our intellectual property rights is uncertain because intellectual property rights have limitations, and intellectual property rights may not adequately protect our business or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. The following examples are illustrative:

Others may be able to make compounds or independently develop similar or alternative technologies that are the same as or similar to our current or future product candidates but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we own or have exclusively licensed.
Patent protection on our product candidates may expire before we are able to develop and commercialize the product, or before we are able to recover our investment in the product.
Our competitors might conduct research and development activities in the U.S. and other countries that provide a safe harbor from patent infringement claims for such activities, as well as in countries in which we do not have patent rights, and may then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in markets where we intend to market our product candidates.

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The existence of counterfeit pharmaceutical products in pharmaceutical markets may compromise our brand and reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, operations and prospects.

Counterfeit products, including counterfeit pharmaceutical products, are a significant problem, particularly in China. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are products sold or used for research under the same or similar names, or similar mechanism of action or product class, but which are sold without proper licenses or approvals, and are often lower cost, lower quality, different potency, or have different ingredients or formulations, and have the potential to damage the reputation for quality and effectiveness of the genuine product. Such products may be used for indications or purposes that are not recommended or approved or for which there is no data or inadequate data with regard to safety or efficacy. Such products divert sales from genuine products. If counterfeit pharmaceuticals illegally sold or used for research result in adverse events or side effects to consumers, we may be associated with any negative publicity resulting from such incidents. Consumers may buy counterfeit pharmaceuticals that are in direct competition with our pharmaceuticals, which could have an adverse impact on our revenues, business and results of operations. In addition, the use of counterfeit products could be used in non-clinical or clinical studies, or could otherwise produce undesirable side effects or adverse events that may be attributed to our products as well, which could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other regulatory authorities and potential product liability claims. With respect to China, although the government has recently been increasingly active in policing counterfeit pharmaceuticals, there is not yet an effective counterfeit pharmaceutical regulation control and enforcement system in China. As a result, we may not be able to prevent third parties from selling or purporting to sell our products in China. The existence of and any increase in the sales and production of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, or the technological capabilities of counterfeiters, could negatively impact our revenues, brand reputation, business and results of operations.

Risks Related to Government Regulation

The regulatory approval process is highly uncertain and we may not obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates.

The time required to obtain approval by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities is unpredictable, but typically takes many years following the commencement of preclinical studies and clinical trials and depends upon numerous factors, including the substantial discretion of the regulatory authorities. In addition, approval policies, regulations, or the type and amount of clinical data necessary to gain approval may change during the course of a product candidate’s clinical development and may vary among jurisdictions. It is possible that roxadustat will not obtain regulatory approval in additional countries or indications. It is possible that our other product candidates we may discover, in-license or acquire and seek to develop in the future, will not obtain regulatory approval in any particular jurisdiction.

Our current and future relationships with customers, physicians, and third-party payors are subject to healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, transparency laws, and other regulations. If we are unable to comply with such laws, we could face substantial penalties.

Our current and future relationships with customers, physicians, and third-party payors are subject to health care laws and regulations, which may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we research, as well as, sell, market and distribute any products for which we obtain marketing approval. If we obtain approval in the U.S. for any of our product candidates, the regulatory requirements applicable to our operations, in particular our sales and marketing efforts, will increase significantly with respect to our operations and the potential for administrative, civil and criminal enforcement by the federal government and the states and foreign governments will increase with respect to the conduct of our business. The laws that may affect our operations in the U.S. include: the federal Anti-Kickback Statute; federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, including as amended by Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and its implementing regulations; the federal physician sunshine requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act; and the Trade Agreement Act. In addition, foreign and state law equivalents of each of the above federal laws that may apply to items or services reimbursed by any third-party payor, including commercial insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the applicable compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government, or otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers and other potential referral sources; state laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures; and state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances.

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If our operations are found to be in violation of any of such laws or any other governmental regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to significant penalties, including administrative, civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines, imprisonment, disgorgement, the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, the exclusion from participation in federal and state healthcare programs and imprisonment, any of which could materially adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our financial results.

Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to healthcare laws and regulations may cause us to incur significant expenses and could distract our technical and management personnel from their normal responsibilities. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments. Such actions could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common shares and could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

We are subject to stringent and evolving U.S. and foreign laws, regulations, rules, contractual obligations, industry standards, policies and other obligations related to data privacy and security. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could lead to regulatory investigations or actions; litigation (including class claims) and mass arbitration demands; fines and penalties; disruptions of our business operations; reputational harm; loss of revenue or profits; and other adverse business consequences.

In the ordinary course of business, we collect, receive, store, process, generate, use, transfer, disclose, make accessible, protect, secure, dispose of, transmit, and share confidential, proprietary, and sensitive information, including personal data, business data, trade secrets, intellectual property, information we collect about trial participants in connection with clinical trials, sensitive third-party data, business plans, transactions, and financial information.

Our data processing activities may subject us to numerous data privacy and security obligations, such as various laws, regulations, guidance, industry standards, external and internal privacy and security policies, contractual requirements, and other obligations relating to data privacy and security.

In the U.S., there are State data privacy and security laws, including data breach notification laws, personal data privacy laws, consumer protection laws (e.g., Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act), and the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and other similar laws (e.g., wiretapping laws). For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (collectively, “CCPA”) applies to personal data of consumers, business representatives, and employees, and requires businesses to provide specific disclosures in privacy notices and honor requests of California residents to exercise certain privacy rights. The CCPA provides for civil penalties of up to $7,500 per violation and allows private litigants affected by certain data breaches to recover significant statutory damages. In addition, the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 expands the CCPA’s requirements, including by adding a new right for individuals to correct their personal data and establishing a new regulatory agency to implement and enforce the law. Although the CCPA exempts some data processed in the context of clinical trials, the CCPA increases compliance costs and potential liability. Similar laws are being considered in several other states, as well as at the federal and local levels, and we expect more states to pass similar laws in the future. These developments further complicate compliance efforts, and increase legal risk and compliance costs for us and the third parties upon whom we rely.

Outside the U.S., laws, regulations, and industry standards govern data privacy and security. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the United Kingdom (“UK’s) GDPR, Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais) (Law No. 13,709/2018), and China’s Personal Information Protection Law (“PIPL”) impose strict requirements for processing personal data, including health-related information. For example, under the European Union GDPR, companies may face fines of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of annual global revenue, whichever is greater; or private litigation related to processing of personal data brought by classes of data subjects or consumer protection organizations authorized at law to represent their interests. We also target customers in Asia and have operations in China and are subject to new and emerging data privacy regimes in Asia, including China’s PIPL, Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information, and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act.

Although there are currently various mechanisms that may be used to transfer personal data from the EEA and UK to the U.S. in compliance with law, such as the EEA and UK’s standard contractual clauses, the UK’s International Data Transfer Agreement / Addendum, and the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework and the UK extension thereto, these mechanisms are subject to legal challenges and there is no assurance that we can satisfy or rely on these measures to lawfully transfer personal data to the United States. If there is no lawful manner for us to transfer personal data from the EEA, the UK or other jurisdictions to the United States, or if the requirements for a legally-compliant transfer are too onerous, we could face significant adverse consequences. Additionally, companies that transfer personal data out of the EEA and UK to other jurisdictions are subject to scrutiny from regulators, individual litigants, and activities groups.

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Our employees and personnel could use generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) technologies to perform certain work, and the disclosure and use of personal data in generative AI technologies is subject to various privacy laws and other privacy obligations. Governments have passed and are likely to pass additional laws regulating generative AI. Our use of this technology could result in additional compliance costs, regulatory investigations and actions, and lawsuits.

We are also bound by contractual obligations related to data privacy and security, and our efforts to comply with such obligations may not be successful. We publish privacy policies, marketing materials and other statements, regarding data privacy and security. If these policies, materials or statements are found to be deficient, lacking in transparency, deceptive, unfair, or misrepresentative of our practices, we may be subject to investigation, enforcement actions by regulators or other adverse consequences.

Preparing for and complying with these obligations requires us to devote resources and may necessitate changes to our services, information technologies, systems, and practices and to those of any third parties that process personal data on our behalf.

If we or the third parties on which we rely fail, or are perceived to have failed, to address or comply with applicable data privacy and security obligations, we could face significant consequences, including but not limited to: government enforcement actions (e.g., investigations, fines, penalties, audits, inspections, and similar); litigation (including class-action claims); additional reporting requirements and/or oversight; bans on processing personal data; and orders to destroy or not use personal data. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, or financial condition, including but not limited to: loss of customers; interruptions or stoppages in our business operations including clinical trials; inability to process personal data or to operate in certain jurisdictions; limited ability to develop or commercialize our products; expenditure of time and resources to defend any claim or inquiry; adverse publicity; or substantial changes to our business model or operations.

