UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 

FORM 8-K

 
CURRENT REPORT
Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
 
Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): April 17, 2018

 Akcea Therapeutics, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Delaware
001-38137
47-2608175
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation)
(Commission File Number)
(IRS Employer Identification No.)

55 Cambridge Parkway
Suite 100
Cambridge, Massachusetts
 
02142
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (617) 207-0202
 


Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligations of the registrant under any of the following provisions:
 
 
Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)
 
 
Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)
 
 
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))
 
 
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c)
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

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. ☑
 


Item 5.02
Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

Adoption of Amendment to Equity Incentive Plan

On December 5, 2017, the Board of Directors of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”) adopted an amendment to the Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. 2015 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2015 Plan”), to increase the number of shares of common stock reserved for issuance thereunder by 5,000,000 shares (the “2015 Plan Amendment”). The 2015 Plan Amendment was subsequently approved by written consent on April 17, 2018 (the “Written Consent”) by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the “Majority Stockholder”), the holder of 45,447,879 shares of common stock representing approximately 68.02% of the Company’s issued and outstanding stock entitled to vote on April 9, 2018 (the “Record Date”) and 64,114,545 shares of common stock representing approximately 75% of the Company’s common stock as of the date of the Written Consent. The Written Consent is described in more detail in Item 5.07 below.

The actions taken pursuant to the Written Consent, including the approval of the 2015 Plan Amendment, will become effective on the fortieth calendar day following the date the Company makes available its Information Statement on Schedule 14C (the “Information Statement”) to the Company’s stockholders holding issued and outstanding common stock as of the Record Date. The Company expects to file the Information Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 20, 2018.

A summary of the material terms of the 2015 Plan, as amended by the 2015 Plan Amendment, is set forth in the Information Statement.  Those summaries are qualified in their entirety to the text of the 2015 Plan as amended by the 2015 Plan Amendment, which is filed as Exhibit 10.1 to this Current Report on Form 8-K and incorporated herein by reference.

Item 5.07
Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders.

On April 17, 2018, the Majority Stockholder adopted the following proposals via the Written Consent. The Written Consent will become effective on the fortieth calendar day following the date the Company makes available the Information Statement to the Company’s stockholders holding issued and outstanding stock as of the Record Date. The Company expects to file the Information Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 20, 2018.

Proposal 1:  Election of Directors

The Majority Stockholder elected the eight persons listed below to serve until the Company’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
 
Christopher Gabrieli
Sarah Boyce
Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D.
Edward M. Fitzgerald
Elaine Hochberg
B. Lynne Parshall, J.D.
Sandford D. Smith
Paula Soteropoulos
 
Proposal 2:  Approval of an Amendment to the Company’s 2015 Equity Incentive Plan

The Majority Stockholder approved the 2015 Plan Amendment to increase the number of shares of common stock reserved for issuance thereunder by 5,000,000.

Proposal 3:  Ratification of the Selection of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Majority Stockholder ratified the selection by the Audit Committee of Ernst & Young LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.

As further described in the Information Statement, the Company expects to hold the 2018 annual meeting of its stockholders on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time via a live audio webcast.

Item 9.01
Financial Statements and Exhibits.

(d)          Exhibits

Exhibit No.
Description
Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. 2015 Equity Incentive Plan, as amended
 

SIGNATURES
 
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 
AKCEA THERAPEUTICS, INC.
     
Date: April 20, 2018
By:
/s/ Paula Soteropoulos  
 
Paula Soteropoulos
 
 
Chief Executive Officer
 
 
 


Exhibit 10.1
 
Akcea Therapeutics, Inc.
2015 Equity Incentive Plan

Adopted by the Board of Directors: December 16, 2015
Approved by the Stockholders: December 16, 2015
Amended by the Board of Directors: July 15, 2016
Approved by the Stockholders: July 15, 2016
Amended by the Board of Directors: May 2, 2017
Approved by the Stockholders: June 19, 2017
Amended by the Board of Directors: December 5, 2017
Approved by the Stockholders: April 17, 2018
Termination Date: December 15, 2025
 
1.            General.

(a)           Eligible Stock Award Recipients. The persons eligible to receive Stock Awards are Employees, Directors and Consultants.

(b)           Available Stock Awards. The Plan provides for the grant of the following Stock Awards: (i) Incentive Stock Options, (ii) Nonstatutory Stock Options, (iii) Restricted Stock Awards, (iv) Restricted Stock Unit Awards, and (v) Stock Appreciation Rights.

(c)           Purpose. The Company, by means of the Plan, seeks to secure and retain the services of the group of persons eligible to receive Stock Awards as set forth in Section 1(a), to provide incentives for such persons to exert maximum efforts for the success of the Company and any Affiliate, and to provide a means by which such eligible recipients may be given an opportunity to benefit from increases in value of the Common Stock through the granting of Stock Awards.

2.            Administration.

(a)           Administration by Board. The Board shall administer the Plan unless and until the Board delegates administration of the Plan to a Committee, as provided in Section 2(c).

(b)           Powers of Board. The Board shall have the power, subject to, and within the limitations of, the express provisions of the Plan:

(i)          To determine from time to time (A) which of the persons eligible under the Plan shall be granted Stock Awards; (B) when and how each Stock Award shall be granted; (C) what type or combination of types of Stock Award shall be granted; (D) the provisions of each Stock Award granted (which need not be identical), including the time or times when a person shall be permitted to receive cash or Common Stock pursuant to a Stock Award; (E) the number of shares of Common Stock with respect to which a Stock Award shall be granted to each such person; and (F) the Fair Market Value applicable to a Stock Award.
 
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(ii)         To construe and interpret the Plan and Stock Awards granted under it, and to establish, amend and revoke rules and regulations for administration of the Plan. The Board, in the exercise of this power, may correct any defect, omission or inconsistency in the Plan or in any Stock Award Agreement, in a manner and to the extent it shall deem necessary or expedient to make the Plan or Stock Award fully effective.

(iii)       To settle all controversies regarding the Plan and Stock Awards granted under it.

(iv)        To accelerate the time at which a Stock Award may first be exercised or the time during which a Stock Award or any part thereof will vest in accordance with the Plan, notwithstanding the provisions in the Stock Award stating the time at which it may first be exercised or the time during which it will vest.

(v)          To suspend or terminate the Plan at any time. Suspension or termination of the Plan shall not impair rights and obligations under any Stock Award granted while the Plan is in effect except with the written consent of the affected Participant.

(vi)        To amend the Plan in any respect the Board deems necessary or advisable, including, without limitation, relating to Incentive Stock Options and certain nonqualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Code and/or to bring the Plan or Stock Awards granted under the Plan into compliance therewith, subject to the limitations, if any, of applicable law. However, except as provided in Section 9(a) relating to Capitalization Adjustments, to the extent required by applicable law, stockholder approval shall be required for any amendment of the Plan that either (i) materially increases the number of shares of Common Stock available for issuance under the Plan, (ii) materially expands the class of individuals eligible to receive Stock Awards under the Plan, (iii) materially increases the benefits accruing to Participants under the Plan or materially reduces the price at which shares of Common Stock may be issued or purchased under the Plan, (iv) materially extends the term of the Plan, or (v) expands the types of Stock Awards available for issuance under the Plan. Except as provided above, rights under any Stock Award granted before amendment of the Plan shall not be impaired by any amendment of the Plan unless (i) the Company requests the consent of the affected Participant, and (ii) such Participant consents in writing.

(vii)       To submit any amendment to the Plan for stockholder approval, including, but not limited to, amendments to the Plan intended to satisfy the requirements of Section 422 of the Code regarding Incentive Stock Options.

