Description of Securities
DESCRIPTION OF REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES
REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Cortexyme, Inc. (“we,” “our,” “us,” or the “Company”) has one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“1934 Act”): our common stock. The following summary of the terms of our common stock is based upon our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws. This summary does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by express reference to, the applicable provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, which are filed as exhibits to our Annual Report on Form 10-K and are incorporated by reference herein. We encourage you to read our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our amended and restated bylaws and the applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”) for more information.
Description of Common Stock
Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, we have authority to issue 100,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share. As of December 31, 2020, 29,543,222 shares of our common stock were issued and outstanding. All shares of our common stock will, when issued, be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable.
The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders. Cumulative voting for the election of directors is not provided for in our restated certificate of incorporation, which means the holders of a majority of our shares of common stock can elect all of the directors then standing for election.
Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then outstanding preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by the board of directors out of legally available funds.
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities and the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any then outstanding shares of preferred stock.
Rights and Preferences
Holders of common stock have no preemptive, conversion, subscription or other rights, and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of common stock are subject to and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Description of Preferred Stock
Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, we have authority, subject to any limitations prescribed by law and without further stockholder approval, to issue from time to time up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share, in one or more series. As of December 31, 2020, we had no shares of preferred stock issued and outstanding.
Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors has the authority to designate the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of each such series, including dividend rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of each such series, including dividend rights, dividend rates, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, redemption prices, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms and the number of shares constituting any series.
The issuance of preferred stock may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of the company without further action by the stockholders. The issuance of redeemable convertible preferred stock with voting and conversion rights may also adversely affect the voting power of the holders of common stock and the likelihood that such holders will receive dividend payments and payments upon liquidation. In certain circumstances, an issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of decreasing the market price of the common stock.
Under our amended and restated investors’ rights agreement, certain holders of shares of our common stock, or their affiliates or transferees, have the right to require us to register their shares under the Securities Act so that those shares may be publicly resold, or to include their shares in any registration statement we file, in each case as described below. The registration rights terminate with respect to the registration rights of an individual holder on the earliest to occur of May 8, 2024 (five years following our initial public offering), the liquidation, dissolution or indefinite cessation of the business operations of our company, or the closing of a deemed liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our company pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or with respect to any particular stockholder, such time after the effective date of the registration statement that such stockholder can sell all of its shares under Rule 144 of the Securities Act during any three-month period without registration.
Demand Registration Rights
The holders of at least 35% of the registrable securities may demand that we effect a registration under the Securities Act covering the public offering and sale of at least the number of registrable securities held by such stockholders having an anticipated aggregate offering price of at least $10,000,000. Upon any such demand we must effect the registration of such registrable securities that have been requested to register together with all other registrable securities that we may have been requested to register by other stockholders pursuant to the incidental registration rights described below. We are only obligated to effect two registrations in response to these demand registration rights.
Piggyback Registration Rights
If we register any securities for public sale, including pursuant to any stockholder-initiated demand registration, holders of such registrable securities will have the right to include their shares in the registration statement for such offering, subject to certain exceptions. The underwriters of any underwritten offering will have the right to limit the number of registrable securities to be included in the registration statement, subject to certain restrictions.
Form S-3 Registration Rights
We may be obligated to effect a registration on Form S-3 under the Securities Act. At any time after we are qualified to file a registration statement on Form S-3, the holders of registrable securities anticipated to have an aggregate sale price, net of underwriting discounts and commission, of at least $1,000,000 may request in writing that we effect a registration on Form S-3.
Expenses of Registration
We will pay all registration expenses related to any demand, piggyback or Form S-3 registration, including reasonable fees and disbursements of one special counsel for the holders of such registrable securities, other than underwriting fees, discounts or commissions (if any), which will be borne by the holders of such registrable securities.
Anti-Takeover Effects of Delaware Law and Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws contain certain provisions that could have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing another party from acquiring control of us. These provisions and certain provisions of Delaware law, which are summarized below, are expected to discourage coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions are also designed, in part, to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate more favorable terms with an unfriendly or unsolicited acquirer outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging a proposal to acquire us.
Undesignated Preferred Stock
As discussed above, our board of directors have the ability to issue preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change control of us. These and other provisions may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in control or management of our company.
Limits on Ability of Stockholders to Act by Written Consent or Call a Special Meeting
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our stockholders may not act by written consent, which may lengthen the amount of time required to take stockholder actions. As a result, a holder controlling a majority of our capital stock would not be able to amend our amended and restated bylaws or remove directors without holding a meeting of our stockholders called in accordance with our amended and restated bylaws. In addition, our amended and restated bylaws provides that special meetings of the stockholders may be called only by the chairperson of the board, the Chief Executive Officer, the lead independent director, or at the request of a majority of our board of directors. Stockholders may not call a special meeting, which may delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or for holders controlling a majority of our capital stock to take any action, including the removal of directors.
Requirements for Advance Notification of Stockholder Nominations and Proposals
Our amended and restated bylaws establish advance notice procedures with respect to stockholder proposals and the nomination of candidates for election as directors, other than nominations made by or at the direction of our board of directors or a committee of our board of directors. These provisions may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed. These provisions may also discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company.
Our board of directors is divided into three classes, one class of which is elected each year by our stockholders. The directors in each class will serve three-year terms. A third party may be discouraged from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us as it is more difficult and time-consuming for stockholders to replace a majority of the directors on a classified board.
No Cumulative Voting
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws do not permit cumulative voting in the election of directors. Cumulative voting allows a stockholder to vote a portion or all of its shares for one or more candidates for seats on the board of directors. Without cumulative voting, a minority stockholder may not be able to gain as many seats on our board of directors as the stockholder would be able to gain if cumulative voting were permitted. The absence of cumulative voting makes it more difficult for a minority stockholder to gain a seat on our board of directors to influence our board’s decision regarding a takeover.