We are subject to laws and regulations governing corruption, which require us to maintain costly compliance programs.

We must comply with a wide range of laws and regulations to prevent corruption, bribery, and other unethical business practices, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws in other countries, particularly China. The implementation and maintenance of compliance programs is costly and such programs may be difficult to enforce, particularly where reliance on third parties is required.

Compliance with these anti-bribery laws is expensive and difficult, particularly in countries in which corruption is a recognized problem. In addition, the anti-bribery laws present particular challenges in the pharmaceutical industry because in many countries including China, hospitals are state-owned or operated by the government, and doctors and other hospital employees are considered foreign government officials. Furthermore, in certain countries (China in particular), hospitals and clinics are permitted to sell pharmaceuticals to their patients and are primary or significant distributors of pharmaceuticals. Certain payments to hospitals in connection with clinical studies, procurement of pharmaceuticals and other work have been deemed to be improper payments to government officials that have led to vigorous anti-bribery law enforcement actions and heavy fines in multiple jurisdictions, particularly in the U.S. and China.

It is not always possible to identify and deter violations, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations.

In the pharmaceutical industry, corrupt practices include, among others, acceptance of kickbacks, bribes or other illegal gains or benefits by the hospitals and medical practitioners from pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors or their third-party agents in connection with the prescription of certain pharmaceuticals. If our employees, partners, affiliates, subcontractors, distributors or third-party marketing firms violate these laws or otherwise engage in illegal practices with respect to their sales or marketing of our products or other activities involving our products, we could be required to pay damages or heavy fines by multiple jurisdictions where we operate, which could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. The Chinese government has also sponsored anti-corruption campaigns from time to time, which could have a chilling effect on any future marketing efforts by us to new hospital customers. There have been recent occurrences in which certain hospitals have denied access to sales representatives from pharmaceutical companies because the hospitals wanted to avoid the perception of corruption. If this attitude becomes widespread among our potential customers, our ability to promote our products to hospitals may be adversely affected.

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Considering our current presence and potential expansion in international jurisdictions, the creation, implementation, and maintenance of anti-corruption compliance programs is costly and such programs are difficult to enforce, particularly where reliance on third parties is required. Violation of the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws can result in significant administrative and criminal penalties for us and our employees, including substantial fines, suspension or debarment from government contracting, prison sentences, or even the death penalty in extremely serious cases in certain countries. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) also may suspend or bar us from trading securities on U.S. exchanges for violation of the FCPA’s accounting provisions. Even if we are not ultimately punished by government authorities, the costs of investigation and review, distraction of our personnel, legal defense costs, and harm to our reputation could be substantial and could limit our profitability or our ability to develop or commercialize our product candidates. In addition, if any of our competitors are not subject to the FCPA, they may engage in practices that will lead to their receipt of preferential treatment from foreign hospitals and enable them to secure business from foreign hospitals in ways that are unavailable to us.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control, it may result in material misstatements in our financial statements.

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting and for evaluating and reporting on the effectiveness of our system of internal control. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of our financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external reporting purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. As a public company, we are required to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other rules that govern public companies.

Efforts required to remediate an ineffective system of control over financial reporting may place a significant burden on management and add increased pressure on our financial resources and processes. Moreover, we implemented an enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) system in the first quarter of 2023, which replaced our existing operating and financial systems, to improve the efficiency of certain financial and transactional processes. However, there is an increased risk that changing controls may be ineffective during the implementation and this ERP system may place additional burdens on employees to learn and adapt our processes to effectively operate under the ERP system. If the ERP system does not operate as intended, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could be negatively impacted. If we experience material weaknesses or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting and subsequently our liquidity and our access to capital markets may be adversely affected, we may be unable to maintain or regain compliance with applicable securities laws and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC listing requirements, we may be subject to regulatory investigations and penalties, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting, and our stock price may decline.

The impact of U.S. healthcare reform may adversely affect our business model.

In the U.S. and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been, and continue to be, several legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system that could affect our operations. In particular, the commercial potential for our approved products could be affected by changes in healthcare spending and policy in the U.S. and abroad. We operate in a highly regulated industry and new laws, regulations or judicial decisions, or new interpretations of existing laws, regulations, or decisions, related to healthcare availability, the method of delivery or payment for healthcare products and services could negatively impact our business, operations and financial condition.

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Further, in the U.S. there has been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several presidential executive orders, Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under government payor programs, and review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs. For example, in July 2021, the Biden administration released an executive order that included multiple provisions aimed at prescription drugs. In response to Biden’s executive order, on September 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released a Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices that outlines principles for drug pricing reform. The plan sets out a variety of potential legislative policies that Congress could pursue as well as potential administrative actions HHS can take to advance these principles. In addition, on August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) into law, which among other things, extends enhanced subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance coverage in Affordable Care Act marketplaces through plan year 2025. The IRA also eliminates the “donut hole” under the Medicare Part D program beginning in 2025 by significantly lowering the beneficiary maximum out-of-pocket cost and creating a new manufacturer discount program. Further, the IRA (1) directs HHS to negotiate the price of certain single-source drugs or biologics covered under Medicare, and (2) imposes rebates under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D to penalize price increases that outpace inflation. These provisions take effect progressively starting in fiscal year 2023, although the Medicare drug price negotiation program is currently subject to legal challenges. HHS has and will continue to issue and update guidance as these programs are implemented. It is currently unclear how the IRA will be implemented but is likely to have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry. Further, on February 14, 2023, HHS released a report outlining three new models for testing by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (“CMS”) Innovation Center which will be evaluated on their ability to lower the cost of drugs, promote accessibility, and improve quality of care. It is unclear whether the models will be utilized in any health reform measures in the future. Further, on December 7, 2023, the Biden administration announced an initiative to control the price of prescription drugs through the use of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. On December 8, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published for comment a Draft Interagency Guidance Framework for Considering the Exercise of March-In Rights which for the first time includes the price of a product as one factor an agency can use when deciding to exercise march-in rights. While march-in rights have not previously been exercised, it is uncertain if that will continue under the new framework. At the state level, individual states are increasingly aggressive in passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing.

We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare products and services, which could result in reduced demand for our products if approved or additional pricing pressures, or otherwise adversely affect our business.

Roxadustat is considered a Class 2 substance on the 2019 World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List that could limit sales and increase security and distribution costs for our partners and us.

Roxadustat is considered a Class 2 substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. There are enhanced security and distribution procedures we and our collaboration partners and third-party contractors will have to take to limit the risk of loss of product in the supply chain. As a result, our distribution, manufacturing and sales costs for roxadustat, as well as for our partners, will be increased which will reduce profitability. In addition, there is a risk of reduced sales due to patient access to this drug.

Our employees may engage in misconduct or improper activities, which could result in significant liability or harm our reputation.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct, including intentional failure to:

comply with FDA regulations or similar regulations of comparable foreign regulatory authorities;
provide accurate information to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities;
comply with manufacturing standards we have established;
comply with data privacy and security laws protecting personal data;

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comply with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations and similar laws and regulations established and enforced by comparable foreign regulatory authorities;
comply with the FCPA and other anti-bribery laws;
report financial information or data accurately; or
disclose unauthorized activities to us.

Employee misconduct could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions, delays in clinical trials, or serious harm to our reputation. We have adopted a code of conduct for our directors, officers and employees, but it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct. The precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in protecting us from the negative impacts of governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations. An unfavorable outcome or settlement in connection with a governmental investigation or other action or lawsuit may result in a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition, prospects, and stock price. Regardless of the outcome, litigation and governmental investigations can be costly, time-consuming, and disruptive to our business, results of operations, financial condition, reputation, and prospects.

If we fail to comply with environmental, health or safety laws and regulations, we could incur fines, penalties or other costs.

We are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. We contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and wastes. We cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties for failure to comply with such laws and regulations. We do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us in connection with our storage or disposal of biological, hazardous or radioactive materials.

In addition, we may incur substantial costs in order to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations applicable to our operations in the U.S. and foreign countries. These current or future laws and regulations may impair our research, development or manufacturing efforts. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations also may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.

Risks Related to Our International Operations

We have established operations in China and are seeking approval to commercialize our product candidates outside of the U.S., and a number of risks associated with international operations could materially and adversely affect our business.

A number of risks related to our international operations, many of which may be beyond our control, include: different regulatory requirements in different countries, including for drug approvals, manufacturing, and distribution; potential liability resulting from development work conducted by foreign distributors; economic weakness, including inflation, or foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating costs and expenses and reduced revenues, and other obligations incident to doing business in another country; workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the U.S.; compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees living or traveling abroad; political instability in particular foreign economies and markets; and business interruptions resulting from geopolitical actions specific to an international region, including war and terrorism, or natural disasters, including pandemics.