(viii)      To approve forms of Stock Award Agreements for use under the Plan and to amend the terms of any one or more Stock Awards, including, but not limited to, amendments to provide terms more favorable than previously provided in the Stock Award Agreement, subject to any specified limits in the Plan that are not subject to Board discretion; provided however, that, the rights under any Stock Award shall not be impaired by any such amendment unless (i) the Company requests the consent of the affected Participant, and (ii) such Participant consents in writing. Notwithstanding the foregoing, subject to the limitations of applicable law, if any, and without the affected Participant’s consent, the Board may amend the terms of any one or more Stock Awards if necessary to maintain the qualified status of the Stock Award as an Incentive Stock Option or to bring the Stock Award into compliance with Section 409A of the Code and the related guidance thereunder.
 
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(ix)        Generally, to exercise such powers and to perform such acts as the Board deems necessary or expedient to promote the best interests of the Company and that are not in conflict with the provisions of the Plan or Stock Awards.

(x)         To adopt such procedures and sub-plans as are necessary or appropriate to permit participation in the Plan by Employees, Directors or Consultants who are foreign nationals or employed outside the United States.

(xi)        To effect, at any time and from time to time, with the consent of any adversely affected Optionholder, (1) the reduction of the exercise price of any outstanding Option under the Plan, (2) the cancellation of any outstanding Option under the Plan and the grant in substitution therefor of (A) a new Option under the Plan or another equity plan of the Company covering the same or a different number of shares of Common Stock, (B) a Restricted Stock Award, (C) a Stock Appreciation Right, (D) Restricted Stock Unit, (E) cash and/or (F) other valuable consideration (as determined by the Board, in its sole discretion), or (3) any other action that is treated as a repricing under generally accepted accounting principles; provided, however, that no such reduction or cancellation may be effected if it is determined, in the Company’s sole discretion, that such reduction or cancellation would result in any such outstanding Option becoming subject to the requirements of Section 409A of the Code.

(c)           Delegation to Committee. The Board may delegate some or all of the administration of the Plan to a Committee or Committees. If administration of the Plan is delegated to a Committee, the Committee shall have, in connection with the administration of the Plan, the powers theretofore possessed by the Board that have been delegated to the Committee, including the power to delegate to a subcommittee of the Committee any of the administrative powers the Committee is authorized to exercise (and references in this Plan to the Board shall thereafter be to the Committee or subcommittee), subject, however, to such resolutions, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan, as may be adopted from time to time by the Board. The Board may retain the authority to concurrently administer the Plan with the Committee and may, at any time, revest in the Board some or all of the powers previously delegated.

(d)           Delegation to an Officer. The Board may delegate to one or more Officers of the Company the authority to do one or both of the following: (i) designate Officers (other than Officers of a Vice President level or senior thereto) and Employees of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries to be recipients of Options (and, to the extent permitted by applicable law, other Stock Awards) and the terms thereof, and (ii) determine the number of shares of Common Stock to be subject to such Stock Awards granted to such Officers and Employees; provided, however, that the Board resolutions regarding such delegation shall specify the total number of shares of Common Stock that may be subject to the Stock Awards granted by such Officer and that such Officer may not grant a Stock Award to himself or herself. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board may not delegate authority to an Officer to determine the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock pursuant to Section 13(t) below.
 
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(e)           Effect of Board’s Decision. All determinations, interpretations and constructions made by the Board in good faith shall not be subject to review by any person and shall be final, binding and conclusive on all persons.

(f)            Arbitration. Any dispute or claim concerning any Stock Awards granted (or not granted) pursuant to the Plan or any disputes or claims relating to or arising out of the Plan shall be fully, finally and exclusively resolved by binding and confidential arbitration conducted pursuant to the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association in San Diego, California. The Company shall pay all arbitration fees. In addition to any other relief, the arbitrator may award to the prevailing party recovery of its attorneys’ fees and costs. By accepting a Stock Award, Participants and the Company waive their respective rights to have any such disputes or claims tried by a judge or jury.

3.            Shares Subject to the Plan.

(a)           Share Reserve. Subject to Section 9(a) relating to Capitalization Adjustments, the aggregate number of shares of Common Stock of the Company that may be issued pursuant to Stock Awards after the Effective Date shall not exceed 13,500,0001 shares. For clarity, the limitation in this Section 3(a) is a limitation in the number of shares of Common Stock that may be issued pursuant to the Plan. Accordingly, this Section 3(a) does not limit the granting of Stock Awards except as provided in Section 7(a).

(b)           Reversion of Shares to the Share Reserve. If any shares of Common Stock issued pursuant to a Stock Award are forfeited back to the Company because of the failure to meet a contingency or condition required to vest such shares in the Participant, then the shares which are forfeited shall revert to and again become available for issuance under the Plan. Also, any shares reacquired by the Company pursuant to Section 8(g) or as consideration for the exercise of an Option shall again become available for issuance under the Plan. Furthermore, if a Stock Award (i) expires or otherwise terminates without having been exercised in full or (ii) is settled in cash (i.e., the holder of the Stock Award receives cash rather than stock), such expiration, termination or settlement shall not reduce (or otherwise offset) the number of shares of Common Stock that may be issued pursuant to the Plan. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section 3(b), any such shares shall not be subsequently issued pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options.

(c)           Incentive Stock Option Limit. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 3(c), subject to the provisions of Section 9(a) relating to Capitalization Adjustments, the aggregate maximum number of shares of Common Stock that may be issued pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options shall be twice the number of shares that may be issued pursuant to all Stock Awards as set forth in Section 3(a) above.


1 This is the sum of (i) 6,340,508 shares originally approved by the Company’s stockholders in December 2015 (adjusted for the reverse stock split in connection with the Company’s initial public offering), plus (ii) 2,159,492 shares approved by the Company’s stockholders in June 2017, plus (iii) 5,000,000 new shares.
 
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(d)           Source of Shares. The stock issuable under the Plan shall be shares of authorized but unissued or reacquired Common Stock, including shares repurchased by the Company on the open market.

4.            Eligibility.

(a)           Eligibility for Specific Stock Awards. Incentive Stock Options may be granted only to employees of the Company or a “parent corporation” or “subsidiary corporation” thereof (as such terms are defined in Sections 424(e) and (f) of the Code). Stock Awards other than Incentive Stock Options may be granted to Employees, Directors and Consultants.

(b)           Ten Percent Stockholders. A Ten Percent Stockholder shall not be granted an Incentive Stock Option unless the exercise price of such Option is at least one hundred ten percent (110%) of the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock on the date of grant and the Option is not exercisable after the expiration of five (5) years from the date of grant.

(c)           Consultants. A Consultant shall not be eligible for the grant of a Stock Award if, at the time of grant, either the offer or the sale of the Company’s securities to such Consultant is not exempt under Rule 701 of the Securities Act (“Rule 701”) because of the nature of the services that the Consultant is providing to the Company, because the Consultant is not a natural person, or because of any other provision of Rule 701, unless the Company determines that such grant need not comply with the requirements of Rule 701 and will satisfy another exemption under the Securities Act as well as comply with the securities laws of all other relevant jurisdictions.

5.            Option Provisions.

Each Option shall be in such form and shall contain such terms and conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate. All Options shall be separately designated Incentive Stock Options or Nonstatutory Stock Options at the time of grant, and, if certificates are issued, a separate certificate or certificates shall be issued for shares of Common Stock purchased on exercise of each type of Option. If an Option is not specifically designated as an Incentive Stock Option, then the Option shall be a Nonstatutory Stock Option. The provisions of separate Options need not be identical; provided, however, that each Option Agreement shall include (through incorporation of provisions hereof by reference in the Option Agreement or otherwise) the substance of each of the following provisions:

(a)           Term. Subject to the provisions of Section 4(b) regarding Ten Percent Stockholders, no Option shall be exercisable after the expiration of ten (10) years from the date of its grant or such shorter period specified in the Option Agreement.