Amendment of Charter and Bylaws Provisions
The amendment of the above provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will require approval by holders of at least two thirds of our outstanding capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors. The amendment of our amended and restated bylaws will require approval by the holders of at least two thirds of our outstanding capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors.
Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute
We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the DGCL regulating corporate takeovers. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging, under certain circumstances, in a business combination with an interested stockholder for a period of three years following the date the person became an interested stockholder unless:
prior to the date of the transaction, our board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;
upon completion of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, calculated as provided under Section 203; or
at or subsequent to the date of the transaction, the business combination is approved by our board of directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder.
Generally, a business combination includes a merger, asset or stock sale, or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An interested stockholder is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns or, within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, did own 15% or more of a corporation’s outstanding voting stock. We expect the existence of this provision to have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions our board of directors does not approve in advance. We anticipate that Section 203 may also discourage attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares of common stock held by stockholders.
The provisions of Delaware law and the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, could have the effect of discouraging others from attempting hostile takeovers and, as a consequence, they might also inhibit temporary fluctuations in the market price of our common stock that often result from actual or rumored hostile takeover attempts. These provisions might also have the effect of preventing changes in our management. It is possible that these provisions could make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders might otherwise deem to be in their best interests.
Authorized but Unissued Shares
Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock will be available for future issuances without stockholder approval, except as required by the listing standards of the Nasdaq Global Select Market, and could be utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future offerings to raise additional capital, acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of the company by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.
Choice of Forum
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent to the selection of an alternative forum, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for: (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of us; (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees or agents to us or our stockholders; (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General
Corporation Law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws; or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine; provided that, the exclusive forum provision will not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction; and provided further that, if and only if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware dismisses any such action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, such action may be brought in another state or federal court sitting in the State of Delaware. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action against us or any of our directors, officers, employees or agents and arising under the Securities Act. While the Delaware Supreme Court recently determined that such choice of forum provisions are facially valid, a stockholder may nevertheless seek to bring such a claim arising under the Securities Act against us, our directors, officers, employees or agents in a venue other than in the federal district courts of the United States of America. In such instance, we would expect to vigorously assert the validity and enforceability of the exclusive forum provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, and this may require significant additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions.
Business Combinations with Interested Stockholders
Subject to certain exceptions, Section 203 of the DGCL prohibits a public Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination (as defined in such section) with an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation or any person affiliated with such person) for a period of three years following the time that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless (i) prior to such time the board of directors of such corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; (ii) upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of such corporation at the time the transaction commenced (excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock of such corporation outstanding (but not the outstanding voting stock owned by the interested stockholder) those shares owned (A) by persons who are directors and also officers of such corporation and (B) by employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer); or (iii) at or subsequent to such time the business combination is approved by the board of directors of such corporation and authorized at a meeting of stockholders (and not by written consent) by the affirmative vote of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding voting stock of such corporation not owned by the interested stockholder.
Limitation of Liability and Indemnification
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that we will indemnify our directors and officers, and may indemnify our employees and other agents, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law.
Delaware law prohibits our amended and restated certificate of incorporation from limiting the liability of our directors for the following:
any breach of the director’s duty of loyalty to us or to our stockholders;
acts or omissions not in good faith or that involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;
unlawful payment of dividends or unlawful stock repurchases or redemptions; and
any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit.
If Delaware law is amended to authorize corporate action further eliminating or limiting the personal liability of a director, then the liability of our directors will be eliminated or limited to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law, as so amended. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not eliminate a director’s duty of care and, in appropriate circumstances, equitable remedies, such as injunctive or other forms of non-monetary
relief, remain available under Delaware law. This provision also does not affect a director’s responsibilities under any other laws, such as the federal securities laws or other state or federal laws. Under our amended and restated bylaws, we can purchase insurance on behalf of any person whom we are required or permitted to indemnify.
In addition to the indemnification required in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, we have entered into an indemnification agreement with each member of our board of directors and each of our officers. These agreements provide for the indemnification of our directors and officers for certain expenses and liabilities incurred in connection with any action, suit, proceeding or alternative dispute resolution mechanism, or hearing, inquiry or investigation that may lead to the foregoing, to which they are a party or other participant, or are threatened to be made a party or other participant, by reason of the fact that they are or were a director, officer, employee, agent or fiduciary of our company, by reason of any action or inaction by them while serving as an officer, director, agent or fiduciary, or by reason of the fact that they were serving at our request as a director, officer, employee, agent or fiduciary of another entity. In the case of an action or proceeding by or in the right of our company, no indemnification will be provided for any claim where a court determines that the indemnified party is prohibited from receiving indemnification. We believe that these charter and bylaw provisions and indemnification agreements are necessary to attract and retain qualified persons as directors and officers.
The limitation of liability and indemnification provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against directors for breach of their fiduciary duties. They may also reduce the likelihood of derivative litigation against directors and officers, even though an action, if successful, might benefit us and our stockholders. Moreover, a stockholder’s investment may be harmed to the extent we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers pursuant to these indemnification provisions. Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to our directors, officers and controlling persons pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, we have been advised that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act, and is, therefore, unenforceable. There is no pending litigation or proceeding naming any of our directors or officers as to which indemnification is being sought, nor are we aware of any pending or threatened litigation that may result in claims for indemnification by any director or officer.
Listing. Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “CRTX.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar. The transfer agent for our common stock is American Stock Transfer &Trust Company, LLC. Its address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219.