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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020  

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 No. 0-21392

 

Amarin Corporation plc

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

England and Wales

Not applicable

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Block C,

Grand Canal Docklands, Dublin 2, Ireland

(Address of principal executive offices)

+353 (0) 1 6699 020

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

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

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

American Depositary Shares (ADS(s)), each ADS
representing the right to receive one (1) Ordinary Share of

Amarin Corporation plc

AMRN

NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

 

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.  

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

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2020 was approximately $2,644.9 million, based upon the closing price on the NASDAQ Capital Market reported for such date.

393,635,467 shares were outstanding as of February 19, 2021, including 393,436,525 shares held as American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each representing one Ordinary Share, 50 pence par value per share, and 198,942 Ordinary Shares.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain information required to be disclosed in Part III of this report is incorporated by reference from the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report.

 

 

 


 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

1

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

34

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

76

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

76

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

76

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

77

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

86

Item 7.

 

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

 

86

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

105

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

105

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

105

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

106

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

108

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

 

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

109

Item 12.

 

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

 

109

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

109

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

109

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

110

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

115

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

116

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

PART I

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INDUSTRY DATA

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the progress and timing of our clinical programs, regulatory filings and commercialization activities, and the potential clinical benefits, safety and market potential of our product candidates, as well as more general statements regarding our expectations for future financial and operational performance, regulatory environment, and market trends. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “expects,” “aims,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “projects,” “potential,” or “continue”; the negative of these terms; or other comparable terminology. These statements include but are not limited to statements regarding the commercial success of and benefits and market opportunity for VASCEPA (brand name VAZKEPA in Europe but predominately referenced in this document by its brand name in the United States and other countries where it is approved, VASCEPA or icosapent ethyl) and factors that can affect such success; plans to obtain regulatory approvals and favorable market access and pricing in several jurisdictions, to expand promotion of VASCEPA and statements regarding cost and pricing of VASCEPA and other treatments; interpretation of court decisions; plans with respect to litigation; expectation on determinations and policy positions of the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA; the safety and efficacy of our product and product candidates; expectation regarding the potential for VASCEPA to be partnered, developed and commercialized outside of the United States; expectation on the scope and strength of our intellectual property protection and the likelihood of securing additional patent protection; estimates of the potential markets for our product candidates; estimates of the capacity of manufacturing and other facilities to support our products; our operating and growth strategies; our industry; our projected cash needs, liquidity and capital resources; and our expected future revenues, operations and expenditures.

Forward-looking statements are only current predictions and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our or our industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those anticipated by such statements. These factors include, among other things, those listed under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, performance, or achievements. Except as required by law, we are under no duty to update or revise any of such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K concerning our product candidates, the number of patients that may benefit from these product candidates and the potential commercial opportunity for our product candidates, is based on information from independent industry analysts and third-party sources (including industry publications, surveys, and forecasts), our internal research, and management estimates. Management estimates are derived from publicly available information released by independent industry analysts and third-party sources, as well as data from our internal research, and based on assumptions made by us based on such data and our knowledge of such industry, which we believe to be reasonable. None of the sources cited in this Annual Report on Form 10-K has consented to the inclusion of any data from its reports, nor have we sought their consent. Our internal research has not been verified by any independent source, and we have not independently verified any third-party information. While we believe that such information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise. In addition, projections, assumptions, and estimates of our future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties and by us.

 

Item 1.

Business

References in this report to “Amarin,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Amarin Corporation plc and its subsidiaries, on a consolidated basis, unless otherwise indicated.

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes the registered and unregistered trademarks and service marks of other parties.

Amarin Corporation plc is a public limited company incorporated under the laws of England and Wales. Amarin Corporation plc was originally incorporated in England as a private limited company on March 1, 1989 under the Companies Act 1985, and re-registered in England as a public limited company on March 19, 1993.

1


 

Our principal offices are located at 77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Block C, Grand Canal Docklands, Dublin 2 Ireland. Our registered office is located at One New Change, London EC4M 9AF, England. Our primary office for our European market access team is located at Spaces Grafenauweg 8, Zug CH-6300, Switzerland. Our primary office in the United States is located at 440 Route 22, Bridgewater, NJ 08807, USA. Our telephone number at that location is (908) 719-1315.

For purposes of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our ordinary shares may also be referred to as “common shares” or “common stock.”

Overview

We are a pharmaceutical company with expertise in omega-3 fatty acids and lipid science focused on the commercialization and development of therapeutics to improve cardiovascular, or CV, health and reduce CV risk.

Our lead product, VASCEPA® (icosapent ethyl) was first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in July 2012 for use as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride, or TG, levels in adult patients with severe (TG ≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. We launched VASCEPA in the United States, or U.S., in January 2013. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for VASCEPA based on the landmark results of our cardiovascular outcomes trial of VASCEPA, REDUCE-IT®, or Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA – Intervention Trial. VASCEPA is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy for reducing persistent cardiovascular risk in select high risk patients.

In August 2020, we announced our plans to launch icosapent ethyl under the brand name VAZKEPA®, hereinafter along with the U.S. brand name VASCEPA, collectively referred to as VASCEPA, in major markets in Europe through our own new European sales and marketing teams. On January 28, 2021, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, adopted a positive opinion, recommending that a marketing authorization be granted to our drug, icosapent ethyl, in the European Union, or EU, for the reduction of risk of cardiovascular events in patients at high cardiovascular risk. The CHMP recommendation is now expected to be reviewed by the European Community, or EC, with a decision expected to take place within 67 days of the CHMP opinion. In Europe, ten years of market protection is anticipated as part of an EC approval of the pending application, in addition to pending patent protection that could extend into 2039. In Europe, launch of VAZKEPA in individual countries is gated by timing of achieving product reimbursement on a country-by-country basis. Similar to our approach in launching VASCEPA in the United States, in Europe we have been building a core team of experienced professionals and a highly capable sales team and plan to leverage third-party relationships for various support activities. We commenced 2021 with approximately 50 professionals involved with pre-approval and pre-launch planning and other commercial preparation activities.

In November 2020, we announced statistically significant topline results from the Phase 3 clinical trial of VASCEPA conducted by our partner in China. On February 9, 2021, we announced that the regulatory review processes for approval of VASCEPA in Mainland China and Hong Kong have commenced. The Chinese National Medical Products Administration, or NMPA, has accepted for review the new drug application for VASCEPA, submitted by our partner in China, based on the results from the Phase 3 clinical trial and the results from our prior studies of VASCEPA. We expect to receive a decision from the NMPA in Mainland China near the end of 2021. The Hong Kong Department of Health is evaluating VASCEPA based on current approvals in the United States and Canada. The review process in Hong Kong is expected to conclude near the end of 2021.

In addition to the United States, VASCEPA is currently available by prescription in Canada, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. In Canada, VASCEPA has the benefit of eight years of data protection afforded through Health Canada (until the end of 2027), in addition to separate patent protection with expiration dates that could extend into 2039. In China and the Middle East, we are pursuing such regulatory approvals and subsequent commercialization of VASCEPA with commercial partners.

Since our inception, we have devoted substantial resources to our research and development efforts, most significantly our VASCEPA cardiovascular outcomes trial, REDUCE-IT. We announced topline results from REDUCE-IT on September 24, 2018. On November 10, 2018, we presented REDUCE-IT primary results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, or AHA, and the results were concurrently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. REDUCE-IT met its primary endpoint demonstrating a 25% relative risk reduction, or RRR, to a high degree of statistical significance (p<0.001), in first occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events, or MACE, in the intent-to-treat patient population with use of VASCEPA 4 grams/day as compared to placebo. REDUCE-IT also showed a 26% RRR in its key secondary composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, heart attacks and stroke (p<0.001). On March 18, 2019, we publicly presented the total cardiovascular events results, and the method of calculating such events, of the REDUCE-IT study at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session and such results and methods were concurrently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. VASCEPA reduced total events (first and subsequent events) by 30% compared to placebo, reflecting that for every 1,000 patients treated for five years with VASCEPA versus placebo in this trial, approximately 159 MACE could be prevented with VASCEPA.

2


 

Based on REDUCE-IT results, 13 clinical treatment guidelines or position statements from medical societies have been updated recommending the use of icosapent ethyl in at-risk patients, including those listed below:

 

In March 2019, the American Diabetes Association, or ADA, issued important updates to the Standard of Medical Care in Diabetes for 2019, including a recommendation for the use of icosapent ethyl in treating at-risk patients based on the results of the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study.

 

In August 2019, the AHA recognized the results of REDUCE-IT and recommended directing medical care away from unproven fish oil dietary supplements and to prescription drug therapy in patients with elevated TG levels.

 

In September 2019, the National Lipid Association issued a position statement recognizing the cardiovascular risk-lowering effects of icosapent ethyl based on the REDUCE-IT results.

 

In September 2019, the European Society of Cardiology and the European Atherosclerosis Society updated their Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Dyslipidemias to incorporate findings from the REDUCE-IT study and in August 2020 the European Society of Cardiology expanded their guidelines to also cover patients with acute coronary syndrome.

 

In February 2020, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology released a consensus statement on the comprehensive management of type 2 diabetes. The statement included new guidance for managing patients with established or high risk for cardiovascular disease who have triglyceride levels between 135 – 499 mg/dL with icosapent ethyl which has proven benefits to prevent the next adverse cardiovascular event.

 

In December 2020, the Guidelines for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in China was published in the Chinese Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, listing icosapent ethyl 2 grams twice a day, as studied in REDUCE-IT, as a treatment consideration to further lower atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in at-risk patients.

In October 2019, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER, released its final evidence report regarding clinical effectiveness and economic impacts on VASCEPA. ICER’s report indicated that VASCEPA was cost effective across all of the non-profit organization’s analyses, including its quality-adjusted life year metrics of <$50,000. The conclusion from the report is that VASCEPA easily meets “commonly cited thresholds for cost-effectiveness and therefore represents a high long-term value for money” based on the organization’s value assessment framework. In addition, an independent academic, patient-level, cost-effectiveness analysis of icosapent ethyl led by Dr. William S. Weintraub, M.D., director of Outcomes Research with MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network, indicated that VASCEPA was projected to not only be cost-effective but also to reduce long-term health care costs in a majority of the scenarios analyzed. Based on our analysis of branded cardiovascular drugs in the United States which have positive cardiovascular outcomes studies, we believe the wholesale acquisition cost of VASCEPA is the lowest. In addition, while none of these other cardiovascular drugs compete directly with VASCEPA and no head-to-head studies have been done between VASCEPA and these other drugs and the length and construct of the respective outcomes studies of these drugs vary, our analysis of published clinical results from the cardiovascular outcomes studies of these drugs indicates that the number needed to treat, or NNT, for VASCEPA is as low or lower than for these other branded cardiovascular drugs. NNT is a measure of how many patients need to be treated before one patient benefits from the therapy. For VASCEPA, in this analysis, the NNT was based on the 25% relative risk reduction demonstrated for the primary endpoint of the study, the NNT for which is 21, as opposed to one fewer MACE on average per six patients treated over the five-year study period based on total events. The original pricing for VASCEPA was established prior to results of the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study during a timeframe when VASCEPA was only approved for the original indication as an adjunct to diet to reduce TG levels in adult patients with severe (TG ≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. We believe that this relatively low price for VASCEPA in the United States will help lead to many at-risk patients being treated with VASCEPA.

The FDA granted Priority Review designation to our March 2019, supplemental new drug application, or sNDA, seeking an expanded indication for VASCEPA in the United States based on the positive results of the REDUCE-IT study. The FDA grants Priority Review designation to applications for drugs that, if approved, have the potential to offer significant improvements in the effectiveness and safety of the treatment of serious conditions when compared to standard applications. In November 2019, the FDA held an Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee, or EMDAC, meeting to review the REDUCE-IT sNDA. The EMDAC voted unanimously (16-0) to recommend approval of an indication and label expansion for VASCEPA to reduce cardiovascular events in high-risk patients based on the REDUCE-IT results. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and related label expansion based on REDUCE-IT. VASCEPA is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

3


 

On March 30, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, or the Nevada Court, ruled in favor of two generics companies in our patent litigation related to abbreviated new drug applications, or ANDAs, that sought FDA approval for sale of generic versions of VASCEPA. On May 22, 2020 and August 10, 2020, the two generics companies, Hikma Pharmaceutical USA Inc., or Hikma, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc., or Dr. Reddy’s, respectively, received FDA approval to market its generic versions of VASCEPA for the original indication of VASCEPA as an adjunct to diet to reduce TG levels in adult patients with severe (≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. On September 3, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or the Federal Circuit, upheld the March ruling by the Nevada Court in favor of the two generics companies. On October 2, 2020, we filed a combined petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc. On November 4, 2020, our rehearing and en banc petitions were denied. On February 11, 2021, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court to ask the Court to hear our appeal in this litigation.

In November 2020, Hikma launched their generic version of VASCEPA on a limited scale. On November 30, 2020 we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Hikma for making, selling, offering to sell and importing generic icosapent ethyl capsules in and into the United States in a manner that we allege has induced the infringement of patents covering the use of VASCEPA to reduce specified cardiovascular risk. On January 25, 2021 we expanded the scope of this patent infringement lawsuit to include a health care insurance provider, Health Net, LLC.

Although, to date, no generics other than Hikma have been launched, in addition to ANDAs approved for Hikma and Dr. Reddy’s, on September 11, 2020, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc’s., or Teva’s, ANDA was approved by the FDA. Apotex, Inc., or Apotex, has applied for ANDA approval which application, based on public records, has not yet been approved.

We intend to vigorously pursue these ongoing litigation matters, but cannot predict the outcomes or the impact on our business. Geographies outside the United States in which VASCEPA is sold and under regulatory review are not subject to the U.S. patent litigation and judgment. No similar litigation involving potential generic versions of VASCEPA is pending outside the United States.

We are responsible for supplying VASCEPA to all markets in which the product is sold including in the United States, Canada, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Outside the United States the drug is promoted and sold through collaboration with third-party companies that compensate us for such supply. Subject to approvals in Europe and China, we will be responsible for supplying product to those markets as well. We are not responsible for providing any generic company with drug product.

Impact of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and impact global populations and economies, we continue to evaluate its effect on patients, distributors, customers and our employees, as well as on our operations and the operations of our business partners and communities. Given the importance of supporting patients, we are diligently working with our suppliers, customers, distributors and other partners to provide patients with access to VASCEPA, while taking into account regulatory, institutional, and government guidance, policies and protocols. Given the uncertainties regarding the scope and impact of COVID-19 on our sales, supply, research and development efforts and operations, and on the operations of our customers, suppliers, distributors, other partners and patients, particularly as COVID-19 protocols and resources have restricted or discouraged patient access to hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices and other administration sites and caused a reprioritization of health care services, the impact of COVID-19 could impact our current performance and continues to represent a risk to our future performance.

Our ability to directly promote VASCEPA to healthcare professionals has been limited due to social distancing practices associated with COVID-19 and by patients electing to forego visiting their doctors for non-urgent medical examinations and/or choose to not get blood tests, which test results provide information useful to the treatment of cardiovascular risk. Such impact has had a significant impact on slowing VASCEPA prescription and revenue growth. While COVID-19 continues to impact our promotion of VASCEPA, we have seen signs of improvement. We resumed, on a limited basis field-based, face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers beginning in June 2020. During the late part of the summer, substantially all of our field force personnel were able to resume face-to-face customer interactions, in a manner consistent with guidelines from local, state and government health officials in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the impact of COVID-19 worsened in much of the United States with some physicians again limiting access to face-to-face interactions with our field force personnel. Such access remains variable and challenging due to COVID-19. In July 2020 we launched our first television-based promotion of VASCEPA emphasizing that it is the first and only FDA approved drug for its indication. As the impact of COVID-19 on much of the United States worsened in the fourth quarter of 2020, we suspended television-based promotion of VASCEPA judging that the cost was not sufficiently justified. We anticipate that at-risk patients will increasingly resume visiting their doctors for non-urgent medical care after they are vaccinated for COVID-19. As COVID-19 protocols ease and ordinary course activities resume, we will seek to adjust our promotional initiatives accordingly, including pursuing increased face-to-face interactions with health care professionals and expanding various forms of direct-to- consumer promotion.

4


 

Thus far, COVID-19 has not materially impacted our ability to secure and deliver supply of VASCEPA. And, thus far, COVID-19 is not known to have significantly impacted ongoing clinical trials of VASCEPA.

The ultimate impacts of COVID-19 on our business are unknown; however, we are actively monitoring the situation and may take precautionary and preemptive or reactive actions that we determine are in the best interests of our business. We cannot predict the effects that such actions may have on our business or on our financial results, in particular with respect to demand for or access to VASCEPA.

We believe that the overall morale of Amarin employees is positive despite the challenges associated with COVID-19. While we have experienced modest employee turnover, the turnover level is generally consistent with the pre-COVID-19 era. As a result of COVID-19 and its limitations on our promotion of VASCEPA in the United States, we have intentionally slowed the hiring of replacements for certain of our open positions which resulted from ordinary turnover. As we witness our sales representatives increasingly able to resume direct interactions with healthcare professionals, we continually evaluate our needs and it is our intention to fill a significant number of these positions, provided such replacement is appropriate to meet our business needs.

Clinical Trials

The REDUCE-IT Study (basis for expanded FDA approved indication and label expansion in December 2019)

The REDUCE-IT study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of VASCEPA in reducing major cardiovascular events in an at-risk patient population also receiving statin therapy. REDUCE-IT was a multinational, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to evaluate the effectiveness of VASCEPA, as an add-on to statin therapy, in reducing first major cardiovascular events in an at-risk patient population compared to statin therapy alone. The control arm of the study was comprised of patients on optimized statin therapy plus placebo. The active arm of the study was comprised of patients on optimized statin therapy plus VASCEPA. All subjects enrolled in the study had elevated triglyceride levels and either established coronary heart disease or risk factors for coronary heart disease.

In August 2011, we reached agreement with the FDA on a SPA for the design of the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study. A SPA is an evaluation by the FDA of a protocol with the goal of reaching an agreement that the Phase 3 trial protocol design, clinical endpoints, and statistical analyses are acceptable to support regulatory approval. The FDA agreed that, based on the information we submitted to the agency, the design and planned analysis of the REDUCE-IT study adequately addressed the objectives necessary to support a regulatory submission. A SPA is generally binding upon the FDA unless a substantial scientific issue essential to determining safety or efficacy of the drug is identified after the testing begins.

It is believed that the effects of EPA are not due to a single mode of action, such as triglyceride lowering, but rather to multiple mechanisms working together. Studies in the scientific literature explore potentially beneficial effects of EPA on multiple atherosclerosis processes, including endothelial function, oxidative stress, foam cell formation, inflammation/cytokines, plaque formation/progression, platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, and plaque rupture. With respect to triglyceride levels, our scientific rationale for the REDUCE-IT study was supported by (i) epidemiological data that suggests elevated triglyceride levels correlate with increased cardiovascular disease risk, (ii) genetic data that suggest triglyceride and/or triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (as well as LDL-C, known as bad cholesterol) are independently in the causal pathway for cardiovascular disease and (iii) clinical data that suggest substantial triglyceride reduction in patients with elevated baseline triglyceride levels correlates with reduced cardiovascular risk. The REDUCE-IT study was designed to determine the clinical benefit, if any, of stable EPA therapy in statin-treated patients with elevated triglyceride levels.

In September 2011, we engaged a clinical research organization, or CRO, and began initial trial and clinical site preparation for REDUCE-IT. In December 2011, we announced that the first patient was dosed in the study. In 2016, we completed patient enrollment and randomization of 8,179 individual patients into the REDUCE-IT study. Our personnel remained blinded to the efficacy and safety data from the REDUCE-IT study until after the study was completed and the database was locked in 2018.  

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On November 10, 2018, we announced primary results from our REDUCE-IT study as late-breaking clinical results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA and the results were concurrently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. REDUCE-IT met its primary endpoint demonstrating a 25% RRR to a high degree of statistical significance (p<0.001), in first occurrence of MACE in the intent-to-treat patient population with use of VASCEPA 4 grams/day as compared to placebo. Patients qualified to enroll in REDUCE-IT had LDL-C between 41-100 mg/dL (median baseline LDL-C75 mg/dL) controlled by statin therapy and various cardiovascular risk factors including persistent elevated TG between 135-499 mg/dL (median baseline 216 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention cohort) or age 50 or more with diabetes mellitus and at least one other CV risk factor (primary prevention cohort). Approximately 59% of the patients had diabetes at baseline, approximately 71% of the patients had established cardiovascular disease at time of enrollment and approximately 29% were primary prevention subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease. REDUCE-IT also showed a 26% RRR in its key secondary composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, heart attacks and stroke (p<0.001). We expended more than $300.0 million to fund completion of the REDUCE-IT study.

VASCEPA in the REDUCE-IT study demonstrated an NNT of 21 for the first occurrence of MACE in the 5-point primary composite endpoint. NNT is a statistical concept intended to provide a measurement of the impact of a medicine or therapy by estimating the number of patients that need to be treated in order to have an impact on one person.

An additional seven secondary endpoints were achieved below the key secondary endpoint, in order of sequential statistical testing within the prespecified hierarchy:

 

Cardiovascular death or nonfatal heart attack: 25% RRR (p<0.001)

 

Fatal or nonfatal heart attack: 31% RRR (p<0.001)

 

Urgent or emergent revascularization: 35% RRR (p<0.001)

 

Cardiovascular death: 20% RRR (p=0.03)

 

Hospitalization for unstable angina: 32% RRR (p=0.002)

 

Fatal or nonfatal stroke: 28% RRR (p=0.01)

 

Total mortality, nonfatal heart attack or nonfatal stroke: 23% RRR (p<0.001)

The next prespecified secondary endpoint in the hierarchy was the only such endpoint that did not achieve statistical significance although it trended positively:

 

Total mortality, which includes mortality from non-cardiovascular and cardiovascular events: 13% RRR (p=0.09)

Positive REDUCE-IT results were consistent across various patient subgroups, including female/male, diabetic/non-diabetic and secondary/primary prevention.

Overall adverse event rates in REDUCE-IT were similar across treatment groups and VASCEPA was well tolerated. VASCEPA was associated with an increase (3% vs 2%) in the reported rate of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter requiring hospitalization in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The incidence of atrial fibrillation was greater in patients with a previous history of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. It is not known whether patients with allergies to fish and/or shellfish are at an increased risk of an allergic reaction to VASCEPA. VASCEPA was associated with an increase (12% vs 10%) in the reported rate of bleeding in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The reported incidence of bleeding was greater in patients receiving concomitant antithrombotic medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel or warfarin.

Common adverse reactions in the cardiovascular outcomes trial (incidence ≥3% and ≥1% more frequent than placebo) were: musculoskeletal pain (4% vs 3%), peripheral edema (7% vs 5%), constipation (5% vs 4%), gout (4% vs 3%), and atrial fibrillation (5% vs 4%). Common adverse reactions in the hypertriglyceridemia trials (incidence >1% more frequent than placebo) were: arthralgia (2% vs 1%) and oropharyngeal pain (1% vs 0.3%). Patients receiving VASCEPA and concomitant anticoagulants and/or anti-platelet agents for bleeding are to be monitored. In the REDUCE-IT trial, cardiovascular benefits appeared not to be influenced significantly by TG levels at baseline (above or below 150 mg/dL baseline range) or as achieved at one year, potentially suggesting mechanisms at work with use of VASCEPA that are independent of baseline TG levels or therapy-driven reduction in TG levels. Determining the mechanisms responsible for the benefit shown in REDUCE-IT was not the focus of REDUCE-IT. As summarized from the primary results of REDUCE-IT in The New England Journal of Medicine, potential VASCEPA mechanisms of action at work in REDUCE-IT may include TG reduction, anti-thrombotic effects, antiplatelet or anticoagulant effects, membrane-stabilizing effects, effects on stabilization and/or regression of coronary plaque and inflammation reduction, each as supported by earlier stage mechanistic studies.

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The FDA granted Priority Review designation to our March 2019 sNDA seeking an expanded indication for VASCEPA in the United States based on the positive results of the REDUCE-IT study. The FDA grants Priority Review designation to applications for drugs that, if approved, have the potential to offer significant improvements in the effectiveness and safety of the treatment of serious conditions when compared to standard applications. In November 2019, the FDA held an EMDAC meeting to review the REDUCE-IT sNDA. The EMDAC voted unanimously (16-0) to recommend approval of an indication and label expansion for VASCEPA to reduce cardiovascular events in high-risk patients based on the REDUCE-IT results. On December 13, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for VASCEPA capsules. VASCEPA is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The MARINE Trial (first FDA-approved label for VASCEPA approved in July 2012)

The MARINE trial, the then largest study ever conducted with the omega-3 fatty acid ethyl EPA in treating patients with very high triglycerides (500 mg/dL), was a Phase 3, multi-center, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week study. Patients were randomized into three treatment arms for treatment with VASCEPA 4 gram/day, 2 gram/day or placebo. Patient enrollment in this trial began in December 2009, and enrollment and randomization was completed in August 2010 at 229 patients. The primary endpoint in the trial was the percentage change in triglyceride level from baseline compared to placebo after 12 weeks of treatment. The MARINE study primary endpoint was required to meet a stringent level of statistical significance of 1% (p < 0.01) in our SPA agreement with the FDA.

In November 2010, we reported topline data for the MARINE trial. In the trial, VASCEPA met its primary endpoint at doses of 4 grams and 2 grams per day with median placebo-adjusted reductions in triglyceride levels of 33% (p < 0.0001) compared to placebo for 4 grams and 20% (p = 0.0051) compared to placebo for 2 grams. The median baseline triglyceride levels were 703 mg/dL, 680 mg/dL and 657 mg/dL for the patient groups treated with placebo, 4 grams of VASCEPA and 2 grams of VASCEPA, respectively.

In a pre-specified secondary analysis in the subgroup of patients with baseline triglyceride > 750 mg/dL, representing 39% of all patients, the effect of VASCEPA in reducing triglyceride levels compared to placebo was 45% for 4 grams and 33% for 2 grams, both statistically significant (p = 0.0001 for 4 grams and p= 0.0016 for 2 grams, respectively). The median baseline triglyceride levels in this subgroup were 1052 mg/dL, 902 mg/dL and 948 mg/dL for placebo, 4-gram and 2-gram groups, respectively. Twenty-five percent of patients in this trial were also on background statin therapy. These patients had greater median reduction in triglyceride levels, which was also statistically significant.

Importantly, the significant reduction in triglycerides was not associated with a statistically significant increase in median LDL-C compared to placebo at either dose (-2.3% for the 4-gram group and +5.2% for the 2-gram group [both p=NS]). In addition, there was a statistically significant decrease in median non-HDL-C (total cholesterol less so-called “good cholesterol”) compared to placebo with both of the VASCEPA-treated groups (-18% for the 4-gram group [p < 0.001] and -8% for the 2-gram group [p < 0.05]).

The MARINE trial results also included statistically significant reductions compared to placebo in several important lipid and inflammatory biomarkers, including apo B (apolipoprotein B) (8.5%), Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-phospholipase A2) (13.6%), VLDL-C (very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) (28.6%), Total Cholesterol (16.3%), and hsCRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) (36.0%) at the 4-gram dose. For these achieved endpoints, p-values were <0.01 for most and <0.05 for all. Apo B (apolipoprotein B) is believed to be a sensitive biomarker of cardiovascular risk and may be a better predictor of cardiovascular risk than LDL-C. Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme found in blood and atherosclerotic plaque; high levels have been implicated in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. In a post-hoc analysis of MARINE study data, VASCEPA 4 g/day and 2 g/day statistically significantly reduced ApoC-III levels by 25.1% (p < 0.0001) and 14.3% (p=0.0154) versus placebo, respectively. In the MARINE trial, patients treated with 4 grams per day of VASCEPA experienced a significant reduction in median placebo-adjusted lipoprotein particle concentrations of total LDL and small LDL. When looking at lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes as measured with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, VASCEPA 4 grams per day, compared with placebo, significantly reduced median total LDL particle count by 16.3% (p=0.0006), which is an important factor in atherogenesis. LDL particle count and apo B are important risk markers for the prediction of cardiovascular events. Small LDL particle count, which is a common risk factor for cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes, was reduced by 25.6% (p<0.0001) compared with placebo. VASCEPA 2 grams per day, compared with placebo, significantly reduced median small LDL particle count by 12.8% (p <0.05) and reduced median total LDL particle count by 1.1% (NS). LDL particle size did not change significantly for the 2 or 4 gram per day doses.

VASCEPA was well tolerated in the MARINE trial, with a safety profile comparable to placebo and there were no treatment-related serious adverse events observed. No patient discontinued treatment of VASCEPA during this study due to VASCEPA-related adverse events. No significant changes in fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C, vital signs, electrocardiograms, or liver or kidney function were observed with either VASCEPA dose.

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Patients enrolled in the MARINE trial were given the option to be treated with VASCEPA for a period of up to 40 weeks after their last dose in the double-blind portion of the trial. Once participants completed the randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled 12-week MARINE registration trial, patients in all three randomized groups (4 grams, 2 grams and placebo) were offered the opportunity to participate in the open label extension, or OLE, phase. Patients in the OLE phase received 4 grams per day of VASCEPA for a period of up to an additional 40 weeks. As is typical of such extension phases, the OLE phase was not a controlled trial, as differentiated from the randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled 12-week MARINE registration trial. In the OLE phase, participants were not randomized at entry, VASCEPA administration was open label (and thus not blinded), and no placebo group was maintained. Also, once patients entered in the OLE phase, investigators were free to add or modify other lipid-altering nutritional, lifestyle and drug treatment regimens. Given the lack of randomization, the open-label design, the addition of various other lipid-altering drugs and changes to doses of existing lipid-altering drugs, as well as the lack of placebo control, neither we nor our independent advisors were able to draw efficacy conclusions from the data. However, we have concluded that the MARINE OLE phase revealed no new safety signals after an additional 40 weeks of exposure to VASCEPA, whether used alone or in combination with other lipid-altering regimens.