(b)           Exercise Price. Subject to the provisions of Section 4(b) regarding Incentive Stock Options granted to Ten Percent Stockholders, the exercise price of each Option shall be not less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock subject to the Option on the date the Option is granted. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an Option may be granted with an exercise price lower than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock subject to the Option if such Option is granted pursuant to an assumption or substitution for another option in a manner consistent with the provisions of Section 424(a) of the Code (whether or not such options are Incentive Stock Options).
 
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(c)           Consideration. The purchase price of Common Stock acquired pursuant to the exercise of an Option shall be paid, to the extent permitted by applicable law and as determined by the Board in its sole discretion, by any combination of the methods of payment set forth below. The Board shall have the authority to grant Options that do not permit all of the following methods of payment (or otherwise restrict the ability to use certain methods) and to grant Options that require the consent of the Company to utilize a particular method of payment. The permitted methods of payment are as follows:

(i)          by cash, check, bank draft or money order payable to the Company;

(ii)        pursuant to a program developed under Regulation T as promulgated by the Federal Reserve Board that, prior to the issuance of the stock subject to the Option, results in either the receipt of cash (or check) by the Company or the receipt of irrevocable instructions to pay the aggregate exercise price to the Company from the sales proceeds;

(iii)       by delivery to the Company (either by actual delivery or attestation) of shares of Common Stock;

(iv)        by a “net exercise” arrangement pursuant to which the Company will reduce the number of shares of Common Stock issued upon exercise by the largest whole number of shares with a Fair Market Value that does not exceed the aggregate exercise price; provided, however, that the Company shall accept a cash or other payment from the Participant to the extent of any remaining balance of the aggregate exercise price not satisfied by such reduction in the number of whole shares to be issued; provided, further, that shares of Common Stock will no longer be outstanding under an Option and will not be exercisable thereafter to the extent that (A) shares are used to pay the exercise price pursuant to the “net exercise,” (B) shares are delivered to the Participant as a result of such exercise, and (C) shares are withheld to satisfy tax withholding obligations;

(v)          according to a deferred payment or similar arrangement approved by the Board between the Company and the Optionholder; provided, however, that interest shall compound at least annually and shall be charged at the minimum rate of interest necessary to avoid (A) the imputation of interest income to the Company and compensation income to the Optionholder under any applicable provisions of the Code, and (B) the classification of the Option as a liability for financial accounting purposes; or

(vi)        in any other form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to the Board.

(d)           Transferability of Options. The Board may, in its sole discretion, impose such limitations on the transferability of Options as the Board shall determine. In the absence of such a determination by the Board to the contrary, the following restrictions on the transferability of Options shall apply:

(i)          Restrictions on Transfer. An Option shall not be transferable except by will or by the laws of descent and distribution and shall be exercisable during the lifetime of the Optionholder only by the Optionholder; provided, however, that the Board may, in its sole discretion, permit transfer of the Option to such extent as permitted by Rule 701 of the Securities Act at the time of the grant of the Option and in a manner consistent with applicable tax and securities laws upon the Optionholder’s request.
 
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(ii)         Domestic Relations Orders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an Option may be transferred pursuant to a domestic relations order, provided, however, that an Incentive Stock Option may be deemed to be a Nonstatutory Stock Option as a result of such transfer.

(iii)       Beneficiary Designation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Optionholder may, by delivering written notice to the Company, in a form provided by or otherwise satisfactory to the Company, designate a third party who, in the event of the death of the Optionholder, shall thereafter be the beneficiary of an Option with the right to exercise the Option and receive the Common Stock or other consideration resulting from the Option exercise.

(e)           Vesting of Options Generally. The total number of shares of Common Stock subject to an Option may vest and therefore become exercisable in periodic installments that may or may not be equal. The Option may be subject to such other terms and conditions on the time or times when it may or may not be exercised (which may be based on the satisfaction of performance goals or other criteria) as the Board may deem appropriate. The vesting provisions of individual Options may vary. The provisions of this Section 5(e) are subject to any Option provisions governing the minimum number of shares of Common Stock as to which an Option may be exercised.

(f)            Termination of Continuous Service. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Option Agreement or other agreement between the Optionholder and the Company, in the event that an Optionholder’s Continuous Service terminates (other than upon the Optionholder’s death or Disability), the Optionholder may exercise his or her Option (to the extent that the Optionholder was entitled to exercise such Option as of the date of termination of Continuous Service) but only within such period of time ending on the earlier of (i) the date three (3) months following the termination of the Optionholder’s Continuous Service (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Option Agreement, which period shall not be less than thirty (30) days), or (ii) the expiration of the term of the Option as set forth in the Option Agreement. If, after termination of Continuous Service, the Optionholder does not exercise his or her Option within the time specified herein or in the Option Agreement (as applicable), the Option shall terminate.

(g)           Extension of Termination Date. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Option Agreement or other agreement between the Optionholder and the Company, if the exercise of the Option following the termination of the Optionholder’s Continuous Service (other than upon the Optionholder’s death or Disability) would be prohibited at any time solely because the issuance of shares of Common Stock would violate the registration requirements under the Securities Act, then the Option shall terminate on the earlier of (i) the expiration of a period of three (3) months after the termination of the Optionholder’s Continuous Service during which the exercise of the Option would not be in violation of such registration requirements, or (ii) the expiration of the term of the Option as set forth in the Option Agreement.
 
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(h)           Disability of Optionholder. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Option Agreement or other agreement between the Optionholder and the Company, in the event that an Optionholder’s Continuous Service terminates as a result of the Optionholder’s Disability, the Optionholder may exercise his or her Option (to the extent that the Optionholder was entitled to exercise such Option as of the date of termination of Continuous Service), but only within such period of time ending on the earlier of (i) the date twelve (12) months following such termination of Continuous Service (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Option Agreement, which period shall not be less than six (6) months), or (ii) the expiration of the term of the Option as set forth in the Option Agreement. If, after termination of Continuous Service, the Optionholder does not exercise his or her Option within the time specified herein or in the Option Agreement (as applicable), the Option shall terminate.

(i)            Death of Optionholder. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Option Agreement or other agreement between the Optionholder and the Company, in the event that (i) an Optionholder’s Continuous Service terminates as a result of the Optionholder’s death, or (ii) the Optionholder dies within the period (if any) specified in the Option Agreement after the termination of the Optionholder’s Continuous Service for a reason other than death, then the Option may be exercised (to the extent the Optionholder was entitled to exercise such Option as of the date of death) by the Optionholder’s estate, by a person who acquired the right to exercise the Option by bequest or inheritance or by a person designated as the beneficiary of the Option upon the Optionholder’s death, but only within the period ending on the earlier of (i) the date eighteen (18) months following the date of death (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Option Agreement, which period shall not be less than six (6) months), or (ii) the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in the Option Agreement. If, after the Optionholder’s death, the Option is not exercised within the time specified herein or in the Option Agreement (as applicable), the Option shall terminate. If the Optionholder designates a third party beneficiary of the Option in accordance with Section 5(d)(iii), then upon the death of the Optionholder such designated beneficiary shall have the sole right to exercise the Option and receive the Common Stock or other consideration resulting from the Option exercise.

(j)            Non-Exempt Employees. No Option granted to an Employee that is a non-exempt employee for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, shall be first exercisable for any shares of Common Stock until at least six months following the date of grant of the Option. The foregoing provision is intended to operate so that any income derived by a non-exempt employee in connection with the exercise or vesting of an Option will be exempt from his or her regular rate of pay.

(k)           Early Exercise. The Option may, but need not, include a provision whereby the Optionholder may elect at any time before the Optionholder’s Continuous Service terminates to exercise the Option as to any part or all of the shares of Common Stock subject to the Option prior to the full vesting of the Option. Subject to the “Repurchase Limitation” in Section 8(l), any unvested shares of Common Stock so purchased may be subject to a repurchase option in favor of the Company or to any other restriction the Board determines to be appropriate. Provided that the “Repurchase Limitation” in Section 8(l) is not violated, the Company shall not be required to exercise its repurchase option until at least six (6) months (or such longer or shorter period of time required to avoid classification of the Option as a liability for financial accounting purposes) have elapsed following exercise of the Option unless the Board otherwise specifically provides in the Option Agreement.
 