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The pharmaceutical industry in China is highly regulated and such regulations are subject to change.

The pharmaceutical industry in China is subject to comprehensive government regulation and supervision, encompassing the approval, registration, manufacturing, packaging, licensing and marketing of new drugs. In recent years, many aspects of pharmaceutical industry regulation have undergone significant reform, and reform may continue. For example, the Chinese government implemented regulations that impact distribution of pharmaceutical products in China, where at most two invoices may be issued throughout the distribution chain, a change that required us to change our distribution paradigm. Any regulatory changes or amendments may result in increased compliance costs to our business or cause delays in or prevent the successful development or commercialization of our product candidates in China. Any failure by us or our partners to maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations or obtain and maintain required licenses and permits may result in the suspension or termination of our business activities in China.

The China-operations portion of our audit is conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm headquartered in China.

The majority of audit work incurred for the audit report included in the 2023 Form 10-K was performed by the U.S.-based independent registered public accounting firm we have retained, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which is headquartered in the U.S. and was not identified in the report issued by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021.

However, we estimate that between 20% and 30% of the total audit hours for our December 31, 2023 audit were provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP located in China.

On December 18, 2020, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (the “HFCAA”) was signed into law. The HFCAA requires that the SEC identify issuers that retain an auditor that has a branch or office that is located in a foreign jurisdiction and that the PCAOB determines it is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a position taken by an authority in that foreign jurisdiction. Among other things, the HFCAA requires the SEC to prohibit the securities of any issuer from being traded on any of the U.S. national securities exchanges, such as The Nasdaq Global Select Market, or on the U.S. “over-the-counter” markets, if the auditor of the issuer’s financial statements is not subject to PCAOB inspections for three consecutive “non-inspection” years after the law became effective (such period further reduced to two years by the enactment of the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (the “AHFCAA”) on December 29, 2022).

The HFCAA does not apply to registrants that retain a principal accountant that is headquartered in the U.S. and subject to PCAOB inspection. On December 2, 2021, the SEC adopted final amendments to its rules implementing the HFCAA and established procedures to identify issuers and prohibit the trading of the securities of certain registrants as required by the HFCAA. This rule stated that only the principal accountant, as defined by Rule 2-05 of Regulation S-X and PCAOB AS 1205, is “deemed ‘retained’ for purposes of Section 104(i) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Commission’s determination of whether the registrant should be a Commission Identified Issuer.” The principal accountant, as defined, that we have retained is PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Accordingly, the HFCAA does not currently apply to us.

Although the PCAOB issued a report on December 16, 2021 on its determination that it was unable to inspect or investigate completely PCAOB-registered accounting firms headquartered in China and in Hong Kong, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP, on December 15, 2022, it announced that it was able to conduct inspections and investigations of such accounting firms in 2022 and vacated its previous 2021 determinations accordingly. While vacating those determinations, however, the PCAOB noted that, should it encounter any impediment to conducting an inspection or investigation of auditors in mainland China or Hong Kong as a result of a position taken by any authority there, the PCAOB would act to immediately reconsider the need to issue new determinations consistent with the HFCAA and PCAOB’s Rule 6100.

Even though we currently view the likelihood to be remote, if our operations fundamentally change in a way that requires our independent registered public accounting firm be located in China or Hong Kong in order to comply with the standards of the PCAOB regarding principal auditor, then the HFCAA would apply to us, which consequences could include the potential delisting of our stock from the Nasdaq Global Select Market and prohibition from trading in the over-the counter market in the U.S. Such a restriction would negatively impact our ability to raise capital. Additionally, we cannot rule out the possibility that in the future Congress could amend the HFCAA or the SEC could modify its regulations to apply the restrictions, including trading prohibitions and delisting, under the HFCAA in situations in which an independent registered public accounting firm in China or Hong Kong performs part of the audit such as in our current situation.

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Changes in U.S. and China relations, as well as relations with other countries, and/or regulations may adversely impact our business.

The U.S. government, including the SEC, has made statements and taken certain actions that have led to changes to U.S. and international relations, and will impact companies with connections to the U.S. or China, including imposing several rounds of tariffs affecting certain products manufactured in China, imposing certain sanctions and restrictions in relation to China, and issuing statements indicating enhanced review of companies with significant China-based operations. It is unknown whether and to what extent new legislation, executive orders, tariffs, laws or regulations will be adopted, or the effect that any such actions would have on companies with significant connections to the U.S. or to China, our industry or on us. We conduct contract manufacturing and development activities and have business operations both in the U.S. and China. Any unfavorable government policies on cross-border relations and/or international trade, including increased scrutiny on companies with significant China-based operations, capital controls or tariffs, may affect the competitive position of our drug products, the hiring of scientists and other research and development personnel, the demand for our drug products, the import or export of products and product components, our ability to raise capital, the market price of our common stock, or prevent us from commercializing and selling our drug products in certain countries.

While we do not operate in an industry that is currently subject to foreign ownership limitations in China, China could decide to limit foreign ownership in our industry, in which case there could be a risk that we would be unable to do business in China as we are currently structured. In addition, our periodic reports and other filings with the SEC may be subject to enhanced review by the SEC and this additional scrutiny could affect our ability to effectively raise capital in the U.S.

If any new legislation, executive orders, tariffs, laws and/or regulations are implemented, if existing trade agreements are renegotiated or if the U.S. or Chinese governments take retaliatory actions due to the recent U.S.-China tension, such changes could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, our ability to raise capital and the market price of our common stock.

We use our own manufacturing facilities in China to produce roxadustat API and drug product for the market in China. There are risks inherent to operating commercial manufacturing facilities, and with these being our single source suppliers, we may not be able to continually meet market demand.

We have two manufacturing facilities in China, with one located in Beijing and the other in Cangzhou, Hebei.

We are obligated to comply with cGMP requirements but there can be no assurance that we will maintain all of the appropriate licenses required to manufacture our product candidates for clinical and commercial use in China. In addition to our product suppliers, we must continually spend time, money and effort in production, record-keeping and quality assurance and appropriate controls in order to ensure that any products manufactured in our facilities meet applicable specifications and other requirements for product safety, efficacy and quality but there can be no assurance that our efforts will continue to be successful in meeting these requirements.

Manufacturing facilities in China are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the National Medical Products Administration and other regulatory authorities. We expect to depend on these facilities for our product candidates and business operations in China, and we do not yet have a secondary source supplier for either roxadustat API or drug product in China. Consequently, we also carry single source supplier risk for all countries we or our partners are selling in, other than China. Natural disasters or other unanticipated catastrophic events, including power interruptions, water shortages, storms, fires, pandemics, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, government appropriation of our facilities, and wars, could significantly impair our ability to operate our manufacturing facilities. Certain equipment, records and other materials located in these facilities would be difficult to replace or would require substantial replacement lead-time that would impact our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates in China.

Further, the climate of geopolitical tensions in China affecting global supply chains may impact our ability to continually meet market demand. For example, certain U.S. lawmakers have encouraged sanctions and introduced legislation that could affect WuXi AppTec (Hong Kong) Limited, and our current supplier of FG-3246, WuXi Biologics (Hong Kong) Limited (“WuXi Biologics”) and companies that do business with WuXi Biologics. While the current legislation does not affect our roxadustat supplier Shanghai SynTheAll Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“WuXi STA”), there is a risk that FibroGen could face consequences from contracting with WuXi Biologics, could be forced to find an alternative supplier for FG-3246, and there is a risk that such legislation could expand to include WuXi STA. The occurrence of any such event could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects.

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We may experience difficulties in successfully growing and sustaining sales of roxadustat in China.

AstraZeneca and we have a profit-sharing arrangement with respect to roxadustat in China and any difficulties we may experience in growing and sustaining sales will affect our bottom line. Difficulties may be related to competition and our ability to maintain reasonable pricing and reimbursement, obtain and maintain hospital listing, or other difficulties related to distribution, marketing, and sales efforts in China. Roxadustat’s recent inclusion in the 2023 National Reimbursement Drug List came with a limited 7% price reduction. Such reimbursement pricing for China is effective for a standard two-year period (between January 1, 2024, and December 31, 2025). However, after four generics are approved in China, there is a substantial risk of being subject to the country’s volume-based purchasing program whereby a national tender could be called for roxadustat. If a tender is called for roxadustat, our access to the market as the originator drug would be significantly constrained and our price would be further reduced.

Sales of roxadustat in China may also be limited due to the complex nature of the healthcare system, low average personal income, pricing controls, still developing infrastructure, and potentially rapid competition from other products.

The retail prices of any product candidates that we develop will be subject to pricing control in China and elsewhere.