The ANCHOR Trial

The ANCHOR trial was a multi-center, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 12-week pivotal study in patients with high triglycerides (200 and <500 mg/dL) who were also receiving optimized statin therapy. Patients were randomized into three arms for treatment with VASCEPA 4 gram/day, 2 gram/day or placebo. Patient enrollment in this trial began in January 2010, and enrollment and randomization was completed in February 2011 at 702 patients. The primary endpoint in the trial was the percentage change in triglyceride level from baseline compared to placebo after 12 weeks of treatment.

In April 2011, we reported topline results from the ANCHOR trial. The ANCHOR trial met its primary endpoint at doses of 4 grams and 2 grams per day with median placebo-adjusted reductions in triglyceride levels of 21.5% (p<0.0001 value) for 4 grams and 10.1% (p=0.0005) for 2 grams. The median baseline triglyceride levels were 259 mg/dL, 265 mg/dL and 254 mg/dL for the patient groups treated with placebo, 4 grams and 2 grams of VASCEPA per day, respectively. The analysis of subgroups by baseline triglyceride tertiles showed that higher baseline triglycerides resulted in greater triglyceride reductions.

One of the trial’s secondary endpoints was to demonstrate a lack of elevation in LDL-C, the primary target of cholesterol lowering therapy. The trial’s non-inferiority criterion for LDL-C was met at both VASCEPA doses. The upper confidence boundaries for both doses were below the pre-specified +6% LDL-C threshold limit. At the 4-gram dose the upper confidence boundary was below zero (-1.7%) and at the 2-gram dose the upper confidence boundary was close to zero (0.5%). For the 4 grams per day group, LDL-C decreased significantly by 6.2% from baseline versus placebo, demonstrating superiority over placebo (p=0.0067). For the 2-gram group, LDL-C decreased by 3.6% from baseline versus placebo (p=0.0867), which is not a statistically significant decrease.

Other secondary efficacy endpoints included the median placebo-adjusted percent change in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or non-HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, or apo B, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). The 4-gram dose was associated with statistically significant reductions in non-HDL-C (13.6%, p<0.0001), apo B (9.3%, p<0.0001), Lp-PLA2 (19%, p<0.0001) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or hsCRP, (22%, p<0.001), at week 12 compared to placebo. One published analysis showed that the VASCEPA 4-gram daily dose in the ANCHOR study also significantly decreased levels of the inflammatory marker oxidized low-density lipoprotein relative to placebo by 13% (p < 0.0001). In a separate, post-hoc analysis of study data, VASCEPA 4 g/day statistically significantly reduced ApoC-III levels by 25.1% in MARINE (p < 0.0001) and by 19.2% in ANCHOR (p < 0.0001) versus placebo.

VASCEPA was well tolerated in the ANCHOR trial with a safety profile comparable to placebo and there were no treatment-related serious adverse events observed. No significant changes in fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C, vital signs, electrocardiograms, or liver or kidney function were observed with either VASCEPA dose. The safety results from the ANCHOR trial are included in the first FDA-approved label for VASCEPA.

In April 2015, we received a Complete Response Letter, or CRL, from the FDA in response to our sNDA that sought approval of VASCEPA for use in patients with mixed dyslipidemia, based on the successful ANCHOR study. The CRL followed an October 2013 rescission by the FDA of a SPA agreement and three failed attempts by us to appeal that rescission at FDA. The FDA has acknowledged the success of the ANCHOR study, which met all primary and secondary endpoints. However, FDA determined that there were insufficient data to conclude that drug-induced changes in serum triglycerides could be recognized by the FDA as a valid surrogate for reducing cardiovascular risk in the ANCHOR population for the purpose of regulatory approval of a drug targeted at a triglyceride-lowering indication in this population. The FDA has acknowledged that the standard of proof required by the FDA for approval of a new drug indication is higher than that generally used to inform patient treatment guidelines and that used by physicians in clinical practice. The FDA did not determine that the drug-induced effects of VASCEPA, which go beyond triglyceride-lowering, would not actually reduce cardiovascular risk in this population. The FDA acknowledged at the time that the design of the REDUCE-

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IT study was such that results of that cardiovascular outcomes study should address their lack of confidence in serum triglycerides as a surrogate marker for reducing cardiovascular risk.

In May 2015, we and a group of independent physicians filed a lawsuit in federal court to permit us to promote to healthcare professionals the use of VASCEPA in patients with mixed dyslipidemia so long as the promotion is truthful and non-misleading. This use reflected recognized medical practice but was not covered by the then-current, FDA-approved labeling for the drug. Historically, FDA has considered promotion of drug uses not covered by FDA-approved labeling to be illegal off-label promotion, even if such promotion is truthful and non-misleading. In August 2015, we were granted preliminary relief in the form of a declaratory judgment in this lawsuit. The court declaration permits us to promote to healthcare professionals the FDA-reviewed and agreed effects of VASCEPA demonstrated in the ANCHOR clinical trial and presentation of the current state of scientific research related to the potential (and now demonstrated effect) of VASCEPA to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease including through use of peer-reviewed scientific publications of available data. In August 2015, we began to communicate promotional information beyond the MARINE indication to healthcare professionals in the United States as permitted by this court declaration and in March 2016, the parties obtained court approval of negotiated settlement terms under which the FDA and the U.S. government agreed to be bound by the court’s conclusions from the August 2015 declaration that we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of VASCEPA and that certain statements and disclosures that we proposed to make to healthcare professionals were truthful and non-misleading. The FDA-approved labeling for VASCEPA did not change as a result of this litigation and settlement, and neither government nor other third-party coverage or reimbursement to pay for the off-label use of VASCEPA promoted under the court declaration was required. Pursuant to FDA approval in December 2019 of the label for VASCEPA to reduce persistent cardiovascular risk beyond maximally tolderated statin therapy, our promotion of ANCHOR clinical trial results was de-prioritized as such results became less important.

Observed Efficacy of Ethyl-EPA

In Japan, ethyl-EPA is marketed under the product name of Epadel by Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., or Mochida, and is indicated for hyperlipidemia and peripheral vascular disease. In an outcomes study called the Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study, or JELIS study, which consisted of more than 18,000 patients followed over multiple years, Epadel, when used in conjunction with statins, was shown to reduce cardiovascular events by 19% compared to the use of statins alone. In this study, cardiovascular events decreased by approximately 53% compared to statins alone in the subset of primary prevention patients with triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL (median of 272 mg/dL at entry) and HDL-C <40 mg/dL. Epadel has been approved and available by prescription in Japan for over a decade. In 2013, the Japan Ministry of Health approved Epadel for over-the-counter sales. JELIS provided supportive but not conclusive data that EPA drug therapy may reduce major coronary events. JELIS results cannot be generalized to populations outside of Japan due to limitations in the study’s design. Due to the limitation of JELIS, further study was needed through the REDUCE-IT study to determine the clinical benefit, if any, of EPA therapy in statin-treated patients with elevated triglyceride levels in a patient population beyond that studied in JELIS.

In June 2018, we entered into a multi-faceted collaboration with Mochida related to the development and commercialization of drug products and indications based on the active pharmaceutical ingredient in VASCEPA, the omega-3 acid, EPA. Among other terms in the agreement, we obtained an exclusive license to certain Mochida intellectual property to advance our interests in the United States and certain other territories. In addition, the parties will collaborate to research and develop new products and indications based on EPA for our commercialization in the United States and certain other territories. The potential new product and indication opportunities contemplated under this agreement are currently in early stages of development. Upon closing of the collaboration agreement, we made a non-refundable, non-creditable upfront payment of approximately $2.7 million. In addition, the agreement provides for milestone payments from us upon the achievement of certain product development milestones and royalties on net sales of future products arising from the collaboration, if any. We exercised certain rights under the agreement, resulting in payments of $1.0 million in each of January 2020 and December 2020, respectively, to Mochida.

Observed Clinical Safety of VASCEPA in MARINE, ANCHOR and Early Development

In the MARINE and ANCHOR trials, patients dosed with VASCEPA demonstrated a safety profile similar to placebo. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events in the MARINE study or in the ANCHOR study. In the MARINE and ANCHOR trials, the most commonly reported adverse reaction (incidence >2% and greater than placebo) in VASCEPA treated patients was arthralgia (joint pain) (2.3% for VASCEPA vs. 1.0% for placebo). There was no reported adverse reaction > 3% and greater than placebo.

Prior to commencing the REDUCE-IT, MARINE and ANCHOR trials, we conducted a pre-clinical program for VASCEPA, including toxicology and pharmacology studies. In addition, we previously investigated VASCEPA in central nervous system disorders in several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, including Phase 3 trials in Huntington’s disease. Over 1,000 patients were dosed with VASCEPA in these studies, with over 100 receiving continuous treatment for a year or more. In all studies performed to date, VASCEPA has shown a favorable safety and tolerability profile.

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In addition to the REDUCE-IT, MARINE and ANCHOR trials, we completed a 28-day pharmacokinetic study in healthy volunteers, a 26-week study to evaluate the toxicity of VASCEPA in transgenic mice and multiple pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction studies in healthy subjects in which we evaluated the effect of VASCEPA on certain common prescription drugs. All findings from these studies were consistent with our expectations and confirmed the overall safety profile of VASCEPA.

Since VASCEPA was made commercially available in 2013, more than ten million estimated normalized total prescriptions of VASCEPA have been reported by Symphony Health.

Clinical Study in China

In addition to the studies of VASCEPA we conducted, our partner in China, Eddingpharm (Asia) Macao Commercial Offshore Limited, or Edding, completed a Phase 3 study of VASCEPA in China, the study design of which was similar to, but larger than, our MARINE study. In November 2020, we announced statistically significant positive topline results from this study. The study, which investigated VASCEPA as a treatment for patients with very high triglycerides (≥500 mg/dL), met its primary efficacy endpoint as defined in the clinical trial protocol and demonstrated a safety profile similar to placebo. Importantly, the VASCEPA 4 gram per day dose in this study appeared to be well-tolerated with a safety profile similar to placebo. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events in this study. On February 9, 2021, we announced that the regulatory review processes for approval of VASCEPA in Mainland China and Hong Kong have commenced. The NMPA has accepted for review the new drug application for VASCEPA, submitted by Edding, based on the results of this clinical study and the results from our prior studies of VASCEPA. We expect to receive a decision from the NMPA in Mainland China near the end of 2021. The Hong Kong Department of Health is evaluating VASCEPA based on current approvals in the United States and Canada. The review process in Hong Kong is expected to conclude near the end of 2021.

COVID-19

Based on our current understanding of the biological effects of a COVID-19 infection, including that patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of mortality and severe effects from a COVID-19 infection, and based on data related to the mechanism of action and effects of VASCEPA in lowering cardiovascular risk in certain high-risk patients, we believe that VASCEPA could play a beneficial clinical role in helping patients infected by the virus. We are currently providing study drug product and limited financial support to investigators in multiple pilot studies designed to better understand the potential of VASCEPA and this potentially beneficial role. The clinical effects of VASCEPA are multi-factorial. Multiple mechanisms of action associated with VASCEPA from clinical and mechanistic studies support the rationale to study its effects in patients with the COVID-19 infection. Additional postulated mechanisms that might play a role in the use of VASCEPA in the patients infected with COVID-19 include potential antiviral/antimicrobial effects, fibrosis and cardiac damage mitigation in animal models and anti-inflammatory effects (acute) in pulmonary/lung tissue.

On December 12, 2020, we announced at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions 2020 the positive clinical results from the first study of VASCEPA in COVID-19 infected outpatients, CardioLink-9. A total of 100 COVID-19 positive and symptomatic patients were enrolled in the randomized, open-label trial. The primary biomarker endpoint of the study was within-group changes in high-sensitivity C-reaction protein, or hsCRP, a measure of inflammation and within-group changes in D-dimer were also examined. VASCEPA administration resulted in a 25% reduction in hsCRP (p=0.011) as well as a reduction in D-dimer (p=0.048). In addition to these biomarker changes, assessment was made of COVID-19 symptom changes from baseline to 14 days in the influenza patient-reported outcome, or FLU-PRO, score. VASCEPA administration resulted in a significant 52% reduction of the total FLU-PRO prevalence score as compared to a 24% reduction in the usual care group, with reductions across individual score domains. More study is needed to demonstrate the effects of VASCEPA on COVID-19 infected outpatients.

We are supporting two additional ongoing pilot studies, PREPARE-IT and MITIGATE, by providing study drug product and limited financial support to investigators with results anticipated during 2021. The PREPARE-IT clinical trial is investigating the effects of VASCEPA on reducing COVID-19 infections and subsequent clinical events associated with COVID-19 in 1,500 healthcare providers, or relatives of COVID-19 index cases who have been in contact, and at high risk of contacting COVID-19. The MITIGATE clinical trial is investigating the effects of VASCEPA on laboratory-confirmed viral upper respitory infection rates, clinical impact and outcomes, especially with COVID-19, in 1,500 adults with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Our personnel remain blinded to the efficacy and safety data from these until after the study is completed. Upon completion of these studies and once the results are known, we will evaluate the next steps.

EVAPORATE

The final results of the Effect of VASCEPA on Improving Coronary Atherosclerosis in People with High Triglycerides Taking Statin Therapy trial, or EVAPORATE, were presented at the European Society of Cardiology on August 29, 2020. A total of 80 patients were enrolled in the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled EVAPORATE trial. Patients had to have coronary atherosclerosis as documented by multidetector computed tomography, or MDCT, with 1 or more angiographic stenoses with ≥20%

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narrowing, be on statin therapy, and have persistently elevated triglyceride levels (mean TG at baseline was 259.1 mg/dL [+/- 78.1]). Patients underwent an interim scan at nine months and a final scan at 18 months. The prespecified primary endpoint was a comparison of change in low attenuation plaque, or LAP, volume at 18 months between icosapent ethyl and placebo. EVAPORATE was not powered for long-term outcomes. The final results showed a significant reduction in the primary endpoint; icosapent ethyl reduced LAP plaque volume by 17% from baseline to the 18-month scan, whereas there was a progression of LAP plaque volume in the placebo group. There were significant differences between icosapent ethyl and placebo at study end for secondary endpoints of other types of plaque volume changes, including and sequentially total, total non-calcified, fibrofatty, and fibrous plaque volumes. All regressed in the icosapent ethyl group and progressed in the placebo group (p<0.01 for all). The only secondary endpoint which did not achieve a significant difference between groups in multivariable modeling was dense calcium (p=0.053). More study is needed to demonstrate the effects of VASCEPA on coronary plaque to determine the relationship of such effects, if any, on cardiovascular risk reduction.

During the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, or TCT, Connect 2020 Best of Abstracts session by Benjamin E. Peterson, M.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School, which was held virtually from October 14 – October 18, 2020, we presented new REDUCE-IT PCI, or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, analysis. The REDUCE-IT PCI analysis looked at 3,408 (41.7%) of patients enrolled in REDUCE-IT who had undergone a prior PCI. These patients were randomized a median of 2.9 years after PCI. Baseline characteristics were similar among patients randomized to VASCEPA versus placebo. Post hoc exploratory analyses of the subgroup of 3,408 patients with a prior PCI showed that, for the primary composite endpoint of 5-point MACE, time to first event was significantly reduced with VASCEPA versus placebo by 34% (p<0.0001) and total (first and subsequent) events were also reduced by 39% (p<0.0001). For the key secondary composite endpoint of 3-point MACE, time to first event was reduced by 34% (p<0.0001) in the subgroup of patients with a prior PCI. Administration of VASCEPA resulted in robust absolute risk reductions of 8.5% and 5.4% and NNT of 12 and 19, respectively, for both primary and key secondary (hard MACE) composite endpoints in post hoc exploratory subgroup analyses.

CABG

The exploratory analysis findings of REDUCE-IT CABG were presented at the AHA’s Virtual Scientific Sessions 2020 from November 13 – November 17, 2020. The REDUCE-IT CABG analysis examined 1,837 (22.5%) of the patients enrolled in REDUCE-IT, representing all patients who had undergone a prior coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG, procedure, a common form of surgical intervention to help treat coronary heart disease. Baseline characteristics were similar among patients randomized to VASCEPA versus placebo. Post hoc exploratory analyses of this subgroup showed that, for the composite endpoint of 5-point MACE, which was the prespecified primary endpoint for the full REDUCE-IT study cohort, time to first event was significantly reduced with VASCEPA versus placebo by 24% (p=0.004) and total (first and subsequent) events were also reduced by 36% (p=0.0002). For the REDUCE-IT study’s key secondary composite endpoint of 3-point MACE, time to first event was reduced by 31% (p=0.001) in the subgroup of patients with a prior CABG. Administration of VASCEPA resulted in robust absolute risk reductions of 6.2% and 6.0% and NNT of 16 and 17, respectively, for both primary and key secondary (hard MACE) composite endpoints in these subgroup analyses.

Our Commercialization Plans

United States

We commenced the commercial launch of VASCEPA in the United States in January 2013 based on the original indication for VASCEPA. In October 2016, in addition to the original 1-gram capsule size for VASCEPA, we introduced a smaller 0.5-gram capsule size. The FDA-approved dosing for VASCEPA is 4 grams per day, and, as expected, the majority of new and existing patients taking VASCEPA continue to be prescribed the 1-gram size VASCEPA capsule. VASCEPA is sold principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers, or collectively, our distributors or our customers, that in turn resell VASCEPA to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers.

Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our U.S. direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our U.S. direct sales force to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives. As a result of the U.S. FDA’s approved indication and label expansion, we expanded our U.S. direct sales force further to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives in early 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related social distancing, in March 2020, we suspended face-to-face interactions between our sales representatives and healthcare professionals. We resumed on a limited basis field-based, face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers beginning in June 2020. During the late part of the summer, substantially all of our field force personnel were able to resume face-to-face customer interactions in a manner consistent with guidelines from local, state and government health officials in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the impact of COVID-19 worsened in much of the United States, with some physicians again limiting access to face-to-face interactions with our field force personnel. Accordingly, in the United States, we have intentionally slowed the hiring of replacements for certain of our open positions which resulted from ordinary turnover. As we witness

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our sales representatives increasingly able to resume direct interactions with healthcare professionals, we continually evaluate our needs and it is our intention to fill a significant number of these positions, provided such replacement is appropriate to meet our business needs. As of December 31, 2020, our U.S. direct sales force was slightly more than 800 sales professionals, including slightly more than 700 sales representatives.

Since commercial launch of VASCEPA in January 2013, we had promoted VASCEPA based on the MARINE clinical trial data as reflected in the first FDA-approved label for VASCEPA. In August 2015, we and our co-promotion partner began communicating promotional information beyond MARINE clinical trial data to targeted healthcare professionals. Such qualified communications were made pursuant to the August 7, 2015 federal district court declaration and related March 2016 settlement allowing truthful and non-misleading promotion of the FDA-reviewed and agreed effects of VASCEPA demonstrated in the ANCHOR clinical trial. This promotion also included information related to the then current state of scientific research about the potential of VASCEPA to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including REDUCE-IT data and previously other peer-reviewed scientific publications of available data. The ANCHOR clinical trial of VASCEPA demonstrated the favorable effects of VASCEPA on TGs and related lipid, lipoprotein and inflammation parameters in patients on statin therapy and persistent high TGs.

After results of REDUCE-IT were available in September 2018 and demonstrated that VASCEPA is effective in lowering the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events in statin-treated patients with CV risk factors, we expanded the size of our U.S. direct sales force and continued to expand promotion of VASCEPA. After publication of the primary results of the REDUCE-IT study in The New England Journal of Medicine and scientific presentation of REDUCE-IT results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018, we updated and expanded our communication of REDUCE-IT results to include the publication and the peer-reviewed information presented in an effort to further ensure that our communications remained truthful and non-misleading. Starting December 13, 2019, we began promoting based on the new indication and label expansion.

We employ various medical affairs and marketing personnel to support our commercialization of VASCEPA. We expanded certain medical education and market awareness initiatives, including, pilot testing of new promotional initiatives following the reporting of positive REDUCE-IT results in 2018 and we further expanded such initiatives based on the approved indication and label expansion of VASCEPA. Our field sales efforts are further complemented by investments in digital and non-personal channels as well as peer-to-peer (e.g., promotional medical education programs and product theaters) initiatives to further increase VASCEPA brand awareness and clarify VASCEPA’s unique clinical profile. In January 2020, we launched an educational campaign, True To Your Heart, to help people learn more about cardiovascular disease and how to better protect against persistent cardiovascular risk. In July 2020 we launched our first television-based promotion of VASCEPA emphasizing that it is the first and only FDA approved drug for its indication. As the impact of COVID-19 on much of the United States worsened in the fourth quarter of 2020, we suspended television-based promotion of VASCEPA judging that the cost was not sufficiently justified. We anticipate that at-risk patients will increasingly resume visiting their doctors for non-urgent medical care after they are vaccinated for COVID-19. As COVID-19 protocols ease and ordinary course activities resume, we will seek to adjust our promotional initivatives accordingly, including pursuing increased face-to-face interactions with healthcare professionals and expanding various forms of direct-to-consumer promotion.

Based on monthly compilations of data provided by a third party, Symphony Health, the estimated number of normalized total VASCEPA prescriptions for the three months ended December 31, 2020 was approximately 1,159,000 compared to 1,174,000, 1,090,000, 1,061,000, and 991,000 in the three months ended September 30, 2020, June 30, 2020, March 31, 2020, and December 31, 2019, respectively. According to data from another third party, IQVIA, the estimated number of normalized total VASCEPA prescriptions for the three months ended December 31, 2020 was approximately 1,076,000 compared to 1,081,000, 1,007,000, 962,000, and 909,000 in the three months ended September 30, 2020, June 30, 2020, March 31, 2020, and December 31, 2019, respectively. Normalized total prescriptions represent the estimated total number of VASCEPA prescriptions dispensed to patients, calculated on a normalized basis (i.e., one month’s supply, or total capsules dispensed multiplied by the number of grams per capsule divided by 120 grams). Inventory levels at wholesalers tend to fluctuate based on seasonal factors, prescription trends and other factors.

Companies such as Symphony Health and IQVIA collect and report estimates of weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual prescription information. There is a limited amount of information available to such companies to determine the actual number of total prescriptions for prescription products like VASCEPA during such periods. Each vendor’s estimates utilize a proprietary projection methodology and are based on a combination of data received from pharmacies and other distributors, and historical data when actual data is unavailable. Their calculations of changes in prescription levels between periods can be significantly affected by lags in data reporting from various sources or by changes in pharmacies and other distributors providing data. Such methods can from time to time result in significant inaccuracies in information when ultimately compared with actual results. These inaccuracies have historically been most prevalent and pronounced during periods of time of inflections upward or downward in rates of use. Further, data for a single and limited period may not be representative of a trend or otherwise predictive of future results. Data reported by Symphony Health and IQVIA is rarely identical. As such, the resulting conclusions from such sources should be viewed with caution. We are not responsible for the accuracy of these companies’ information and we do not receive prescription data directly from retail pharmacies.

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We sell VASCEPA principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers in the United States, that in turn resell VASCEPA to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers. We recognize revenue from product sales when the distributor obtains control of our product, which occurs at a point in time, typically upon delivery to the distributor. Timing of shipments to wholesalers, as used for revenue recognition purposes, and timing of prescriptions as estimated by these third parties may differ from period to period. Although we believe these data are prepared on a period-to-period basis in a manner that is generally consistent and that such results can be generally indicative of current prescription trends, these data are based on estimates and should not be relied upon as definitive. While we expect to be able to grow VASCEPA revenues over time, no guidance should be inferred from the operating metrics described above. We also anticipate that such sales growth will be inconsistent from period to period. We believe that investors should view the above-referenced operating metrics with caution, as data for this limited period may not be representative of a trend consistent with the results presented or otherwise predictive of future results. Seasonal fluctuations in pharmaceutical sales, for example, may affect future prescription trends of VASCEPA, as could changes in prescriber sentiment, quarterly changes in distributor purchases, and other factors. We believe investors should consider our results over several quarters, or longer, before making an assessment about potential future performance.

The commercialization of pharmaceutical products is a complex undertaking, and our ability to effectively and profitably commercialize VASCEPA will depend in part on our ability to generate market demand for VASCEPA through education, marketing and sales activities, our ability to achieve market acceptance of VASCEPA, our ability to generate product revenue and our ability to receive adequate levels of reimbursement from third-party payers. In addition, Hikma launched their generic version of VASCEPA in the United States in November 2020, and we could face even more competition from generic companies in the United States in the near term in light of the patent litigation rulings. Sales of generic versions of VASCEPA could have a material and adverse impact on our revenues and results of operations. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Commercialization and Development of VASCEPA.”

In addition to promotion of VASCEPA in the United States, based on REDUCE-IT we have increased focus on expansion of our development efforts for VASCEPA to major markets outside the United States. We currently have plans for expansion into the European Union and strategic collaborations to develop and commercialize VASCEPA in select territories outside of the United States.

Europe  

In December 2019, we announced that the EMA validated the marketing authorization application seeking approval for VASCEPA. The validation confirmed the submission was sufficiently complete for the EMA to begin its review. In August 2020, we announced our plans to launch VAZKEPA in major markets in Europe through our own new European sales and marketing team. Such an approach allows us to retain substantially all of the economic potential of VAZKEPA in Europe and helps ensure that VAZKEPA would get the highest level of priority and focus. On January 28, 2021, the CHMP of the EMA adopted a positive opinion, recommending that a marketing authorization be granted to icosapent ethyl in the EU for the reduction of risk of cardiovascular events in patients at high cardiovascular risk, under the brand name VAZKEPA. The CHMP recommendation is now expected to be reviewed by the EC with a decision expected to take place within 67 days of the CHMP opinion. As we did in Canada, we are seeking an indication throughout Europe for VAZKEPA targeting cardiovascular risk reduction based on the results of REDUCE-IT, which is based on outcomes study results, and not approval of the original indication in the United States for treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia.

Similar to our approach in launching VASCEPA in the United States, in Europe we have been building a core team of experienced professionals and a highly capable sales team and plan to leverage third-party relationships for various support activities. We commenced 2021 with approximately 50 professionals involved with pre-approval and pre-launch planning and other commercial preparation activities. In Europe, patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease tend, in comparison to the United States, to be treated more often by specialists, such as cardiologists rather than by physicians who are general practitioners. Pursuant to regulatory approval of VAZKEPA in Europe, this greater concentration of at-risk patients being treated by specialists in Europe should allow for more efficient promotion in Europe than in the United States. We have been active in preparing for reimbursement negotiations which we intend to commence on a country-by-country basis in Europe following anticipated approval of VAZKEPA by the EC. In most European countries, securing product reimbursement is a requisite to launching. In all countries securing adequate reimbursement is a requisite for commercial success of any therapeutic. The time required to secure reimbursement tends to vary from country to country and cannot be reliably predicted at this time. While we believe that we have strong arguments regarding the cost effectiveness of VAZKEPA, the success of such reimbursement negotiations could have a significant impact on our ability to realize the commercial opportunity of VAZKEPA in Europe.

China

In February 2015, we entered into a Development, Commercialization and Supply Agreement, or the DCS Agreement, with Eddingpharm (Asia) Macao Commercial Offshore Limited, or Edding, related to the development and commercialization of VASCEPA in the China Territory. Under the DCS Agreement, Edding will be solely responsible for development and

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commercialization activities in the China Territory and associated expenses. Additionally, Edding is required to conduct clinical trials in the China Territory to secure regulatory approval in certain territories. Edding, with our support, commenced a pivotal clinical trial aimed to support the regulatory approval of the first indication of VASCEPA in a patient population with severe hypertriglyceridemia in Mainland China. Additional clinical development efforts are necessary in certain segments of this market. In November 2020, we announced statistically significant positive topline results from the Phase 3 clinical trial of VASCEPA conducted by Edding. The study, which investigated VASCEPA as a treatment for patients with very high triglycerides (≥500 mg/dL), met its primary efficacy endpoint as defined in the clinical trial protocol and demonstrated a safety profile similar to placebo. Importantly, the VASCEPA 4 gram per day dose in this study appeared to be well-tolerated with a safety profile similar to placebo. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events in this study. On February 9, 2021, we announced that the regulatory review processes for approval of VASCEPA in Mainland China and Hong Kong have commenced. The NMPA has accepted for review the new drug application for VASCEPA, submitted by Edding, based on the results from the Phase 3 clinical trial and the results from our prior studies of VASCEPA. We expect to receive a decision from the NMPA in Mainland China near the end of 2021. The Hong Kong Department of Health is evaluating VASCEPA based on current approvals in the United States and Canada. The review process in Hong Kong is expected to conclude near the end of 2021. If Edding is not able to effectively develop and commercialize VASCEPA in the China Territory, we may not be able to generate revenue from the DCS Agreement resulting from the sale of VASCEPA in the China Territory.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

In March 2016, we entered into an agreement with Biologix FZCo, or Biologix, to register and commercialize VASCEPA in several Middle Eastern and North African countries. Under the terms of the distribution agreement, we granted to Biologix a non-exclusive license to use our trademarks in connection with the importation, distribution, promotion, marketing and sale of VASCEPA in the Middle East and North Africa territory. Biologix obtained approval of VASCEPA in Lebanon in March 2018, in United Arab Emirates in July 2018, in Qatar in January 2020 and in Bahrain in December 2020. VASCEPA was launched in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates in June 2018 and February 2019, respectively. VASCEPA is under registration in additional countries in the MENA region. Commercialization across the Middle East and North Africa is subject to similar risks as in the China Territory.

