Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2.

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Presentation

The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Atara and its wholly-owned subsidiaries and have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) and the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for interim reporting. As permitted under those rules, certain footnotes or other financial information that are normally required by U.S. GAAP can be condensed or omitted. These condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as the Company’s annual consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, except for the recognition of operating lease assets and operating lease liabilities effective January 1, 2019, in accordance with newly-adopted accounting pronouncements relating to leases as discussed below. In the opinion of management, the condensed consolidated financial statements reflect all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments, which are necessary for a fair presentation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements. The results of operations for the three month period ended March 31, 2019 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year or any other future period. The condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2018 has been derived from audited consolidated financial statements at that date but does not include all of the information required by U.S. GAAP for complete consolidated financial statements.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates, assumptions, and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Significant estimates relied upon in preparing these financial statements include estimates related to clinical trial and other accruals, stock-based compensation expense and income taxes. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates.

Leases

We lease office space in multiple locations. We determine if an arrangement is a lease at inception. Operating leases are included in operating lease assets, other current liabilities, and operating lease liabilities on our condensed consolidated balance sheets. Leases with an initial term of 12 months or less are not recorded on the balance sheet; we recognize lease expense for these leases on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Finance leases are included in property and equipment, other current liabilities, and other long-term liabilities on our condensed consolidated balance sheets.  

Operating lease assets and operating lease liabilities are recognized based on the present value of the future minimum lease payments over the lease term at commencement date. As most of our leases do not provide an implicit rate, we use our incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at commencement date in determining the present value of future payments. The incremental borrowing rate for our leases is determined based on lease term and currency in which lease payments are made, adjusted for impacts of collateral. The operating lease asset also includes any lease payments made and excludes lease incentives and initial direct costs incurred. Lease expense for minimum lease payments is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

Our facilities and equipment operating leases have lease and non-lease components and we have made a policy election to account for the lease and non-lease components as a single lease component.

Through December 31, 2018, the leases were reviewed for classification as operating, capital or build-to-suit leases. For operating leases, rent was recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease period. For capital leases, we recorded the leased asset with a corresponding liability for principal and interest. Payments were recorded as reductions to these liabilities with interest being charged to interest expense in our condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss.

We analyzed the nature of the renovations and our involvement during the construction period of our manufacturing facility and determined that we were the deemed “owner” of the construction project during the construction period. As a result, we were required to capitalize the fair value of the building as well as the construction costs incurred on our condensed consolidated balance sheet along with a corresponding financing liability for landlord-paid construction costs (i.e. “build-to-suit” accounting).

Once construction was complete, the Company considered the requirements for sale-leaseback accounting treatment, including evaluating whether all risks of ownership have been transferred back to the landlord, as evidenced by a lack of continuing involvement in the leased property. Since the arrangement did not qualify for sale-leaseback accounting treatment, the building asset remained on the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheets at its historical cost, and such asset was depreciated over its estimated useful life. The Company bifurcated its lease payments into a portion allocated to the building and a portion allocated to the parcel of land on which the building has been built. The portion of the lease payments allocated to the land was treated for accounting purposes as operating lease payments, and therefore was recorded as rent expense in the condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. The portion of the lease payments allocated to the building was further bifurcated into a portion allocated to interest expense and a portion allocated to reduce the build-to-suit lease obligation. The initial recording of these assets and liabilities were classified as non-cash investing and financing items, respectively, for purposes of the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows. The build-to-suit asset and corresponding lease obligation was derecognized upon adoption of the new lease standard as we did not control the building during the construction period.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses: Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. ASU 2016-13 requires that expected credit losses relating to financial assets measured on an amortized cost basis and available-for-sale debt securities be recorded through an allowance for credit losses. ASU 2016-13 limits the amount of credit losses to be recognized for available-for-sale debt securities to the amount by which carrying value exceeds fair value and also requires the reversal of previously recognized credit losses if fair value increases. The new standard will be effective for us on January 1, 2020, with early adoption permitted on January 1, 2019. We have not yet determined the potential effect the new standard will have on our consolidated financial statements.

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-15, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other—Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40): Customer’s Accounting for Implementation Costs Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That Is a Service Contract (ASU 2018-15), which clarifies the accounting for implementation costs in cloud computing arrangements. The new standard is effective for fiscal years and interim periods within those fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. We have not yet determined the potential effect the new standard will have on our consolidated financial statements.

Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements

We adopted ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), as of January 1, 2019, using the optional transition method, which allows for the initial application of the new accounting standard at the adoption date and the recognition of a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings as of the beginning of the period of adoption. In addition, we elected the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance within the new standard, which among other things, allowed us to carry forward the historical lease classification. In addition, we elected the hindsight practical expedient to determine the lease term for existing leases.

Adoption of the new standard resulted in the recording of additional operating lease assets and operating lease liabilities of approximately $14.3 million and $15.3 million, respectively, as of January 1, 2019. This was partially offset by de-recognition of the build-to-suit asset and corresponding lease obligation of approximately $10.3 million for our Thousand Oaks manufacturing facility lease as we did not control the building during the construction period (see Note 7). The cumulative effect adjustment to the opening balance of accumulated deficit was a decrease of $0.4 million. The standard did not have a significant impact on our condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss, changes in stockholders’ equity, and cash flow for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2018.