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(l)            Right of Repurchase. Subject to the “Repurchase Limitation” in Section 8(l), the Option may include a provision whereby the Company may elect to repurchase all or any part of the vested shares of Common Stock acquired by the Optionholder pursuant to the exercise of the Option.

(m)          Right of First Refusal. The Option may include a provision whereby the Company may elect to exercise a right of first refusal following receipt of notice from the Optionholder of the intent to transfer all or any part of the shares of Common Stock received upon the exercise of the Option. Such right of first refusal shall be subject to the “Repurchase Limitation” in Section 8(l). Except as expressly provided in this Section 5(n) or in the Option Agreement, such right of first refusal shall otherwise comply with any applicable provisions of the Bylaws of the Company.

6.             Provisions of Stock Awards other than Options.

(a)           Restricted Stock Awards. Each Restricted Stock Award Agreement shall be in such form and shall contain such terms and conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate. To the extent consistent with the Company’s Bylaws, at the Board’s election, shares of Common Stock may be (x) held in book entry form subject to the Company’s instructions until any restrictions relating to the Restricted Stock Award lapse; or (y) evidenced by a certificate, which certificate shall be held in such form and manner as determined by the Board. The terms and conditions of Restricted Stock Award Agreements may change from time to time, and the terms and conditions of separate Restricted Stock Award Agreements need not be identical; provided, however, that each Restricted Stock Award Agreement shall include (through incorporation of the provisions hereof by reference in the agreement or otherwise) the substance of each of the following provisions:

(i)          Consideration. A Restricted Stock Award may be awarded in consideration for (A) past or future services actually or to be rendered to the Company or an Affiliate, or (B) any other form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to the Board in its sole discretion and permissible under applicable law.

(ii)         Vesting. Subject to the “Repurchase Limitation” in Section 8(l), shares of Common Stock awarded under the Restricted Stock Award Agreement may be subject to forfeiture to the Company in accordance with a vesting schedule to be determined by the Board.

(iii)       Termination of Participant’s Continuous Service. In the event a Participant’s Continuous Service terminates, the Company may receive via a forfeiture condition, any or all of the shares of Common Stock held by the Participant which have not vested as of the date of termination of Continuous Service under the terms of the Restricted Stock Award Agreement.

(iv)        Transferability. Rights to acquire shares of Common Stock under the Restricted Stock Award Agreement shall be transferable by the Participant only upon such terms and conditions as are set forth in the Restricted Stock Award Agreement, as the Board shall determine in its sole discretion, so long as Common Stock awarded under the Restricted Stock Award Agreement remains subject to the terms of the Restricted Stock Award Agreement.
 
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(b)           Restricted Stock Unit Awards. Each Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement shall be in such form and shall contain such terms and conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate. The terms and conditions of Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreements may change from time to time, and the terms and conditions of separate Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreements need not be identical, provided, however, that each Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement shall include (through incorporation of the provisions hereof by reference in the Agreement or otherwise) the substance of each of the following provisions:

(i)          Consideration. At the time of grant of a Restricted Stock Unit Award, the Board will determine the consideration, if any, to be paid by the Participant upon delivery of each share of Common Stock subject to the Restricted Stock Unit Award. The consideration to be paid (if any) by the Participant for each share of Common Stock subject to a Restricted Stock Unit Award may be paid in any form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to the Board in its sole discretion and permissible under applicable law.

(ii)        Vesting. At the time of the grant of a Restricted Stock Unit Award, the Board may impose such restrictions or conditions to the vesting of the Restricted Stock Unit Award as it, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.

(iii)       Payment. A Restricted Stock Unit Award may be settled by the delivery of shares of Common Stock, their cash equivalent, any combination thereof or in any other form of consideration, as determined by the Board and contained in the Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement.

(iv)        Additional Restrictions. At the time of the grant of a Restricted Stock Unit Award, the Board, as it deems appropriate, may impose such restrictions or conditions that delay the delivery of the shares of Common Stock (or their cash equivalent) subject to a Restricted Stock Unit Award to a time after the vesting of such Restricted Stock Unit Award.

(v)          Dividend Equivalents. Dividend equivalents may be credited in respect of shares of Common Stock covered by a Restricted Stock Unit Award, as determined by the Board and contained in the Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement. At the sole discretion of the Board, such dividend equivalents may be converted into additional shares of Common Stock covered by the Restricted Stock Unit Award in such manner as determined by the Board. Any additional shares covered by the Restricted Stock Unit Award credited by reason of such dividend equivalents will be subject to all the terms and conditions of the underlying Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement to which they relate.

(vi)        Termination of Participant’s Continuous Service. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement, such portion of the Restricted Stock Unit Award that has not vested will be forfeited upon the Participant’s termination of Continuous Service.

(vii)       Compliance with Section 409A of the Code. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth herein, any Restricted Stock Unit Award granted under the Plan that is not exempt from the requirements of Section 409A of the Code shall contain such provisions so that such Restricted Stock Unit Award will comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code. Such restrictions, if any, shall be determined by the Board and contained in the Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement evidencing such Restricted Stock Unit Award. For example, such restrictions may include, without limitation, a requirement that any Common Stock that is to be issued in a year following the year in which the Restricted Stock Unit Award vests must be issued in accordance with a fixed pre-determined schedule.
 
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(c)           Stock Appreciation Rights. Each Stock Appreciation Right Agreement shall be in such form and shall contain such terms and conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate. Stock Appreciation Rights may be granted as stand-alone Stock Awards or in tandem with other Stock Awards. The terms and conditions of Stock Appreciation Right Agreements may change from time to time, and the terms and conditions of separate Stock Appreciation Right Agreements need not be identical; provided, however, that each Stock Appreciation Right Agreement shall include (through incorporation of the provisions hereof by reference in the agreement or otherwise) the substance of each of the following provisions:

(i)          Term. No Stock Appreciation Right shall be exercisable after the expiration of ten (10) years from the date of grant or such shorter period specified in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement.

(ii)         Strike Price. Each Stock Appreciation Right will be denominated in shares of Common Stock equivalents. The strike price of each Stock Appreciation Right granted as a stand-alone or tandem Stock Award shall not be less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock equivalents subject to the Stock Appreciation Right on the date of grant.

(iii)       Calculation of Appreciation. The appreciation distribution payable on the exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right will be not greater than an amount equal to the excess of (A) the aggregate Fair Market Value (on the date of the exercise of the Stock Appreciation Right) of a number of shares of Common Stock equal to the number of shares of Common Stock equivalents in which the Participant is vested under such Stock Appreciation Right, and with respect to which the Participant is exercising the Stock Appreciation Right on such date, over (B) the strike price that will be determined by the Board on the date of grant.

(iv)        Vesting. At the time of the grant of a Stock Appreciation Right, the Board may impose such restrictions or conditions to the vesting of such Stock Appreciation Right as it, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.

(v)          Exercise. To exercise any outstanding Stock Appreciation Right, the Participant must provide written notice of exercise to the Company in compliance with the provisions of the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement evidencing such Stock Appreciation Right.

(vi)        Non-Exempt Employees. No Stock Appreciation Right granted to an Employee that is a non-exempt employee for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, shall be first exercisable for any shares of Common Stock until at least six months following the date of grant of the Stock Appreciation Right. The foregoing provision is intended to operate so that any income derived by a non-exempt employee in connection with the exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right will be exempt from his or her regular rate of pay.
 