Canada

In September 2017, we entered into an agreement with HLS Therapeutics Inc., or HLS, to register, commercialize and distribute VASCEPA in Canada. Under the agreement, HLS is responsible for regulatory and commercialization activities and associated costs. We are responsible for providing assistance towards local filings, supplying finished product under negotiated supply terms, and maintaining intellectual property. In December 2019, following priority review designation, HLS received confirmation from Health Canada that the Canadian regulatory authority granted approval for VASCEPA to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, coronary revascularization or hospitalization for unstable angina) in statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides, who are at high risk of cardiovascular events due to: established cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. In January 2020, HLS obtained an extended regulatory exclusivity designation and commercial launch began in February 2020. An important step in growing the potential use of therapeutics in Canada, as is true in other countries, is gaining reimbursement coverage by the applicable payers. In July 2020, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health recommended that VASCEPA be reimbursed by participating public drug plans for statin-treated patients with established cardiovascular diseases and elevated triglycerides. HLS also received notification by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board that, further to its review, VASCEPA’s price did not trigger the investigation criteria for excessive pricing. If HLS is not able to effectively commercialize VASCEPA in Canada, we may not be able to generate revenue from the agreement as a result of the sale of VASCEPA in Canada.

We plan to continue to assess other potential partnership opportunities for licensing VASCEPA to partners outside of the United States.

Potential Benefits and Market Opportunity for VASCEPA

VASCEPA, encapsulated in 1-gram capsules, is 1-gram of icosapent ethyl, or ethyl-EPA, and contains no DHA. Icosapent ethyl is the only active ingredient. We believe that icosapent ethyl, in the stable form as it is presented in VASCEPA, is more effective than if combined with other omega-3 molecules. In particular, based on clinical evidence, we believe that the removal of DHA mitigates against the LDL-C raising effect observed in omega-3 compositions that include DHA. Based on the results of the REDUCE-IT trial, VASCEPA was the first omega-3 based product, or any type of product, to demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in cardiovascular risk beyond cholesterol lowering therapy in high-risk patients approved for treatment. Prior to REDUCE-IT, based on the MARINE trial, VASCEPA was the first omega-3 based product to demonstrate statistically significant triglyceride reduction without a statistically significant increase in LDL-C in this very high triglyceride population.

We believe that the results of the REDUCE-IT, ANCHOR and MARINE clinical trials of VASCEPA and VASCEPA’s EPA only/DHA-free composition position VASCEPA to achieve a global “best-in-class” prescription therapy in studied patient

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populations. Potential mechanisms of action at work in the reduction of cardiovascular events seen in REDUCE-IT as discussed in The New England Journal of Medicine publication of REDUCE-IT primary results include TG reduction, anti-thrombotic effects, antiplatelet or anticoagulant effects, membrane-stabilizing effects, effects on stabilization and/or regression of coronary plaque and inflammation reduction. Mechanisms responsible for the benefit shown in REDUCE-IT were not studied in REDUCE-IT as that was not the purpose of an outcomes study. While the mechanisms of action of VASCEPA have been broadly studied and continue to be studied, similar to other drugs with multifactorial mechanisms of action, such as aspirin, statins and metformin, we may never fully determine to what extent, if any, each of these effects or others may be responsible for the CV risk reduction benefit demonstrated in REDUCE-IT. 

Manufacturing and Supply for VASCEPA

We manage the manufacturing and supply of VASCEPA and have done so since we began clinical development of VASCEPA prior to the drug’s marketing approval by the FDA in 2012. We rely on contract manufacturers in each step of our commercial and clinical product supply chain. These steps include API, manufacturing, encapsulation of the API, product packaging and supply-related logistics. Our approach to product supply procurement is designed to mitigate risk of supply interruption and maintain an environment of cost competition through diversification of contract manufacturers at each stage of the supply chain and lack of reliance on any single supplier.

The FDA has approved several international large-scale API manufacturers, global encapsulation leaders and two U.S.-based packagers for use in the manufacturing of VASCEPA. All of our manufacturing facilities were approved by the FDA following successful preapproval inspections and they remain active manufacturers of VASCEPA under FDA authority.

The API material that constitutes ethyl-EPA is a chemical modification of a naturally occurring substance that is derived from specific fish sourced from qualified producers. The fishing from which the raw material for VASCEPA is derived is regulated by local government agencies under policies designed to ensure sustainability of the marine life supply. A limited number of other manufacturers have the ability, scale, know-how, sufficient supply chain capability and suitable, industrial-scale facilities to produce ethyl-EPA to the required level of purity. We have worked with our suppliers to build required scale, quality and cost-efficiency needed to meet our current market requirements. We are working with our suppliers on capacity expansion plans anticipating approval of VASCEPA in Europe, China and potentially other countries in addition to the increased demand for VASCEPA in the United States that we plan to create from our promotional initiatives. Among the conditions for FDA approval of a pharmaceutical product is the requirement that the manufacturer’s quality control and manufacturing procedures are validated and conform to pharmaceutical current Good Manufacturing Practice, or cGMP, which, under applicable regulations, must be followed at all times. The FDA typically inspects manufacturing facilities before regulatory approval of a product candidate, such as VASCEPA, and on a periodic basis after the initial approval. Consistent with cGMP regulations, pharmaceutical manufacturers must expend resources and time to ensure compliance with product specifications as well as production, record keeping, quality control, reporting, and other regulatory requirements.

Similar to the FDA, regulators in other countries in which we, or our partners, sell or seek to sell VASCEPA, regulate manufacturer’s quality control and manufacturing procedures. For Europe, while various of our suppliers have been inspected and, subject to regulatory approval of VAZKEPA in Europe we do not anticipate supply availability limiting our launch in Europe, COVID-19 has limited the ability of suppliers to be inspected and not all of our suppliers have completed all of the requirements of the European regulatory authorities.

Production of VASCEPA, from sourcing of starting materials through stocking of finished goods inventory requires significant coordination between companies and considerable lead-times. We are often making purchasing decisions for supply more than a year in advance of anticipated product sales. Planning for capacity expansion also requires significant lead-times as, for example, creation of new manufacturing facilities for API can require multiple years to construct, equip and qualify.

Some of our agreements with our API suppliers are exclusive and include minimum purchase commitments. During 2020, we fully met the aggregate minimum purchase requirements in our supply agreements. Under the supply agreements, we can purchase more than the minimum requirements. Certain of these agreements contemplate phased capacity expansion aimed at creating sufficient volumes to meet anticipated demand for VASCEPA. Certain of these agreements contain provisions for reduced payments (fractional API cost) for unmet annual volume requirements.

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Competition

General

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly competitive. There are many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, public and private universities and research organizations actively engaged in the research and development of products that may be similar to our product. It is probable that the number of companies seeking to develop products and therapies similar to our product will increase. Many of these and other existing or potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do and may be better equipped to develop, manufacture and market products. These companies may develop and introduce products and processes competitive with, more efficient than or superior to ours. In addition, other technologies or products may be developed that have an entirely different approach or means of accomplishing the intended purposes of our products, which might render our technology and products noncompetitive or obsolete.

United States

Our competitors include large, well-established pharmaceutical and generic companies, specialty and generic pharmaceutical sales and marketing companies, and specialized cardiovascular treatment companies. With a generic version of VASCEPA launched in the U.S. by Hikma in November 2020 and further generic versions anticipated, it may not be viable for us to invest in market education to grow the market and our ability to maintain current promotional efforts and attract favorable commercial terms in several aspects of our business will likely be adversely affected as we face increased generic competition, or if we launch our own generic version of VASCEPA.

GlaxoSmithKline plc currently sells Lovaza®, a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid indicated for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, which was approved by FDA in 2004 and has been on the market in the United States since 2005. Multiple generic versions of Lovaza are available in the United States. Other large companies with competitive products include AbbVie, Inc., which currently sells Tricor® and Trilipix® for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and Niaspan®, which is primarily used to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL-C, but is also used to lower triglycerides. Multiple generic versions of Tricor, Trilipix and Niaspan are also available in the United States. We compete with these drugs, and in particular, multiple low-cost generic versions of these drugs, in our FDA-approved indicated uses, even though such products do not have FDA approval to reduce CV risk on top of statin therapy.

In addition, in May 2014, Epanova® (omega-3-carboxylic acids) capsules, a free fatty acid form of omega-3 (comprised of 55% EPA and 20% DHA), was approved by the FDA for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Epanova was developed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is now owned by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, or AstraZeneca. Also, in April 2014, Omtryg, another omega-3-acid fatty acid composition developed by Trygg Pharma AS, received FDA approval for severe hypertriglyceridemia. Neither Epanova nor Omtryg have been commercially launched, but could launch at any time. AstraZeneca has greater resources than we do, including financial, product development, marketing, personnel and other resources.

AstraZeneca had been conducting a long-term outcomes study to assess Statin Residual Risk Reduction With EpaNova in HiGh Cardiovascular Risk PatienTs With Hypertriglyceridemia, or STRENGTH. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (corn oil), parallel group design that is believed to have enrolled approximately 13,000 patients with hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL and high risk for cardiovascular disease randomized 1:1 to either corn oil plus statin or Epanova plus statin, once daily. On January 13, 2020, following the recommendation of an independent Data Monitoring Committee, AstraZeneca decided to close the STRENGTH trial due to its low likelihood of demonstrating benefit to patients with mixed dyslipidemia who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Full data from the STRENGTH trial was presented at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions in November 2020 confirming that Epanova failed to meet the primary endpoint of CV risk reduction. In addition, in March 2017, Kowa Research Institute (a subsidiary of the Japanese company Kowa Co., Ltd) initiated a Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes trial titled PROMINENT examining the effect of pemafibrate (experimental name K-877) in reducing cardiovascular events in Type II diabetic patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Kowa Research Institute has publicly estimated study completion in May 2022, and if successful, U.S. regulatory approval is estimated in mid-2023.  

During 2018, two outcomes studies were completed of omega-3 mixtures which both failed to achieve their primary endpoints of cardiovascular risk reduction and two meta-analyses were published showing that omega-3 mixtures are not effective in lowering cardiovascular risk. Results of these failed outcomes studies and analysis, while not done with VASCEPA, may negatively affect sales of VASCEPA. For example, results of VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL, or VITAL, as announced immediately before the presentation of REDUCE-IT results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018, failed to achieve its primary endpoint of lowering cardiovascular events. VITAL was an NIH funded randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2x2 factorial trial of 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3 and 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acid mixture supplementation (Lovaza) for the primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease in a nationwide USA cohort of 25,874 adults not selected for elevated cardiovascular or cancer risk.

Likewise, in 2018, results from A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes (ASCEND) trial were released and showed negligible results for omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily. ASCEND was a British Heart Foundation funded 2x2 factorial design,

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randomized study to assess whether aspirin 100 mg daily versus placebo and separately, omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily versus placebo, reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in a nationwide United Kingdom, or UK, cohort of over 15,000 individuals with diabetes who do not have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In 2020, an additional Nordic trial known as OMEMI failed to demonstrate a reduction in cardiovascular events with an omega-3 fatty acide mixture. OMEMI, an investigator-initiated, multi-center, randomized clinical trial, was designed to evaluate the effects of daily treatment with omega-3 fatty acids compared with placebo among elderly patients (age 70-82) with recent myocardial infarction. Patients received 1.8 g omega-3 fatty acids (930 mg EPA and 660 mg DH) or placebo (corn oil) daily added to standard of care. Results presented in November 2020 at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions showed no significant differences in cardiovascular events between the treatment groups for the composite primary endpoint (non-fatal MI, unscheduled revascularization, stroke, hospitalization for heart failure or all-cause mortality), nor for the individual component of this endpoint after 2 years.

In a meta-analysis, presented in 2018 by the Cochrane Foundation and separately as published in JAMA, additional omega-3 studies were evaluated. Similar to the VITAL and ASCEND studies, most of the studies in these omega-3 meta-analyses were of omega-3 mixtures, including DHA, and most were studies of relatively low doses of omega-3 as is associated with dietary supplementation and/or they studied relatively low risk patient populations. The exception was the JELIS study, conducted in Japan, of highly pure EPA which showed a positive outcome benefit but had significant limitations in its application to a wider population. The negative results from such omega-3 mixture studies could create misleading impressions about the use of omega-3s generally, including VASCEPA, despite REDUCE-IT positive results and the highly-pure and stable EPA active ingredient in VASCEPA and its higher dose regimen.

We are also aware of other pharmaceutical companies that are developing products that, if successfully developed, approved and marketed, would compete with VASCEPA. It is not fully clear at this time what the impact of COVID-19 will be on each of these programs.

We believe Micelle BioPharma Inc., or Micelle, is also developing potential treatments for hypertriglyceridemia based on omega-3 fatty acids. To our knowledge, Micelle, after acquiring SC401 from Sancilio & Company, or Sancilio, is pursuing a regulatory pathway under section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA for its product and submitted an Investigational New Drug Application, or IND, in July 2015. Micelle (Sancilio) completed two pharmacokinetic studies and Phase 2 bioavailability studies (FASTR I&II), with one comparing SC401 to Lovaza. We expect the company or a potential partner to initiate a pivotal clinical Phase 3 study as the next step in development.

Matinas BioPharma, Inc., or Matinas, is developing an omega-3-based therapeutic (MAT9001) for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and mixed dyslipidemia. In the fourth quarter of 2014 Matinas filed an IND with the FDA to conduct a human study in the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and, in June 2015, the company announced topline results for its head-to-head comparative short duration pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of MAT9001 versus VASCEPA in patients under conditions inconsistent with the FDA-approved label for VASCEPA and presented results based on biomarker modification without outcomes data. In September 2017, Matinas announced that it will be seeking a partner company to develop and commercialize MAT9001. In March 2019, Matinas announced that net proceeds from a public offering of common stock would be used for development activities for MAT9001. In March 2020, Matinas announced that it completed the clinical dosing for a comparative clinical bridging bioavailability study and the in-life portion of a 90-day comparative toxicology study in the first quarter of 2020. Both studies were conducted to support a planned 505(b)(2) registration pathway. In March, Matinas also initiated an additional Phase 2 head-to-head pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study, ENHANCE-IT, against VASCEPA in patients with elevated triglycerides (150-499 mg/dL), while the study was paused in the first quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment resumed in June and was completed in August 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, Matinas announced topline results from the ENHANCE-IT study, stating that LYPDISO, or MAT9001, did not meet statistical significance over VASCEPA on the primary endpoint of percent change from baseline to end of treatment in triglycerides in the pharmacodynamic (PD) population. Matinas has announced that despite ENHANCE-IT not achieving its primary endpoint that it intends to continue to seek ways to advance its clinical development of MAT9001.

In June 2018, Gemphire Therapeutics (renamed NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. following completion of a merger on December 31, 2019) announced positive topline results from a Phase 2b trial, or INDIGO-1, of its drug candidate, gemcabene, in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Gemcabene is an oral, once-daily pill for a number of hypercholesterolemic populations and severe hypertriglyceridemia. In August 2018, the FDA requested that Gemphire conduct an additional long-term toxicity study before commencing any further clinical testing, thereby effectively placing gemcabene on clinical hold. In March 2020 NeuroBo announced the completion of the requested studies, and in May 2020 the company announced that it received written communication from the FDA that the clinical development program for Gemcabene remains on partial clinical hold. In June 2019, Gemphire announced top-line clinical results from a Phase 2 trial in Familial Partial Lipodystrophy (FPL)/NASH in which Gemcabene safely met the primary endpoint in a sub-set of patients. Phase 3 studies for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HoFH, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HeFH, and non-familial hypercholesterolemia in ASCVD patients are planned.

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Afimmune Ltd. has an oral, small molecule drug candidate, epeleuton (DS-102), in development for a number of conditions of the liver, lung, and metabolic system, including hypertriglyceridemia and cardiovascular risk reduction, Phase 2 clinical trials are currently ongoing for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and planned for hypertriglyceridemia and Type 2 diabetes (TRIAGE), in the United States. In November 2019, Afimmune Ltd. announced positive results from an exploratory Phase 2 study of epeleuton in patients with NAFLD in which the molecule decreased triglycerides, improved glycemic control, and decreased markers of inflammation. In August 2020, Afimmune reported Ph2a study results of epeleuton in patients with NAFLD. Although epeleuton failed to meet the primary endpoint to demonstrate effects on liver enzyme elevation, it demonstrated significant reduction of triglycerides, HbA1c and potential for CV risk reduction. In September 2020, Afimmune announced the start of TRIglyceride And Glucose control with Epeleuton in Metabolic Syndrome Patients, or TRIAGE, a Phase IIb study of epeleuton in patients with high triglycerides and type 2 diabetes to assess the safety and efficacy of orally administered epeleuton capsules vs placebo in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and type 2 diabetes. Results are expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Based on prior communications from the FDA, including communications in connection with its review of the ANCHOR indication for VASCEPA, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy for treatment of cardiovascular risk based on biomarker modification without cardiovascular outcomes study data, with the potential exception of therapies which lower LDL-cholesterol, depending on the circumstances. In particular, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy based primarily on data demonstrating lowering of triglyceride levels. In our view, this position from the FDA did not change based on the REDUCE-IT study particularly in light of significant independence of the positive benefit demonstrated in the REDUCE-IT study from triglyceride levels and benefit from the REDUCE-IT study supporting that the positive effects of VASCEPA are unique to VASCEPA and extend beyond triglyceride reduction. If the FDA were to change this position, it could potentially have a negative impact on us by making it easier for other products to achieve a cardiovascular risk reduction indication without the need in advance to conduct a long and expensive cardiovascular outcomes study.

VASCEPA also faces competition from dietary supplement manufacturers marketing omega-3 products as nutritional supplements. Such products are classified as food, not as prescription drugs or as over-the-counter drugs, by the FDA in the United States. Most regulatory regimes outside the United States are similar in this regard. Some of the promoters of such products have greater resources than us and are not restricted to the same standards as are prescription drugs with respect to promotional claims or manufacturing quality, consistency and subsequent product stability. We have taken successful legal action against supplement manufacturers attempting to use the REDUCE-IT results to promote their products. Still, we cannot be sure physicians and pharmacists will view the FDA-approved, prescription-only status, and EPA-only purity and stability of VASCEPA or FDA’s stringent regulatory oversight, as significant advantages versus omega-3 dietary supplements regardless of clinical study results and other scientific data.

Europe and Rest of World

On January 28, 2021, the CHMP of the EMA adopted a positive opinion recommending that a marketing authorization be granted for icosapent ethyl, under the brand name VAZKEPA, for cardiovascular risk reduction. Approval for marketing and sale by the EC is expected in April 2021. The cardiovascular risk reduction indication we are seeking in Europe is based on the outcome study results of REDUCE-IT, as opposed to the original indication for treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia which we were granted in the United States. Following anticipated approval by the EC of VAZKEPA, there is currently no other drug that is approved for cardiovascular risk reduction in at-risk patients in Europe. In addition, there is currently no other direct competition for Canada and the Middle East. However, consistent with the U.S., our competitors include large, well-established pharmaceutical companies, specialty and generic pharmaceutical companies, marketing companies, and specialized cardiovascular treatment companies.

Recent CV outcomes trials and meta-analyses with low and high dose omega-3 fatty acid mixtures containing DHA have not shown substantial benefit in patients receiving contemporary medical therapy, including statins. Due to failed low dose omega-3 CV outcomes trials, the European regulatory authorities have concluded that omega-3 fatty acid medicines (specifically Lovaza®/Omacor®) at a dose of 1-gram per day are not effective in preventing further events for patients who have had a heart attack. The STRENGTH trial of an omega-3 mixture studied at 4-grams per day also failed to demonstrate cardiovascular benefit.

In addition, VASCEPA also faces competition from dietary supplement manufacturers marketing omega-3 productions as nutritional supplements. In Europe, such products are classified as food, not as prescription drugs or as over-the-counter drugs.

Lipid Disorders and Cardiovascular Disease

United States

Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events represent the leading cause of death and disability among men and women in western societies. According to the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2020 Update from the American Heart Association, CVD is the underlying cause of death in approximately 1 out of every 3 deaths – one death approximately every 37 seconds. Approximately

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121 million adults in the United States live with one or more types of cardiovascular disease with an estimated 1 million new or recurrent coronary events and 795,000 new or recurrent strokes occur each year. Combining the rates of cardiovascular death, stroke and heart attack, one major adverse cardiovascular event occurs in the United States every 13 seconds. An estimated 29 million adults 20 years of age have high total serum cholesterol levels (240 mg/dL), and an estimated 71 million adults 20 years of age have borderline high or high low-density lipoprotein (“bad”) cholesterol, or LDL-C, levels (130 mg/dL). According to the 2020 Heart and Stroke Statistics from the AHA, 45.1% of the United States population is projected to have some form of CVD by 2035 and total costs of CVD are expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2035, with direct medical costs projected to reach $748.7 billion and indirect costs estimated to reach $368.0 billion.

In addition to cholesterol, lipoproteins such as LDL also carry fats in the form of triglycerides. Hypertriglyceridemia refers to a condition in which patients have high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream and has been reported to be both an independent risk factor for, and potential cause of, cardiovascular disease. Triglyceride levels provide important information as a marker associated with the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Guidelines for the management of very high triglyceride levels (500 mg/dL) suggest that reducing triglyceride levels is the primary treatment goal in these patients to reduce the risk of acute pancreatitis. Treating LDL-C remains an important secondary goal. Other important parameters to consider in patients with very high triglycerides include levels of apolipoprotein B, or apo B, non-HDL-C, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or VLDL-C. The effect of VASCEPA on the risk for pancreatitis in patients with hypertriglyceridemia has not been determined.

VASCEPA is the first and only drug approved by the FDA as an adjunct to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, and unstable angina requiring hospitalization in adult patients with elevated TG levels (150 mg/dL) and either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

It is estimated that more than 50 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dL. Additionally, approximately 2 to 3 million adults in the United States have very high triglyceride levels (500 mg/dL), the condition for which VASCEPA received its annual drug approval from FDA in 2012 based on the MARINE clinical trial. There are approximately 5 to 15 million people in the United States that meet the specific REDUCE-IT inclusion criteria. Additionally, the FDA-approved label for VASCEPA mentions maximally tolerated statin therapy in the indication statement. This may mean that patients on prior statin therapy who are thought to be intolerant to statins, approximately 10% - 20% of patients with prior statin use, may be eligible for VASCEPA. Since 1976, mean triglyceride levels have increased, along with the growing epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, mean LDL-C levels have decreased. Multiple primary and secondary prevention trials have shown a significant RRR of 25% to 35% in the risk of cardiovascular events with statin therapy, leaving significant persistent residual CV risk despite the achievement of target LDL-C levels.

Mixed dyslipidemia refers to a condition in which patients have a combination of two or more lipid abnormalities including elevated triglycerides, low HDL-C, and/or elevated LDL-C. Both hypertriglyceridemia and mixed dyslipidemia are components of a range of lipid disorders collectively referred to as dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia has been linked to atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries.

Europe

In the European Union, there are approximately 49 million people reportedly living with cardiovascular disease, including approximately 38 million diagnosed with ischemic heart disease, stroke or peripheral heart disease. The proportion of patients dying from cardiovascular disease is reportedly higher in Europe than in the United States and there are more patients on statin therapy in Europe in aggregate compared to the United States. Caring for cardiovascular disease in Europe is expensive with annual spending estimated to currently exceed 200 billion Euro annually.

Limitations of Current Therapies

Hypertriglyceridema, or HTG, is a prevalent lipid disorder in approximately 25% of the U.S. adult population. Both epidemiological and genetic data have shown associations between HTG and coronary heart disease. Many of those patients are taking statin therapy directed at lowering the risk of CVD by lowering their LDL-C levels, primarily. Recently, real world administrative database analyses have reported an increased CVD risk as well as direct healthcare costs associated with HTG despite statin therapy and controlled LDL-C compared to those with TG<150 mg/dL.

In CV outcomes trials, therapies that reduce TG levels and had other favorable effects on classically studied lipid and lipoprotein parameters, such as extended-release niacin and fibrates, did not met their primary CV endpoints to reduce risk when taken with contemporary medical therapy, including statins. Specifically, cardiovascular outcomes trials, ACCORD Lipid, AIM-HIGH, and

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HPS2-THRIVE, while not designed to test the effect of lowering TG levels in patients with high TG levels after statin therapy, each failed to demonstrate incremental cardiovascular benefit of adding a second lipid-altering drug (fenofibrate or formulations of niacin), despite raising HDL-C and reducing TG levels, among statin-treated patients with well-controlled LDL-C. As a result, in 2015, the FDA updated both the Trilipix® (a fenofibrate) and extended-release niacin product labeling and removed combination use with statin therapy in mixed dyslipidemia patients as an indication due to a failed outcomes trial. No head-to head, randomized, well-controlled studies have been conducted to compare the clinical effects of VASCEPA with other FDA-approved TG-lowering therapies.

Recent CV outcomes trials and meta-analyses with low and high dose omega-3 fatty acid mixtures containing DHA have not shown substantial benefit in patients receiving contemporary medical therapy, including statins. Due to failed low dose omega-3 CV outcomes trials, the European regulatory authorities have concluded that omega-3 fatty acid medicines (specifically Lovaza®/Omacor®) at a dose of 1-gram per day are not effective in preventing further events for patients who have had a heart attack. The STRENGTH trial of an omega-3 mixture studied at 4-grams per day also failed to demonstrate cardiovascular benefit.

Regulatory Matters

Government Regulation and Regulatory Matters

Any product development activities related to VASCEPA or products that we may develop or acquire in the future will be subject to extensive regulation by various government authorities, including the FDA and comparable regulatory authorities in other countries, which regulate the design, research, clinical and nonclinical development, testing, manufacturing, storage, distribution, import, export, labeling, advertising and marketing of pharmaceutical products. Generally, before a new drug can be sold, considerable data demonstrating its quality, safety and efficacy must be obtained, organized into a format specific to each regulatory authority, submitted for review and approved by the regulatory authority. The data are generated in two distinct development stages: preclinical and clinical. Drugs must be approved by the FDA through the NDA process before they are first marketed in the United States. For new chemical entities, the preclinical development stage generally involves synthesizing the active component, developing the formulation, determining the manufacturing process and controls, as well as carrying out non-human toxicology, pharmacology and drug metabolism studies which support subsequent clinical testing.

The clinical stage of development can generally be divided into Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. In Phase 1, generally, a small number of healthy volunteers are initially exposed to a single dose and then multiple doses of the product candidate. The primary purpose of these studies is to assess the metabolism, pharmacologic action, side effect tolerability and safety of the drug. Phase 2 trials typically involve studies in disease-affected patients to determine the dose required to produce the desired benefits. At the same time, safety and further pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information is collected. Phase 3 trials generally involve large numbers of patients at multiple sites, in multiple countries and are designed to provide the pivotal data necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product for its intended use and its safety in use, provide an adequate basis for physician labeling and may include comparisons with placebo and/or other comparator treatments. The duration of treatment is often extended to mimic the actual use of a product during marketing.

United States Drug Development

In the United States, the process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local, and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable United States requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, a clinical hold, warning or untitled letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement, or civil or criminal penalties. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us.

Prior to the start of human clinical studies for a new drug in the United States, preclinical laboratory and animal tests are often performed under the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practices regulations, or GLP, and an IND is filed with the FDA. Similar filings are required in other countries; however, data requirements and other information needed for a complete submission may differ in other countries. The amount of data that must be supplied in the IND depends on the phase of the study. Phase 1 studies typically require less data than larger Phase 3 studies. A clinical plan must be submitted to the FDA prior to commencement of a clinical trial. If the FDA has concerns about the clinical plan or the safety of the proposed studies, it may suspend or terminate the study at any time. Studies must be conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice, or GCP, including the requirement that subjects provide their informed consent, and regular reporting of study progress and any adverse experiences is required. Studies are also subject to review by independent institutional review boards, or IRBs, responsible for overseeing studies at particular sites and protecting human research study subjects. An independent IRB may also suspend or terminate a study once initiated.

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United States FDA Review Process

The results of nonclinical studies and clinical trials, together with other information, including manufacturing information and information on the composition of the drug and proposed labeling, are submitted to the United States FDA in an NDA requesting approval to market the drug for one or more specified indications. Each NDA is typically accompanied by a user fee and there is also an annual prescription drug product program fee for human drugs. The FDA reviews an NDA to determine, among other things, whether a drug is safe and effective for its intended use and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with cGMP requirements to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality and purity. The FDA will conduct a pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facilities for the new drug and may audit data from clinical trials to ensure compliance with GCP requirements. Additionally, the FDA may refer applications for novel drug products or drug products which present difficult questions of safety or efficacy to an advisory committee, typically a panel that includes clinicians and other experts, for review, evaluation and a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions.

After the FDA evaluates an NDA, it will issue an approval letter or a complete response letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A complete response letter indicates that the review cycle of the application is complete and the application will not be approved in its present form, and usually describes all the specific deficiencies in the NDA identified by the FDA. The complete response letter may require additional clinical data and/or additional clinical trial(s), and/or other information. If a complete response letter is issued, the applicant may either resubmit the NDA, addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, withdraw the application, or request a hearing. Even if such data and information is submitted, the FDA may ultimately decide that the NDA does not satisfy the criteria for approval.

