Research and development activities are central to our business model. Product candidates in later stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of later-stage clinical trials. We expect that our research and development expenses will continue to increase in the foreseeable future as we advance the clinical development of SER-287, conduct our ECOSPOR III Phase 3 clinical study of SER-109, continue to discover and develop additional product candidates, including SER-401. SER-155 and SER-301, and pursue later stages of clinical development of our product candidates. See, however, “—Liquidity and Capital Resources” below for a discussion of our plans to potentially reduce our spending in the event we are unable to raise sufficient capital to fund our current operating plans in the next twelve months.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and other related costs, including stock-based compensation, for personnel in our executive, finance, corporate business development and administrative functions. General and administrative expenses also include legal fees relating to patent and corporate matters; professional fees for accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services; insurance costs; travel expenses; and facility-related expenses, which include direct depreciation costs and allocated expenses for rent and maintenance of facilities and other operating costs.