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(vii)       Payment. The appreciation distribution in respect to a Stock Appreciation Right may be paid in Common Stock, in cash, in any combination of the two or in any other form of consideration, as determined by the Board and contained in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement evidencing such Stock Appreciation Right.

(viii)      Termination of Continuous Service. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Stock Appreciation Right Agreement or other agreement between the Participant and the Company, in the event that a Participant’s Continuous Service terminates (other than upon the Participant’s death or Disability), the Participant may exercise his or her Stock Appreciation Right (to the extent that the Participant was entitled to exercise such Stock Appreciation Right as of the date of termination of Continuous Service) but only within such period of time ending on the earlier of (A) the date three (3) months following the termination of the Participant’s Continuous Service (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement, which period shall not be less than thirty (30) days), or (B) the expiration of the term of the Stock Appreciation Right as set forth in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement. If, after termination of Continuous Service, the Participant does not exercise his or her Stock Appreciation Right within the time specified herein or in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement (as applicable), the Stock Appreciation Right shall terminate.

(ix)        Disability of Participant. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Stock Appreciation Right Agreement or other agreement between the Participant and the Company, in the event that a Participant’s Continuous Service terminates as a result of the Participant’s Disability, the Participant may exercise his or her Stock Appreciation Right (to the extent that the Participant was entitled to exercise such Stock Appreciation Right as of the date of termination of Continuous Service), but only within such period of time ending on the earlier of (A) the date twelve (12) months following such termination of Continuous Service (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement, which period shall not be less than six (6) months), or (B) the expiration of the term of the Stock Appreciation Right as set forth in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement. If, after termination of Continuous Service, the Participant does not exercise his or her Stock Appreciation Right within the time specified herein or in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement (as applicable), the Stock Appreciation Right shall terminate.

(x)         Death of Participant. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Stock Appreciation Right Agreement or other agreement between the Participant and the Company, in the event that (i) a Participant’s Continuous Service terminates as a result of the Participant’s death, or (ii) the Participant dies within the period (if any) specified in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement after the termination of the Participant’s Continuous Service for a reason other than death, then the Stock Appreciation Right may be exercised (to the extent the Participant was entitled to exercise such Stock Appreciation Right as of the date of death) by the Participant’s estate, by a person who acquired the right to exercise the Stock Appreciation Right by bequest or inheritance or by a person designated as the beneficiary of the Stock Appreciation Right upon the Participant’s death, but only within the period ending on the earlier of (i) the date eighteen (18) months following the date of death (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement, which period shall not be less than six (6) months), or (ii) the expiration of the term of such Stock Appreciation Right as set forth in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement. If, after the Participant’s death, the Stock Appreciation Right is not exercised within the time specified herein or in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement (as applicable), the Stock Appreciation Right shall terminate.
 
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(xi)        Compliance with Section 409A of the Code. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth herein, any Stock Appreciation Rights granted under the Plan that are not exempt from the requirements of Section 409A of the Code shall contain such provisions so that such Stock Appreciation Rights will comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code. Such restrictions, if any, shall be determined by the Board and contained in the Stock Appreciation Right Agreement evidencing such Stock Appreciation Right. For example, such restrictions may include, without limitation, a requirement that a Stock Appreciation Right that is to be paid wholly or partly in cash must be exercised and paid in accordance with a fixed pre-determined schedule.

7.            Covenants of the Company.

(a)           Availability of Shares. During the terms of the Stock Awards, the Company shall keep available at all times the number of shares of Common Stock reasonably required to satisfy such Stock Awards.

(b)           Securities Law Compliance. The Company shall seek to obtain from each regulatory commission or agency having jurisdiction over the Plan such authority as may be required to grant Stock Awards and to issue and sell shares of Common Stock upon exercise of the Stock Awards; provided, however, that this undertaking shall not require the Company to register under the Securities Act the Plan, any Stock Award or any Common Stock issued or issuable pursuant to any such Stock Award. If, after reasonable efforts, the Company is unable to obtain from any such regulatory commission or agency the authority that counsel for the Company deems necessary for the lawful issuance and sale of Common Stock under the Plan, the Company shall be relieved from any liability for failure to issue and sell Common Stock upon exercise of such Stock Awards unless and until such authority is obtained.

(c)           No Obligation to Notify. The Company shall have no duty or obligation to any holder of a Stock Award to advise such holder as to the time or manner of exercising such Stock Award. Furthermore, the Company shall have no duty or obligation to warn or otherwise advise such holder of a pending termination or expiration of a Stock Award or a possible period in which the Stock Award may not be exercised. The Company has no duty or obligation to minimize the tax consequences of a Stock Award to the holder of such Stock Award.

8.            Miscellaneous.

(a)           Use of Proceeds from Sales of Common Stock. Proceeds from the sale of shares of Common Stock pursuant to Stock Awards shall constitute general funds of the Company.

(b)           Corporate Action Constituting Grant of Stock Awards. Corporate action constituting a grant by the Company of a Stock Award to any Participant shall be deemed completed as of the date of such corporate action, unless otherwise determined by the Board, regardless of when the instrument, certificate, or letter evidencing the Stock Award is communicated to, or actually received or accepted by, the Participant.
 
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(c)           Stockholder Rights. No Participant shall be deemed to be the holder of, or to have any of the rights of a holder with respect to, any shares of Common Stock subject to such Stock Award unless and until such Participant has satisfied all requirements for exercise of the Stock Award pursuant to its terms and the Participant shall not be deemed to be a stockholder of record until the issuance of the Common Stock pursuant to such exercise has been entered into the books and records of the Company.

(d)           No Employment or Other Service Rights. Nothing in the Plan, any Stock Award Agreement or any other instrument executed thereunder or in connection with any Stock Award granted pursuant thereto shall confer upon any Participant any right to continue to serve the Company or an Affiliate in the capacity in effect at the time the Stock Award was granted or shall affect the right of the Company or an Affiliate to terminate (i) the employment of an Employee with or without notice and with or without cause, (ii) the service of a Consultant pursuant to the terms of such Consultant’s agreement with the Company or an Affiliate, or (iii) the service of a Director pursuant to the Bylaws of the Company or an Affiliate, and any applicable provisions of the corporate law of the state in which the Company or the Affiliate is incorporated, as the case may be.

(e)           Incentive Stock Option $100,000 Limitation. To the extent that the aggregate Fair Market Value (determined at the time of grant) of Common Stock with respect to which Incentive Stock Options are exercisable for the first time by any Optionholder during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company and any Affiliates) exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the Options or portions thereof that exceed such limit (according to the order in which they were granted) shall be treated as Nonstatutory Stock Options, notwithstanding any contrary provision of the applicable Option Agreement(s).

(f)            Investment Assurances. The Company may require a Participant, as a condition of exercising or acquiring Common Stock under any Stock Award, (i) to give written assurances satisfactory to the Company as to the Participant’s knowledge and experience in financial and business matters and/or to employ a purchaser representative reasonably satisfactory to the Company who is knowledgeable and experienced in financial and business matters and that he or she is capable of evaluating, alone or together with the purchaser representative, the merits and risks of exercising the Stock Award; and (ii) to give written assurances satisfactory to the Company stating that the Participant is acquiring Common Stock subject to the Stock Award for the Participant’s own account and not with any present intention of selling or otherwise distributing the Common Stock. The foregoing requirements, and any assurances given pursuant to such requirements, shall be inoperative if (x) the issuance of the shares upon the exercise or acquisition of Common Stock under the Stock Award has been registered under a then currently effective registration statement under the Securities Act, or (y) as to any particular requirement, a determination is made by counsel for the Company that such requirement need not be met in the circumstances under the then applicable securities laws. The Company may, upon advice of counsel to the Company, place legends on stock certificates issued under the Plan as such counsel deems necessary or appropriate in order to comply with applicable securities laws, including, but not limited to, legends restricting the transfer of the Common Stock.
 