Following the approval process of any drug product, the FDA may require post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor the effects of approved products or it may place conditions on approvals including potential requirements or risk management plans that could restrict the commercial promotion, distribution, prescription or dispensing of products. Product approvals may be withdrawn for non-compliance with regulatory requirements or if problems occur following initial marketing.  

Off-label Promotion in the United States

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, has been interpreted by the FDA and the U.S. government to make it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote their FDA-approved products for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. Companies that market drugs for off-label uses or indications have been subject to related costly litigation, criminal penalties and civil liability under the FDCA and the False Claims Act. However, recent case law has called into question the extent to which government in the United States, including FDA, can, and is willing to seek to, prevent truthful and non-misleading speech related to off-label uses of FDA-approved products such as VASCEPA.

In May 2015, we and a group of independent physicians filed a lawsuit against the FDA seeking a federal court declaration that would permit us and our agents to promote to healthcare professionals the use of VASCEPA in the ANCHOR population and promote on the potential of VASCEPA to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease so long as the promotion is truthful and non-misleading. This use of VASCEPA at issue reflected recognized medical practice but was not approved by the FDA and is thus not covered by the then current FDA-approved labeling for the drug. Promotion of an off-label use has generally been considered by the FDA to be illegal under the FDCA. The lawsuit, captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc., et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., 119 F. Supp. 3d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 2015), was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the lawsuit, we contended principally that FDA regulations limiting off-label promotion of truthful and non-misleading information are unconstitutional under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as applied in the case of our proposed promotion of VASCEPA. The physicians in the suit regularly treated patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and, as the complaint contended, have First Amendment rights to receive truthful and non-misleading information from us. The suit was based on the principle that better informed physicians make better treatment decisions for their patients. The FDA opposed this lawsuit but did not dispute the veracity of the subject ANCHOR clinical trial data (the safety data from which data was already and currently is in FDA-approved labeling of VASCEPA) or the peer-reviewed research related to VASCEPA and the potential for cardiovascular risk reduction.

In August 2015, we were granted preliminary relief in this lawsuit through the court’s declaratory judgment that confirmed we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of VASCEPA to healthcare professionals, i.e., to treat patients with persistently high triglycerides, and that such speech may not form the basis of a misbranding action under the FDCA.

In March 2016, we settled this litigation under terms by which the FDA and the U.S. government agreed to be bound by the conclusions from the federal court order that we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of VASCEPA and that certain statements and disclosures that we proposed to make to healthcare professionals were truthful and non-misleading. As part of the settlement, given, as expressed in the court’s opinion, that the dynamic nature of science and medicine is that knowledge is ever-advancing and that a statement that is fair and balanced one day may become incomplete or otherwise

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misleading in the future as new studies are done and new data is acquired, we agreed that we bear the responsibility to ensure that our communications regarding off-label use of VASCEPA remain truthful and non-misleading, consistent with the federal court ruling.

If our promotional activities or other operations are found to be in violation of any law or governmental regulation through existing or new interpretations, we may be subject to prolonged litigation, penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. Also, if governmental parties or our competitors view our claims as misleading or false, we could also be subject to liability based on fair competition-based statutes, such as the Lanham Act. Any of such negative circumstances could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Foreign Regulation of New Drug Compounds

In addition to regulations in the United States, we may be subject to a variety of regulations in other jurisdictions governing, among other things, clinical trials and any commercial sales and distribution of our products.

Whether or not we obtain FDA approval for a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in all or most foreign countries prior to the commencement of clinical trials or marketing of the product in those countries. Certain countries outside of the United States have a similar process that requires the submission of a clinical trial application, or CTA, much like the IND prior to the commencement of human clinical trials. In Europe, for example, a CTA must be submitted to each country’s national health authority and an independent ethics committee, much like the FDA and IRB, respectively. Once the CTA is approved in accordance with a country’s requirements, clinical trial development may proceed. Similarly, clinical trials conducted in countries such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, require review and approval of clinical trial proposals by an ethics committee, which provides a combined ethical and scientific review process. Most countries in which clinical studies are conducted require the approval of the clinical trial proposals by both the regulatory body and ethics committee.

The requirements and process governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country. In all cases, the clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with GCP, which have their origin in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki, the applicable regulatory requirements, and guidelines developed by the International Conference on Harmonization, or ICH, for GCP practices in clinical trials.

Post-Marketing Requirements in the United States

Following approval of a new product, a pharmaceutical company generally must engage in numerous specific monitoring and recordkeeping activities, such as routine safety surveillance, and must continue to submit periodic and other reports to the applicable regulatory agencies, including any cases of adverse events and appropriate quality control records. Such reports submitted to the FDA may result in changes to the label and/or other post-marketing requirements or actions, including product withdrawal. These are viable risks once a product is on the market. Additionally, modifications or enhancements to the products or labeling or changes of site of manufacture are often subject to the approval of the FDA and other regulators, which may or may not be received or may result in a lengthy review process.

Prescription drug advertising is subject to federal, state and foreign regulations. In the United States, the FDA regulates prescription drug promotion, including direct-to-consumer advertising. Prescription drug promotional materials must be submitted to the FDA in conjunction with their first use. Any distribution of prescription drug products and pharmaceutical samples must comply with the U.S. Prescription Drug Marketing Act, or the PDMA, a part of the FDCA.

In the United States, once a product is approved, its manufacture is subject to comprehensive and continuing regulation by the FDA. The FDA regulations require that products be manufactured in specific approved facilities and in accordance with pharmaceutical cGMPs, and NDA holders must list their products and register their manufacturing establishments with the FDA. These regulations also impose certain organizational, procedural and documentation requirements with respect to manufacturing and quality assurance activities. NDA holders using contract manufacturers, laboratories or packagers are responsible for the selection and monitoring of qualified firms, and, in certain circumstances, qualified suppliers to these firms. These firms and, where applicable, their suppliers are subject to inspections by the FDA at any time, and the discovery of violative conditions, including failure to conform to cGMPs, could result in enforcement actions that interrupt the operation of any such facilities or the ability to distribute products manufactured, processed or tested by them.

Fraud and Abuse Laws and Data Regulation

In addition to FDA restrictions on marketing of pharmaceutical products, several other types of state and federal laws restrict certain marketing practices in the biopharmaceutical industry. These laws include Anti-Kickback Statutes and false claims statutes.

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or in return for a referral or the purchasing,

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leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending the purchase, lease, or order of any healthcare facility, item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal healthcare programs. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on one hand and prescribers, purchasers, and formulary managers on the other. Liability may be established without a person or entity having actual knowledge of the federal anti-kickback statute or specific intent to violate it. In addition, the government may assert 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 federal civil False Claims Act. Although there are a number of statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain activities from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchases, or recommendations may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exemption or safe harbor. Our practices may not in all cases meet all of the criteria for safe harbor protection from anti-kickback liability. Moreover, there are no safe harbors for many common practices, such as educational and research grants or patient or product support programs. On November 20, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, Office of Inspector General, or OIG, finalized further modifications to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Under the final rules, OIG added safe harbor protections under the Anti-Kickback Statute for certain coordinated care and value-based arrangements among clinicians, providers, and others. These rules, with exceptions, became effective January 19, 2021. We continue to evaluate what effect, if any, these rules will have on our business.

The federal civil and criminal false claim laws, including the civil monetary penalty laws and the civil False Claims Act prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment of government funds, or knowingly making or using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay money to the government or knowingly concealing, or knowingly and improperly avoiding, decreasing, or concealing an obligation to pay money or transmit properly to the federal government. Manufacturers can be held liable under the False Claims Act even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors if they are deemed to “cause” the submission of false or fraudulent claims. The False Claims Act also permits a private individual acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the statute and to share in any monetary recovery. Recently, several pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have been investigated or faced enforcement actions under the federal civil False Claims Act for a variety of alleged improper marketing activities, including allegations that they caused false claims to be submitted because of the company’s marketing of the product for unapproved, and thus allegedly non-reimbursable, uses. Federal enforcement agencies also have showed increased interest in pharmaceutical companies’ product and patient assistance programs, including reimbursement and co-pay support services, and a number of investigations into these programs have resulted in significant civil and criminal settlements. Pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies also are subject to other federal false claims laws, including, among others, federal criminal healthcare fraud and false statement statutes that extend to non-government health benefit programs.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, including the Final Omnibus Rule published in January 2013, collectively referred to herein as HIPAA, among other things, imposes criminal and civil liability for knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payor 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, HITECH imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. It requires certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce the federal HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions.

The federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act, implemented as the Open Payments Program, requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics, and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, information related to direct or indirect payments and other transfers of value to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held in the company by physicians and their immediate family members. Beginning on January 1, 2022, applicable manufacturers also will be required to report information regarding payments and transfers of value provided to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives.

Many foreign countries and the majority of states also have statutes or regulations similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, which may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers. Other states or localities may have laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government or otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers; restrict the

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ability of manufacturers to offer co-pay support to patients for certain prescription drugs; require drug manufacturers to report information related to clinical trials, or information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures; relate to insurance fraud in the case of claims involving private insurers; and/or require identification or licensing of sales representatives.

Some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government in addition to requiring manufacturers to report information related to payments to physicians and other healthcare providers, marketing expenditures, and drug pricing information. Certain state and local laws require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives. State and foreign laws, including for example the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, also govern the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

The CCPA creates new individual privacy rights for California consumers (as defined in the law) and places increased privacy and security obligations on entities handling personal data of consumers or households. The CCPA will require covered companies to provide certain disclosures to consumers about its data collection, use and sharing practices, and to provide affected California residents with ways to opt-out of certain sales or transfers of personal information. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, and the California Attorney General has commenced enforcement against violators as of July 1, 2020. While there is currently an exception for protected health information that is subject to HIPAA and clinical trial regulations, as currently written, the CCPA may impact our business activities.

In the event we decide to conduct clinical trials or continue to enroll subjects in our ongoing or future clinical trials, we may be subject to additional privacy restrictions. The collection, use, storage, disclosure, transfer, or other processing of personal data regarding individuals in the European Economic Area, or EEA, including personal health data, is subject to the GDPR, which became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is wide-ranging in scope and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU, including the United States, and permits data protection authorities to impose large penalties for violations of the GDPR, including potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global revenues, whichever is greater. The GDPR also confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. In addition, the GDPR includes restrictions on cross-border data transfers. Compliance with the GDPR will be a rigorous and time-intensive process that may increase our cost of doing business or require us to change our business practices, and despite those efforts, there is a risk that we may be subject to fines and penalties, litigation, and reputational harm in connection with our European activities. Further, the United Kingdom’s exit of the EU, often referred to as Brexit, has created uncertainty with regard to data protection regulation in the United Kingdom. Pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the United Kingdom ceased being a Member State of the EU on January 31, 2020. A trade deal was entered into between the UK and the EU on December 24, 2020. In addition, the UK is negotiating deals in a number of other areas where cooperation with the EU is required, and there is uncertainty as to which EU regulations and directives will be replicated into UK domestic law, or replaced, going forward. In particular, it is unclear how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated following the completion of the withdrawal.

Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the exceptions or safe harbors, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. Such a challenge could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These laws may impact, among other things, our proposed sales, marketing and education programs. In addition, we may be subject to patient privacy regulation by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business.

If our promotional activities or other operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other governmental regulations or guidance that apply to us through existing or new interpretations, we may be subject to prolonged litigation, penalties, including administrative, civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, the exclusion from participation in federal and state healthcare programs, individual imprisonment, reputational harm and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, as well as additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. Also, if governmental parties or our competitors view our claims as misleading or false, we could also be subject to liability based on fair competition-based statutes, such as the Lanham Act. Any of such negative circumstances could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

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United States Healthcare Reform and Legislation

In the United States and foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the healthcare system that could affect our future results of operations. In particular, there have been and continue to be a number of initiatives at the United States federal and state levels that seek to reduce healthcare costs. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, or the MMA, imposed new requirements for the distribution and pricing of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. Under Part D, Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in prescription drug plans offered by private entities which will provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs. Part D plans include both stand-alone prescription drug benefit plans and prescription drug coverage as a supplement to Medicare Advantage plans. Unlike Medicare Part A and B, Part D coverage is not standardized. Part D prescription drug plan sponsors are not required to pay for all covered Part D drugs, and each drug plan can develop its own drug formulary that identifies which drugs it will cover and at what tier or level. However, Part D prescription drug formularies must include drugs within each therapeutic category and class of covered Part D drugs, though not necessarily all the drugs in each category or class. Any formulary used by a Part D prescription drug plan must be developed and reviewed by a pharmacy and therapeutic committee. Government payment for some of the costs of prescription drugs may increase demand for our products for which we receive marketing approval. However, any negotiated prices for our products covered by a Part D prescription drug plan will likely be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain. Moreover, while the MMA applies only to drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, private payers often follow Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own payment rates. Any reduction in payment that results from the MMA may result in a similar reduction in payments from non-governmental payers. In addition, there has been renewed interest in amending the Social Security Act to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B. If this were to be enacted by Congress and signed by the President, the prices we obtain for our products covered under Part B could be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain, and it could exert a similar lowering pressure on payments from non-governmental payers.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, established by the MMA and provided additional funding by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, conducts comparative effectiveness research on different treatments for the same illness. Although the results of the comparative effectiveness studies are not intended to mandate coverage policies for public or private payers, it is possible that comparative effectiveness research demonstrating benefits in a competitor’s product could adversely affect the sales of our product candidates. If third-party payers do not consider our products to be cost-effective compared to other available therapies, they may not cover our products as a benefit under their plans or, if they do, the level of payment may not be sufficient to allow us to sell our products on a profitable basis.

In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively the ACA, was enacted, which has substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers and has significantly impacted the pharmaceutical industry. Among the provisions of the ACA of greatest importance to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry are the following:

 

an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic products, apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs, that began in 2011;

 

expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to certain individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability;

 

expanded manufacturers’ rebate liability under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program by increasing the minimum rebate for both branded and generic drugs and revising the definition of “average manufacturer price,” or AMP, for calculating and reporting Medicaid drug rebates on outpatient prescription drug prices;

 

addressed a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted or injected;

 

expanded the types of entities eligible for the 340B drug discount program;

 

established the Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program by requiring manufacturers to provide a 50% point-of-sale-discount, which was increased to 70% by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (as of January 1, 2019), off the negotiated price of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period as a condition for the manufacturers’ outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D;

 

increases the minimum Medicaid rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extends the rebate program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organization;

 

establishes annual fees and taxes on manufacturers of certain branded prescription drugs;

 

a licensure framework for follow-on biologic products;

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a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research; and

 

establishment of a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, potentially including prescription drug spending that began on January 1, 2011.

Certain provisions of the ACA have yet to be implemented and others have been subject to judicial challenges, as well as efforts to repeal or replace them or to alter their interpretation or implementation. For example, since January 2017, President Trump has signed two Executive Orders and other directives designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA. On January 20, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the ACA to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the ACA that would impose a fiscal burden on states or a cost, fee, tax, penalty or regulatory burden on individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. On October 13, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order terminating the cost-sharing subsidies that reimburse insurers under the ACA. The Trump administration concluded that cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, payments to insurance companies required under the ACA have not received necessary appropriations from Congress and announced that it will discontinue these payments immediately until those appropriations are made. Several state Attorneys General filed suit to stop the administration from terminating the subsidies, but their request for a restraining order was denied by a federal judge in California on October 25, 2017. On August 14, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in two separate cases that the federal government is liable for the full amount of unpaid CSRs for the years preceding and including 2017. For CSR claims made by health insurance companies for years 2018 and later, further litigation will be required to determine the amounts due, if any. Further, on June 14, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the federal government was not required to pay more than $12.0 billion in ACA risk corridor payments to third-party payors who argued the payments were owed to them. On April 27, 2020, the United States Supreme Court reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision and remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, concluding the government has an obligation to pay these risk corridor payments under the relevant formula. To date, at least $6.0 billion has been paid out to health plans and insurers, and follow-up class action and other litigation is pending. The viability of the ACA marketplace, providers, and potentially our business, are not yet known. In December 2018, CMS published a final rule permitting further collections and payments to and from certain ACA qualified health plans and health insurance issuers under the ACA risk adjustment program in response to the outcome of federal district court litigation regarding the method CMS uses to determine this risk adjustment. Since then, the ACA risk adjustment program payment parameters have been updated annually. CMS also published a final rule to give states greater flexibility, starting in 2020, in setting benchmarks for insurers in the individual and small group marketplaces, which may have the effect of relaxing the essential health benefits required under the ACA for plans sold through such marketplaces.

Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the ACA. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, it has enacted laws that modify certain provisions of the ACA such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted on December 22, 2017, or the Tax Act, which included a provision that decreased the tax-based shared responsibility payment for individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage under section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate,” to $0, effective January 1, 2019. On December 14, 2018, a federal district court in Texas ruled the individual mandate is a critical and inseverable feature of the ACA, and therefore, because it was repealed as part of the Tax Act, the remaining provisions of the ACA are invalid as well. On December 18, 2019, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and remanded the case to the lower court to reconsider its earlier invalidation of the full ACA. On March 2, 2020, the United States Supreme Court granted the petitions for writs of certiorari to review this case, and held oral arguments on November 10, 2020. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case is forthcoming. It is unclear how this decision and other efforts to repeal and replace the ACA will impact the ACA and our business. Pending review, the ACA remains in effect, but it is unclear at this time what effect the latest ruling will have on the status of the ACA. Litigation and legislation over the ACA are likely to continue, with unpredictable and uncertain results. We continue to evaluate the effect that the ACA and its possible repeal and replacement could have on our business.

Further, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the ACA was enacted. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 among other things, amended the Medicare statute, effective January 1, 2019, to close the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the “donut hole.” On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1865), which repeals the “Cadillac” tax on certain high-cost employer-sponsored insurance plans, the health insurance provider tax based on market share, and the medical device excise tax on non-exempt medical devices. It is impossible to determine whether similar taxes could be instated in the future. In January 2013, President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years.

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It is unclear how the ACA and its implementation, as well as efforts to repeal, replace, or invalidate, the ACA or its implementing regulations, or portions thereof, and other legislative changes adopted since, will affect our business. It is possible that the ACA will continue to exert pressure on pharmaceutical pricing, especially under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and may also increase our regulatory burdens and operating costs. Additional legislative changes, regulatory changes, and judicial challenges related to the ACA remain possible. We will continue to evaluate the effect that the ACA as well as its possible repeal, replacement, or invalidation, in whole or in part, has on our business.

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement

In the United States and markets in other countries, 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. Our ability to successfully commercialize our product therefore depends significantly on the availability of adequate financial coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors, including, in the United States, governmental payors such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as managed care organizations, private health insurers and other organizations. Third-party payors decide which drugs they will pay for and establish reimbursement and copayment levels. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged for medicines and examining their cost effectiveness, in addition to their safety and efficacy. We may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of our products. Even with studies, our products may be considered less safe, less effective or less cost effective than other products, and third-party payors may not provide coverage and reimbursement for our product candidates, in whole or in part. Reimbursement of newly approved products and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the medicine is approved by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. Product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost effective. In the United States, the principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by CMS, an agency within the HHS. CMS decides whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree.

Outside the United States, ensuring coverage and adequate payment for a product also involves challenges. Pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to government control in many countries. Pricing negotiations with government authorities can extend well beyond the receipt of regulatory approval for a product and may require a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of a product to other available therapies. The conduct of such a clinical trial could be expensive and result in delays in commercialization.

In some foreign countries, 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. For example, the European Union provides options for its Member States to restrict the range of medicinal products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval, some of these countries may require the completion of clinical trials that compare the cost effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies. A Member State may approve a specific price for the medicinal product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the medicinal product on the market. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any of our product candidates. Historically, products launched in the European Union do not follow price structures of the U.S. and generally prices, particularly when for the same drug and the same indication as in the U.S., tend to be significantly lower.

A decision by a third-party payor not to cover a product could reduce physician utilization once the product is approved and have a material adverse effect on sales, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, a third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage and reimbursement for the product, and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor. In the United States, no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug products exists among third-party payors. Coverage and reimbursement for drug products can differ significantly from payor to payor. The process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the price or reimbursement rate that the payor will pay for the product once coverage is approved.

The containment of healthcare costs has become a priority of federal, state and foreign governments, and the prices of products have been a focus in this effort. Governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit a company’s revenue generated from the sale of any approved products. Coverage policies and third-party payor reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which a company or its collaborators receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

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Political, economic and regulatory influences are subjecting the healthcare industry in the United States to fundamental changes. There have been, and we expect there will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals to change the healthcare system in ways that could impact our ability to sell our products profitably. We anticipate that the United States Congress, state legislatures and the private sector will continue to consider and may adopt healthcare policies intended to curb rising healthcare costs. These cost containment measures include: controls on government funded reimbursement for drugs; new or increased requirements to pay prescription drug rebates to government healthcare programs; controls on healthcare providers; challenges to the pricing of drugs or limits or prohibitions on reimbursement for specific products through other means; requirements to try less expensive products or generics before a more expensive branded product; changes in drug importation laws; expansion of use of managed care systems in which healthcare providers contract to provide comprehensive healthcare for a fixed cost per person; and public funding for cost effectiveness research, which may be used by government and private third-party payors to make coverage and payment decisions. Further, federal budgetary concerns could result in the implementation of significant federal spending cuts, including cuts in Medicare and other health related spending in the near term. For example, on August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals for spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction, which triggered the legislation’s automatic reductions. In concert with subsequent legislation, this has resulted in aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of, on average, 2% per fiscal year through 2030 unless Congress takes additional action. Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, as well as subsequent legislation, these reductions have been suspended from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposed legislation, if passed, would extend this suspension until the end of the pandemic. These cuts reduce reimbursement payments related to our products, which could potentially negatively impact our revenue.

Payors also are increasingly considering new metrics as the basis for reimbursement rates, such as average sales price, average manufacturer price and actual acquisition cost. CMS surveys and publishes retail community pharmacy acquisition cost information in the form of National Average Drug Acquisition Cost files to provide state Medicaid agencies with a basis of comparison for their own reimbursement and pricing methodologies and rates. It is difficult to project the impact of these evolving reimbursement mechanics on the willingness of payors to cover our products. We participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, the 340B drug pricing program, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, Federal Supply Schedule, or FSS, pricing program. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, we are required to pay a rebate to each state Medicaid program for our covered outpatient drugs that are dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries and paid for by a state Medicaid program as a condition of having federal funds being made available to the states for our drugs under Medicaid and Part B of the Medicare program.

Federal law requires that any company that participates in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program also participate in the 340B drug pricing program in order for federal funds to be available for the manufacturer’s drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. The 340B program requires participating manufacturers to agree to charge statutorily defined covered entities no more than the 340B “ceiling price” for the manufacturer’s covered outpatient drugs. These 340B covered entities include a variety of community health clinics and other entities that receive health services grants from the Public Health Service, as well as hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients. The 340B ceiling price is calculated using a statutory formula, which is based on the average manufacturer price and Medicaid rebate amount for the covered outpatient drug as calculated under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program. There have been several changes to the 340B drug pricing program, which imposes ceilings on prices that drug manufacturers can charge for medications sold to certain health care facilities. On December 27, 2018, the District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated a reimbursement formula change under the 340B drug pricing program, and CMS subsequently altered the FY’s 2019 and 2018 reimbursement formula on specified covered outpatient drugs, or SCODs. The court ruled this change was not an “adjustment” which was within the Secretary’s discretion to make but was instead a fundamental change in the reimbursement calculation. However, most recently, on July 31, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the district court’s decision and found that the changes were within the Secretary’s authority. On September 14, 2020, the plaintiffs-appellees filed a Petition for Rehearing En Banc, i.e., before the full court, but was denied on October 16, 2020. It is unclear how these developments could affect covered hospitals who might purchase our future products and affect the rates we may charge such facilities for our approved products in the future, if any.

In order to be eligible to have our products paid for with federal funds under the Medicaid and Medicare Part B programs and purchased by certain federal agencies and grantees, we participate in the VA/FSS pricing program. Under this program, we are obligated to make our products available for procurement on an FSS contract and charge a price to four federal agencies - the VA, U.S. Department of Defense, Public Health Service and U.S. Coast Guard - that is no higher than the statutory Federal Ceiling Price, or FCP. The FCP is based on the non-federal average manufacturer price, or Non-FAMP, which we calculate and report to the VA on a quarterly and annual basis. We also participate in the Tricare Retail Pharmacy program, under which we pay quarterly rebates on utilization of innovator products that are dispensed through the Tricare Retail Pharmacy network to Tricare beneficiaries. The rebates are calculated as the difference between the annual Non-FAMP and FCP.  

The Medicaid Drug Rebate program, 340B program, and VA/FSS pricing program, and the risks relating to price reporting and other obligations under these programs, are further discussed under the heading “If we fail to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program or other governmental pricing programs, we could be subject to additional

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reimbursement requirements, penalties, sanctions and fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Recently, there have been several U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed and adopted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. The Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 included a $135.0 billion allowance to support legislative proposals seeking to reduce drug prices, increase competition, lower out-of-pocket drug costs for patients, and increase patient access to lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs. On March 10, 2020, the Trump administration sent “principles” for drug pricing to Congress, calling for legislation that would, among other things, cap Medicare Part D beneficiary out-of-pocket pharmacy expenses, provide an option to cap Medicare Part D beneficiary monthly out-of-pocket expenses, and place limits on pharmaceutical price increases. Additionally, the Trump administration released a “Blueprint” to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contains additional proposals to increase drug manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products, and reduce the out of pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers. HHS has already started the process of soliciting feedback on some of these measures and, at the same time, is immediately implementing others under its existing authority. For example, in May 2019, CMS issued a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option of using step therapy for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020. Further, the Trump administration previously released a plan to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contained proposals to increase drug manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products, and reduce the out-of-pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers. On July 24, 2020 and September 11, 2020, President Trump announced several executive orders related to prescription drug pricing that seek to implement several of the administration’s proposals. The FDA also released a final rule on September 24, 2020, which went into effect on November 30, 2020, providing guidance for states to build and submit importation plans for drugs from Canada. Further, on November 20, 2020, HHS finalized a regulation removing safe harbor protection for price reductions from pharmaceutical manufacturers to plan sponsors under Part D, either directly or through pharmacy benefit managers, unless the price reduction is required by law. The rule also creates a new safe harbor for price reductions reflected at the point-of-sale, as well as a safe harbor for certain fixed fee arrangements between pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers. It is unclear whether the Biden administration will challenge, reverse, revoke or otherwise modify these executive, legislative and administrative actions.

Individual states in the United States have also increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical 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.

FDA Marketing Exclusivity and Generic Competition

The FDCA, as amended by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, as amended, or the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, provides for market exclusivity provisions that can help protect the exclusivity of new drugs by delaying the acceptance and final approval of certain competitive drug applications. NCE marketing exclusivity precludes approval during the five-year exclusivity period of certain 505(b)(2) applications and abbreviated new drug applications, or ANDAs, submitted by another company for another version of the drug. The timelines and conditions under the ANDA process that permit the start of patent litigation and allow the FDA to approve generic versions of brand name drugs like VASCEPA differ based on whether a drug receives three-year, or five-year, NCE marketing exclusivity.

NCE marketing exclusivity precludes approval during the five-year exclusivity period of certain 505(b)(2) applications and ANDAs submitted by another company for another version of the drug. However, an application may be submitted after four years if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement. In such case, the pioneer drug company is afforded the benefit of a 30-month stay against the launch of such a competitive product that extends from the end of the five-year exclusivity period. A pioneer company could also be afforded extensions to the stay under applicable regulations, including a six-month pediatric exclusivity extension or a judicial extension if applicable requirements are met. In May 2016, after litigation, FDA determined that VASCEPA was entitled to NCE marketing exclusivity. The related 30-month stay expired on January 26, 2020, seven-and-a-half years after FDA approval of VASCEPA.

A three-year period of exclusivity under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments is generally granted for a drug product that contains an active moiety that has been previously approved. For example, three-year exclusivity may be granted when the application contains reports of new clinical investigations (other than bioavailability studies) conducted by the sponsor that were essential to approval of the application. Accordingly, we expect to receive three-year exclusivity in connection with any future regulatory approvals of VASCEPA. For example, we received such three-year regulatory exclusivity in connection with the recent approval based on the REDUCE-IT outcomes study results. Such three-year exclusivity protection precludes the FDA from approving a marketing application for an ANDA, a product candidate that the FDA views as having the same conditions of approval as VASCEPA (for

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example, the same indication and/or other conditions of use), or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted to the FDA with VASCEPA as the reference product, for a period of three years from the date of FDA approval. The FDA may accept and commence review of such applications during the three-year exclusivity period. Such three-year exclusivity grant does not prevent a company from challenging the validity of patents at any time, subject to any prior four-year period pending from a grant of five-year exclusivity. This three-year form of exclusivity may also not prevent the FDA from approving an NDA that relies only on its own data to support the change or innovation.

Regulatory exclusivity is in addition to exclusivity afforded by issued patents related to VASCEPA.

