32 EARLY-STAGE COMPANIES SET TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF SELLING OVER $58 MILLION THROUGH 2021 NJ NET OPERATING LOSS PROGRAM
Award for companies approved to sell their losses through the program in 2021 average $1.82 million
TRENTON, N.J. (March 9, 2022) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that 32 early-stage companies have been approved to share a combined $58.1 million in funding through New Jersey’s 2021 Net Operating Loss (NOL) Program.
The NOL Program, jointly administered by the NJEDA and the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation, enables qualified companies to sell up to $20 million in benefits generated from their unused New Jersey net operating losses and research and development (R&D) tax credits for cash to unaffiliated, profit-generating corporate taxpayers in the state of New Jersey. The cash can then be used for working capital or to fund research. To date, more than $1.126 billion in funding has been distributed to over 570 technology and biotechnology companies since the program’s inception in the late 1990s. The average benefit award for approved companies in the program 2021 was $1.82 million.
The NOL Program got a boost in January 2021, when Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA). Part of the Act increased the program’s annual cap from $60 million to $75 million. Of this $75 million, $10 million is reserved for the surrender of transferable tax benefits exclusively by eligible companies operating within the boundaries of the State’s three Innovation Zones (technology clusters fostering business-university collaboration located in Camden, Newark and the Greater New Brunswick Area). It also increased the lifetime cap for an individual company from $15 million to $20 million.
“The NOL Program has a long and successful history of helping early-stage technology and life sciences companies by providing the resources they need to become profitable and prepare for long-term growth in New Jersey,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Sullivan. “In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to making New Jersey the most diverse, inclusive innovation ecosystem in the nation, the NOL Program will lead to additional job creation within New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem and to the advancement of life-saving and life-enhancing technologies.”
In addition to being vital to emerging companies, the NOL Program also provides enormous benefits to the profitable companies that are buying the net operating losses and unused R&D tax credits. A profitable company can purchase tax credits at a discount, based on the market price at the time. These tax credits have traditionally traded somewhere between 88 and 94 cents on the dollar. Once purchased, the tax credits can then be applied to potentially reduce the buyer’s state tax obligation. Profitable companies interested in becoming buyers for the program can visit http://www.njeda.com/nol for details. The names of the buyers who chose to be publicly listed can also be found on that website.
Caladrius Biosciences, Inc., located in Basking Ridge, TLC Products Inc. located in Blackwood, and Celsion Corporation, located in Lawrenceville, are three of the early-stage companies that benefited from the NOL Program in 2021. TLC Product Inc. is participating in the NOL Program for the first time in 2021.
Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company targeting select cardiovascular indications. The company’s proprietary platform technology leverages the body’s natural repair mechanisms using formulations unique to each medical indication.
“Thanks to the NOL Program’s increased lifetime cap this year, we were able to secure more funding than we would have under the program’s previous parameters,” said Caladrius President and CEO David J. Mazzo, Ph.D. “This non-dilutive capital will be instrumental to the advancement of our efforts to develop first-in-class therapies. We are grateful for the NJEDA’s continued support of the New Jersey biotech community through resources such as the NOL program.”
Established in 2017, TLC Products Inc. is a technology-focused company supporting the adoption of a new class of high performance, lightweight Co-Graphene(TM) thermoplastic composites in a variety of end markets and applications. The company built a machine to validate the process to make graphene composites from graphite, creating a cost-efficient technology for graphene composites. TLC Products currently operates in a 20,000-square-foot facility located in Camden County with a growing team of scientists, engineers, and operators, and is currently working with many companies as well as the US government.
“The NOL enables early-stage technology and life sciences companies like TLC Products to better position ourselves for profitability and long-term growth,” said TLC Products Inc. Founder Charles Chang. “By leveraging the funding we receive through the NOL Program, TLC will be able to further invest in our continuous commercial production process and strengthen our competitive position in the plastics industry supply chain.”
Celsion is a fully integrated, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on advancing a portfolio of innovative cancer treatments, including immunotherapies and DNA-based therapies. The company has a product pipeline that includes GEN-1, a DNA-based immunotherapy for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer, and ThermoDox®, which is used for several cancer indications. In addition, the company has developed a novel platform for the development of nucleic acid vaccines currently focused on COVID.
“The NJEDA’s NOL Program is a terrific example of the ways New Jersey is reinforcing its commitment to growing its already vibrant innovation ecosystem, the biotechnology industry, and the development of new lifesaving therapies,” said Celsion Corporation’s Chairman, President and CEO Michael H. Tardugno. “We appreciate the NJEDA’s support as we continue to develop life-saving drugs and we applaud their efforts to foster continued investment and growth for New Jersey businesses.”
The application process for the 2022 NOL Program is scheduled to open in May 2022. On this next round of awards, the $10 million reserved for the surrender of transferable tax benefits exclusively by eligible companies operating within the boundaries of the State’s three Innovation Zones Eligibility will be expanded to $15 million and include qualified companies located in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts, as well as eligible companies certified as women and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey.
In addition to expanding the NOL Program, the ERA creates a suite of programs that includes tax credits to incentivize job creation, new construction, and revitalization of brownfields and historic properties; financial resources for small businesses; support for new supermarkets and healthy food retailers in food desert communities; new funding opportunities for early-stage companies in New Jersey; and support for the growing film and digital media industry. The NJEDA will continue to engage the public as new programs and rules are developed.