The price of pharmaceutical products is highly regulated in China, both at the national and provincial level. Price controls may reduce prices to levels significantly below those that would prevail in less regulated markets or limit the volume of products that may be sold, either of which may have a material and adverse effect on potential revenues from sales of roxadustat in China. Moreover, the process and timing for the implementation of price restrictions are unpredictable, which may cause potential revenues from the sales of roxadustat to fluctuate from period to period.

FibroGen (China) Medical Technology Development Co., Ltd. (“FibroGen Beijing”) would be subject to restrictions on paying dividends or making other payments to us, which may restrict our ability to satisfy our liquidity requirements.

We plan to conduct all of our business in China through FibroGen China Anemia Holdings, Ltd., FibroGen Beijing and its branch offices, and our joint venture distribution entity, Beijing Falikang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Falikang”). We may in the future rely on dividends and royalties paid by FibroGen Beijing for a portion of our cash needs, including the funds necessary to service any debt we may incur and to pay our operating costs and expenses. The payment of dividends by FibroGen Beijing is subject to limitations. Regulations in China currently permit payment of dividends only out of accumulated profits as determined in accordance with applicable accounting standards and regulations in China. FibroGen Beijing is not permitted to distribute any profits until losses from prior fiscal years have been recouped and in any event must maintain certain minimum capital requirements. FibroGen Beijing is also required to set aside at least 10.0% of its after-tax profit based on Chinese accounting standards each year to its statutory reserve fund until the cumulative amount of such reserves reaches 50.0% of its registered capital. Statutory reserves are not distributable as cash dividends. In addition, if FibroGen Beijing incurs debt on its own behalf in the future, the agreements governing such debt may restrict its ability to pay dividends or make other distributions to us. As of December 31, 2023, approximately $32.1 million of our cash and cash equivalents is held in China.

Any capital contributions from us to FibroGen Beijing must be approved by the Ministry of Commerce in China, and failure to obtain such approval may materially and adversely affect the liquidity position of FibroGen Beijing.

The Ministry of Commerce in China or its local counterpart must approve the amount and use of any capital contributions from us to FibroGen Beijing, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to complete the necessary government registrations and obtain the necessary government approvals on a timely basis, or at all. If we fail to do so, we may not be able to contribute additional capital or find suitable financing alternatives within China to fund our Chinese operations, and the liquidity and financial position of FibroGen Beijing may be materially and adversely affected.

We may be subject to currency exchange rate fluctuations and currency exchange restrictions with respect to our operations in China as well as our partners operations in Japan and Europe, which could adversely affect our financial performance.

Most of our and our partner’s product sales will occur in local currency and our operating results will be subject to volatility from currency exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not hedged against the risks associated with fluctuations in exchange rates and, therefore, exchange rate fluctuations could have an adverse impact on our future operating results. Changes in the value of the Renminbi, Euro or Yen against the U.S. dollar and other currencies are affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions. Any significant currency exchange rate fluctuations may have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

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In addition, the Chinese government imposes controls on the convertibility of the Renminbi into foreign currencies and the remittance of foreign currency out of China for certain transactions. Shortages in the availability of foreign currency may restrict the ability of FibroGen Beijing to remit sufficient foreign currency to pay dividends or other payments to us, or otherwise satisfy their foreign currency-denominated obligations. Under existing Chinese foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and balance of trade, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange by complying with certain procedural requirements. However, approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange or its local branch is required where Renminbi is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. The Chinese government may also at its discretion restrict access in the future to foreign currencies for current account transactions. If the foreign exchange control system prevents us from obtaining sufficient foreign currency to satisfy our operational requirements, our liquidity and financial position may be materially and adversely affected.

Because FibroGen Beijing’s funds are held in banks that do not provide insurance, the failure of any bank in which FibroGen Beijing deposits its funds could adversely affect our business.

Banks and other financial institutions in China do not provide insurance for funds held on deposit. As a result, in the event of a bank failure, FibroGen Beijing may not have access to funds on deposit. Depending upon the amount of money FibroGen Beijing maintains in a bank that fails, its inability to have access to cash could materially impair its operations.

We may be subject to tax inefficiencies associated with our offshore corporate structure.

The tax regulations of the U.S. and other jurisdictions in which we operate are extremely complex and subject to change. New laws, new interpretations of existing laws, such as the Base Erosion Profit Shifting project initiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and any legislation proposed by the relevant taxing authorities, or limitations on our ability to structure our operations and intercompany transactions may lead to inefficient tax treatment of our revenue, profits, royalties, and distributions, if any are achieved. For example, the Biden administration has proposed to increase the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 21%, increase the U.S. taxation of our international business operations and impose a global minimum tax, although the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 omitted to include any of these proposals but included only a minimum tax on certain large corporations and a tax on certain repurchases of stock on the corporations doing those repurchases. Such proposed changes, as well as regulations and legal decisions interpreting and applying these changes, may adversely impact our effective tax rate.

In addition, our foreign subsidiaries and we have various intercompany transactions. We may not be able to obtain certain benefits under relevant tax treaties to avoid double taxation on certain transactions among our subsidiaries. If we are not able to avail ourselves to the tax treaties, we could be subject to additional taxes, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Act) was enacted which instituted various changes to the taxation of multinational corporations. Since inception, various regulations and interpretations have been issued by governing authorities and we continue to examine the impacts to our business, which could potentially have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial conditions.

Our foreign operations, particularly those in China, are subject to significant risks involving the protection of intellectual property.

We seek to protect the products and technology that we consider important to our business by pursuing patent applications in China and other countries, relying on trade secrets or pharmaceutical regulatory protection or employing a combination of these methods. We note that the filing of a patent application does not mean that we will be granted a patent, or that any patent eventually granted will be as broad as requested in the patent application or will be sufficient to protect our technology. There are a number of factors that could cause our patents, if granted, to become invalid or unenforceable or that could cause our patent applications not to be granted, including known or unknown prior art, deficiencies in the patent application, or lack of originality of the technology. Furthermore, the terms of our patents are limited. The patents we hold and the patents that may be granted from our currently pending patent applications have, absent any patent term adjustment or extension, a twenty-year protection period starting from the date of application.

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Intellectual property rights and confidentiality protections in China may not be as effective as those in the U.S. or other countries for many reasons, including lack of procedural rules for discovery and evidence, low damage awards, and lack of judicial independence. Implementation and enforcement of China intellectual property laws have historically been deficient and ineffective and may be hampered by corruption and local protectionism. Policing unauthorized use of proprietary technology is difficult and expensive, and we may need to resort to litigation to enforce or defend patents issued to us or to determine the enforceability and validity of our proprietary rights or those of others. The experience and capabilities of China courts in handling intellectual property litigation varies and outcomes are unpredictable. An adverse determination in any such litigation could materially impair our intellectual property rights and may harm our business.

Uncertainties with respect to the China legal system and regulations could have a material adverse effect on us.

The legal system of China is a civil law system primarily based on written statutes. Our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control, perceived government interference and/or changes in tax, cyber and data security, capital investments, cross-border transactions and other regulations that are currently or may in the future be applicable to us. In 2022, Chinese regulators announced regulatory actions aimed at providing China’s government with greater oversight over certain sectors of China’s economy, including the for-profit education sector and technology platforms that have a quantitatively significant number of users located in China. Although the biotech industry is already highly regulated in China and while there has been no indication to date that such actions or oversight would apply to companies that are similarly situated as us and that are pursuing similar portfolios of drug products and therapies as us, China’s government may in the future take regulatory actions that may materially adversely affect the business environment and financial markets in China as they relate to us, our ability to operate our business, our liquidity and our access to capital.

Unlike in a common law system, prior court decisions may be cited for reference but are not binding. Because the China legal system continues to rapidly evolve, the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules are not always uniform and enforcement of these laws, regulations and rules involve uncertainties, which may limit legal protections available to us. Moreover, decision makers in the China judicial system have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, which may render it difficult for FibroGen Beijing to enforce the contracts it has entered into with our business partners, customers and suppliers. Different government departments may have different interpretations of certain laws and regulations, and licenses and permits issued or granted by one government authority may be revoked by a higher government authority at a later time. Furthermore, new laws or regulations may be passed, in some cases with little advance notice, that affect the way we or our collaboration partner do business in China (including the manufacture, sale, or distribution of roxadustat in China). Our business may be affected if we rely on laws and regulations that are subsequently adopted or interpreted in a manner different from our understanding of these laws and regulations. Navigating the uncertainty and change in the China legal and regulatory systems will require the devotion of significant resources and time, and there can be no assurance that our contractual and other rights will ultimately be maintained or enforced.