Other Regulatory Matters

Manufacturing, sales, promotion, importation, and other activities related to approved products are also subject to regulation by numerous regulatory authorities, including, in the United States, the FDA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, other divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and state and local governments. Sales, marketing and scientific/educational programs must comply with the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the False Claims Act and similar state laws. Pricing and rebate programs must comply with the Medicaid rebate requirements of the U.S. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. If products are made available to authorized users of the Federal Supply Schedule of the General Services Administration, additional laws and requirements apply. Products must meet applicable child-resistant packaging requirements under the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The distribution of pharmaceutical products is subject to additional requirements and regulations, including extensive record-keeping, licensing, storage and security requirements intended to prevent the unauthorized sale of pharmaceutical products.

The failure to comply with regulatory requirements subjects firms to possible legal or regulatory action. Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet applicable regulatory requirements can result in criminal prosecution, fines or other penalties, injunctions, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, denial or withdrawal of product approvals, or refusal to allow a firm to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts. In addition, even if a firm complies with FDA and other requirements, new information regarding the safety or effectiveness of a product could lead the FDA to modify or withdraw a product approval. Prohibitions or restrictions on sales or withdrawal of future products marketed by us could materially affect our business in an adverse way.

Changes in regulations or statutes or the interpretation of existing regulations could impact our business in the future by requiring, for example: (i) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (ii) additions or modifications to product labeling; (iii) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (iv) additional record-keeping requirements. If any such changes were to be imposed, they could adversely affect the operation of our business.

Patents, Proprietary Technology, Trade Secrets

Our success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our drug candidates, technology and know-how, and to operate without infringing the proprietary rights of others. Our ability to successfully implement our business plan and to protect our products with our intellectual property will depend in large part on our ability to:

 

obtain, defend and maintain patent protection and market exclusivity for our current and future products;

 

preserve any trade secrets relating to our current and future products;

 

acquire patented or patentable products and technologies; and

 

operate without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties.

We have prosecuted, and are currently prosecuting, multiple patent applications to protect the intellectual property developed during the VASCEPA development program. As of the date of this report, we had 110 patent applications in the United States that have been either issued or allowed and more than 30 additional patent applications are pending in the United States. Such 110 allowed and issued applications include the following:

 

one issued U.S. patent directed to a pharmaceutical composition of VASCEPA in a capsule that expires in 2030;

 

one issued U.S. patent covering a composition containing highly pure EPA that expires in 2021;

 

53 U.S. patents covering or related to the use of VASCEPA in either the MARINE or ANCHOR populations that have terms that expire in 2030 or later;

 

23 U.S. patents covering or related to the use of VASCEPA in the REDUCE-IT population with terms expiring in 2033 or later;

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two additional US patents directed to a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids with a term that expires in 2030;

 

four additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the ANCHOR patient population with a term that expires in 2030 or later;

 

two additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the MARINE patient population with a term that expires in 2030;

 

three additional patents related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033;

 

four additional patents related to a pharmaceutical composition comprised of free fatty acids and uses thereof to treat both the MARINE and ANCHOR patient populations with a term that expires in 2030;

 

one additional patent related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of re-esterified EPA triglyceride to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033;  

 

four additional patents related to a formulation of EPA/DHA and uses thereof with a term that expires in 2030;

 

two additional patents related to the use of VASCEPA to treat obesity with a term that expires in 2034;

 

one additional patent related to the use of VASCEPA to treat prostate cancer with a term that expires in 2037;

 

four additional patents covering a pharmaceutical composition comprised of EPA and a hydroxyl compound with a term that expires in 2034; and

 

five additional patents covering a new combination therapy comprised of EPA and another drug.

A Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent can be granted from an application. A Notice of Allowance does not afford patent protection until the underlying patent is issued by the USPTO. No assurance can be given that applications with issued notices of allowance will be issued as patents or that any of our pending patent applications will issue as patents. No assurance can be given that, if and when issued, our patents will prevent competitors from competing with VASCEPA. For example, we may choose to not assert all issued patents in patent litigation and patents or claims within patents may be determined to be invalid.

We are the owner of the above-listed patents. We are also the exclusive licensee of certain patents owned by others covering products in development. To secure our debt under our outstanding royalty-like instrument, we had granted the holders of such instrument a security interest in our VASCEPA-related patents.

On March 30, 2020, the Nevada Court, ruled in favor of two generic companies in our patent litigation related to ANDAs that sought FDA approval for sale of generic versions of VASCEPA. On May 22, 2020 and August 10, 2020, the two generic companies, Hikma and Dr. Reddy’s, respectively, received FDA approval to market its generic versions of VASCEPA for the original indication of VASCEPA as an adjunct to diet to reduce TG levels in adult patients with severe (≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. On September 3, 2020, the Federal Circuit upheld the March ruling by the Nevada Court in favor of the two generics companies. On October 2, 2020, we filed a combined petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc. On November 4, 2020, our rehearing and en banc petitions were denied. On February 11, 2021, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court to ask the Court to hear our appeal in this litigation.

In November 2020, Hikma launched its generic version of VASCEPA on a limited scale. On November 30, 2020 we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Hikma for making, selling, offering to sell and importing generic icosapent ethyl capsules in and into the United States in a manner that we allege has induced the infringement of patents covering the use of VASCEPA to reduce specified cardiovascular risk. On January 25, 2021, we expanded the scope of this patent infringement lawsuit to include a health care insurance provider, Health Net, LLC.

Although, to date, no generics other than Hikma have been launched, in addition to the ANDAs approved for Hikma and Dr. Reddy’s, on September 11, 2020, Teva’s ANDA was approved by the FDA. Apotex has applied for ANDA approval such application, based on public records, has not yet been approved. We intend to vigorously pursue these ongoing litigation matters, but cannot predict the outcomes or the impact on our business.

We are also pursuing patent applications related to VASCEPA in multiple jurisdictions outside the United States. Geographies outside the United States in which VASCEPA is sold and under regulatory review are not subject to the U.S. patent litigation and judgment. No litigation involving potential generic versions of VASCEPA is pending outside the United States. VASCEPA is also currently available by prescription in Canada, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. In Canada, VASCEPA has the benefit of eight years of data protection afforded through Health Canada (until the end of 2027), in addition to separate patent protection with

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expiration dates that could extend into 2039. We are pursuing additional regulatory approvals for VASCEPA in Europe, China and the Middle East. In China and the Middle East, we are pursuing such regulatory approvals and subsequent commercialization of VASCEPA with commercial partners. Ten years of market protection is anticipated to be granted in the EU as part of EC approval of the pending application. Furthermore, patent protection in Europe includes:

 

One allowed patent related to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprised of 4g of 96% EPA ethyl ester to treat the REDUCE-IT population expiring 2033.

In addition, pending patent applications in Europe have the potential to extend exclusivity into 2039.

We may be dependent in some cases upon third-party licensors to pursue filing, prosecution and maintenance of patent rights or applications owned or controlled by those parties, including, for example, under our collaboration with Mochida. It is possible that third parties will obtain patents or other proprietary rights that might be necessary or useful to us. In cases where third parties are first to invent a particular product or technology, or first to file after various provisions of the America Invents Act of 2011 went into effect on March 16, 2013, it is possible that those parties will obtain patents that will be sufficiently broad so as to prevent us from utilizing such technology or commercializing our current and future products.

Although we intend to make reasonable efforts to protect our current and future intellectual property rights and to ensure that any proprietary technology we acquire or develop does not infringe on the rights of other parties, we may not be able to ascertain the existence of all potentially conflicting claims. Therefore, there is a risk that third parties may make claims of infringement against our current or future products or technologies. In addition, third parties may be able to obtain patents that prevent the sale of our current or future products or require us to obtain a license and pay significant fees or royalties in order to continue selling such products.

We may in the future discover the existence of products that infringe patents that we own or that have been licensed to us. If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to stop such an infringement, such proceedings could be costly and time consuming, regardless of the outcome. No assurances can be given that we would prevail, and it is possible that, during such a proceeding, our patent rights could be held to be invalid, unenforceable or both. Although we intend to protect our trade secrets and proprietary know-how through confidentiality agreements with our manufacturers, employees and consultants, we may not be able to prevent parties subject to such confidentiality agreements from breaching these agreements or third parties from independently developing or learning of our trade secrets.

We anticipate that competitors may from time to time oppose our efforts to obtain patent protection for new technologies or to submit patented technologies for regulatory approvals. Competitors may seek to oppose our patent applications to delay the approval process or to challenge our granted patents, for example, by requesting a reexamination of our patent at the USPTO, or by filing an opposition in a foreign patent office, even if the opposition or challenge has little or no merit. For example, one of our patents was revoked in an opposition proceeding in Europe due to a determination of improper claim amendments under a provision of law not applicable in the United States. Such proceedings are generally highly technical, expensive, and time consuming, and there can be no assurance that such a challenge would not result in the narrowing or complete revocation of any patent of ours that was so challenged.

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Human Capital Management

As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 1,000 full-time employees located in five countries. Attracting, developing and retaining key scientific, technical, research, marketing, sales and other personnel is critical to our ability to implement and execute our business plan and is key to the success of the business. Our ability to recruit and retain such talent depends on a number of factors, including compensation and benefits, talent development, career opportunities and work environment.

Diversity and Inclusion

We believe that a diverse workforce makes us better and is critical to our success. In our hiring of prospective candidates, we give priority to attitude, intelligence, competency for the position and assessment of what they can contribute to our company. We promote employees based on merit with emphasis on accompliments over effort. In our hiring, promotion, compensation, retention and other employment practices, we regularly evaluate whether women and minority popuations are being treated equally. We seek ways to continually improve in this area. While we acknowledge and support the benefits of diversity, individual hiring and promotion decisions are made irrespective of personal characteristics such as race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or age.

 

 

2020 Workforce Diversity Representation

 

 

Gender

 

Race

 

Executive

24%

 

14%

 

Management

42%

 

32%

 

Sales Professionals and Other Associates

62%

 

37%

 

In the above table, executive is defined as positions of vice president and above. Management is defined as positions of director, manager or equivalent roles.

Employee Development & Engagement

We believe in a direct management-employee engagement model by which managers and employees maintain a regular dialogue about working conditions, compensation, compliance, safety and advancement opportunities. We communicate frequently and transparently with our employees through a variety of communication methods, including written communications and town hall meetings. We believe these engagement efforts keep our employees informed about our strategy, purpose and priorities, which is consistent with our core values of integrity, operational excellence, collaboration and commitment to quality and we believe this engagement motivates our employees to do their best work.

Compensation and Benefits

We are committed to rewarding, supporting, and developing our employees who make it possible to deliver on our strategy. To that end, we offer a comprehensive rewards program aimed at the varying health and financial needs of our employees. Our program includes market-competitive salaries and wages, bonuses and broad-based stock grants, healthcare benefits, retirement plans with employer matching provisions, paid time off and family leave and a strong commitment to corporate wellness. We utilize independent consultants to help us ensure that our compensation and benefits are competitive with market practices and compliant with laws and regulations in the various geographies in which we operate.

COVID-19

Very high in our priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic is the health and safety of our employees, their families, and the community. We attempt to balance this very high priority with the high importance of the work we are doing to reduce the incidence of at-risk patients having strokes, heart attacks and other major adverse cardiovascular events, the prevalence of which are high, while also evaluating whether our lead drug, VASCEPA, can be used to lower the rate of COVID-19 infections or help mitigate the symptoms of COVID-19. On March 15, 2020, we suspended field based, face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers and moved to remote work for our office-based employees. We were one of the first pharmaceutical companies to announce such an action, which was taken to promote safety. Beginning in June 2020, on a limited basis, we resumed field based, face-to-face interactions in a manner consistent with government guidelines for our field force. During the late part of the summer, substantially all of our field force personnel were able to resume face-to-face customer interactions in a manner consistent with guidelines from local, state and government health officials in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the impact of COVID-19 worsened in much of the United States, with some physicians again limiting access to face-to-face interactions with our field force personnel. We continue to limit the number of employees in our office at one time. The vast majority of our employees are paid based on fixed salaries and their compensation has not been reduced as a result of COVID-19. For hourly employees, we have been flexible in ensuring that, when necessary, they are able to work remotely to avoid significant reduction, if any, in their hours and level of compensation. We

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have not had any mass layoffs of employees. While we have experienced modest employee turnover, the turnover level is generally consistent with the pre-COVID-19 levels. When employees have departed, as a result of COVID-19 we have sometimes elected to move slower in replacing such position than might occur in a more robust non-COVID-19 impacted environment. We believe that the overall morale of our employees is positive despite the challenges associated with COVID-19.

Organizational Structure

At February 19, 2021, we had the following subsidiaries:

 

 

Subsidiary Name

 

Country of

Incorporation

or Registration

 

Proportion of

Ownership Interest and

Voting Power Held

 

Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited

 

Ireland

 

100%

 

Amarin Pharma, Inc.

 

United States

 

100%

 

Ester Neurosciences Limited

 

Israel

 

100%

 

Amarin Switzerland GmbH

 

Switzerland

 

100%

 

Amarin Germany GmbH

 

Germany

 

100%

 

Amarin France SAS

 

France

 

100%

 

Amarin UK Limited

 

United Kingdom

 

100%

 

Amarin Italy S.r.l.

 

Italy

 

100%

 

As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our principal operating activities were being conducted by Amarin Corporation plc, together with Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited and Amarin Pharma, Inc., with little to no operating activity being conducted by the European subsidiaries or Ester Neurosciences Limited. Corsicanto II DAC was liquidated in April 2020 and Amarin Neuroscience Limited was liquidated in January 2021.

Available Information

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are made available free of charge on or through our website at www.amarincorp.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The SEC also maintains a website, www.sec.gov, that contains reports and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. We are not, however, including the information contained on our website, or information that may be accessed through links on our website, as part of, or incorporating such information by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Financial Information

The financial information required under this Item 1 is incorporated herein by reference to Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking information based on our current expectations. Because our actual results may differ materially from any forward-looking statements that we make or that are made on our behalf, this section includes a discussion of important factors that could affect our actual future results, including, but not limited to, our ability to successfully commercialize VASCEPA, our capital resources, the progress and timing of our clinical programs, the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, risks associated with regulatory filings, the potential clinical benefits and market potential of our product candidates, commercial market estimates, future development efforts, patent protection, effects of healthcare reform, reliance on third parties, effects of tax reform, and other risks set forth below.

Summary Risk Factors

Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that you should be aware of in evaluating our business. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

We are substantially dependent upon VASCEPA® (icosapent ethyl), its commercialization in the United States and its development and commercialization in Europe and other major markets. In the United States, VASCEPA competes with a

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generic version of VASCEPA and we could experience increased generic competition in the near term and in Europe VAZKEPA is not currently approved for sale by applicable regulatory authorities.

 

As a result of the decision in favor of the two generic drug companies in connection with our ANDA patent trial, which ruling was upheld on appeal by a Federal Circuit panel, a generic version of VASCEPA has launched in the United States, and we could face further generic competition in the near term and our revenues and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Factors outside of our control make it more difficult for VASCEPA to achieve a level of market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community necessary to meet expectations for commercial success.

 

The scale and scope of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic is uncertain and poses a significant threat to public health and infrastructure throughout the world, which could have a negative impact on our business.

 

Our current and planned commercialization efforts may not be successful in increasing sales of VASCEPA in the United States and developing sales internationally.

 

Our promotion of VASCEPA is subject to regulatory scrutiny and associated risk.

 

We may not be able to compete effectively against our competitors’ pharmaceutical products.

 

VASCEPA is a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid product. Omega-3 fatty acids are also marketed by other companies as non-prescription dietary supplements. As a result, VASCEPA is subject to non-prescription competition and consumer substitution.

 

The commercial value to us of sales of VASCEPA outside the United States may be smaller than we anticipate, including adequacy of product reimbursement which can vary from country to country resulting in potential patient access restrictions.

 

Our supply of product for the commercial market and clinical trials is dependent upon relationships with third-party manufacturers and suppliers.

 

Our dependence on third parties in the distribution channel from our manufacturers to patients subject us to risks that limit our profitability and could limit our ability to supply VASCEPA to large market segments.

 

Our commercialization of VASCEPA outside the United States is substantially dependent on third parties and other circumstances outside our control.

 

We are dependent on patents, proprietary rights and confidentiality to protect the commercial potential of VASCEPA.

 

Our issued patents may not prevent competitors from competing with VASCEPA, even if we seek to enforce our patent rights.

 

There can be no assurance that any of our pending patent applications relating to VASCEPA or its use will issue as patents.

The summary risk factors described above should be read together with the text of the full risk factors below and in the other information set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes, as well as in other documents that we file with the SEC. If any such risks and uncertainties actually occur, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. The risks summarized above or described in full below are not the only risks that we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to the Commercialization and Development of VASCEPA

We are substantially dependent upon VASCEPA, its commercialization in the United States and its development and commercialization in Europe and other major markets. In the United States, VASCEPA competes with a generic version of VASCEPA and we could experience increased generic competition in the near term and in Europe VASCEPA is not currently approved for sale by applicable regulatory authorities.

The success of our company depends on our ability to successfully commercialize our only product, VASCEPA® (icosapent ethyl) capsules, in major markets globally. Much of our near-term financial results and value as a company had depended and currently depends on our ability to execute our development and commercial strategy for VASCEPA in the United States. A generic version of VASCEPA launched in the United States in November 2020, and VASCEPA could face even more competition from generic companies in the United States in the near term in light of the patent litigation rulings against us in this territory. Sales of generic versions of VASCEPA could have a material and adverse impact on our revenues and results of operations.

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We continue our development efforts to support regulatory approvals and launch of VASCEPA in major markets outside the United States. Our expansion and development of VASCEPA outside the United States is generally not subject to the adverse patent ruling in the United States. Development outside the United States is primarily based on the second indication approval for VASCEPA in the United States, use of the drug in the reduction of cardiovascular risk in select high-risk patients, which we believe has significantly more value potential. We are currently developing VASCEPA on our own in Europe for the use of the drug in the reduction of cardiovascular risk in select high-risk patients and are exploring possible strategic collaborations in smaller markets within Europe and in other major markets. We currently have multiple partners for the development and commercialization of VASCEPA in select geographies and intend to consider potential additional partners to commercialize VASCEPA in other parts of the world. For example, we have strategic collaborations for the development and commercialization of VASCEPA in Canada, the Middle East and Greater China. However, we cannot make any guarantees as to the success of these efforts, and if commercialization plans for VASCEPA do not meet expectations in major markets such as the United States and Europe, our business and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

The development and commercial time cycle for VASCEPA or other products that we may develop from our research and development efforts could result in delays in our ability to achieve commercial success. For example, it took over a decade of preceding product development before we announced, in January 2021, a positive recommendation from a regulatory panel advising the European Medicines Agency toward anticipated approval by the European Commission in April 2021 for icosapent ethyl, under the brand name VAZKEPA® (brand name VASCEPA in the United States and hereafter collectively referred to as VASCEPA) as a treatment to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in select high-risk patients.

Likewise, if we seek to diversify our development programs or product offerings through licensing or acquisitions, such transactions are also time-consuming, may be dilutive to existing shareholdings, and can be disruptive to operations, and may not be available on favorable terms, or at all. These dynamics can restrict our ability to respond rapidly to adverse business conditions for VASCEPA. If development of, or demand for, VASCEPA does not meet expectations, we may not have the ability to effectively shift our resources to the development of alternative products, or do so in a timely manner, without suffering material adverse effects on our business. As a result, the lack of alternative markets and products we develop could constrain our ability to generate revenues and achieve profitability.

As a result of the decision in favor of the two generic drug companies in connection with our ANDA patent trial, which ruling was upheld on appeal by a Federal Circuit panel, a generic version of VASCEPA has launched in the United States, and we could face further generic competition in the near term and our revenues and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We received paragraph IV certification notices from certain companies contending to varying degrees that certain of our patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of a generic form of VASCEPA as described in those companies’ ANDAs. Following receipt of the paragraph IV certifications, beginning in late 2017 we were involved in litigation against these companies, including Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc., or Dr. Reddy’s or DRL, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., or Hikma, (formerly known as West-Ward) and certain of their affiliates, or the Defendants, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, or the Nevada Court. In these lawsuits, we sought, among other remedies, an order enjoining each Defendant from marketing generic versions of VASCEPA before the last to expire of the asserted patents in 2030.  

On March 30, 2020, following conclusion of a trial in late January 2020, the Nevada Court issued its ruling in favor of the Defendants. On May 22, 2020 and August 10, 2020, Hikma and Dr. Reddy’s, respectively, received its FDA approval to market its generic versions of VASCEPA. On September 3, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or the Federal Circuit, upheld the March ruling by the Nevada Court in favor of the two generic companies. On October 2, 2020, we filed a combined petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc. On November 4, 2020, our rehearing and en banc petitions were denied. The mandate of the court was issued on November 12, 2020. On February 11, 2021, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court to ask the Court to hear our appeal in this litigation.

In November 2020, Hikma launched its generic version of VASCEPA on a limited scale. On November 30, 2020 we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Hikma affiliate for making, selling, offering to sell and importing generic icosapent ethyl capsules in and into the United States in a manner that we allege has induced the infringement of patents covering the use of VASCEPA to reduce specified cardiovascular risk. On January 25, 2021 we expanded the scope of this patent infringement lawsuit to include a health care insurance provider, Health Net, LLC.

Although, to date, no generics other than Hikma have been launched, in addition to ANDAs approved for Hikma and Dr. Reddy’s, on September 11, 2020, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc’s., or Teva’s, ANDA was approved by the FDA. Apotex Inc., or Apotex, has applied for ANDA approval such application, based on public records, has not yet been approved. We intend to vigorously pursue these ongoing litigation matters, but cannot predict the outcomes or the impact on our business.

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The court rulings detailed above could also permit each of Teva and Apotex to launch a generic version of VASCEPA under certain circumstances pursuant to a settlement agreement with us. For example, Teva and Apotex settlement agreements permit such companies to launch their generic version of VASCEPA under royalty-free license from us given that our petition for en banc Federal Circuit review was not granted, after issuance of the Federal Circuit mandate on November 12, 2020. While Teva received FDA approval of its ANDA, any launch by Apotex would be subject to FDA approval of the Apotex ANDA and each generic launch is subject to procurement of adequate supply.

Once a generic version of VASCEPA is available in the market, whether based on a generic product with a MARINE indication label or REDUCE-IT indication label it is typically used in many U.S. states to fill a prescription for any use of the drug, subject, in certain circumstances, to state reimbursement law, the potential for patent infringement under certain case law and subject to certain Teva and Apotex settlement agreement terms. We currently face generic competition from Hikma’s generic version of VASCEPA in the United States, and could face increased competition from additional generic entrants in the near term, which could have a material and adverse impact on our revenues and our results of operations. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in preventing use of generic versions of VASCEPA in indications for which they have not been approved by FDA, even if such use are determined to infringe certain of our patent claims.

Further, although we are pursuing available remedies, including a petition for a writ of certiorari to ask the United States Supreme Court to hear our appeal, we may not be successful in any such efforts, which will be costly and time-consuming to pursue. Such efforts will also require considerable attention of management and could, even if ultimately successful, negatively impact our results of operations.

Additionally, while we believe that VASCEPA is difficult to manufacture and that building capacity to manufacture VASCEPA is time-consuming and expensive. These factors limit the amount of VASCEPA supply available to generic companies, as experienced by Hikma. We do not have direct visibility into the supply levels of any of the generic company and we rely on our own experience together with information from third parties, which information may not be reliable. The generic companies could potentially find or develop sources of qualified VASCEPA supply that are not known to us and that are more efficient or inexpensive than our sources. Furthermore, generic companies could potentially convince our suppliers to prioritize supply to the generic companies ahead of any applicable contractual commitments to supply us. While we anticipate that our suppliers will honor their commitments to us, if generic competitors are successful in gaining an advantage in the supply chain promotional and educational efforts, and potentially manufacture and supply, with respect to VASCEPA will suffer and consequentially VASCEPA prescriptions will likely decrease. In addition, we may need to litigate with such suppliers to protect our rights, which can be costly and distracting to management. Such circumstances could have a material and adverse impact on our revenues and results of operations directly in the United States and potentially outside of the United States as well if supply costs and availability are affected or promotion and education programs reduced.

Factors outside of our control make it more difficult for VASCEPA to achieve a level of market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community necessary to meet expectations for commercial success.

In January 2013, we launched VASCEPA based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approval of our MARINE indication, for use as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe (TG 500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia. Guidelines for the management of very high triglyceride levels suggest that the primary goal of reducing triglyceride levels in this patient population is reduction in the risk of acute pancreatitis. A secondary goal for this patient population is to reduce cardiovascular risk. The effect of VASCEPA on the risk for pancreatitis in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia has not been determined and our FDA-approved labeling and promotional efforts state these facts.

In September 2018, we announced topline results from the REDUCE-IT®, or Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA—Intervention Trial cardiovascular outcomes study of VASCEPA. In November 2018, we announced the primary results of our REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study confirming 25% relative risk reduction for the topline primary endpoint result with multiple robust demonstrations of efficacy, including 20% reduction in cardiovascular death. REDUCE-IT was a multinational, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, enrollment for which started in November 2011. REDUCE-IT investigated the effects of VASCEPA on CV risk in statin-treated adults with well-controlled LDL-C 41-100 mg/dL (median baseline LDL-C: 75 mg/dL) and other CV risk factors, including persistent elevated TG 150-499 mg/dL (median baseline TG: 216 mg/dL). REDUCE-IT topline results showed the trial met its primary endpoint demonstrating an approximately 25% relative risk reduction, to a high degree of statistical significance (p<0.001), in MACE in the intent-to-treat patient population with use of VASCEPA 4 grams/day as compared to placebo. MACE events were defined as a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina requiring hospitalization. This result was supported by robust demonstrations of efficacy across multiple secondary endpoints. VASCEPA was well tolerated in REDUCE-IT with a safety profile generally consistent with clinical experience associated with omega-3 fatty acids and current FDA-approved labeling.

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In December 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for VASCEPA as an adjunct to statin therapy to reduce the risk of MACE events in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Despite FDA approval for this new indication and expanded label for VASCEPA, we may not meet expectations for market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community for this new approved use, even if we are successful in our appeal effort. If VASCEPA does not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate product revenues sufficient to become profitable on an ongoing basis. The degree of market acceptance of VASCEPA for its approved indications and uses or otherwise will depend on a number of factors, including:

 

the impact of and outcome of pending patent litigation appeal efforts;

 

the commercialization and pricing of any current or potential generic version of VASCEPA;

 

the perceived efficacy and safety of VASCEPA by prescribing healthcare professionals and patients, as compared to no treatment and as compared to alternative treatments in various at-risk patient populations;

 

peer review of different elements of REDUCE-IT results over time;

 

continued review and analysis of the results of REDUCE-IT by regulatory authorities internationally;

 

our ability to offer VASCEPA for sale at competitive prices;

 

convenience and ease of administration compared to alternative treatments;

 

the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies and of physicians to prescribe these therapies;

 

the scope, effectiveness and strength of product education, marketing and distribution support, including our sales and marketing team;

 

publicity concerning VASCEPA or competing products;

 

our ability to continually promote VASCEPA in the United States consistent with and outside of FDA-approved labeling and the related perception thereof;

 

sufficient third-party coverage or reimbursement for VASCEPA and its prescribe uses, on-label and off-label;

 

natural disasters, including pandemics such as the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and political unrest that could inhibit our ability to promote VASCEPA regionally and can negatively affect product demand by creating obstacles for patients to seek treatment and fill prescriptions;

 

new policies or laws affecting VASCEPA sales, such as state and federal efforts to affect drug pricing and provide or remove healthcare coverage that includes reimbursement for prescription drugs; and

 

the actual and perceived efficacy of the product and the prevalence and severity of any side effects and warnings in VASCEPA’s approved labeling internationally.

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For example, two major factors that affect market use of prescription drugs are their perceived cost-effectiveness and the breadth of their use among different patient populations, both on label and off-label. In October 2019, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER, released its final evidence report regarding clinical effectiveness and economic impacts on VASCEPA. The conclusion from the report is that VASCEPA easily met even the most stringent “commonly cited thresholds for cost-effectiveness and therefore represent(s) a high long-term value for money,” based on the organization’s value assessment framework. As part of the public meeting held by ICER analyzing REDUCE-IT data, the ICER review committee discussed whether, based on REDUCE-IT, VASCEPA should be considered for use in patients as an add-on to statin therapy generally, and not just in patients with persistent elevated triglyceride levels after statin therapy, which ICER defined as triglyceride levels of at least 135 mg/dL. Use as an add-on to statin therapy generally represents a larger patient population than studied in REDUCE-IT and larger than covered by FDA-approved labeling. By contrast, FDA-approved labeling for VASCEPA reflects limitations such as use in patients with persistent elevated triglyceride levels defined as triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dL after statin therapy and specific criteria designed to ensure the patient populations approved for use had sufficiently high degrees of CV risk. While the clinical judgment of prescribing physicians is the most important factor that determines the breadth of a drug’s use in the United States and often results in prescriptions in patient populations that go beyond FDA labeling, FDA-approved labeling that is more closely tied to the patient population studied in a clinical trial could limit use generally and by making reimbursement more difficult.  

The scale and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain and poses a significant threat to public health and infrastructure throughout the world, which could have a negative impact on our business.

