19. Cash and cash equivalents

Notes to the consolidated financial statements
CSR report


31 December

(thousands of €)



Cash at banks



Term deposits



Cash and cash equivalents from continuing operations



Cash and cash equivalents included in assets classified as held for sale



Total cash and cash equivalents



We discuss the evolution of our cash and cash equivalents including the cash and cash equivalents classified as held for sale.

Cash and cash equivalents may comprise cash at banks, short term bank deposits and money market funds that are readily convertible to cash and are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value. Our cash management strategy monitors and optimizes our liquidity position. Our cash management strategy allows short term deposits with an original maturity exceeding 3 months while monitoring all liquidity aspects. Cash and cash equivalents comprised €895.2 million of term deposits which all had an original maturity longer than 3 months. All cash and cash equivalents are available upon maximum three month notice period and without significant penalty. Cash at banks were mainly composed of notice accounts and current accounts. Our credit risk is mitigated by selecting a panel of highly rated financial institutions for our deposits.

On 31 December 2020, our cash and cash equivalents included $894.3 million held in USD, which could generate a foreign currency exchange gain or loss in our financial results in accordance with the fluctuation of the EUR/USD exchange rate as our functional currency is EUR.

The net increase in cash and cash equivalents of €281.5 million was composed of (i) €517.4 million of operational cash burn, offset by (ii) €28.3 million of cash proceeds from capital and share premium increase from exercise of subscription rights in 2020, (iii) the net sale of current financial investments of €841.1 million, and less (iv) €70.5 million of negative unrealized exchange differences.

Operational cash burn (or operational cash flow if this performance measure is positive) and net cash inflow from the Gilead transaction are financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with IFRS. Operational cash burn/cash flow is defined as the increase or decrease in our cash and cash equivalents (excluding the effect of exchange rate differences on cash and cash equivalents), minus:

  1. the net proceeds, if any, from share capital and share premium increases included in the net cash flows generated/used (–) in financing activities
  2. the net proceeds or cash used, if any, in acquisitions or disposals of businesses; the movement in restricted cash and movement in current financial investments, if any, included in the net cash flows generated/used (–) in investing activities.

This alternative performance measure is in our view an important metric for a biotech company in the development stage.

The following table presents a reconciliation of operational cash flow, net cash inflow from the Gilead transaction and the operational cash burn adjusted for the Gilead transaction, to the closest IFRS measures, for each of the periods indicated:

(thousands of €)



Increase in cash and cash equivalents (excluding effect of exchange differences)






Net proceeds from capital and share premium increases



Net purchase/sale (-) of current financial investments



Total operational cash flow/cash burn (-)



Upfront consideration received from Gilead



Realized exchange loss on Gilead upfront



Costs associated to the transaction with Gilead



Net operational cash proceeds from the Gilead transaction



Operational cash burn adjusted for Gilead transaction