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(g)           Withholding Obligations. To the extent provided by the terms of a Stock Award Agreement, the Company may, in its sole discretion, satisfy any federal, state or local tax withholding obligation relating to a Stock Award by any of the following means (in addition to the Company’s right to withhold from any compensation paid to the Participant by the Company) or by a combination of such means: (i) causing the Participant to tender a cash payment; (ii) withholding shares of Common Stock from the shares of Common Stock issued or otherwise issuable to the Participant in connection with the Stock Award; provided, however, that no shares of Common Stock are withheld with a value exceeding the minimum amount of tax required to be withheld by law (or such lower amount as may be necessary to avoid classification of the Stock Award as a liability for financial accounting purposes); (iii) withholding payment from any amounts otherwise payable to the Participant; (iv) withholding cash from a Stock Award settled in cash; or (v) by such other method as may be set forth in the Stock Award Agreement.

(h)           Electronic Delivery. Any reference herein to a “written” agreement or document shall include any agreement or document delivered electronically or posted on the Company’s intranet.

(i)            Deferrals. To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Board, in its sole discretion, may determine that the delivery of Common Stock or the payment of cash, upon the exercise, vesting or settlement of all or a portion of any Stock Award may be deferred and may establish programs and procedures for deferral elections to be made by Participants. Deferrals by Participants will be made in accordance with Section 409A of the Code. Consistent with Section 409A of the Code, the Board may provide for distributions while a Participant is still an employee. The Board is authorized to make deferrals of Stock Awards and determine when, and in what annual percentages, Participants may receive payments, including lump sum payments, following the Participant’s termination of employment or retirement, and implement such other terms and conditions consistent with the provisions of the Plan and in accordance with applicable law.

(j)            Compliance with Section 409A. To the extent that the Board determines that any Stock Award granted hereunder is subject to Section 409A of the Code, the Stock Award Agreement evidencing such Stock Award shall incorporate the terms and conditions necessary to avoid the consequences specified in Section 409A(a)(1) of the Code. To the extent applicable, the Plan and Stock Award Agreements shall be interpreted in accordance with Section 409A of the Code and Department of Treasury regulations and other interpretive guidance issued thereunder, including without limitation any such regulations or other guidance that may be issued or amended after the Effective Date. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, in the event that following the Effective Date the Board determines that any Stock Award may be subject to Section 409A of the Code and related Department of Treasury guidance (including such Department of Treasury guidance as may be issued after the Effective Date), the Board may adopt such amendments to the Plan and the applicable Stock Award Agreement or adopt other policies and procedures (including amendments, policies and procedures with retroactive effect), or take any other actions, that the Board determines are necessary or appropriate to (1) exempt the Stock Award from Section 409A of the Code and/or preserve the intended tax treatment of the benefits provided with respect to the Stock Award, or (2) comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code and related Department of Treasury guidance.
 
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(k)          Compliance with Exemption Provided by Rule 12h-1(f). If: (i) the aggregate of the number of Optionholders and the number of holders of all other outstanding compensatory employee stock options to purchase shares of Common Stock equals or exceeds five hundred (500), and (ii) the assets of the Company at the end of the Company’s most recently completed fiscal year exceed $10 million, then the following restrictions shall apply during any period during which the Company does not have a class of its securities registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act and is not required to file reports under Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act: (A) the Options and, prior to exercise, the shares of Common Stock acquired upon exercise of the Options may not be transferred until the Company is no longer relying on the exemption provided by Rule 12h-1(f) promulgated under the Exchange Act (“Rule 12h-1 (f)”), except: (1) as permitted by Rule 701(c) promulgated under the Securities Act, (2) to a guardian upon the disability of the Optionholder, or (3) to an executor upon the death of the Optionholder (collectively, the “Permitted Transferees”); provided, however, the following transfers are permitted: (i) transfers by the Optionholder to the Company, and (ii) transfers in connection with a change of control or other acquisition involving the Company, if following such transaction, the Options no longer remain outstanding and the Company is no longer relying on the exemption provided by Rule 12h‑1(f); provided further, that any Permitted Transferees may not further transfer the Options; (B) except as otherwise provided in (A) above, the Options and shares of Common Stock acquired upon exercise of the Options are restricted as to any pledge, hypothecation, or other transfer, including any short position, any “put equivalent position” as defined by Rule 16a‑1(h) promulgated under the Exchange Act, or any “call equivalent position” as defined by Rule 16a‑1(b) promulgated under the Exchange Act by the Optionholder prior to exercise of an Option until the Company is no longer relying on the exemption provided by Rule 12h-1(f); and (C) at any time that the Company is relying on the exemption provided by Rule 12h-1(f), the Company shall deliver to Optionholders (whether by physical or electronic delivery or written notice of the availability of the information on an internet site) the information required by Rule 701(e)(3), (4), and (5) promulgated under the Securities Act every six (6) months, including financial statements that are not more than one hundred eighty (180) days old; provided, however, that the Company may condition the delivery of such information upon the Optionholder’s agreement to maintain its confidentiality.

(l)            Repurchase Limitation. The terms of any repurchase option shall be specified in the Stock Award Agreement. The repurchase price for vested shares of Common Stock shall be the Fair Market Value of the shares of Common Stock on the date of repurchase. The repurchase price for unvested shares of Common Stock shall be the lower of (i) the Fair Market Value of the shares of Common Stock on the date of repurchase or (ii) their original purchase price. However, the Company shall not exercise its repurchase option until at least six (6) months (or such longer or shorter period of time necessary to avoid classification of the Stock Award as a liability for financial accounting purposes) have elapsed following delivery of shares of Common Stock subject to the Stock Award, unless otherwise specifically provided by the Board.

9.             Adjustments upon Changes in Common Stock; Other Corporate Events.

(a)           Capitalization Adjustments. In the event of a Capitalization Adjustment, the Board shall proportionately and appropriately adjust: (i) the class(es) and maximum number of securities subject to the Plan pursuant to Section 3(a), (ii) the class(es) and maximum number of securities that may be issued pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options pursuant to Section 3(c), and (iii) the class(es) and number of securities and price per share of stock subject to outstanding Stock Awards. The Board shall make such adjustments, and its determination shall be final, binding and conclusive.
 
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(b)           Dissolution or Liquidation. Except as otherwise provided in the Stock Award Agreement, in the event of a dissolution or liquidation of the Company, all outstanding Stock Awards (other than Stock Awards consisting of vested and outstanding shares of Common Stock not subject to the Company’s right of repurchase) shall terminate immediately prior to the completion of such dissolution or liquidation, and the shares of Common Stock subject to the Company’s repurchase option may be repurchased by the Company notwithstanding the fact that the holder of such Stock Award is providing Continuous Service, provided, however, that the Board may, in its sole discretion, cause some or all Stock Awards to become fully vested, exercisable and/or no longer subject to repurchase or forfeiture (to the extent such Stock Awards have not previously expired or terminated) before the dissolution or liquidation is completed but contingent on its completion.

(c)           Corporate Transaction. The following provisions shall apply to Stock Awards in the event of a Corporate Transaction unless otherwise provided in the instrument evidencing the Stock Award or any other written agreement between the Company or any Affiliate and the holder of the Stock Award or unless otherwise expressly provided by the Board at the time of grant of a Stock Award.

(i)          Stock Awards May Be Assumed. Except as otherwise stated in the Stock Award Agreement, in the event of a Corporate Transaction, any surviving corporation or acquiring corporation (or the surviving or acquiring corporation’s parent company) may assume or continue any or all Stock Awards outstanding under the Plan or may substitute similar stock awards for Stock Awards outstanding under the Plan (including but not limited to, awards to acquire the same consideration paid to the stockholders of the Company pursuant to the Corporate Transaction), and any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by the Company in respect of Common Stock issued pursuant to Stock Awards may be assigned by the Company to the successor of the Company (or the successor’s parent company, if any), in connection with such Corporate Transaction. A surviving corporation or acquiring corporation (or its parent) may choose to assume or continue only a portion of a Stock Award or substitute a similar stock award for only a portion of a Stock Award. The terms of any assumption, continuation or substitution shall be set by the Board in accordance with the provisions of Section 2.