Changes in China’s economic, governmental, or social conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Chinese society and the Chinese economy continue to undergo significant change. Changes in the regulatory structure, regulations, and economic policies of the Chinese government could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of China, which could adversely affect our ability to conduct business in China. The Chinese government continues to adjust economic policies to promote economic growth. Some of these measures benefit the overall Chinese economy, but may also have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations in China may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations. Recently, Chinese regulators announced regulatory actions aimed at providing China’s government with greater oversight over certain sectors of China’s economy, including the for-profit education sector and technology platforms that have a quantitatively significant number of users located in China. Although the biotech industry is already highly regulated in China and while there has been no indication to date that such actions or oversight would apply to companies that are similarly situated as us and that are pursuing similar portfolios of drug products and therapies as us, China’s government may in the future take regulatory actions that may materially adversely affect the business environment and financial markets in China as they relate to us. As the Chinese pharmaceutical industry grows and evolves, the Chinese government may also implement measures to change the regulatory structure and structure of foreign investment in this industry. We are unable to predict the frequency and scope of such policy changes and structural changes, any of which could materially and adversely affect FibroGen Beijing’s development and commercialization timelines, liquidity, access to capital, and its ability to conduct business in China. Any failure on our part to comply with changing government regulations and policies could result in the loss of our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates in China. In addition, the changing government regulations and policies could result in delays and cost increases to our development, manufacturing, approval, and commercialization timelines in China.

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We may be subject to additional Chinese requirements, approvals or permissions in the future.

We are incorporated in the state of Delaware. To operate our general business activities currently conducted in China, each of our Chinese subsidiaries (and our joint venture with AstraZeneca, Falikang) is required to and does obtain a business license from the local counterpart of the State Administration for Market Regulation. Such business licenses list the business activities we are authorized to carry out and we would be noncompliant if we act outside of the scope of business activities set forth under the relevant business license.

Due to China’s regulatory framework in general and for the pharmaceutical industry specifically, we are required to apply for and maintain many approvals or permits specific to many of our business activities, including but not limited to manufacturing, distribution, environment protection, workplace safety, cybersecurity, from both national and local government agencies. For example, FibroGen Beijing is required to maintain a Drug Product Production Permit that allows it to manufacture API and roxadustat capsules. Falikang, our joint venture with AstraZeneca, is required to maintain a Drug Product Distribution Permit in order to be able to distribute our drug product roxadustat in China. For certain of our clinical trials conducted in China, we need to obtain, through the clinical sites, permits from the Human Genetic Resources Administration of China to collect samples that include human genetic resources, such as blood samples.

We may also be required to obtain certain approvals from Chinese authorities before transferring certain scientific data abroad or to foreign parties or entities established or actually controlled by them.

None of our subsidiaries or our joint venture in China are required to obtain approval or prior permission from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, Cyberspace Administration of China, or any other Chinese regulatory authority under the Chinese laws and regulations currently in effect to issue securities to our investors. However, the approvals and permits we do have to comply with are numerous and there are uncertainties with respect to the Chinese legal system and changes in laws, regulations and policies, including how those laws and regulations will be interpreted or implemented. For further information, see the risk factor titled “Uncertainties with respect to the China legal system and regulations could have a material adverse effect on us.” There can be no assurance that we will not be subject to new or changing requirements, approvals or permissions in the future in order to operate in China.

If we are unable to obtain the necessary approvals or permissions in order to operate our business in China, if we inadvertently conclude that such approvals or permissions are not required, or if we are subject to additional requirements, approvals, or permissions, it could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, our ability to raise capital and the market price of our common stock.

If the Chinese government determines that our corporate structure does not comply with Chinese regulations, or if Chinese regulations change or are interpreted differently in the future, the value of our common stock may decline.

In July 2021, the Chinese government provided new guidance on China-based companies raising capital outside of China, including through arrangements called variable interest entities. We do not employ a variable interest entity structure for purposes of replicating foreign investment in Chinese-based companies where Chinese law prohibits direct foreign investment. We do not operate in an industry that is currently subject to foreign ownership limitations in China. However, there are uncertainties with respect to the Chinese legal system and there may be changes in laws, regulations and policies, including how those laws and regulations will be interpreted or implemented. For further information, see the risk factor titled “Uncertainties with respect to the China legal system and regulations could have a material adverse effect on us.” If in the future the Chinese government determines that our corporate structure does not comply with Chinese regulations, or if Chinese laws or regulations change or are interpreted differently from our understanding of these laws and regulations, the value of our common stock may decline.

Our operations in China subject us to various Chinese labor and social insurance laws, and our failure to comply with such laws may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to China Labor Contract Law, which provides strong protections for employees and imposes many obligations on employers. The Labor Contract Law places certain restrictions on the circumstances under which employers may terminate labor contracts and require economic compensation to employees upon termination of employment, among other things. In addition, companies operating in China are generally required to contribute to labor union funds and the mandatory social insurance and housing funds. Any failure by us to comply with Chinese labor and social insurance laws may subject us to late fees, fines and penalties, or cause the suspension or termination of our ability to conduct business in China, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on business, results of operations and prospects.

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Risks Related to the Operation of Our Business

We have incurred significant losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or sustain profitability. We may require additional financing in order to fund our operations, which may be dilutive to our shareholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our intellectual property or product candidates. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on acceptable terms, we may be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs and/or our commercialization efforts.

We are a biopharmaceutical company with two lead product candidates in clinical development, roxadustat for CIA in China, and pamrevlumab for pancreatic cancer. Most of our revenue generated to date has been based on our collaboration agreements and we have limited commercial drug product sales to date. We continue to incur significant research and development and other expenses related to our ongoing operations. Our net loss for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021 were $284.2 million, $293.7 million and $290.0 million, respectively. As of December 31, 2023, we had an accumulated deficit of $1.8 billion. As of December 31, 2023, we had capital resources consisting of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $235.6 million. In addition, as of December 31, 2023, we had $12.6 million of accounts receivable in our current assets. Despite contractual development and cost coverage commitments from our collaboration partners, AstraZeneca and Astellas, and the potential to receive milestone and other payments from these partners, and despite commercialization efforts for roxadustat for the treatment of anemia caused by CKD, we anticipate we will continue to incur losses on an annual basis for the foreseeable future. If we do not successfully develop and continue to obtain regulatory approval for our existing or any future product candidates and effectively manufacture, market and sell the product candidates that are approved, we may never achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our prior losses, combined with expected future losses, have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity (deficit) and working capital. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, diversify our product offerings or continue our operations.

We believe that we will continue to expend substantial resources for the foreseeable future as we continue to grow our operations in China, continue our clinical development efforts on pamrevlumab, continue to seek regulatory approval, establish commercialization capabilities of our product candidates, and pursue additional indications. These expenditures will include costs associated with research and development, conducting preclinical trials and clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions, and manufacturing and supplying products and product candidates for our partners and ourselves. The outcome of any clinical trial and/or regulatory approval process is highly uncertain and we are unable to fully estimate the actual costs necessary to successfully complete the development and regulatory approval process for our compounds in development and any future product candidates. We believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments and accounts receivable, cash flows from commercial sales and sales of drug product, and expected third-party collaboration revenues will allow us to fund our operating plans through at least 12 months from the date of issuance of these consolidated financial statements. Our operating plans or third-party collaborations may change as a result of many factors, including the success of our development and commercialization efforts, operations costs (including manufacturing and regulatory), competition, and other factors that may not currently be known to us, and we therefore may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned, through offerings of public or private securities, debt financing or other sources, such as revenue interest monetization or other structured financing. Future sales of equity or debt securities may result in dilution to stockholders, imposition of debt covenants and repayment obligations, or other restrictions that may adversely affect our business. We may also seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we currently believe that we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans.

Accordingly, we may seek additional funds sooner than planned. We may also seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we currently believe that we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans.

Any additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from their day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize any of our product candidates. We cannot guarantee that future financing will be available in sufficient amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all or that we will be able to satisfy the performance, financial and other obligations in connection with any such financing. Moreover, the terms of any financing may adversely affect the holdings or the rights of our stockholders and the issuance of additional securities, whether equity or debt, by us, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our shares to decline. We could also be required to seek funds through additional collaborations, partnerships, licensing arrangements with third parties or otherwise at an earlier stage than would be desirable and we may be required to relinquish rights to intellectual property, future revenue streams, research programs, product candidates or to grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and prospects.

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In addition, the terms of any financing may adversely affect the holdings or the rights of our stockholders. If we raise additional funds by issuing equity securities, dilution to our existing stockholders will result. In addition, as a condition to providing additional funding to us, future investors may demand, and may be granted, rights superior to those of existing stockholders. Moreover, any debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants that could limit our flexibility in conducting future business activities and, in the event of insolvency, would be paid before holders of equity securities received any distribution of corporate assets. For example, in 2022 we entered into a Revenue Interest Financing Agreement (“RIFA”) with an affiliate of NovaQuest Capital Management (“NovaQuest”) and in 2023 we entered into a debt financing agreement with investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, each of which imposes certain performance and financial obligations on our business. Our ability to satisfy and meet any future debt service obligations will depend upon our future performance, which will be subject to financial, business and other factors affecting our operations, many of which are beyond our control.