The global spread of the coronavirus has created significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption in healthcare, social and economic infrastructures. The extent to which the coronavirus pandemic impacts our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict or plan around, including:

 

the duration, volatility and scope of the pandemic;

 

governmental, business and individuals’ actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic;

 

the impact of the pandemic on economic and political activity and actions taken in response;

 

the effect on patients, healthcare providers and business partners, including patients’ ability to access supplies of VASCEPA and the willingness of patients to visit doctors for non-urgent medical examination or to visit labs for blood tests to assess biomarkers such as lipid levels;

 

our ability to commercialize VASCEPA, including as a result of travel restrictions, social distancing and other containment measures;

 

the enrollment or monitoring of patients in clinical trials, particularly at clinical trial sites located in highly impacted jurisdictions;

 

the ability to access, secure and otherwise obtain and deliver sufficient and timely commercial or clinical supplies of VASCEPA to meet demand if the production capabilities of suppliers is disrupted;

 

disruptions in regulatory oversight and actions if regulators and industry professionals are expending significant and unexpected resources addressing COVID-19;

 

the availability of coverage and reimbursement from government and health administration authorities, private health insurers and other third-party payors if the system becomes overly strained; and

 

any further or prolonged closures of our and our partners’ offices, operations and facilities impeding our ability to work together as a company and with our business and healthcare partners.

To comply with travel restrictions, social distancing, quarantines and other containment measures implemented in various geographies, in March 2020, we suspended field based face-to-face interactions. We resumed on a limited basis field-based, face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers beginning in June 2020. During the late part of the summer, substantially all of our field force personnel had the ability to resume face-to-face customer interactions, in a manner consistent with state and local guidance. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the impact of COVID-19 worsened in much of the United State, with some healthcare professionals again limiting access to face-to-face interactions. Additionally, the number of patient visits to doctors’ offices and patients undergoing blood testing remains down considerably from pre-COVID-19 levels. These circumstances vary geographically and vary over time, with continued risk of resurgences in COVID-19 cases, and reinstitution of protocols, in various geographies. We hope to be able to maintain our substantial resumption of our business efforts, however, given the dynamics related to COVID-19, there can be no assurance that this will be the case. While we have supplemented these face-to-face interactions with virtual outreach, these efforts may not be as successful as traditional, in-person interactions. Specifically, access to healthcare professionals through the internet or other channels, may not be as productive as in-person interactions.

Although we have a geographically diversified supply chain for VASCEPA and believe we have sufficient inventory on hand at pharmacies throughout the United States and other markets where it is approved for sale, and at various stages of manufacturing with our suppliers, the global spread of the outbreak and containment measures has been unprecedented and could have a negative impact on the availability of VASCEPA at various points in our supply chain, including limiting the ability of new suppliers to be inspected, which would have a material and adverse effect on our business.

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The disruptions associated with the coronavirus pandemic could also delay the timing of a determination on our ability to seek legal remedies as travel, operational resources and personnel are disrupted, with respect to our efforts and capabilities, as well as those of our advisors and the courts. The disruptions associated with the coronavirus pandemic could delay the potential timing of subsequent steps for our application to get VAZKEPA approved to be marketed in Europe. COVID-19 could also delay our plans to hire additional employees for the planned commercialization of VAZKEPA in Europe.

As with any cardiovascular outcomes trial, over time further data assessment related to REDUCE-IT by international regulatory authorities or otherwise could yield additional useful information to inform greater understanding of study outcome. If the additional data or related interpretations do not meet expectations, the perception of REDUCE-IT results and VASCEPA revenue potential may suffer and our stock price may decline.

In December 2019, the FDA approved a new indication and label expansion for VASCEPA as an adjunct to statin therapy to reduce the risk of MACE events in adult patients with elevated TG levels (≥150 mg/dL) and established cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and two or more additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Even though FDA has approved VASCEPA for this expanded label and new indication based on the REDUCE-IT results, additional data assessment by international regulatory authorities or otherwise could yield additional useful information to inform greater understanding of study outcome. Generally, trial data assessment sufficient to convey a complete picture of trial outcome can take years to complete and publish. When new data are assessed and released or presented it could exceed, match or may not meet investor expectations.

In addition, the same set of data can sometimes be interpreted to reach different conclusions. This was the case when Health Canada approved an indication based on REDUCE-IT data that was different in certain respects than that approved by FDA in the United States. It is possible the scope of subsequent regulatory approvals, if any, could likewise differ based on the same data, such as with our pending European Union, or EU, application. In January 2021, we announced a positive recommendation from a regulatory panel advising the European Medicines Agency toward anticipated approval by the European Commission in April 2021 for icosapent ethyl, under VAZKEPA, as a treatment to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in select high-risk patients in the EU. Conflicting interpretations of data, or new data, could impact public and medical community perception of the totality of the efficacy and safety data from REDUCE-IT.

Regulatory authorities and medical guideline committees outside of the United States may consider the following additional factors, which could lead to evaluations of the totality of the efficacy and safety data from REDUCE-IT that differ from those of the FDA:

 

the magnitude of the treatment benefit and related risks on the primary composite endpoint, its components, secondary endpoints and the primary and secondary risk prevention cohorts;

 

consideration of which components of the composite or secondary endpoints have the most clinical significance;

 

the consistency of the primary and secondary outcomes;

 

the consistency of findings across cohorts and important subgroups;

 

safety considerations and risk/benefit considerations (such as related to adverse events such as bleeding and atrial fibrillation generally and in different sub-populations);

 

consideration of REDUCE-IT results in the context of other clinical studies;

 

consideration of the cumulative effect of VASCEPA in studied patients; and

 

study conduct and data quality, integrity and consistency, including aspects such as analyses regarding the placebo used in REDUCE-IT and other studies of VASCEPA and its impact, if any, on the reliability of clinical data.

 

If regulatory authorities and medical guideline committees outside of the United States draw conclusions that differ from those of the FDA, the FDA could reevaluate its conclusions as to the safety and efficacy of VASCEPA. Likewise, if additional data or analyses released from time to time do not meet expectations, the perception of REDUCE-IT results and the perceived and actual value of VASCEPA may suffer. In these instances our revenue and business could suffer and our stock price could significantly decline.

Ongoing clinical trials or new clinical data involving VASCEPA and similar moderate-to-high doses of eicosapentaenoic acid or icosapent ethyl could influence public perception of VASCEPA’s clinical profile and the commercial and regulatory prospects of VASCEPA.

Ongoing trials of moderate-to-high doses of VASCEPA and icosapent ethyl or a similar, eicosapentaenoic acid, product could provide further information on the effects of VASCEPA and its commercial and regulatory prospects.

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For example, the Randomized Trial for Evaluation in Secondary Prevention Efficacy of Combination Therapy–Statin and EPA (RESPECT-EPA; UMIN Clinical Trials Registry number, UMIN000012069) is a study examining Japanese patients with chronic coronary artery disease receiving LDL-C lowering treatment by statin therapy. Patients will be randomized to either a control group (standard treatment) or EPA group (standard treatment plus 1.8 grams/day of eicosapentaenoic acid), to examine the effects of a different formulation of icosapent ethyl than VASCEPA on the incidence of cardiovascular events. The relationship between the ratio of EPA to arachidonic acid and incidence of events will also be examined. Results from this study are expected in the second half of 2021, but could be announced sooner or, due to delay related to COVID-19 or otherwise, later.

In November 2020, we announced statistically significant topline results from a Phase 3 clinical trial of VASCEPA, conducted by our partner in China, Edding, which investigated VASCEPA as a treatment for patients with very high triglycerides (≥500 mg/dL). Even though such results are similar to the results of the MARINE study, additional clinical development efforts may be necessary in this market to demonstrate the effectiveness of VASCEPA in reducing major adverse cardiovascular events in Chinese patients with persistent cardiovascular risk.

We have also funded investigational studies on the use of VASCEPA in the setting of COVID-19 infection. On December 12, 2020, we announced at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions 2020 positive clinical results from the CardioLink-9 Trial, the first results of a study of VASCEPA in COVID-19 infected outpatients. Results from the other investigational studies are expected over the next year.

If the outcomes of one or more of these studies do not meet expectations, the perception of existing clinical results of VASCEPA, such as MARINE or REDUCE-IT, or the perceived clinical profile and commercial value of VASCEPA and its regulatory status may suffer. If this occurs our revenue and business could suffer and our stock price could significantly decline.  

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Our current and planned commercialization efforts may not be successful in increasing sales of VASCEPA in the United States and developing sales internationally.

It is estimated that over 25 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥200 mg/dL and that more than 50 million adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dL. Approximately two to three million adults in the United States have very high (≥500mg/dL) triglyceride levels, the MARINE patient population. There are approximately five to 15 million people in the United States who meet the specific REDUCE-IT inclusion criteria. Since 1976, mean triglyceride levels have increased in concert with the growing epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, mean LDL-C levels have decreased. Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our U.S. direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our U.S. direct sales force to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives. As a result of the additional indication and label expansion approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2019, for cardiovascular risk reduction, we completed the further expansion of our direct sales force to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives in early 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related social distancing, in March 2020, we suspended face-to-face interactions between our sales representatives and healthcare professionals. We resumed on a limited basis field-based, face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers beginning in June 2020. During the late part of the summer, substantially all of our field force personnel were able to resume face-to-face customer interactions in a manner consistent with guidelines from local, state and government health officials in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the impact of COVID-19 worsened in much of the United States, with some physicians again limiting access to face-to-face interactions with our field force personnel. Accordingly, we have intentionally slowed the hiring of replacements for our open positions which resulted from ordinary turnover. As we witness our sales representatives increasingly able to resume direct interactions with healthcare professionals, we continually evaluate our needs and it is our intention to fill a significant number of these positions, provided such replacement is appropriate to meet our business needs. As of December 31, 2020, our U.S. direct sales force was slightly more than 800 sales professionals, including slightly more than 700 sales representatives. Thus, despite this significant expansion of our sales team, it is not large enough to call upon all physicians and we may not have sufficient sales personnel and resources to maximize the sales potential of VASCEPA.

In addition to the sales force expansion in the United States, we plan to work internally and with partners to support regulatory efforts toward approvals and commercialization outside the United States based primarily on REDUCE-IT results. For example, assuming regulatory approval, we plan to launch VAZKEPA on our own in the most commercially significant markets in Europe. The commercial launch of a new pharmaceutical product is a complex undertaking for a company to manage, and we have no prior experience as a company operating a commercial-stage pharmaceutical business in Europe.

Factors related to building and managing a sales and marketing organization in Europe and different territories world-wide that could inhibit our efforts to successfully commercialize VASCEPA include the following:

 

the impact the expiration of regulatory exclusivities and entry into the market of additional generic versions of VASCEPA, as covered above or with respect to the impact such an event may have on the factors below;

 

our inability to secure market access and adequate reimbursement in one or more countries;

 

our inability to attract and retain adequate numbers of effective sales and marketing personnel;

 

our inability to adequately train our sales and marketing personnel and our inability to adequately monitor compliance with these requirements;

 

the inability of our new sales personnel, to obtain access to or persuade adequate numbers of physicians to prescribe VASCEPA;

 

the lack of complementary products to be offered by sales personnel, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to companies with more extensive product lines;

 

an inability by us or our partners to obtain regulatory and marketing approval or establish marketing channels in foreign jurisdictions; and

 

unforeseen costs and expenses associated with operating a new independent sales and marketing organization.

If we are not successful in maintaining a sales force that is rightsized for our efforts to market and sell VASCEPA, our anticipated revenues or our expenses could be materially and negatively affected, and we may not obtain profitability, may need to cut back on research and development activities or implement other cost-containment measures, or we may need to raise additional funding that could result in substantial dilution or impose considerable restrictions on our business.

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Although substantially all of our sales force personnel have the ability to resume face-to-face customer interactions, in a manner consistent with state and local guidance, given the dynamics related to COVID-19, there can be no assurance that we will be able to substantially resume or sustain our business efforts. While we have supplemented these face-to-face interactions with virtual outreach, these efforts may not be as successful as traditional, in-person interactions. Specifically, access to healthcare professionals through the internet or other channels, may not be as productive as in-person interactions. In July 2020 we launched our first ever direct-to- consumer promotional campaign regarding VASCEPA demonstrating results in lowering cardiovascular risk in patients with persistent cardiovascular risk in high risk patients. In September 2020, we launched a new, nationwide television advertisement in connection with our expanded promotional campaign which was further complemented by additional digital, point-of-care and other forms of healthcare professional and patient educational outreach. There can be no assurance that such promotion will have the intended positive increase in patients asking their healthcare providers regarding VASCEPA or that prescription rates for VASCEPA will increase in the near future or at all from such promotion. Data on increased product usage from similar promotion of other products suggests that the impact of television-based promotion can be positive and sustained but is rarely immediate in its effect. After assessing the scope, timing and pricing of generic competition, we may also decide to contract our VASCEPA promotional efforts.

Our promotion of VASCEPA is subject to regulatory scrutiny and associated risk generally.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, has been interpreted by the FDA and the U.S. government to make it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote their FDA-approved products for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. Companies that market drugs for off-label uses or indications have been subject to related costly litigation, criminal penalties and civil liability under the FDCA and the False Claims Act. However, case law over the last several years has called into question the extent to which government in the United States, including the FDA, can, and is willing to seek to, prevent truthful and non-misleading speech related to off-label uses of FDA-approved products such as VASCEPA.

In May 2015, we and a group of independent physicians filed a lawsuit against the FDA seeking a federal court declaration that would permit us and our agents to promote to healthcare professionals the use of VASCEPA in the ANCHOR population and promote on the potential of VASCEPA to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease so long as the promotion is truthful and non-misleading. This use of VASCEPA at issue reflected recognized medical practice at the time but was not approved by the FDA and was thus not covered by then FDA-approved labeling for the drug. Promotion of an off-label use has generally been considered by the FDA to be illegal under the FDCA. The lawsuit, captioned Amarin Pharma, Inc., et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., 119 F. Supp. 3d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 2015), was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the lawsuit, we contended principally that FDA regulations limiting off-label promotion of truthful and non-misleading information are unconstitutional under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as applied in the case of our proposed promotion of VASCEPA. The physicians in the suit regularly treated patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and, as the complaint contended, have First Amendment rights to receive truthful and non-misleading information from Amarin. The suit was based on the principle that better informed physicians make better treatment decisions for their patients. The FDA opposed this lawsuit but did not dispute the veracity of the subject ANCHOR clinical trial data (the safety data from which was already and currently is in FDA-approved labeling of VASCEPA) or the peer-reviewed research related to VASCEPA and the potential for cardiovascular risk reduction.

In August 2015, we were granted preliminary relief in this lawsuit through the court’s declaratory judgment that confirmed we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of VASCEPA to healthcare professionals, i.e., to treat patients with persistently high triglycerides, and that such speech may not form the basis of a misbranding action under the FDCA. In August 2015, we began to communicate promotional information beyond the MARINE indication to healthcare professionals in the United States as permitted by this court declaration. The FDA did not appeal the court’s ruling. In March 2016, we settled this litigation under terms by which the FDA and the U.S. government agreed to be bound by the conclusions from the federal court order that we may engage in truthful and non-misleading speech promoting the off-label use of VASCEPA and that certain statements and disclosures that we proposed to make to healthcare professionals were truthful and non-misleading. As part of the settlement, given, as expressed in the court’s opinion, that the dynamic nature of science and medicine is that knowledge is ever-advancing and that a statement that is fair and balanced one day may become incomplete or otherwise misleading in the future as new studies are done and new data is acquired, we agreed that we bear the responsibility to ensure that our communications regarding off-label use of VASCEPA remain truthful and non-misleading, consistent with the federal court ruling.

While we believe we are now permitted under applicable law to more broadly promote VASCEPA, the FDA-approved labeling for VASCEPA did not change as a result of this litigation and settlement, and neither government nor other third-party coverage or reimbursement to pay for the off-label use of VASCEPA promoted under the court declaration was required. In addition to claims classically considered to be on-label based on our expanded label for VASCEPA based on the REDUCE-IT results, we proactively communicate information related to VASCEPA in a manner that we believe is truthful and non-misleading and thus protected under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Promotional activities in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries generally are subject to considerable regulatory scrutiny and, even though we have the benefit of a final settlement in this litigation, our efforts may be subject to enhanced scrutiny to ensure that our promotion remains within the scope covered by the settlement. For example, under the settlement, we remain responsible for ensuring our speech is truthful and non-misleading, which is subject to a considerable amount of judgment. We, the FDA, the U.S. government, our competitors and other interested parties may not agree on the truthfulness and non-misleading nature of our promotional materials. Federal and state governments or agencies may also seek to find other means to prevent our promotion of unapproved truthful and non-misleading information about VASCEPA.

In June 2020, we received a civil investigative demand, or CID, from the U.S. Department of Justice, or the DOJ, informing us that the DOJ is investigating whether aspects of our promotional speaker programs and copayment waiver program during the period from January 1, 2015 to the present violated the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute and the U.S. False Claims Act in relation to the sale and marketing of VASCEPA by us and our previous co-marketing partner, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. The CID requires us to produce documents and answer written questions, or interrogatories, relevant to the specified time period. We are cooperating with the DOJ. We cannot predict when the investigation will be resolved, the outcome of the investigation or its potential impact on our business. Such investigations can be lengthy, costly and could materially affect and disrupt our business. If the government determines that we have violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, we could be subject to significant civil and criminal fines and penalties.

If our promotional activities or other operations are found to be in violation of any law or governmental regulation through existing or new interpretations, we may be subject to prolonged litigation, penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. Also, if governmental parties or our competitors view our claims as misleading or false, we could be subject to liability based on fair competition-based statutes, such as the Lanham Act. Any allegations that our promotional activities are not truthful or misleading, even allegations without merit, could cause reputational harm and adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

We may not be able to compete effectively against our competitors’ pharmaceutical products.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly competitive. There are many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, public and private universities and research organizations actively engaged in the research and development of products that may be similar to our product. It is probable that the number of companies seeking to develop products and therapies similar to our product will increase. Many of these and other existing or potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do and may be better equipped to develop, manufacture and market products. These companies may develop and introduce products and processes competitive with, more efficient than or superior to ours. In addition, other technologies or products may be developed that have an entirely different approach or means of accomplishing the intended purposes of our products, which might render our technology and products noncompetitive or obsolete.

Our competitors both in the United States and abroad include large, well-established pharmaceutical and generic companies, specialty and generic pharmaceutical sales and marketing companies, and specialized cardiovascular treatment companies. With a generic version of VASCEPA launched by Hikma in November 2020 and further generic versions anticipated, it may not be viable for us to invest in market education to grow the United States market and our ability to maintain current promotional efforts and attract favorable commercial terms in several aspects of our business will likely be adversely affected as we face increased generic competition, or if we launch our own generic version of VASCEPA.

GlaxoSmithKline plc currently sells Lovaza®, a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid indicated for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, which was approved by FDA in 2004 and has been on the market in the United States since 2005. Multiple generic versions of Lovaza are available in the United States. Other large companies with competitive products include AbbVie, Inc., which currently sells Tricor® and Trilipix® for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and Niaspan®, which is primarily used to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL-C, but is also used to lower triglycerides. Multiple generic versions of Tricor, Trilipix and Niaspan are also available in the United States. We compete with these drugs, and in particular, multiple low-cost generic versions of these drugs, in our FDA-approved indicated uses, even though such products do not have FDA approval to reduce CV risk on top of statin therapy.

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In addition, in May 2014, Epanova® (omega-3-carboxylic acids) capsules, a free fatty acid form of omega-3 (comprised of 55% EPA and 20% DHA), was approved by the FDA for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Epanova was developed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is now owned by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, or AstraZeneca. Also, in April 2014, Omtryg, another omega-3-acid fatty acid composition developed by Trygg Pharma AS, received FDA approval for severe hypertriglyceridemia. Neither Epanova nor Omtryg have been commercially launched, but could launch at any time. AstraZeneca has greater resources than we do, including financial, product development, marketing, personnel and other resources.

AstraZeneca conducted a long-term outcomes study to assess Statin Residual Risk Reduction With EpaNova in HiGh Cardiovascular Risk PatienTs With Hypertriglyceridemia (STRENGTH). The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (corn oil), parallel group design that is believed to have enrolled approximately 13,000 patients with hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL and high risk for cardiovascular disease randomized 1:1 to either corn oil plus statin or Epanova plus statin, once daily. On January 13, 2020 following the recommendation of an independent Data Monitoring Committee, AstraZeneca decided to close the STRENGTH trial due to its low likelihood of demonstrating benefit to patients with mixed dyslipidemia who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Full data from the STRENGTH trial was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November 2020, confirming that Epanova failed to meet the primary endpoint of CV risk reduction. In addition, in March 2017, Kowa Research Institute (a subsidiary of the Japanese company Kowa Co., Ltd) initiated a Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes trial titled PROMINENT examining the effect of pemafibrate (experimental name K-877) in reducing cardiovascular events in Type II diabetic patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Kowa Research Institute has publicly estimated study completion in May 2022, and if successful, U.S. regulatory approval is estimated in mid-2023.

During 2018, two outcomes studies were completed of omega-3 mixtures which both failed to achieve their primary endpoints of cardiovascular risk reduction and two meta-analyses were published showing that omega-3 mixtures are not effective in lowering cardiovascular risk. Results of these failed outcomes studies and analysis, while not done with VASCEPA, may negatively affect sales of VASCEPA. For example, results of VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL), as announced immediately before the presentation of REDUCE-IT results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the AHA on November 10, 2018, failed to achieve its primary endpoint of lowering cardiovascular events. VITAL was an NIH funded randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2x2 factorial trial of 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3 and 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acid mixture supplementation (Lovaza) for the primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease in a nationwide USA cohort of 25,874 adults not selected for elevated cardiovascular or cancer risk.

Likewise, in 2018, results from A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes (ASCEND) trial were released and showed negligible results for omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily. ASCEND was a British Heart Foundation funded 2x2 factorial design, randomized study to assess whether aspirin 100 mg daily versus placebo and separately, omega-3 fatty acid mixtures 1 gram daily versus placebo, reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in a nationwide UK cohort of over 15,000 individuals with diabetes who do not have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In 2020, an additional Nordic trial known as OMEMI failed to demonstrate a reduction in cardiovascular events with an omega-3 fatty acid mixture. OMEMI, an investigator-initiated, multi-center, randomized clinical trial, was designed to evaluate the effects of daily treatment with omega-3 fatty acids compared with placebo among elderly patients (ages 70-82) with recent myocardial infarction. Patients received 1.8 g omega-3 fatty acids (930 mg EPA and 660 mg DHA) or placebo (corn oil) daily added to standard of care. Results presented in November 2020 at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions showed no significant differences in cardiovascular events between the treatment groups for the composite primary endpoint (non-fatal MI, unscheduled revascularization, stroke, hospitalization for heart failure or all-casuse mortality), nor for the individual componsents of this endpoint after 2 years.

In a meta-analysis, presented in 2018 by the Cochrane Foundation and separately as published in JAMA, additional omega-3 studies were evaluated. Similar to the VITAL and ASCEND studies, most of the studies in these omega-3 meta-analyses were of omega-3 mixtures, including DHA, and most were studies of relatively low doses of omega-3 as is associated with dietary supplementation and/or they studied relatively low risk patient populations. The exception was the JELIS study, conducted in Japan, of highly pure EPA which showed a positive outcome benefit but had significant limitations in its application to a wider population. The negative results from such omega-3 mixture studies could create misleading impressions about the use of omega-3s generally, including VASCEPA, despite REDUCE-IT positive results and the highly-pure and stable EPA active ingredient in VASCEPA and its higher dose regimen.

We are also aware of other pharmaceutical companies that are developing products that, if successfully developed, approved and marketed, would compete with VASCEPA. It is not fully clear at this time what the impact of COVID-19 will be on each of these programs.

We believe Micelle BioPharma Inc., or Micelle, is also developing potential treatments for hypertriglyceridemia based on omega-3 fatty acids. To our knowledge, Micelle, after acquiring SC401 from Sancilio & Company, or Sancilio, is pursuing a regulatory pathway under section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA for its product and submitted an Investigational New Drug Application, or IND, in July 2015. Micelle (Sancilio) completed two pharmacokinetic studies and Phase 2 bioavailability studies (FASTR I&II), with

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one comparing SC401 to Lovaza. We expect the company or a potential partner to initiate a pivotal clinical Phase 3 study as the next step in development.

Matinas BioPharma, Inc., or Matinas, is developing an omega-3-based therapeutic, MAT9001, for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and mixed dyslipidemia. In the fourth quarter of 2014 Matinas filed an IND with the FDA to conduct a human study in the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia and, in June 2015, the company announced topline results for its head-to-head comparative short duration pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of MAT9001 versus VASCEPA in patients under conditions inconsistent with the FDA-approved label for VASCEPA and presented results based on biomarker modification without outcomes data. In September 2017, Matinas announced that it will be seeking a partner company to develop and commercialize MAT9001. In March 2019, Matinas announced that net proceeds from a public offering of common stock would be used for development activities for MAT9001. In March 2020, Matinas announced that it completed the clinical dosing for a comparative clinical bridging bioavailability study and the in-life portion of a 90-day comparative toxicology study. Both studies were conducted to support a planned 505(b)(2) registration pathway. In March, Matinas also initiated an additional Phase 2 head-to-head pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study (ENHANCE-IT) against VASCEPA in patients with elevated triglycerides (150-499 mg/dL), while the study was paused in the first quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment resumed in June and was completed in August 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, Matinas announced topline results from the ENHANCE-IT study, stating that LYPDISO, or MAT9001, did not meet statistical significance over VASCEPA on the primary endpoint of percent change from baseline to end of treatment in triglycerides in the pharmacodynamic, or PD, population. Matinas has announced that despite ENHANCE-IT not achieving its primary endpoint that it intends to continue to seek ways to advance its clinical development of MAT9001.

The Phase 3 program requirement includes a single 12-week study, to support efficacy in SHTG, or AMPLIFY, which is expected to start in June 2021. In June 2018, NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (then-named Gemphire Therapeutics) announced positive topline results from a Phase 2b trial (INDIGO-1) of its drug candidate, gemcabene, in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Gemcabene is an oral, once-daily pill for a number of hypercholesterolemic populations and severe hypertriglyceridemia. In August 2018, the FDA requested that Gemphire conduct an additional long-term toxicity study before commencing any further clinical testing, thereby effectively placing gemcabene on clinical hold. In March 2020 NeuroBo announced the completion of the requested studies, and in May 2020 the company announced that it received written communication from the FDA that the clinical development program for Gemcabene remains on partial clinical hold. In June 2019, Gemphire announced top-line clinical results from a Phase 2 trial in Familial Partial Lipodystrophy (FPL)/NASH in which Gemcabene safely met the primary endpoint in a sub-set of patients. Phase 3 studies for homozygous familial hypercholesterol emia (HoFH), heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) and non-familial hypercholesterolemia in ASCVD patients are planned.

Afimmune Ltd. has an oral, small molecule drug candidate, epeleuton (DS-102), in development for a number of conditions of the liver, lung, and metabolic system, including hypertriglyceridemia and cardiovascular risk reduction, Phase 2 clinical trials are currently ongoing for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and planned for hypertriglyceridemia and Type 2 diabetes (TRIAGE), in the United States. In November 2019, Afimmune Ltd. announced positive results from an exploratory Phase 2 study of epeleuton in patients with NAFLD in which the molecule decreased triglycerides, improved glycemic control, and decreased markers of inflammation. In August 2020, Afimmune reported Ph2a study results of epeleuton in patients with NAFLD. Although epeleuton failed to meet the primary endpoint to demonstrate effects on liver enzyme elevation, it demonstrated significant reduction of triglycerides, HbA1c and potential for CV risk reduction. In September 2020, Afimmune announced the start of TRIglyceride And Glucose control with Epeleuton in Metabolic Syndrome Patients, or TRIAGE, a Phase IIb study of epeleuton in patients with high triglycerides and type 2 diabetes to assess the safety and efficacy of orally administered epeleuton capsules vs placebo in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and type 2 diabetes. Results are expected in fourth quarter of 2021.

Based on prior communications from the FDA, including communications in connection with its review of the ANCHOR indication for VASCEPA, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy for treatment of cardiovascular risk based on biomarker modification without cardiovascular outcomes study data, with the exception of therapies which lower LDL-cholesterol, depending on the circumstances. In particular, it is our understanding that the FDA is not prepared to approve any therapy based primarily on data demonstrating lowering of triglyceride levels. In our view, this position from the FDA did not change based on the REDUCE-IT study particularly in light of significant independence of the positive benefit demonstrated in the REDUCE-IT study from triglyceride levels and benefit from the REDUCE-IT study supporting that the positive effects of VASCEPA are unique to VASCEPA and extend beyond triglyceride reduction. If the FDA were to change this position, it could potentially have a negative impact on Amarin by making it easier for other products to achieve a cardiovascular risk reduction indication without the need in advance to conduct a long and expensive cardiovascular outcomes study.

VASCEPA also faces competition from dietary supplement manufacturers marketing omega-3 products as nutritional supplements. Such products are classified as food, not as prescription drugs or as over-the-counter drugs, by the FDA in the United States. Most regulatory regimes outside the United States are similar in this regard. Some of the promoters of such products have greater resources than us and are not restricted to the same standards as are prescription drugs with respect to promotional claims or

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manufacturing quality, consistency and subsequent product stability. We have taken successful legal action against supplement manufacturers attempting to use the REDUCE-IT results to promote their products. Still, we cannot be sure physicians and pharmacists will view the FDA-approved, prescription-only status, and EPA-only purity and stability of VASCEPA or FDA’s stringent regulatory oversight, as significant advantages versus omega-3 dietary supplements regardless of clinical study results and other scientific data.