(ii)         Stock Awards Held by Current Participants. Except as otherwise stated in the Stock Award Agreement, in the event of a Corporate Transaction in which the surviving corporation or acquiring corporation (or its parent company) does not assume or continue such outstanding Stock Awards or substitute similar stock awards for such outstanding Stock Awards, then with respect to Stock Awards that have not been assumed, continued or substituted and that are held by Participants whose Continuous Service has not terminated prior to the effective time of the Corporate Transaction (referred to as the “Current Participants”), the vesting of such Stock Awards (and, if applicable, the time at which such Stock Awards may be exercised) shall (contingent upon the effectiveness of the Corporate Transaction) be accelerated in full to a date prior to the effective time of such Corporate Transaction as the Board shall determine (or, if the Board shall not determine such a date, to the date that is five (5) days prior to the effective time of the Corporate Transaction), and such Stock Awards shall terminate if not exercised (if applicable) at or prior to the effective time of the Corporate Transaction, and any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by the Company with respect to such Stock Awards shall lapse (contingent upon the effectiveness of the Corporate Transaction).
 
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(iii)       Stock Awards Held by Persons other than Current Participants. Except as otherwise stated in the Stock Award Agreement, in the event of a Corporate Transaction in which the surviving corporation or acquiring corporation (or its parent company) does not assume or continue such outstanding Stock Awards or substitute similar stock awards for such outstanding Stock Awards, then with respect to Stock Awards that have not been assumed, continued or substituted and that are held by persons other than Current Participants, the vesting of such Stock Awards (and, if applicable, the time at which such Stock Award may be exercised) shall not be accelerated and such Stock Awards (other than a Stock Award consisting of vested and outstanding shares of Common Stock not subject to the Company’s right of repurchase) shall terminate if not exercised (if applicable) prior to the effective time of the Corporate Transaction; provided, however, that any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by the Company with respect to such Stock Awards shall not terminate and may continue to be exercised notwithstanding the Corporate Transaction.

(iv)        Payment for Stock Awards in Lieu of Exercise. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event a Stock Award will terminate if not exercised prior to the effective time of a Corporate Transaction, the Board may provide, in its sole discretion, that the holder of such Stock Award may not exercise such Stock Award but will receive, in the Board’s discretion, such cash consideration (including no consideration) as the Board may consider appropriate, in such form as may be determined by the Board, including a payment equal in value to the excess, if any, of (A) the value of the property the holder of the Stock Award would have received upon the exercise of the Stock Award, over (B) any exercise price payable by such holder in connection with such exercise.

(d)           Change in Control. A Stock Award may be subject to additional acceleration of vesting and exercisability upon or after a Change in Control as may be provided in the Stock Award Agreement for such Stock Award or as may be provided in any other written agreement approved by the Board between the Company or any Affiliate and the Participant, but in the absence of such provision, no such acceleration shall occur.

10.          Termination or Suspension of the Plan.

(a)           Plan Term. The Board may suspend or terminate the Plan at any time. Unless sooner terminated by the Board pursuant to Section 2, the Plan shall automatically terminate on December 15, 2025. No Stock Awards may be granted under the Plan while the Plan is suspended or after it is terminated.

(b)           No Impairment of Rights. Suspension or termination of the Plan shall not impair rights and obligations under any Stock Award granted while the Plan is in effect except with the written consent of the affected Participant.

11.          Effective Date of Plan.

This Plan shall become effective on the Effective Date.
 
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12.          Choice of Law.

The law of the State of Delaware shall govern all questions concerning the construction, validity and interpretation of this Plan, without regard to that state’s conflict of laws rules.

13.          Definitions. As used in the Plan, the following definitions shall apply to the capitalized terms indicated below:

(a)           Affiliate” means, at the time of determination, any “parent” or “majority-owned subsidiary” of the Company, as such terms are defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. The Board shall have the authority to determine the time or times at which “parent” or “majority-owned subsidiary” status is determined within the foregoing definition.

(b)           Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

(c)           Capitalization Adjustment” means any change that is made in, or other events that occur with respect to, the Common Stock subject to the Plan or subject to any Stock Award after the Effective Date without the receipt of consideration by the Company (through merger, consolidation, reorganization, recapitalization, reincorporation, stock dividend, dividend in property other than cash, stock split, liquidating dividend, combination of shares, exchange of shares, change in corporate structure or other transaction not involving the receipt of consideration by the Company). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the conversion of any convertible securities of the Company shall not be treated as a transaction “without the receipt of consideration” by the Company.

(d)           Change in Control” means the occurrence, in a single transaction or in a series of related transactions, of any one or more of the following events:

(i)          any Exchange Act Person becomes the Owner, directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined voting power of the Company’s then outstanding securities other than by virtue of a merger, consolidation or similar transaction. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Change in Control shall not be deemed to occur (A) on account of the acquisition of securities of the Company by an investor, any affiliate thereof or any other Exchange Act Person that acquires the Company’s securities in a transaction or series of related transactions the primary purpose of which is to obtain financing for the Company through the issuance of equity securities or (B) solely because the level of Ownership held by any Exchange Act Person (the “Subject Person”) exceeds the designated percentage threshold of the outstanding voting securities as a result of a repurchase or other acquisition of voting securities by the Company reducing the number of shares outstanding, provided that if a Change in Control would occur (but for the operation of this sentence) as a result of the acquisition of voting securities by the Company, and after such share acquisition, the Subject Person becomes the Owner of any additional voting securities that, assuming the repurchase or other acquisition had not occurred, increases the percentage of the then outstanding voting securities Owned by the Subject Person over the designated percentage threshold, then a Change in Control shall be deemed to occur;
 
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(ii)         there is consummated a merger, consolidation or similar transaction involving (directly or indirectly) the Company and, immediately after the consummation of such merger, consolidation or similar transaction, the stockholders of the Company immediately prior thereto do not Own, directly or indirectly, either (A) outstanding voting securities representing more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined outstanding voting power of the surviving Entity in such merger, consolidation or similar transaction or (B) more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined outstanding voting power of the parent of the surviving Entity in such merger, consolidation or similar transaction, in each case in substantially the same proportions as their Ownership of the outstanding voting securities of the Company immediately prior to such transaction;

(iii)       the stockholders of the Company approve or the Board approves a plan of complete dissolution or liquidation of the Company, or a complete dissolution or liquidation of the Company shall otherwise occur, except for a liquidation into a parent corporation; or

(iv)        there is consummated a sale, lease, exclusive license or other disposition of all or substantially all of the consolidated assets of the Company and its Subsidiaries (in each case as determined by the Board in its sole discretion), other than a sale, lease, license or other disposition of all or substantially all of the consolidated assets of the Company and its Subsidiaries to an Entity, more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined voting power of the voting securities of which are Owned by stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their Ownership of the outstanding voting securities of the Company immediately prior to such sale, lease, license or other disposition.

Notwithstanding the foregoing definition or any other provision of this Plan, (A) the term Change in Control shall not include a sale of assets, merger or other transaction effected exclusively for the purpose of changing the domicile of the Company, and (B) the definition of Change in Control (or any analogous term) in an individual written agreement between the Company or any Affiliate and the Participant shall supersede the foregoing definition with respect to Stock Awards subject to such agreement; provided, however, that if no definition of Change in Control or any analogous term is set forth in such an individual written agreement, the foregoing definition shall apply.

(e)           Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(f)            Committee” means a committee of one or more Directors to whom authority has been delegated by the Board in accordance with Section 2(c).

