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SEC Filings

AC IMMUNE SA filed this Form 20-F on 03/21/2019
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 The Company’s activities expose it to the following financial risks: market risk (currency and interest rate risk), credit risk and liquidity risk. The Company’s overall risk management program focuses on the unpredictability of financial markets and seeks to minimize potential adverse effects on the Company’s financial performance.


Market risk arises from our exposure to fluctuation in currency exchange rates. We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business, which are principally limited to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and to a lesser degree, interest rate fluctuations.


Market Risk


Foreign exchange risk


The Company is exposed to foreign exchange risk arising from currency exposures, primarily with respect to the EUR, USD and to a lesser extent to GBP, DKK and SEK. The currency exposure is not hedged. However, the Company has the policy of matching its cash holdings to the currency structure of its expenses. As of December 31, 2018, the Company holds almost 81% of its overall cash and cash equivalents balance in CHF with the remainder predominantly in EUR and USD (see also Note 5 of the financial statements). The Company holds almost 84% of its liquidity (cash and cash equivalents plus short-term financial assets) in CHF.


We have a number of collaboration agreements where the upfront payments, milestone payments and future royalty payments are not denominated in Swiss Francs, our reporting currency. Furthermore, many of our research and development activities are subcontracted to parties outside of Switzerland and we purchase materials from suppliers outside of Switzerland. As a result, we are exposed to foreign exchange risk. Approximately 46% of our total costs are incurred in currencies other than the Swiss Franc. Due to the size of some of the income received from collaboration agreements but also the high percentage of our costs indirectly being in foreign currencies, a hypothetical 10% change in exchange rates relative to the Swiss Franc could have a material impact on our financial statements.


Interest rate risk


We maintain financial instruments in accordance with our treasury management policy. The primary objectives of our policy are to preserve principal, maintain proper liquidity and meet operating needs. Our financial assets are subject to interest rate risk and will decrease in value if market interest rates increase due to the current negative interest rates in Switzerland and our policy to maintain the majority of our cash and cash equivalents in our functional currency. However, due to the conservative nature of our investments and relatively short duration, interest rate risk is mitigated. We do not own derivative financial instruments. Accordingly, we do not believe that there is any material market risk exposure with respect to derivative or other financial instruments.


Credit risk


The Company maintains a formal treasury risk and investment management policy to limit counterparty credit risk. As of December 31, 2018, the Company’s cash and cash equivalents and short-term financial assets are held with three financial institutions each with a high credit-rating assigned by international credit-rating agencies. The maximum amount of credit risk is the carrying amount of the financial assets. Receivables are fully performing, not past due and not impaired (see Notes 5 and 7).


Liquidity risk


Inherent in the Company’s business are various risks and uncertainties, including its limited operating history and the high uncertainty that new therapeutic concepts will succeed. AC Immune’s success may depend in part upon its ability to (i) establish and maintain a strong patent position and protection, (ii) enter into collaborations with partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, (iii) acquire and keep key personnel employed, and (iv) acquire additional capital to support its operations.


The Company’s approach of managing liquidity is to ensure sufficient cash to meet its liabilities when due. Therefore, management closely monitors the cash position on rolling forecasts based on expected cash flow to enable the Company to finance its operations for at least 18 months.



© AC Immune 2015