On January 28, 2021, the CHMP of the EMA adopted a positive opinion recommending that a marketing authorization be granted for icosapent ethyl, under the brand name VAZKEPA, for cardiovascular risk reduction. Approval for marketing and sale by the EC is expected in April 2021. The cardiovascular risk reduction indication we are seeking in Europe is based on the outcome study results of REDUCE-IT, as opposed to the original indication for treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia which we were granted in the U.S. Following anticipated approval by the EC of VAZKEPA, there is currently no other drug that is approved for cardiovascular risk reduction in at-risk patients in Europe. In addition, there is currently no other direct competition for Canada and the Middle East. However, consistent with the U.S., our competitors include large, well-established pharmaceutical companies, specialty and generic pharmaceutical companies, marketing companies, and specialized cardiovascular treatment companies.

Recent CV outcomes trials and meta-analyses with low and high dose omega-3 fatty acid mixtures containing DHA have not shown substantial benefit in patients receiving contemporary medical therapy, including statins. Due to failed low dose omega-3 CV outcomes trials, the European regulatory authorities have concluded that omega-3 fatty acid medicines (specifically Lovaza®/Omacor®) at a dose of 1-gram per day are not effective in preventing further events for patients who have had a heart attack. The STRENGTH trial of an omega-3 mixture studied at 4-grams per day also failed to demonstrate cardiovascular benefit.

In addition, VAZKEPA also faces competition from dietary supplement manufacturers marketing omega-3 productions as nutritional supplements. In Europe, such products are classified as food, not as prescription drugs or as over-the-counter drugs.

As generic company competitors seek to compete with copies of VASCEPA in the United States and elsewhere we could face additional challenges to our patents and additional patent litigation.

The FDCA, as amended by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, as amended, or the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, permits the FDA to approve ANDAs for generic versions of brand name drugs like VASCEPA. We refer to the process of generic drug applications as the “ANDA process.” The ANDA process permits competitor companies to obtain marketing approval for a drug product with the same active ingredient, dosage form, strength, route of administration, and labeling as the approved brand name drug, but without having to conduct and submit clinical studies to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed generic product. In place of such clinical studies, an ANDA applicant needs to submit data demonstrating that its product is bioequivalent to the brand name product, usually based on pharmacokinetic studies.

As an alternate path to FDA approval for modifications of products previously approved by the FDA, an applicant may submit a new drug application, or NDA, under Section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA (enacted as part of the Hatch-Waxman Amendments). This statutory provision permits the filing of an NDA where at least some of the information required for approval comes from studies not conducted by or for the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference from the owner of the data. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit the applicant to rely upon the FDA findings of safety and effectiveness of a drug that has obtained FDA approval based on preclinical or clinical studies conducted by others. In addition to relying on FDA prior findings of safety and effectiveness for a referenced drug product, the FDA may require companies to perform additional preclinical or clinical studies to support approval of the modification to the referenced product.

If an application for a generic version of a branded product or a Section 505(b)(2) application relies on a prior FDA finding of safety and effectiveness of a previously-approved product including an alternative strength thereof, the applicant is required to certify to the FDA concerning any patents listed for the referenced product in the FDA publication called “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” otherwise known as the “Orange Book.” Specifically, the applicant must certify in the application that:

 

(I)

there is no patent information listed for the reference drug;

 

(II)

the listed patent has expired for the reference drug;

 

(III)

the listed patent for the reference drug has not expired, but will expire on a particular date and approval is sought after patent expiration; or

 

(IV)

the listed patent for the reference drug is invalid, unenforceable, or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use or sale of the product for which the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA is submitted.

The Hatch-Waxman Amendments require an applicant for a drug product that relies, in whole or in part, on the FDA’s prior approval of VASCEPA, to notify us of its application, a “paragraph IV” notice, if the applicant is seeking to market its product prior to the expiration of the patents that both claim VASCEPA and are listed in the Orange Book. A bona fide paragraph IV notice may not

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be given under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments until after the generic company receives from the FDA an acknowledgement letter stating that its ANDA is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review.

The paragraph IV notice is required to contain a detailed factual and legal statement explaining the basis for the applicant’s opinion that the proposed product does not infringe our patents, that the relevant patents are invalid, or both. After receipt of a valid notice, the branded product manufacturer has the option of bringing a patent infringement suit in federal district court against any generic company seeking approval for its product within 45 days from the date of receipt of each notice. If such a suit is commenced within this 45-day period, the Hatch-Waxman Amendments provide for a 30-month stay on FDA’s ability to give final approval to the proposed generic product, which period begins on the date the paragraph IV notice is received. Generally, during a period of time in which generic applications may be submitted for a branded product based on a product’s regulatory exclusivity status, if no patents are listed in the Orange Book before the date on which a complete ANDA application for a product (excluding an amendment or supplement to the application) is submitted, an ANDA application could be approved by FDA without regard to a stay. For products entitled to five-year exclusivity status, the Hatch-Waxman Amendments provide that an ANDA application may be submitted after four years following FDA approval of the branded product if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement to a patent listed in the Orange Book. In such a case, the 30-month stay runs from the end of the five-year exclusivity period. Statutory stays may be shortened or lengthened if either party fails to cooperate in the litigation and it may be terminated if the court decides the case in less than 30 months. If the litigation is resolved in favor of the ANDA applicant before the expiration of the 30-month period, the stay will be immediately lifted and the FDA’s review of the application may be completed. Such litigation is often time-consuming and costly, and may result in generic competition if such patents are not upheld or if the generic competitor is found not to infringe such patents.

In addition to the ANDA patent litigation described above, we could face patent litigation related to the patents filed in the Orange Book related to the REDUCE-IT study. A three-year period of exclusivity under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments is generally granted for a drug product that contains an active moiety that has been previously approved, such as when the application contains reports of new clinical investigations (other than bioavailability studies) conducted by the sponsor that were essential to approval of the application. Accordingly, we received three-year exclusivity in connection with the approval of our sNDA for REDUCE-IT study results. Such three-year exclusivity protection precludes, unless otherwise agreed, the FDA from approving a marketing application for an ANDA, a product candidate that the FDA views as having the same conditions of approval as VASCEPA (for example, the same indication and/or other conditions of use), or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted to the FDA with VASCEPA as the reference product until December 13, 2022, three years from the date of FDA approval of the REDUCE-IT sNDA. While this three-year exclusivity would generally prevent such an approval based on our REDUCE-IT indication during such time, it does not preclude tentative or final approval of an ANDA based on our MARINE indication. The FDA may accept and commence review of such REDUCE-IT-related applications during the three-year exclusivity period. Such three-year exclusivity grant does not prevent a company from challenging the validity of REDUCE-IT patents during such period. This three-year form of exclusivity may also not prevent the FDA from approving an NDA that relies only on its own data to support the change or innovation. Regulatory exclusivity is in addition to exclusivity afforded by issued patents related to VASCEPA.

We may also face challenges to the validity of our patents through a procedure known as inter partes review. Inter partes review is a trial proceeding conducted through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Such a proceeding could be introduced against us within the statutory one-year window triggered by service of a complaint for infringement related to an ANDA filing or at any time by an entity not served with a complaint. Such proceedings may review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent on specified substantive grounds such as allegations that a claim is obvious on the basis of certain prior art.

We intend to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights relating to VASCEPA, but we cannot predict the outcome of the pending lawsuits, any appeals, or any subsequently filed lawsuits or inter partes review.

Generally, if an ANDA filer meets the approval requirements for a generic version of VASCEPA to the satisfaction of the FDA under its ANDA, FDA may grant tentative approval to the ANDA during a Hatch-Waxman 30-month stay period and during the Hatch-Waxman 36-month regulatory exclusivity period. A tentative approval is issued to an ANDA applicant when its application is approvable prior to the expiration of any exclusivities applicable to the branded, reference listed drug product. A tentative approval does not allow the applicant to market the generic drug product and postpones the final ANDA approval until applicable exclusivity protections have expired.

Once a generic version of VASCEPA is available in the market, whether based on a generic product with a MARINE indication label or REDUCE-IT indication label, it is often used to fill a prescription for any intended use of the drug. If final approval of a generic ANDA is granted and an ANDA filer is able to supply the product in significant commercial quantities, generic companies could introduce generic versions of VASCEPA in the market, as Hikma did in November 2020, although on a limited scale. Although any such introduction of a generic version of VASCEPA would also be subject to any litigation settlement terms and patent

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infringement claims (including any new claims and those that may then be subject to an appeal), pursuing such litigation may be prohibitively costly or could put a substantial constraint on our resources.

Any significant degree of generic market entry would limit our U.S. sales, which would have a significant adverse impact on our business and results of operations. In addition, even if a competitor’s effort to introduce a generic product is ultimately unsuccessful, the perception that such development is in progress and/or news related to such progress could materially affect the reputation of VASCEPA or the perceived value of our company and our stock price. For example, our stock price suffered a significant decline following our announcement of the Nevada Court’s ruling in favor of the Defendants and the Federal Circuit ruling upholding the Nevada Court’s ruling.

VASCEPA is a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid product. Omega-3 fatty acids are also marketed by other companies as non-prescription dietary supplements. As a result, VASCEPA is subject to non-prescription competition and consumer substitution.

Our only product, VASCEPA, is a prescription-only form of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid in ethyl ester form. Mixtures of omega-3 fatty acids in triglyceride form are naturally occurring substances contained in various foods, including fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are marketed by others in a number of chemical forms as non-prescription dietary supplements. We cannot be sure physicians will view the pharmaceutical grade purity and proven efficacy and safety of VASCEPA as having a superior therapeutic profile to unproven and loosely regulated omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplements. In addition, the FDA has not yet enforced to the full extent of its regulatory authority what we view as illegal claims made by certain omega-3 fatty acid product manufacturers to the extent we believe appropriate under applicable law and regulations, for example, claims that certain of such chemically altered products are dietary supplements and that certain of such products reduce triglyceride levels or could reduce cardiovascular risk.

Also, for over a decade, subject to certain limitations, the FDA has expressly permitted dietary supplement manufacturers that sell supplements containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and/or DHA to make the following qualified health claim directly to consumers: Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Such companies are not, however, permitted, based on FDA enforcement activity, to make claims that suggest or imply treatment of cardiovascular disease.

These factors enable dietary supplements to compete with VASCEPA to a certain degree. Although we have taken steps to address these competitive issues, and plan to continue to do so vigorously, we may not be successful in such efforts.

For example, on October 29, 2018, Amarin filed two lawsuits in U.S. federal court, each against a different dietary supplement company for unlawfully using the results from the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study to falsely and deceptively claim that their omega-3 dietary supplement products are effective in reducing cardiovascular risk. The defendants in the cases were Omax Health, Inc., or Omax, and The Coromega Company, Inc., or Coromega. In April 2019, based on the strength of our case and available legal remedies, Omax and Coromega settled these litigations under terms by which Omax and Coromega agreed to substantially all the demands in Amarin’s complaints. Under the settlements, Coromega and Omax agreed to publicly correct their prior statements that wrongly suggested the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes trial supports the safety and efficacy of omega-3 dietary supplements. Each dietary supplement company also acknowledged that as a general matter under federal law dietary supplements may be lawfully marketed to supplement the diet, but they cannot be lawfully marketed to treat, mitigate, or prevent disease, such as cardiovascular disease.

Similarly, on August 30, 2017, Amarin filed a lawsuit with the United States International Trade Commission, or the ITC, against manufacturers, importers, and distributors of products containing synthetically produced omega-3 products in ethyl ester or re-esterified triglyceride form that contain more EPA than DHA or any other single component for use in or as dietary supplements. The lawsuit sought an investigation by the ITC regarding potentially unfair methods of competition and unfair acts involving the importation and sale of articles in the United States that injure or threaten injury to a domestic industry. In October 2017, the ITC determined to not institute our requested investigation. We appealed this determination to the U.S. Federal Circuit, but that court upheld ITC’s determination. On July 30, 2019, we filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to appeal the Federal Circuit decision, which petition was denied on December 9, 2019, ending this litigation. We have also engaged with FDA on the topic of synthetically produced omega-3 products through the citizen’s petition process and otherwise.

In addition, to the extent the net price of VASCEPA after insurance and offered discounts is significantly higher than the prices of commercially available omega-3 fatty acids marketed by other companies as dietary supplements (through that lack of coverage by insurers or otherwise), physicians and pharmacists may recommend these commercial alternatives instead of writing or filling prescriptions for VASCEPA or patients may elect on their own to take commercially available omega-3 fatty acids. Also, insurance plans may increasingly impose policies that favor supplement use over VASCEPA. While VASCEPA is priced comparatively with, or in some cases lower than, many competing treatments, particularly when taking into account insurance coverage, such pricing might not be sufficient for healthcare providers or patients to elect VASCEPA over alternative treatments that may be perceived as less expense or more convenient to access. If healthcare providers or patients favor dietary supplements over prescribing VASCEPA, we

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may be constrained in how we price our product of VASCEPA’s market acceptance may be less than expected, which would have a negative impact on our revenues and results of operations.

The commercial value to us of sales of VASCEPA outside the United States may be smaller than we anticipate, including adequacy of product reimbursement such as in Europe, which can vary from country to country resulting in potential patient access restrictions.

There can be no assurance as to the adequacy for commercial success of VASCEPA outside the United States. For example, even if we obtain approval to commercialize VAZKEPA in Europe or we and Edding obtain marketing approval for VASCEPA in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, or the China Territory, applicable regulatory agencies may impose restrictions on the product’s conditions for use, distribution or marketing and in some cases may impose ongoing requirements for post-market surveillance, post-approval studies or clinical trials.

Also, there is a degree of unpredictability with regard to the eventual pricing and reimbursement levels of medications in markets outside the United States. In some foreign countries, including major markets in Europe, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with individual governmental authorities can take six to 12 months or longer after the receipt of regulatory marketing approval for a product. The time required to secure reimbursement tends to vary from country to country and cannot be reliably predicted at this time. In certain European countries, securing product reimbursement is a requisite to launching. In all countries securing adequate reimbursement is a requisite for commercial success of any therapeutic. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we may be required to conduct a pharmacoeconomic study that compares the cost-effectiveness of VASCEPA to other available therapies. Such pharmacoeconomic studies can be costly and the results uncertain. Our business could be harmed if reimbursement of our products is unavailable or limited in scope or amount or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels. If the pricing and reimbursement levels of VASCEPA are lower than we anticipate, then affordability of, and market access to, VASCEPA may be adversely affected and thus market potential in these territories would suffer.

We or our partners may even choose to not proceed with marketing VASCEPA in a market, even after a regulatory approval, due to negative commercial dynamics. Furthermore, with regard to any indications for which we may gain approval in territories outside the United States, the number of actual patients with the condition included in such approved indication may be smaller than we anticipate. Further, we could face competition from products similar or deemed equivalent to VASCEPA in various jurisdictions through regulatory pathways that are more lenient than in the United States or in jurisdictions in which we do not have exclusivity from regulations or intellectual property. If any of these market dynamics exist, the commercial potential in these territories for our product would suffer.

Our products and marketing efforts are subject to extensive post-approval government regulation.

Once a product candidate receives FDA marketing approval, numerous post-approval requirements apply. Among other things, the holder of an approved NDA is subject to periodic and other monitoring and reporting obligations enforced by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, including obligations to monitor and report adverse events and instances of the failure of a product to meet the specifications in the approved application. Application holders must also submit advertising and other promotional material to regulatory authorities and report on ongoing clinical trials.

With respect to sales and marketing activities, advertising and promotional materials must comply with FDA rules in addition to other applicable federal and local laws in the United States and in other countries. The result of our First Amendment litigation and settlement may cause the government to scrutinize our promotional efforts or otherwise monitor our business more closely. Industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities also must comply with FDA and other requirements. In the United States, the distribution of product samples to physicians must comply with the requirements of the U.S. Prescription Drug Marketing Act. Manufacturing facilities remain subject to FDA inspection and must continue to adhere to the FDA’s pharmaceutical current good manufacturing practice requirements, or cGMPs. Application holders must obtain FDA approval for product and manufacturing changes, depending on the nature of the change.

We also are subject to the federal transparency requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or collectively the ACA, enacted in March 2010, which require manufacturers of certain drugs, devices, biologics, and medical supplies to report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals and physician ownership and investment interests. We may also be subject, directly or indirectly through our customers and partners, to various fraud and abuse laws, including, without limitation, the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute, U.S. False Claims Act, and similar state laws, which impact, among other things, our proposed sales, marketing, and scientific/educational grant programs. We participate in the U.S. Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the Federal Supply Schedule, or FSS, of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the VA, and other government drug programs, and, accordingly, are subject to complex laws and regulations regarding reporting and payment obligations. We must also comply with requirements to collect and report adverse events and product complaints associated with our

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products. Our activities are also subject to U.S. federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws, non-compliance with which could subject us to significant liability. Similar requirements exist in many of these areas in other countries.

Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet post-approval requirements can result in criminal prosecution, fines or other penalties, injunctions, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, denial or withdrawal of pre-marketing product approvals, or refusal to allow us to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts. We may also be held responsible for the non-compliance of our partners, such as our former co-promotion partner Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. For example, in June 2020, we received a civil investigative demand, or CID, from the U.S. Department of Justice, or the DOJ, informing us that the DOJ is investigating whether aspects of our promotional speaker programs and copayment waiver programs during the period from January 1, 2015 to the present violated the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute and the U.S. False Claims Act in relation to the sale and marketing of VASCEPA by us and our previous co-marketing partner, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. The CID requires us to produce documents and answer written questions, or interrogatories, relevant to the specified time period. We are cooperating with the DOJ. We cannot predict when the investigation will be resolved, the outcome of the investigations or its potential impact on our business. Such investigations can be lengthy, costly and could materially affect and disrupt our business. If the government determines that we have violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, we could be subject to significant civil and criminal fines and penalties. In addition, even if we comply with FDA and other requirements, new information regarding the safety or effectiveness of a product could lead the FDA to modify or withdraw a product approval. Newly discovered or developed safety or effectiveness data may require changes to a drug’s approved labeling and marketing, including the addition of new warnings and contraindications, and also may require the implementation of other risk management measures. Adverse regulatory action, whether pre- or post-approval, can potentially lead to product liability claims and increase our product liability exposure. We must also compete against other products in qualifying for coverage and reimbursement under applicable third-party payment and insurance programs. In addition, all of the above factors may also apply to any regulatory approval for VASCEPA obtained in territories outside the United States. Given our inexperience with marketing and commercializing products outside the United States, in certain territories we may need to rely on third parties, such as our partners in Canada, China and the Middle East, to assist us in dealing with any such issues.

Legislative or regulatory reform of the healthcare system in the United States and foreign jurisdictions may affect our ability to profitably sell VASCEPA.

Our ability to commercialize our future products successfully, alone or with collaborators, will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for the products will be available from government and health administration authorities, private health insurers and other third-party payors. The continuing efforts of the U.S. and foreign governments, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce healthcare costs may adversely affect our ability to set prices for our products which we believe are fair, and our ability to generate revenues and achieve and maintain profitability.

Specifically, in both the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes to the healthcare system in ways that could affect our ability to sell our products profitably. For example, on August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals for spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction, which triggered the legislation’s automatic reductions. In concert with subsequent legislation, this has resulted in aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of, on average, 2% per fiscal year through 2030 unless Congress takes additional action. These cuts reduce reimbursement payments related to our products, which could potentially negatively impact our revenue. However, these Medicare sequester reductions have been suspended through March 31, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposed legislation, if passed, would extend this suspension until the end of the pandemic. Also for example, the ACA has substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers and has significantly impacted the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Among other cost-containment measures, the ACA establishes:

 

an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic agents;

 

a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which pharmaceutical manufacturers who wish to have their drugs covered under Part D must offer discounts to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period; and

 

a new formula that increases the rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extends the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations.

There has been increasing legislative and enforcement interest in the United States with respect to specialty drug pricing practices. Specifically, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. On July 24, 2020 and September 13, 2020, President Trump announced several executive orders related to prescription drug

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pricing that seek to implement several of the administration’s proposals. In response, the FDA released a final rule on September 24, 2020, which went into effect on November 30, 2020, providing guidance for states to build and submit importation plans for drugs from Canada. Further, on November 20, 2020 CMS issued an Interim Final Rule implementing the Most Favored Nation, or MFN. Model under which Medicare Part B reimbursement rates will be calculated for certain drugs and biologicals based on the lowest price drug manufacturers receive in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries with a similar gross domestic product per capita. The MFN Model regulations mandate participation by identified Part B providers and will apply in all U.S. states and territories for a seven-year period beginning January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2027. The Interim Final Rule has not been finalized and is subject to revision and challenge. On November 20, 2020, HHS finalized a regulation removing safe harbor protection for price reductions from pharmaceutical manufacturers to plan sponsors under Part D, either directly or through pharmacy benefit managers, unless the price reduction is required by law. The rule also creates a new safe harbor for price reductions reflected at the point-of-sale, as well as a safe harbor for certain fixed fee arrangements between pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers. Although a number of these and other proposed measures may require authorization through additional legislation to become effective, and the Biden administration may reverse or otherwise change these measures, Congress has indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative measures to control drug costs. At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented 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. For example, the State of California enacted legislation that requires notice for exceeding specified limits on annual drug price increases and other legislation that seeks to limit the use of co-pay cards in certain situations.

In addition, it is time-consuming and expensive for us to go through the process of seeking coverage and reimbursement from Medicare and private payors. Our products may not be considered cost effective, and government and third-party private health insurance coverage and reimbursement may not be available to patients for any of our future products or sufficient to allow us to sell our products on a competitive and profitable basis. Our results of operations could be adversely affected by ACA and by other healthcare reforms that may be enacted or adopted in the future. In addition, increasing emphasis on managed care in the United States will continue to put pressure on the pricing of pharmaceutical products. For example, proposals are being considered to expand the use of dietary supplements in addition to or in place of drugs in government and private payor plans. In addition, cost control initiatives could decrease the price that we or any potential collaborators could receive for any of our future products and could adversely affect our profitability.

These and similar regulatory dynamics, including the recent entry of a generic version of VASCEPA into the market, and the potential for additional generic version in the near term, can affect our ability to commercialize VASCEPA on commercially reasonable terms and limit the commercial value of VASCEPA.

If we fail to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program or other governmental pricing programs, we could be subject to additional reimbursement requirements, penalties, sanctions and fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

We participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, the 340B drug pricing program, and the VA’s FSS pricing program. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, we are required to pay a rebate to each state Medicaid program for our covered outpatient drugs that are dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries and paid for by a state Medicaid program as a condition of having federal funds being made available to the states for our drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. Those rebates are based on pricing data reported by us on a monthly and quarterly basis to CMS, the federal agency that administers the Medicaid Drug Rebate program. These data include the average manufacturer price and, in the case of innovator products, the best price for each drug which, in general, represents the lowest price available from the manufacturer to any entity in the U.S. in any pricing structure, calculated to include all sales and associated rebates, discounts and other price concessions. Our failure to comply with these price reporting and rebate payment obligations could negatively impact our financial results.

The ACA made significant changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate program. CMS issued a final regulation, which became effective on April 1, 2016, to implement the changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate program under the ACA. The issuance of the final regulation has increased and will continue to increase our costs and the complexity of compliance, has been and will continue to be time-consuming to implement, and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, particularly if CMS challenges the approach we take in our implementation of the final regulation.

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Federal law requires that any company that participates in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program also participate in the Public Health Service’s 340B drug pricing program in order for federal funds to be available for the manufacturer’s drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. The 340B program requires participating manufacturers to agree to charge statutorily defined covered entities no more than the 340B “ceiling price” for the manufacturer’s covered outpatient drugs. These 340B covered entities include a variety of community health clinics and other entities that receive health services grants from the Public Health Service, as well as hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients. The 340B ceiling price is calculated using a statutory formula based on the average manufacturer price and Medicaid rebate amount for the covered outpatient drug as calculated under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, and in general, products subject to Medicaid price reporting and rebate liability are also subject to the 340B ceiling price calculation and discount requirement. Any additional future changes to the definition of average manufacturer price and the Medicaid rebate amount under the ACA, other legislation, or in regulation could affect our 340B ceiling price calculations and negatively impact our results of operations.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA, which administers the 340B program, issued a final regulation regarding the calculation of the 340B ceiling price and the imposition of civil monetary penalties on manufacturers that knowingly and intentionally overcharge covered entities, which became effective on January 1, 2019. It is currently unclear how HRSA will apply its enforcement authority under the new regulation. We also are required to report our 340B ceiling prices to HRSA on a quarterly basis. Implementation of the civil monetary penalties regulation and the issuance of any other final regulations and guidance could affect our obligations under the 340B program in ways we cannot anticipate. In addition, legislation may be introduced that, if passed, would further expand the 340B program to additional covered entities or would require participating manufacturers to agree to provide 340B discounted pricing on drugs used in the inpatient setting.  

Pricing and rebate calculations vary across products and programs, are complex, and are often subject to interpretation by us, governmental or regulatory agencies and the courts. In the case of our Medicaid pricing data, if we become aware that our reporting for a prior quarter was incorrect, or has changed as a result of recalculation of the pricing data, we are obligated to resubmit the corrected data for up to three years after those data originally were due. Such restatements and recalculations increase our costs for complying with the laws and regulations governing the Medicaid Drug Rebate program and could result in an overage or underage in our rebate liability for past quarters. Price recalculations also may affect the ceiling price at which we are required to offer our products under the 340B program or could require us to issue refunds to 340B covered entities.

Significant civil monetary penalties can be applied if we are found to have knowingly submitted any false pricing information to CMS, or if we fail to submit the required price data on a timely basis. Such conduct also could be grounds for CMS to terminate our Medicaid drug rebate agreement, in which case federal payments may not be available under Medicaid or Medicare Part B for our covered outpatient drugs. Significant civil monetary penalties also can be applied if we are found to have knowingly and intentionally charged 340B covered entities more than the statutorily mandated ceiling price. We cannot assure you that our submissions will not be found by CMS or HRSA to be incomplete or incorrect.

In order to be eligible to have our products paid for with federal funds under the Medicaid and Medicare Part B programs and purchased by certain federal agencies and grantees, as noted above, we participate in the VA’s FSS pricing program. As part of this program, we are obligated to make our products available for procurement on an FSS contract under which we must comply with standard government terms and conditions and charge a price that is no higher than the statutory Federal Ceiling Price, or FCP, to four federal agencies (the VA, U.S. Department of Defense, or DOD, Public Health Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard). The FCP is based on the Non-Federal Average Manufacturer Price, or Non-FAMP, which we calculate and report to the VA on a quarterly and annual basis. Pursuant to applicable law, knowing provision of false information in connection with a Non-FAMP filing can subject a manufacturer to significant penalties for each item of false information. These obligations also contain extensive disclosure and certification requirements.

We also participate in the Tricare Retail Pharmacy program, under which we pay quarterly rebates on utilization of innovator products that are dispensed through the Tricare Retail Pharmacy network to Tricare beneficiaries. The rebates are calculated as the difference between the annual Non-FAMP and FCP. We are required to list our covered products on a Tricare Agreement in order for these products to be eligible for DOD formulary inclusion. If we overcharge the government in connection with our FSS contract or Tricare Agreement, whether due to a misstated FCP or otherwise, we are required to refund the difference to the government. Failure to make necessary disclosures and/or to identify contract overcharges can result in allegations against us under the False Claims Act and other laws and regulations. Unexpected refunds to the government, and responding to a government investigation or enforcement action, would be expensive and time-consuming, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

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Changes in reimbursement procedures by government and other third-party payors may limit our ability to market and sell our approved drugs. These changes could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

In the U.S. and abroad, sales of pharmaceutical drugs are dependent, in part, on the availability of reimbursement to the consumer from third-party payors, such as government and private insurance plans. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged for medical products and services. Some third-party payor benefit packages restrict reimbursement, charge copayments to patients, or do not provide coverage for specific drugs or drug classes.

In addition, certain healthcare providers are moving toward a managed care system in which such providers contract to provide comprehensive healthcare services, including prescription drugs, for a fixed cost per person. We are unable to predict the reimbursement policies employed by third-party healthcare payors.

We expect to experience pricing and reimbursement pressures in connection with the sale of our products due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations and additional legislative and executive proposals. In addition, we may confront limitations in insurance coverage for our products. If we fail to successfully secure and maintain reimbursement coverage for our approved drugs or are significantly delayed in doing so, we may have difficulty achieving market acceptance of our approved drugs and investigational drug candidates for which we obtain approval, and our business may be harmed. Congress has enacted healthcare reform and may enact further reform, which could adversely affect the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Ongoing healthcare legislative and regulatory reform measures may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Certain provisions of the ACA have been subject to judicial challenges, as well as efforts to repeal or replace them or to alter their interpretation or implementation. Since January 2017, the Trump administration has signed Executive Orders designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the ACA. One Executive Order directs federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the ACA to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the ACA that would impose a fiscal or regulatory burden on states, individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. The second Executive Order terminated the cost-sharing subsidies under the ACA. Nineteen state Attorneys General filed suit to stop the administration from terminating the subsidies, but on July 18, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the case without prejudice. Further, on June 14, 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that, due to Congressional appropriations riders that prohibited the HHS from paying out more in risk corridor payments than it collected, HHS was not required to pay more than $12.0 billion in ACA risk corridor payments owed to insurers under the risk corridor formula. On November 6, 2018, the Federal Circuit declined to rehear the case en banc. This decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which on April 27, 2020, reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision and remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, concluding the government has an obligation to pay these risk corridor payments under the relevant formula. It is not clear what effect this result will have on our business, but we will continue to monitor any developments. Moreover, the Tax Act included a provision that eliminated the tax-based shared responsibility payment for individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage under section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate,” effective January 1, 2019. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, or the BBA, among other things, amends the ACA to create a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 70% (an increase from 50% effective as of January 1, 2019) point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period as a condition for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D. Under the Trump Administration, CMS issued regulations that gave states greater flexibility, starting in 2020, in the identification of the essential health benefits benchmarks for non-grandfathered individual and small group market health insurance coverage, including plans sold through the health insurance exchanges established under the ACA. On December 14, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled (i) that the “individual mandate” was unconstitutional as a result of the associated tax penalty being repealed by Congress as part of the Tax Act; and (ii) the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA, as a result the entire ACA is invalid. On December 18, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but remanded the case to the district court to reconsider the severability question. On March 2, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petitions for writs of certiorari to review this case and held oral arguments on November 10, 2020. It is unclear how the ultimate decision in this case, which is now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, or other efforts to repeal, replace, or invalidate the ACA or its implementing regulations, or portions thereof, will impact our business. We will continue to evaluate the effect that the ACA and its possible repeal, replacement, or invalidation, in whole or in part, has on our business.