(g)           Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company.

(h)           Company” means Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., a Delaware corporation.

(i)           Consultant” means any person, including an advisor, who is (i) engaged by the Company or an Affiliate to render consulting or advisory services and is compensated for such services, or (ii) serving as a member of the board of directors of an Affiliate and is compensated for such services. However, service solely as a Director, or payment of a fee for such service, shall not cause a Director to be considered a “Consultant” for purposes of the Plan.
 
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(j)            Continuous Service” means that the Participant’s service with the Company or an Affiliate, whether as an Employee, Director or Consultant, is not interrupted or terminated. A change in the capacity in which the Participant renders service to the Company or an Affiliate as an Employee, Director, or Consultant or a change in the Entity for which the Participant renders such service, provided that there is no interruption or termination of the Participant’s service with the Company or an Affiliate, shall not terminate a Participant’s Continuous Service; provided, however, if the Entity for which a Participant is rendering service ceases to qualify as an Affiliate, as determined by the Board in its sole discretion, such Participant’s Continuous Service shall be considered to have terminated on the date such Entity ceases to qualify as an Affiliate. For example, a change in status from an employee of the Company to a consultant of an Affiliate or to a Director shall not constitute an interruption of Continuous Service. To the extent permitted by law, the Board or the chief executive officer of the Company, in that party’s sole discretion, may determine whether Continuous Service shall be considered interrupted in the case of any leave of absence approved by that party, including sick leave, military leave or any other personal leave. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a leave of absence shall be treated as Continuous Service for purposes of vesting in a Stock Award only to such extent as may be provided in the Company’s leave of absence policy, in the written terms of any leave of absence agreement or policy applicable to the Participant, or as otherwise required by law.

(k)           Corporate Transaction” means the occurrence, in a single transaction or in a series of related transactions, of any one or more of the following events:

(i)          the consummation of a sale or other disposition of all or substantially all, as determined by the Board in its sole discretion, of the consolidated assets of the Company and its Subsidiaries;

(ii)        the consummation of a sale or other disposition of at least ninety percent (90%) of the outstanding securities of the Company (other than a distribution of the shares by Ionis to the Ionis stockholders);

(iii)       the consummation of a merger, consolidation or similar transaction following which the Company is not the surviving corporation; or

(iv)        the consummation of a merger, consolidation or similar transaction following which the Company is the surviving corporation but the shares of Common Stock outstanding immediately preceding the merger, consolidation or similar transaction are converted or exchanged by virtue of the merger, consolidation or similar transaction into other property, whether in the form of securities, cash or otherwise.

(l)            Director” means a member of the Board.

(m)          Disability” means the inability of a Participant to engage in any substantially gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve (12) months, and shall be determined by the Board on the basis of such medical evidence as the Board deems warranted under the circumstances.

(n)           Effective Date” means the effective date of this Plan, which is the earlier of (i) the date that this Plan is first approved by the Company’s stockholders, or (ii) the date this Plan is adopted by the Board.
 
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(o)           Employee” means any person employed by the Company or an Affiliate. However, service solely as a Director, or payment of a fee for such services, shall not cause a Director to be considered an “Employee” for purposes of the Plan.

(p)           Entity” means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other entity.

(q)           Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

(r)           Exchange Act Person” means any natural person, Entity or “group” (within the meaning of Section 13(d) or 14(d) of the Exchange Act), except that “Exchange Act Person” shall not include (i) the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company, (ii) any employee benefit plan of the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company or any trustee or other fiduciary holding securities under an employee benefit plan of the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company, (iii) an underwriter temporarily holding securities pursuant to an offering of such securities, (iv) an Entity Owned, directly or indirectly, by the stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their Ownership of stock of the Company; or (v) any natural person, Entity or “group” (within the meaning of Section 13(d) or 14(d) of the Exchange Act) that, as of the Effective Date of the Plan as set forth in Section 11, is the Owner, directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined voting power of the Company’s then outstanding securities.

(s)           Fair Market Value” means, as of any date, the value of the Common Stock determined as follows:

(i)          If the Common Stock is listed on any established stock exchange or traded on any established market, the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock will be, unless otherwise determined by the Board, the closing sales price for such stock as quoted on such exchange or market (or the exchange or market with the greatest volume of trading in the Common Stock) on the date of determination, as reported in a source the Board deems reliable.

(ii)         Unless otherwise provided by the Board, if there is no closing sales price for the Common Stock on the date of determination, then the Fair Market Value will be the closing sales price on the last preceding date for which such quotation exists.

(iii)       In the absence of such markets for the Common Stock, the Fair Market Value will be determined by the Board in good faith and in a manner that complies with Sections 409A and 422 of the Code.

(t)            Incentive Stock Option” means an Option that qualifies as an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

(u)           Nonstatutory Stock Option” means an Option that does not qualify as an Incentive Stock Option.

(v)            Officer” means any person designated by the Company as an officer.
 
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(w)           Option” means an Incentive Stock Option or a Nonstatutory Stock Option to purchase shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to the Plan.

(x)           Option Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and an Optionholder evidencing the terms and conditions of an Option grant. Each Option Agreement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.

(y)           Optionholder” means a person to whom an Option is granted pursuant to the Plan or, if applicable, such other person who holds an outstanding Option.

(z)           Own,” “Owned,” “Owner,” “Ownership” A person or Entity shall be deemed to “Own,” to have “Owned,” to be the “Owner” of, or to have acquired “Ownership” of securities if such person or Entity, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, has or shares voting power, which includes the power to vote or to direct the voting, with respect to such securities.

(aa)         Participant” means a person to whom a Stock Award is granted pursuant to the Plan or, if applicable, such other person who holds an outstanding Stock Award.

(bb)         Plan” means this Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. 2015 Equity Incentive Plan.

(cc)         Restricted Stock Award” means an award of shares of Common Stock which is granted pursuant to the terms and conditions of Section 6(a).

(dd)         Restricted Stock Award Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and a holder of a Restricted Stock Award evidencing the terms and conditions of a Restricted Stock Award. Each Restricted Stock Award Agreement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.

(ee)         Restricted Stock Unit Award” means a right to receive shares of Common Stock which is granted pursuant to the terms and conditions of Section 6(b).

(ff)           Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and a holder of a Restricted Stock Unit Award evidencing the terms and conditions of a Restricted Stock Unit Award grant. Each Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.

(gg)         Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(hh)         Stock Appreciation Right” means a right to receive the appreciation on Common Stock that is granted pursuant to the terms and conditions of Section 6(c).

(ii)           Stock Appreciation Right Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and a holder of a Stock Appreciation Right evidencing the terms and conditions of a Stock Appreciation Right grant. Each Stock Appreciation Right Agreement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.
 
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(jj)           Stock Award” means any right to receive Common Stock granted under the Plan, including an Incentive Stock Option, a Nonstatutory Stock Option, a Restricted Stock Award, a Restricted Stock Unit Award, or a Stock Appreciation Right.

(kk)        Stock Award Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and a Participant evidencing the terms and conditions of a Stock Award grant. Each Stock Award Agreement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.

(ll)           Subsidiary” means, with respect to the Company, (i) any corporation of which more than fifty percent (50%) of the outstanding capital stock having ordinary voting power to elect a majority of the board of directors of such corporation (irrespective of whether, at the time, stock of any other class or classes of such corporation shall have or might have voting power by reason of the happening of any contingency) is at the time, directly or indirectly, Owned by the Company, and (ii) any partnership, limited liability company or other entity in which the Company has a direct or indirect interest (whether in the form of voting or participation in profits or capital contribution) of more than fifty percent (50%) .

(mm)       Ten Percent Stockholder” means a person who Owns (or is deemed to Own pursuant to Section 424(d) of the Code) stock possessing more than ten percent (10%) of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or any Affiliate.
 

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