If adequate funds are not available to us on a timely basis, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our research and development efforts or other operations or activities that may be necessary to commercialize our product candidates.

We may be required to recognize an impairment of our long-lived assets, which could adversely affect our financial performance.

Our long-lived assets group is subject to an impairment assessment at least annually, or when certain triggering events or circumstances indicate that its carrying value may be impaired. Prolonged market declines or other factors negatively impacting the performance of our businesses could adversely affect our evaluation of the recoverability of our long-lived assets. If, as a result of the impairment test, we determine that the fair value of our long-lived asset group is less than its carrying amount, we may incur an impairment charge, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations or financial position.

Our non-dilutive transactions with Morgan Stanley Tactical Value and NovaQuest could limit cash flow available for our operations, expose us to risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, and contain various covenants and other provisions, which, if violated, could result in the acceleration of payments due in connection with such transaction or the foreclosure on security interest.

On November 4, 2022, we entered into a $50 million RIFA financing with NovaQuest with respect to our revenues from Astellas’ sales of roxadustat in Europe, Japan and the other Astellas territories.

As material inducement for NovaQuest to enter into the RIFA, we granted NovaQuest a security interest over our rights, title and interest in and to the revenue interest payments and intellectual property related to roxadustat and the Astellas territories.

In addition, the RIFA includes customary reporting obligations and events of default by us. Upon the occurrence of an event of default, NovaQuest may exercise all remedies available to it at law or in equity in respect of the security interest.

On April 29, 2023, we entered into a financing agreement (“Financing Agreement”) with a $75 million senior secured term loan with investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, as lenders, and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as the administrative agent.

Our Financing Agreement with Morgan Stanley Tactical Value requires us to maintain a minimum balance of $30 million of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents held in accounts in the U.S. and, while any portion of the term loans or any other obligations under the Financing Agreement remain outstanding, we must comply with certain customary affirmative and negative covenants set forth in the Financing Agreement and related loan documents. The Financing Agreement also provides for customary events of default triggers. Upon an event of default, the administrative agent under the Financing Agreement may, and at the direction of the majority lenders shall, accelerate all of our outstanding obligations under the Financing Agreement and related loan documents, terminate all outstanding funding commitments and/or exercise remedies available at law or equity or under contract for secured creditors. The term loans are secured by substantially all of our and our non-Chinese subsidiaries’ assets, subject to customary exceptions.

For additional details about these financing transactions, see Note 9, Senior Secured Term Loan Facilities and Note 10, Liability Related to Sale of Future Revenues, to the consolidated financial statements.

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Our obligations under these financing transactions could have significant negative consequences for our shareholders, and our business, results of operations and financial condition by, among other things:

increasing our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions;
limiting our ability to obtain additional non-dilutive financing or enter into collaboration or partnership agreements of a certain size;
requiring the dedication of a portion of our cash flow from operations to service our indebtedness, which will reduce the amount of cash available for other purposes;
limiting our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our business; and
placing us at a possible competitive disadvantage with competitors that are less leveraged than us or have better access to capital.

Our ability to comply with the above covenants may be affected by events beyond our control, and future breaches of any of the covenants could result in a default under the RIFA, the Financing Agreement, or any future financing agreements. If not waived, future defaults could cause all of the outstanding indebtedness under either financing transaction to become immediately due and payable and NovaQuest or Morgan Stanley Tactical Value could seek to enforce their security interest in assets that secure such indebtedness.

To the extent we incur additional debt, the risks described above could increase. A default in one of such agreements could trigger a default in the other. Any of the above risks would negatively impact our ability to operate our business and obtain additional debt or equity financing on favorable terms.

Most of our recent revenue has been earned through our roxadustat collaborations.

If either our Astellas collaboration or our AstraZeneca China collaboration were to be terminated, we could have a sudden decrease of revenue and require significant additional capital in order to help fund our operations. If adequate funds or partners are not available to us on a timely basis or on favorable terms, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate development or commercialization efforts.

We may encounter difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations, successfully.

As we seek to advance our product candidates through clinical trials and commercialization, we will need to expand our development, regulatory, manufacturing, commercialization and administration capabilities or contract with third parties to provide these capabilities for us. As our operations expand, we expect that we will need to increase the responsibilities of management. Our failure to accomplish any of these steps could prevent us from successfully implementing our strategy and maintaining the confidence of investors in us.

Loss of senior management and key personnel could adversely affect our business.

We are highly dependent on members of our senior management team. The loss of the services of any of our senior management could significantly impact the development and commercialization of our products and product candidates and our ability to successfully implement our business strategy.

Recruiting and retaining qualified commercial, development, scientific, clinical, and manufacturing personnel are and will continue to be critical to our success. Furthermore, replacing executive officers and key employees may be difficult and may take an extended period of time because of the limited number of individuals in our industry with the breadth of skills and experience required to successfully develop, gain regulatory approval of and commercialize product candidates. We may be unable to hire, train, retain or motivate these key personnel on acceptable terms given the intense competition among numerous biopharmaceutical companies for similar personnel.

There is also significant competition, in particular in the San Francisco Bay Area, for the hiring of experienced and qualified personnel, which increases the importance of retention of our existing personnel.

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On July 14, 2023 and December 11, 2023, FibroGen approved a reduction to its U.S. workforce of approximately 32% and 7.4% to lower its operating expenses, causing the loss of valuable skills, experience, and productivity. Furthermore, employee turnover and other risks described above may be exacerbated by the restructuring as well as recent stock performance.

If we are unable to continue to attract and retain personnel with the quality and experience applicable to our product candidates, our ability to pursue our strategy will be limited and our business and operations would be adversely affected.

We are exposed to the risks associated with litigation, investigations, regulatory proceedings, and other legal matters, any of which could have a material adverse effect on us.

We are currently and may in the future face legal, administrative and regulatory proceedings, claims, demands, investigations and/or other dispute-related matters involving, among other things, our products, product candidates, or other issues relating to our business as well as allegations of violation of U.S. and foreign laws and regulations relating to intellectual property, competition, securities, consumer protection, and the environment.

For example, we and certain of our current and former executive officers have been named as defendants in a consolidated putative class action lawsuit (“Securities Class Action Litigation”) and certain of our current and former executive officers and directors have been named as defendants in several derivative lawsuits (“Derivative Litigation”). The complaint filed in the Securities Class Action Litigation alleges violations of the securities laws, including, among other things, that the defendants made certain materially false and misleading statements about our Phase 3 clinical studies data and prospects for FDA approval. The complaints filed in the Derivative Litigation asserts claims based on some of the same alleged misstatements and omissions as the Securities Class Action Litigation and seeks, among other things, unspecified damages. We intend to vigorously defend the claims made in the Securities Class Action Litigation and Derivative Litigation; however, the outcome of these matters cannot be predicted, and the claims raised in these lawsuits may result in further legal matters or actions against us, including, but not limited to, government enforcement actions or additional private litigation. In the fourth quarter of 2021, FibroGen received a subpoena from the SEC requesting documents related to roxadustat’s pooled cardiovascular safety data. We have been fully cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

Our Board of Directors also received litigation demands from our purported shareholders, asking the Board of Directors to investigate and take action against certain current and former officers and directors of ours for alleged wrongdoing based on the same allegations in the pending derivative and securities class action lawsuits. We may in the future receive such additional demands.

We cannot predict whether any particular legal matter will be resolved favorably or ultimately result in charges or material damages, fines or other penalties, government enforcement actions, bars against serving as an officer or director, or civil or criminal proceedings against us or certain members of our senior management. For additional information regarding our pending litigation and SEC investigation, see Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to the consolidated financial statements.

Legal proceedings in general, and securities and class action litigation and regulatory investigations in particular, regardless of their merits or their ultimate outcomes, are costly, divert management’s attention and may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, prospects, and stock price. In addition, such legal matters could negatively impact our reputation among our customers, collaboration partners or our shareholders. Furthermore, publicity surrounding legal proceedings, including regulatory investigations, even if resolved favorably for us, could result in additional legal proceedings or regulatory investigations, as well as damage to our reputation.

If product liability lawsuits are brought against us, we may incur substantial liabilities and may have to limit commercial operations.