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The Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 included a $135.0 billion allowance to support legislative proposals seeking to reduce drug prices, increase competition, lower out-of-pocket drug costs for patients, and increase patient access to lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs. On March 10, 2020, the Trump administration sent “principles” for drug pricing to Congress, calling for legislation that would, among other things, cap Medicare Part D beneficiary out-of-pocket pharmacy expenses, provide an option to cap Medicare Part D beneficiary monthly out-of-pocket expenses, and place limits on pharmaceutical price increases. Further, the Trump administration also previously released a “Blueprint” to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contains additional proposals to increase manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products and reduce the out of pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers. The HHS has already started the process of soliciting feedback on some of these measures and, at the same time, is immediately implementing others under its existing authority. For example, in May 2019, CMS issued a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option of using step therapy for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020. However, it is unclear whether the Biden administration will challenge, reverse, revoke or otherwise modify these executive and administrative actions after January 20, 2021. In addition, there have been several changes to the 340B drug pricing program, which imposes ceilings on prices that drug manufacturers can charge for medications sold to certain health care facilities. On December 27, 2018, the District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated a reimbursement formula change under the 340B drug pricing program, and CMS subsequently altered the FYs 2019 and 2018 reimbursement formula on specified covered outpatient drugs, or SCODs. The court ruled this change was not an “adjustment” which was within the Secretary’s discretion to make but was instead a fundamental change in the reimbursement calculation. However, most recently, on July 31, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the district court’s decision and found that the changes were within the Secretary’s authority. On September 14, 2020, the plaintiffs-appellees filed a Petition for Rehearing En Banc (i.e., before the full court), but was denied on October 16, 2020. It is unclear how these developments could affect covered hospitals who might purchase our future products and affect the rates we may charge such facilities for our approved products in the future, if any. We expect that the healthcare reform measures that have been adopted and may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria, and new payment methodologies, and in additional downward pressure on coverage and payment and the price that we receive for any approved product, and could seriously harm our future revenues. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private third-party payors.

There have been, and likely will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals at the foreign, federal and state levels directed at broadening the availability of healthcare and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. The enactment and implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability, or commercialize our product. Such reforms could have an adverse effect on anticipated revenue from product candidates that we may successfully develop and for which we may obtain regulatory approval and may affect our overall financial condition and ability to develop product candidates.

Failure to comply with health and data protection laws and regulations could lead to government enforcement actions (which could include civil or criminal penalties), private litigation, and/or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business.

We and any potential collaborators may be subject to federal, state, and foreign data protection laws and regulations (i.e., laws and regulations that address privacy and data security). In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations, including federal health information privacy laws, state data breach notification laws, state health information privacy laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws (e.g., Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act), that govern the collection, use, disclosure and protection of health-related and other personal information could apply to our operations or the operations of our collaborators. In addition, we may obtain health information from third parties (including research institutions from which we obtain clinical trial data) that are subject to privacy and security requirements under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA. Although we are not directly subject to HIPAA – other than with respect to providing certain employee benefits – we could potentially be subject to criminal penalties if we, our affiliates, or our agents knowingly obtain, use, or disclose individually identifiable health information maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity in a manner that is not authorized or permitted by HIPAA. In addition, state laws govern the privacy and security of health information in specified circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Compliance with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to collect, use and disclose data, or in some cases, impact our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in government enforcement actions (which could include civil, criminal and administrative penalties), private litigation, and/or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business. Moreover, clinical trial subjects, employees and other individuals about whom we or our potential collaborators obtain personal information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may limit our ability to collect, use and disclose the information. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights, failed to comply with data protection laws, or breached our contractual obligations, even if we are not found liable, could be expensive and time-consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business.

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European data collection is governed by restrictive regulations governing the use, processing and cross-border transfer of personal information.

The REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes trial was conducted in part through clinical sites in the EU. As a result, we are subject to additional privacy restrictions. The collection and use of personal health data in the EU is governed by the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The GDPR imposes several requirements relating to the legal basis for processing personal data which may include the consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, the information provided to the individuals and the security and confidentiality of the personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the EU to the United States. Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR, and the related national data protection laws of the EU Member States may result in restrictions against regulatory approval in the EU or substantial fines for breaches of the data protection rules. The GDPR may impose additional responsibility and liability in relation to personal data that we process and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms ensuring compliance with these and/or new data protection rules. This may be onerous and adversely affect our business, financial condition, prospects and results of operations.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies strictly regulate the promotional claims that may be made about prescription products and promotional efforts such as speaker programs. If we or our partners are found to have improperly promoted uses, efficacy or safety of VASCEPA or otherwise are found to have violated the law or applicable regulations, we may become subject to significant fines and other liability. The government may seek to find means to prevent our promotion of truthful and non-misleading information beyond the current court ruling and litigation settlement or seek to find violations of other laws or regulations in connection with the promotional efforts we undertake on our own or through third parties.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies strictly regulate the promotional claims that may be made about prescription products. In particular, in general, the U.S. government’s position has been that a product may not be promoted for uses that are not approved by the FDA as reflected in the product’s approved labeling. The Federal government has levied large civil and criminal fines against companies for alleged improper promotion and has enjoined several companies from engaging in off-label promotion. The FDA has also requested that companies enter into consent decrees or permanent injunctions under which specified promotional conduct is changed or curtailed. Even though we received FDA marketing approval for VASCEPA for the MARINE indication and for cardiovascular risk reduction based on the REDUCE-IT study, and we believe the First Amendment court ruling and litigation settlement affords us a degree of protection for other promotional efforts, physicians may still prescribe VASCEPA to their patients for use in the treatment of conditions that are not included as part of the indication statement in our FDA-approved VASCEPA label or our settlement. If we are found to have promoted VASCEPA outside the terms of the litigation settlement or in violation of what federal or state government may determine to be acceptable, we may become subject to significant government fines and other related liability, such as under the FDCA, the False Claims Act, or other theories of liability. Government may also seek to hold us responsible for the non-compliance of our former co-promotion partner, Kowa, or our commercialization partners outside the United States or other third-parties that we retain to help us implement our business plan.

In addition, incentives exist under applicable laws that encourage competitors, employees and physicians to report violations of rules governing promotional activities for pharmaceutical products. These incentives could lead to so-called “whistleblower lawsuits” as part of which such persons seek to collect a portion of moneys allegedly overbilled to government agencies due to, for example, promotion of pharmaceutical products beyond labeled claims. These incentives could also lead to suits that we have mischaracterized a competitor’s product in the marketplace and we may, as a result, be sued for alleged damages to our competitors. Such lawsuits, whether with or without merit, are typically time-consuming and costly to defend. Such suits may also result in related shareholder lawsuits, which are also costly to defend.

In June 2020, we received a civil investigative demand, or CID, from the U.S. Department of Justice, or the DOJ, informing us that the DOJ is investigating whether aspects of our promotional speaker programs and copayment waiver program during the period from January 1, 2015 to the present violated the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute and the U.S. False Claims Act in relation to the sale and marketing of VASCEPA by us and our previous co-marketing partner, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. The CID requires us to produce documents and answer written questions, or interrogatories, relevant to the specified time period. We are cooperating with the DOJ. We cannot predict when the investigation will be resolved, the outcome of the investigation or its potential impact on our business. Such investigations can be lengthy, costly and could materially affect and disrupt our business. If the government determines that we have violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, we could be subject to significant civil and criminal fines and penalties.

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We may not be successful in developing and receiving regulatory approval for VASCEPA in other jurisdictions or marketing future products if we cannot meet the extensive regulatory requirements of regulatory agencies such as for quality, safety, efficacy and data privacy.

The success of our research and development efforts is dependent in part upon our ability, and the ability of our partners or potential partners, to meet regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions where we or our partners or potential partners ultimately intend to sell such products once approved. The development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products are subject to extensive regulation by governmental authorities in the United States and elsewhere. In the United States, the FDA generally requires preclinical testing and clinical trials of each drug to establish its safety and efficacy and extensive pharmaceutical development to ensure its quality before its introduction into the market. Regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions impose similar requirements. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals is lengthy and expensive and the issuance of such approvals is uncertain. The commencement and rate of completion of clinical trials and the timing of obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities may be delayed by many factors, including, among others:

 

the lack of efficacy during clinical trials;

 

the inability to manufacture sufficient quantities of qualified materials under cGMPs for use in clinical trials;

 

slower than expected rates of patient recruitment;

 

the inability to observe patients adequately after treatment;

 

changes in regulatory requirements for clinical trials or preclinical studies;

 

the emergence of unforeseen safety issues in clinical trials or preclinical studies;

 

delay, suspension, or termination of a trial by the institutional review board responsible for overseeing the study at a particular study site;

 

unanticipated changes to the requirements imposed by regulatory authorities on the extent, nature or timing of studies to be conducted on quality, safety and efficacy;

 

compliance with laws and regulations related to patient data privacy;

 

government or regulatory delays or “clinical holds” requiring suspension or termination of a trial; and

 

political instability or other social or government protocols affecting our clinical trial sites.

Even if we obtain positive results from our efforts to seek regulatory approvals, from early stage preclinical studies or clinical trials, we may not achieve the same success in future efforts. Clinical trials that we or potential partners conduct may not provide sufficient safety and efficacy data to obtain the requisite regulatory approvals for product candidates. The failure of clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy for our desired indications could harm the development of that product candidate as well as other product candidates, and our business and results of operations would suffer. For example, during the public advisory committee meeting held by FDA as part of its review of our ANCHOR data and sNDA in October 2013, a discussion regarding observed, nominally statistically significant changes from baseline in an adverse direction, while on background statin therapy, in certain lipid parameters, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, in the placebo group, raised questions about the possibility that the light liquid paraffin oil, or mineral oil, placebo used in the ANCHOR trial and then in use in the REDUCE-IT trial might not be biologically inert and might be viewed as artificially exaggerating the clinical effect of VASCEPA when measured against placebo. Ultimately, in 2012, no strong evidence for biological activity of mineral oil was identified by the FDA before its approval of VASCEPA after review of the MARINE and ANCHOR trials and consideration of other data regarding mineral oil. It was ultimately concluded that the between-group differences likely provided the most appropriate descriptions of the treatment effect of VASCEPA and that whatever factor(s) led to the within-group changes over time in the placebo group were likely randomly distributed to all treatment groups. Thus, the FDA approved VASCEPA for use in the MARINE indication in July 2012, FDA did not dispute the veracity of the ANCHOR trial data and, in connection with the March 2016 agreement we reached with the FDA allowing us to promote the results of the ANCHOR study, the FDA did not seek to require that we include any qualification related to this earlier question regarding the mineral oil placebo. For example, in connection with FDA’s review of REDUCE-IT data and sNDA in 2019, the agency determined that an interaction between mineral oil and statins leading to decreased absorption of statins cannot be excluded when the two are co-administered as could have been the case in some patients in REDUCE-IT and that, in the agency’s view, indirect evidence suggested the presence of a potential inhibitory effect on statin absorption by mineral oil. However, FDA’s exploratory analysis indicated that the effect of LDL cholesterol values on the time to the primary endpoint was numerically small and unlikely to change the overall conclusion of treatment benefit. FDA then relied on this assessment and all data available to it to approve a new indication statement and labeling based on REDUCE-IT results. This matter illustrates that concerns such as this may arise in the future that could affect our product development, regulatory reviews or the public perception of our products and our future prospects, including REDUCE-IT results. Any approvals that are obtained may be limited in scope, may require additional post-approval studies

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or may require the addition of labeling statements, including boxed warnings, focusing on product safety that could affect the commercial potential for our product candidates. Any of these or similar circumstances could adversely affect our ability to gain approval for new indications and affect revenues from the sale of our products. Even in circumstances where products are approved by a regulatory body for commercialization, the regulatory or legal requirements may change over time, or new safety or efficacy information may be identified concerning a product, which may lead to the withdrawal of a product from the market or similar use restrictions. The discovery of previously unknown problems with a clinical trial or product, or in connection with the manufacturer of products, may result in regulatory issues that prevent proposed future approvals of a product and/or restrictions on that product or manufacturer, including withdrawal of an indication or the product from the market, which would have a negative impact on our potential revenue stream.

As we continue to build our infrastructure for commercializing VASCEPA, we may encounter difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations successfully.

The process of establishing, maintaining and expanding a commercial infrastructure is difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Prior to the REDUCE-IT results topline announcement in September 2018, our U.S. direct sales force consisted of approximately 170 sales professionals, including sales representatives and their managers. Based on the positive REDUCE-IT results, in early 2019, we increased the size of our U.S. direct sales force to approximately 440 sales professionals, including approximately 400 sales representatives. As a result of the additional indication and label expansion approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2019, for cardiovascular risk reduction, we completed the further expansion of our U.S. direct sales force to approximately 900 sales professionals, including approximately 800 sales representatives in early 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related social distancing, in March 2020, we suspended face-to-face interactions between our sales representatives and healthcare professionals. We resumed on a limited basis field-based, face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers beginning in June 2020. During the late part of the summer, substantially all of our field force personnel were able to resume face-to-face customer interactions in a manner consistent with guidelines from local, state and government health officials in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the impact of COVID-19 worsened in much of the United States, with some physicians again limiting access to face-to-face interactions with our field force personnel. Accordingly, we have intentionally slowed the hiring of replacements for our open positions which resulted from ordinary turnover. As we witness our sales representatives increasingly able to resume direct interactions with healthcare professionals, we continually evaluate our needs and it is our intention to fill a significant number of these positions, provided such replacement is appropriate to meet our business needs. As of December 31, 2020, our U.S. direct sales force was slightly more than 800 sales professionals, including slightly more than 700 sales representatives. This sales team promotes VASCEPA to a limited group of physicians and other healthcare professionals in select geographies in the United States and is not large enough to call upon all physicians.

In addition to sales force expansion in the United States, we continue to work on our own and with our international partners to support regulatory efforts outside the United States based on REDUCE-IT results. As our operations expand with the anticipated growth of our product sales, we expect that we will need to manage additional relationships with various collaborative partners, suppliers and other third parties. Future growth will impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain and integrate additional employees. For example, in Europe we commenced 2021 with approximately 50 professionals involved in pre-approval and pre-launch planning and other commercial preparation activities, with plans to expand to approximately 200 professionals by the end of 2021. The time required to secure reimbursement tends to vary from country to country and cannot be reliably predicted at this time. While we believe that we have strong arguments regarding the cost effectiveness of VAZKEPA, the success of such reimbursement negotiations could have a significant impact on our ability to hire and retain personnel and realize the commercial opportunity of VAZKEPA in Europe. Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize VASCEPA and to compete effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to manage our future growth effectively, and such efforts may be disrupted by the COVID-19 protocols. To that end, we must be able to manage our development efforts effectively, and hire, train, integrate and retain additional management, administrative and sales and marketing personnel and have limited experience managing a commercial organization. We may not be able to accomplish these tasks, and our failure to accomplish any of them could prevent us from successfully growing our company.

 

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

Our supply of product for the commercial market and clinical trials is dependent upon relationships with third-party manufacturers and suppliers.

We have no in-house manufacturing capacity and rely on contract manufacturers for our clinical and commercial product supply. We cannot ensure that we will successfully manufacture any product we may develop, either independently or under manufacturing arrangements, if any, with our third-party manufacturers. Moreover, if our manufacturers should cease doing business with us or experience delays, shortages of supply or excessive demands on their capacity, we may not be able to obtain adequate quantities of product in a timely manner, or at all. If we are not able to continue to operate our business relationships in a manner that

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is sufficiently profitable for us and our suppliers, certain members of our supply chain could compete with us through supply to competitors, such as generic drug companies, through breach of our agreements or otherwise.

Any manufacturing problem, natural or manmade disaster affecting manufacturing facilities, government action, or the loss of a contract manufacturer could be disruptive to our operations and result in lost sales. Any reliance on suppliers may involve several risks, including a potential inability to obtain critical materials and reduced control over production costs, delivery schedules, reliability and quality. Any unanticipated disruption to future contract manufacture caused by problems at suppliers could delay shipment of products, increase our cost of goods sold and/or result in lost sales. If our suppliers were unable to supply us with adequate volumes of active pharmaceutical ingredient (drug substance) or encapsulated bulk product (drug product), it would have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue to commercialize VASCEPA.

We have contractual freedom to source the API for VASCEPA and to procure other services supporting our supply chain. We have entered into supply agreements with multiple suppliers who also rely on other third-party suppliers to manufacture the API and other elements necessary for the sale of VASCEPA. Our strategy in sourcing API and other components in our supply chain from multiple suppliers has been to expand manufacturing capacity, maintain competitive advantages, and mitigate the risk of reliance on any single supplier.

Expanding manufacturing capacity and qualifying such capacity is complex and subject to numerous regulations and other operational challenges. The resources of our suppliers vary and are limited; costs associated with projected expansion and qualification can be significant. There can be no assurance that the expansion plans of any of our suppliers will be successful. Our aggregate capacity to produce API is dependent upon the continued qualification of our API suppliers and, depending on the ability of existing suppliers to meet our supply demands, potentially the qualifications of new suppliers. Each of our API suppliers has outlined plans for potential further capacity expansion. If no additional API supplier is approved by the FDA as part of an sNDA, our API supply will be limited to the API we purchase from previously approved suppliers. If our third-party manufacturing capacity is not expanded and/or compliant with applicable regulatory requirements, we may not be able to supply sufficient quantities of VASCEPA to meet anticipated demand. We cannot guarantee that we can contract with any future manufacturer on acceptable terms or that any such alternative supplier will not require capital investment from us in order for them to meet our requirements. Alternatively, our purchase of supply may exceed actual demand for VASCEPA.

There can be no guarantee that current suppliers and future suppliers with which we have contracted to encapsulate API will be continually qualified to manufacture the product to our specifications or that current and any future suppliers will have the manufacturing capacity to meet anticipated demand for VASCEPA.

We may purchase too much or not enough supply to satisfy actual demand, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial results and financial condition.

Certain of our agreements with our suppliers include minimum purchase obligations and limited exclusivity provisions. These purchases are generally made on the basis of rolling 12-month forecasts which in part are binding on us and the balance of which are subject to adjustment by us subject to certain limitations. Certain of our agreements also include contractual minimum purchase commitments regardless of the rolling 12-month forecasts. We may not purchase sufficient quantities of VASCEPA to meet actual demand or our purchase of supply may exceed actual demand. In either case, such event could have a material adverse effect on our financial results and financial condition.

Our dependence on third parties in the distribution channel from our manufacturers to patients subject us to risks that limit our profitability and could limit our ability to supply VASCEPA to large market segments.

We sell VASCEPA principally to a limited number of major wholesalers, as well as selected regional wholesalers and specialty pharmacy providers, or collectively, our distributors or our customers, that in turn resell VASCEPA to retail pharmacies for subsequent resale to patients and healthcare providers. These parties exercise a substantial amount of bargaining power over us given their control over large segments of the market for VASCEPA. This bargaining power has led us to bear increasingly higher discounts in the sale of VASCEPA. In addition, payors have broad latitude to change individual products’ formulary position or to implement other barriers that inhibit patients from receiving therapies prescribed by their healthcare professionals. These payor barriers include requirements that patients try another drug before VASCEPA, known as step edits, and the requirement that prior authorization be obtained by a healthcare provider after a prescription is written before a patient will be reimbursed by their health plan for the cost of a VASCEPA prescription. Further, pharmacy benefit managers implement plans that act as disincentives for VASCEPA use, such as increasingly higher deductibles. One practical impact of higher deductibles is that they may cause patients to delay filling prescriptions for asymptomatic, chronic care medications such as hypertriglyceridemia earlier in the year, until patients meet their deductible and the cost of VASCEPA is then borne more by their insurance carrier. Collectively, these dynamics negatively affect our profitability for the sale of VASCEPA and could increase over time further impacting our operating results. Consolidation among these industry participants could increase the pressure from these market dynamics.

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The manufacture, packaging and distribution of pharmaceutical products such as VASCEPA are subject to FDA regulations and those of similar foreign regulatory bodies. If we or our third-party manufacturers fail to satisfy these requirements, our product development and commercialization efforts may be materially harmed.

The manufacture, packaging and distribution of pharmaceutical products, such as VASCEPA, are regulated by the FDA and similar foreign regulatory bodies and must be conducted in accordance with the FDA’s cGMPs and comparable requirements of foreign regulatory bodies. There are a limited number of manufacturers that operate under these cGMPs as well as the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, or ICH, regulations and guidelines, that are both capable of manufacturing VASCEPA and willing to do so. Failure by us or our third-party manufacturers to comply with applicable regulations, requirements, or guidelines could result in sanctions being imposed on us, including fines, injunctions, civil penalties, failure of regulatory authorities to grant marketing approval of our products, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures or voluntary recalls of product, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions and penalties, any of which could significantly and adversely affect our business. If we are not able to manufacture VASCEPA to required specifications through our current and potential API suppliers, we may be delayed in successfully supplying the product to meet anticipated demand and our anticipated future revenues and financial results may be materially adversely affected.

Changes in the manufacturing process or procedure, including a change in the location where the product is manufactured or a change of a third-party manufacturer, may require prior FDA review and pre-approval of the manufacturing process and procedures in accordance with the FDA’s cGMPs. Any new facility may be subject to a pre-approval inspection by the FDA and would again require us to demonstrate product comparability to the FDA. There are comparable foreign requirements under ICH guidelines. In addition, COVID-19 has limited the ability of suppliers to be inspected. This review may be costly and time consuming and could delay or prevent the launch of a product.

Furthermore, the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies require that we be able to consistently produce the API and the finished product in commercial quantities and of specified quality on a repeated basis, including demonstrated product stability, and document our ability to do so. This requirement is referred to as process validation. This includes stability testing, measurement of impurities and testing of other product specifications by validated test methods. If the FDA does not consider the result of the process validation or required testing to be satisfactory, the commercial supply of VASCEPA may be delayed, or we may not be able to supply sufficient quantities of VASCEPA to meet anticipated demand.

The FDA and similar foreign regulatory bodies may also implement new requirements, or change their interpretation and enforcement of existing requirements, for manufacture, packaging or testing of products at any time. If we or our approved suppliers are unable to comply, we may be subject to regulatory, civil actions or penalties, or we may be prevented from manufacturing or selling VASCEPA, all of which could significantly and adversely affect our business.

Our commercialization of VASCEPA outside the United States is substantially dependent on third parties and other circumstances outside our control.

We have expanded our VASCEPA commercialization activities outside of the United States through several contractual arrangements in territories including China, the Middle East, North Africa and Canada. We continue to assess other opportunities to develop VASCEPA commercialization outside of the United States through similar arrangements.

In February 2015, we entered into a Development, Commercialization and Supply Agreement, or the DCS Agreement, with Eddingpharm (Asia) Macao Commercial Offshore Limited, or Edding, related to the development and commercialization of VASCEPA in the China Territory. Under the DCS Agreement, Edding is responsible for development and commercialization activities in the China Territory and associated expenses. Additionally, Edding is required to conduct clinical trials in the China Territory to secure regulatory approval in certain territories. For example, in December 2017, Edding commenced a pivotal clinical trial aimed to demonstrate that VASCEPA lowers triglyceride levels and otherwise has beneficial effects in Chinese patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia (TG >500 mg/dL), as we previously demonstrated with VASEPA in the more diverse population studied in the MARINE study. In November 2020, we announced statistically significant positive topline results from our Phase 3 clinical trial of VASCEPA. On February 9, 2021, we announced that the regulatory review processes for approval of VASCEPA in Mainland China and Hong Kong have commenced. The Chinese National Medical Products Administration, or NMPA, has accepted for review the new drug application for VASCEPA, submitted by Edding, based on the results from the Phase 3 clinical trial and the results from our prior studies of VASCEPA. We expect to receive a decision from the NMPA in Mainland China near the end of 2021. The Hong Kong Department of Health is evaluating VASCEPA based on current approvals in the United States and Canada. The review process in Hong Kong is expected to conclude near the end of 2021. Even though such results are similar to the MARINE study, additional clinical development efforts may be necessary in this market to demonstrate the effectiveness of VASCEPA in reducing major adverse cardiovascular events in Chinese patients with persistent cardiovascular risk. Any development and regulatory efforts in the China Territory may be negatively impacted by the spread of the coronavirus and the unexpected diversion of resources by regulators and industry professionals to address the coronavirus outbreak. Any development and regulatory efforts in the China Territory may be negatively impacted by heightened political tension between China and the United States, including in connection with COVID-19

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and other issues expressed between the countries regarding trade practices, tariffs and honoring intellectual property rights. If Edding is not able to effectively develop and commercialize VASCEPA in the China Territory, we may not be able to generate revenue from the DCS Agreement resulting from the sale of VASCEPA in the China Territory.

In March 2016, we entered into an agreement with Biologix FZCo, or Biologix, to register and commercialize VASCEPA in several Middle Eastern and North African countries. Under the terms of the distribution agreement, we granted to Biologix a non-exclusive license to use our trademarks in connection with the importation, distribution, promotion, marketing and sale of VASCEPA in the Middle East and North Africa territory. Biologix obtained approval of VASCEPA in Lebanon in March 2018, in United Arab Emirates in July 2018, in Qatar in January 2020 and Bahrain in December 2020. VASCEPA was launched in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates in June 2018 and February 2019, respectively. VASCEPA is under registration in additional countries in the MENA region. Commercialization across the Middle East and North Africa is subject to similar risks as in the China Territory, and has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the destabilized local economy in Saudi Arabia.

In September 2017, we entered into an agreement with HLS Therapeutics Inc., or HLS, to register, commercialize and distribute VASCEPA in Canada. Under the agreement, HLS is responsible for regulatory and commercialization activities and associated costs. We are responsible for providing assistance towards local filings, supplying finished product under negotiated supply terms, maintaining intellectual property, and continuing the development and funding of REDUCE-IT related activities. In December 2019, VASCEPA was approved for use in Canada to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides, who are at high risk of cardiovascular events due to established cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. In January 2020, HLS obtained an extended regulatory exclusivity designation. In February 2020, HLS launched VASCEPA in Canada, with strong initial uptake before the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, Patented Medicine Prices Review Board confirmed VASCEPA price is compliant with current guidelines, and CADTH recommended reimbursement for VASCEPA in Canada in secondary prevention population. However, if HLS is not able to effectively commercialize VASCEPA in Canada through effective pricing (initially and over time), reimbursement or otherwise we may not be able to generate revenue from the sale of VASCEPA in Canada.  

Our efforts to launch VAZKEPA on our own in Europe, assuming a regulatory approval, is a complex undertaking for a company that has not launched a product in Europe and could be subject to significant risks of execution to our successful development of VAZKEPA in Europe. While various of our suppliers have been inspected and, subject to regulatory approval of VAZKEPA in Europe we do not anticipate supply availability limiting our launch in Europe, COVID-19 has limited the ability of suppliers to be inspected and not all of our suppliers have completed all of the requirements of the European regulatory authorities.  

We have limited experience working with partners outside the United States to develop and market our products in non-U.S. jurisdictions. In order for our partners to market and sell VASCEPA in any country outside of the United States for any indication, it will be necessary to obtain regulatory approval from the appropriate regulatory authorities. The requirements and timing for regulatory approval, which may include conducting clinical trials, vary widely from country to country and may in some cases be different than or more rigorous than requirements in the United States. Any failure by us or our partners to obtain approval for VASCEPA in non-U.S. jurisdictions in a timely manner may limit the commercial success of VASCEPA and our ability to grow our revenues.

Our relationships with healthcare providers and physicians and third-party payors are subject to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose use to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm and diminished profits and future earnings.

Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of pharmaceutical products. Arrangements with third-party payors and customers can expose pharmaceutical manufacturers to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, which may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which such companies sell, market and distribute pharmaceutical products. In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services, as well as a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, structuring and commission(s), certain customer incentive programs and other business arrangements, are subject to extensive laws designed to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. The applicable federal and state healthcare laws and regulations laws that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:

 

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe or rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce, or in return for, either the referral of an individual, or the purchase, lease, order or recommendation of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Liability may be established without a person or entity having actual knowledge of the federal anti-kickback statute or specific intent to violate it. In addition, the government may assert 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 federal civil False Claims Act. Although there are a number of statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain activities from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are