We face an inherent risk of product liability as a result of the clinical testing, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in a product, negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we are unable to obtain insurance coverage at levels that are appropriate to maintain our business and operations, or if we are unable to successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or otherwise cease operations. Product liability claims may result in:

termination of further development of unapproved product candidates or significantly reduced demand for any approved products;
material costs and expenses to defend the related litigation;

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a diversion of time and resources across the entire organization, including our executive management;
product recalls, product withdrawals or labeling restrictions;
termination of our collaboration relationships or disputes with our collaboration partners; and
reputational damage negatively impacting our other product candidates in development.

If we fail to obtain and retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims, we may not be able to continue to develop our product candidates. We maintain product liability insurance in a customary amount for the stage of development of our product candidates. Although we believe that we have sufficient coverage based on the advice of our third-party advisors, there can be no assurance that such levels will be sufficient for our needs. Moreover, our insurance policies have various exclusions, and we may be in a dispute with our carrier as to the extent and nature of our coverage, including whether we are covered under the applicable product liability policy. If we are not able to ensure coverage or are required to pay substantial amounts to settle or otherwise contest the claims for product liability, our business and operations would be negatively affected.

Our business and operations would suffer in the event of computer system failures.

Despite implementing security measures, our internal computer systems, and those of our CROs, collaboration partners, and other third parties on which we rely, are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, fire, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. We upgraded our disaster and data recovery capabilities in 2022, and continue to maintain and upgrade these capabilities. However, to the extent that any disruption or security breach, in particular with our partners’ operations, results in a loss of, or damage to, our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liability and it could result in a material disruption and delay of our drug development programs. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed, ongoing or planned clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data.

If our information technology systems or data, or those of third parties upon which we rely, are or were compromised by a cybersecurity incident, we could experience adverse consequences resulting from such compromise, including but not limited to regulatory investigations or actions; litigation; fines and penalties; disruptions of our business operations; reputational harm; loss of revenue or profits; and other adverse consequences.

In the ordinary course of our business, we and the third parties upon which we rely process confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data, and, as a result, we and the third parties upon which we rely face a variety of evolving threats, including but not limited to ransomware attacks, which could cause security incidents. Cyber-attacks, malicious internet-based activity, online and offline fraud, and other similar activities threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data and information technology systems, and those of the third parties upon which we rely. Such threats are prevalent and continue to rise, are increasingly difficult to detect, and come from a variety of sources, including traditional computer “hackers,” threat actors, “hacktivists,” organized criminal threat actors, personnel (such as through theft or misuse), sophisticated nation states, and nation-state-supported actors.

Some actors now engage and are expected to continue to engage in cyber-attacks, including without limitation nation-state actors for geopolitical reasons and in conjunction with military conflicts and defense activities. During times of war and other major conflicts, we and the third parties upon which we rely may be vulnerable to a heightened risk of these attacks, including retaliatory cyber-attacks, that could materially disrupt our systems and operations, supply chain, and ability to produce, sell and distribute our services.

We and the third parties upon which we rely are subject to a variety of evolving cybersecurity threats, including but not limited to social-engineering attacks (including through phishing attacks), malicious code (such as viruses and worms), malware (including as a result of advanced persistent threat intrusions), denial-of-service attacks (such as credential stuffing), credential harvesting, personnel misconduct or error, ransomware attacks, supply-chain attacks, software bugs, server malfunctions, software or hardware failures, loss of data or other information technology assets, adware, telecommunications failures, earthquakes, fires, floods, and other similar threats.

In particular, severe ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and can lead to significant interruptions in our operations, loss of confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data and income, reputational harm, and diversion of funds. While it is possible that extortion payments may alleviate the negative impact of a ransomware attack, we may be unwilling or unable to make such payments.

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In addition, our reliance on third-party service providers could introduce new cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, including supply-chain attacks, and other threats to our business operations. We rely on third-party service providers and technologies to operate critical business systems to process confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data in a variety of contexts, including, without limitation, CROs, CMOs, cloud-based infrastructure, data center facilities, encryption and authentication technology, employee email, content delivery to customers, and other functions. We also rely on third-party service providers to provide other products, services, parts, or otherwise to operate our business. Our ability to monitor these third parties’ information security practices is limited, and these third parties may not have adequate information security measures in place. If our third-party service providers experience a security incident or other interruption, we could experience adverse consequences. While we may be entitled to damages if our third-party service providers fail to satisfy their privacy or security-related obligations to us, any award may be insufficient to cover our damages, or we may be unable to recover such award. In addition, supply-chain attacks have increased in frequency and severity, and we cannot guarantee that third parties’ infrastructure in our supply chain or our third-party partners’ supply chains have not been compromised.

Any of the previously identified or similar threats could cause a security incident or other interruption that could result in unauthorized, unlawful, or accidental acquisition, modification, destruction, loss, alteration, encryption, disclosure of, or access to our confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data or our information technology systems, or those of the third parties upon whom we rely. A security incident or other interruption could disrupt our ability (and that of third parties upon whom we rely) to provide our services.

In the third quarter of 2023, we were notified that a service provider of our third-party service provider had a security breach and certain of our pseudo anonymized clinical data was exfiltrated. Our incident response assessment was unable to determine a material impact to our Company (including the fact that we have found no personally identifiable information involved, and there is no business continuity risk). However, there is a risk that we discover a material impact in the future.

We may expend significant resources or modify our business activities to try to protect against security incidents. Additionally, certain data privacy and security obligations may require us to implement and maintain specific security measures or industry-standard or reasonable security measures to protect our information technology systems and confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data.

While we have implemented security measures designed to protect against security incidents, there can be no assurance that these measures will be effective. We take steps designated to detect and remediate vulnerabilities, but we may not be able to detect and remediate all vulnerabilities because the threats and techniques used to exploit the vulnerability change frequently and are often sophisticated in nature. Therefore, such vulnerabilities could be exploited but may not be detected until after a security incident has occurred. These vulnerabilities pose material risks to our business. Further, we may experience delays in developing and deploying remedial measures designed to address any such identified vulnerabilities.

Applicable data privacy and security obligations may require us to notify relevant stakeholders, such as governmental authorities, partners, and affected individuals, of security incidents. Such disclosures may involve inconsistent requirements and are costly, and the disclosure or the failure to comply with such requirements could lead to adverse consequences.

If we (or a third party upon whom we rely) experience a security incident or are perceived to have experienced a security incident, we may experience adverse consequences, such as government enforcement actions (for example, investigations, fines, penalties, audits, and inspections); additional reporting requirements and/or oversight; restrictions on processing confidential, proprietary, and sensitive data (including personal data); litigation (including class claims); indemnification obligations; negative publicity; reputational harm; monetary fund diversions; interruptions in our operations (including availability of data); delays in our development or other business plans; financial loss; and other similar harms. Security incidents and attendant consequences may cause customers to stop using our services, deter new customers from using our services, and negatively impact our ability to grow and operate our business.

Our contracts may not contain limitations of liability, and even where they do, there can be no assurance that limitations of liability in our contracts are sufficient to protect us from liabilities, damages, or claims related to our data privacy and security obligations. We cannot be sure that our insurance coverage will be adequate or sufficient to protect us from or to mitigate liabilities arising out of our privacy and security practices, that such coverage will continue to be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or that such coverage will pay future claims.

In addition to experiencing a security incident, third parties may gather, collect, or infer sensitive information about us from public sources, data brokers, or other means that reveal competitively sensitive details about our organization and could be used to undermine our competitive advantage or market position.

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Our headquarters are located near known earthquake fault zones.

We and some of the third-party service providers on which we depend for various support functions are vulnerable to damage from catastrophic events, such as power loss, natural disasters, terrorism and similar unforeseen events beyond our control. Our corporate headquarters and other facilities are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, which in the past has experienced severe earthquakes and fires.

After a comprehensive earthquake risk analysis conducted by Marsh Risk, we decided not to purchase earthquake or flood insurance. Based upon (among other factors) the Marsh Risk analysis, the design and construction of our building, the expected potential loss, and the costs and deductibles associated with earthquake and flood insurance, we chose to self-insure. However, earthquakes or other natural disasters could severely disrupt our operations, or have a larger cost than expected, and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

If a natural disaster, power outage or other event occurred that prevented us from using all or a significant portion of our headquarters, damaged critical infrastructure, or otherwise disrupted operations, all critical systems and services can be accessible from the disaster recovery site, but it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. The disaster recovery and business continuity plans are in draft and are unlikely to provide adequate protection in the event of a serious disaster or similar event. We may incur substantial expenses as a result of the limited nature of our disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which, particularly when taken together with our lack of earthquake insurance, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Furthermore, integral parties in our supply chain are operating from single sites, increasing their vulnerability to natural disasters or other sudden, unforeseen and severe adverse events. If such an event were to affect our supply chain, it could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile, and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above your purchase price.

The market price of our common stock has at times experienced price volatility and may continue to be volatile. For example, during 2023, the closing price of our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market has ranged from $0.38 per share to $25.18 per share. In general, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life sciences company stocks have been highly volatile in the current market. The volatility of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life sciences company stocks is sometimes unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies and biotechnology and life science companies stocks often respond to trends and perceptions rather than financial performance. In particular, the market price of shares of our common stock could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to the following factors:

results of clinical trials of our product candidates, including roxadustat and pamrevlumab;
the timing of the release of results of and regulatory updates regarding our clinical trials;
the level of expenses related to any of our product candidates or clinical development programs;
results of clinical trials of our competitors’ products;
safety issues with respect to our product candidates or our competitors’ products;
regulatory actions with respect to our product candidates and any approved products or our competitors’ products;
fluctuations in our financial condition and operating results, which will be significantly affected by the manner in which we recognize revenue from the achievement of milestones under our collaboration agreements;
adverse developments concerning our collaborations and our manufacturers;
the termination of a collaboration or the inability to establish additional collaborations;
the inability to obtain adequate product supply for any approved drug product or inability to do so at acceptable prices;
disputes or other developments relating to proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;
changes in legislation or other regulatory developments affecting our product candidates or our industry;
fluctuations in the valuation of the biotechnology industry and particular companies perceived by investors to be comparable to us;

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speculation in the press or investment community;
announcements of investigations or regulatory scrutiny of our operations or lawsuits filed against us;
activities of the government of China, including those related to the pharmaceutical industry as well as industrial policy generally;
performance of other U.S. publicly traded companies with significant operations in China;
changes in market conditions for biopharmaceutical stocks; and
the other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section.

As a result of fluctuations caused by these and other factors, comparisons of our operating results across different periods may not be accurate indicators of our future performance. Any fluctuations that we report in the future may differ from the expectations of market analysts and investors, which could cause the price of our common stock to fluctuate significantly. Moreover, securities class action litigation has often been initiated against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. We are currently subject to such litigation and it has diverted, and could continue to result in diversions of, our management’s attention and resources and it could result in significant expense, monetary damages, penalties or injunctive relief against us. For a description of our pending litigation and SEC investigation, see Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to the consolidated financial statements.

We may engage in acquisitions that could dilute stockholders and harm our business.

We may, in the future, make acquisitions of or investments in companies that we believe have products or capabilities that are a strategic or commercial fit with our present or future product candidates and business or otherwise offer opportunities for us. In connection with these acquisitions or investments, we may:

issue stock that would dilute our existing stockholders’ percentage of ownership;
incur debt and assume liabilities; and
incur amortization expenses related to intangible assets or incur large and immediate write-offs.

We may not be able to complete acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. If we do complete an acquisition, we cannot assure you that it will ultimately strengthen our competitive position or that it will be viewed positively by customers, financial markets or investors. Furthermore, future acquisitions could pose numerous additional risks to our operations, including:

problems integrating the purchased business, products or technologies, or employees or other assets of the acquisition target;
increases to our expenses;
disclosed or undisclosed liabilities of the acquired asset or company;
diversion of management’s attention from their day-to-day responsibilities;
reprioritization of our development programs and even cessation of development and commercialization of our current product candidates;
harm to our operating results or financial condition;
entrance into markets in which we have limited or no prior experience; and
potential loss of key employees, particularly those of the acquired entity.

We may not be able to complete any acquisitions or effectively integrate the operations, products or personnel gained through any such acquisition.

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Provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law may have anti-takeover effects that could discourage an acquisition of us by others, and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current directors or management.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change in control of us or changes in our management. These provisions could also limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, thereby depressing the market price of our common stock. In addition, because our Board of Directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our Board of Directors. Among other things, these provisions:

authorize “blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by our Board of Directors without stockholder approval and may contain voting, liquidation, dividend and other rights superior to our common stock;
create a classified Board of Directors whose members serve staggered three-year terms;
specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our Board of Directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of directors;
prohibit stockholder action by written consent;
establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder approvals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our Board of Directors;
provide that our directors may be removed prior to the end of their term only for cause;
provide that vacancies on our Board of Directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum;
require a supermajority vote of the holders of our common stock or the majority vote of our Board of Directors to amend our bylaws; and
require a supermajority vote of the holders of our common stock to amend the classification of our Board of Directors into three classes and to amend certain other provisions of our certificate of incorporation.

These provisions, alone or together, could delay or prevent hostile takeovers and changes in control or changes in our management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our Board of Directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management.

Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by certain anti-takeover provisions under Delaware law which may discourage, delay or prevent someone from acquiring us or merging with us whether or not it is desired by or beneficial to our stockholders. We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which prohibits a person who owns in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock from merging or combining with us for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person acquired in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner.

Any provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our amended and restated bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our common stock, and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our common stock.

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Changes in our tax provision or exposure to additional tax liabilities could adversely affect our earnings and financial condition.

As a multinational corporation, we are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and various foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our global provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. In the ordinary course of a global business, there are intercompany transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Our income tax returns are subject to audits by tax authorities. Although we regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from these examinations to determine our tax estimates, a final determination of tax audits or tax disputes could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We are also subject to non-income taxes, such as payroll, withholding, excise, customs and duties, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property, gross receipts, and goods and services taxes in the U.S., state and local, and various foreign jurisdictions. We are subject to audit and assessments by tax authorities with respect to these non-income taxes and the determination of these non-income taxes is subject to varying interpretations arising from the complex nature of tax laws and regulations. Therefore, we may have exposure to additional non-income tax liabilities, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.​

The tax regulations in the U.S. and other jurisdictions in which we operate are extremely complex and subject to change. Changes in tax regulations could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Tariffs imposed by the U.S. and those imposed in response by other countries could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Changes in U.S. and foreign governments’ trade policies have resulted in, and may continue to result in, tariffs on imports into and exports from the U.S. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the U.S. imposed tariffs on imports from several countries, including China. In response, China has proposed and implemented their own tariffs on certain products, which may impact our supply chain and our costs of doing business. If we are impacted by the changing trade relations between the U.S. and China, our business and results of operations may be negatively impacted. Continued diminished trade relations between the U.S. and other countries, including potential reductions in trade with China and others, as well as the continued escalation of tariffs, could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance and results of operations.

Our certificate of incorporation designates courts located in Delaware as the sole forum for certain proceedings, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, subject to limited exceptions, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the sole and exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law: (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated by-laws, or (4) any other action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Exchange Act. Furthermore, Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all such Securities Act actions. Accordingly, both state and federal courts have jurisdiction to entertain such claims. While the Delaware courts determined that such choice of forum provisions are facially valid, a stockholder may nevertheless seek to bring a claim in a venue other than that designated in the exclusive forum provisions. For example, one of the Derivative Litigation was brought in federal court in California, despite the exclusive forum provision. We are currently moving to dismiss that lawsuit on the basis of improper forum and we would expect to vigorously assert the validity and enforceability of the exclusive forum provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation in any additional litigations that are brought in a venue other than that designated in the exclusive forum provision. This may require significant additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions and there can be no assurance that the provisions will be enforced by a court in those other jurisdictions.

This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees. If a court were to find these provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

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We do not plan to pay dividends. Capital appreciation will be your sole possible source of gain, which may never occur.

You should not rely on an investment in our common stock to provide dividend income. We do not anticipate that we will pay any cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future and investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock. We plan to retain any earnings to invest in our product candidates and maintain and expand our operations. Therefore, capital appreciation, or an increase in your stock price, which may never occur, may be the only way to realize any return on your investment.

Our business or our share price could be negatively affected as a result of shareholder proposals or actions.

Public companies are facing increasing attention from stakeholders relating to environmental, social and governance matters, including corporate governance, executive compensation, environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and diversity and inclusion. Key stakeholders may advocate for enhanced environmental, social and governance disclosures or policies or may request that we make corporate governance changes or engage in certain corporate actions that we believe are not currently in the best interest of FibroGen or our stockholders. Responding to challenges from stockholders, such as proxy contests or media campaigns, could be costly and time consuming and could have an adverse effect on our reputation, which could have an adverse effect on our business and operational results, and could cause the market price of our common stock to decline or experience volatility.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 1C. CYBERSECURITY

Cybersecurity Governance and Responsibilities

Our Board of Directors recognizes that cybersecurity represents an important component of the Company's overall enterprise risk management ("ERM"). Throughout the year, our Board of Directors and its Committees engage with management to discuss and mitigate a wide range of enterprise risks, including cybersecurity.

We seek to mitigate cybersecurity risks through a cross-functional approach, including our Cybersecurity Committee, focused on preserving the confidentiality, security, and availability of the information that the Company collects and stores by identifying, preventing and mitigating cybersecurity threats and effectively responding to and remediating cybersecurity incidents as and if they occur.