- The stock price of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: COCP) increased 59.68% pre-market as it went from $1.24 to $1.98. This is why it happened.
The stock price of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: COCP) – a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics that target the replication machinery of influenza viruses, coronaviruses, hepatitis C viruses and noroviruses – increased 59.68% pre-market as it went from $1.24 to $1.98. Investors are responding positively to Cocrystal Pharma announcing progress in developing broad-spectrum antiviral drug candidates that target coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. And Cocrystal initiated its COVID-19 program in March 2020 and has since expanded the program with additional development and licensing.
Lead candidate CDI-45205
In December 2020, Cocrystal announced the selection of CDI-45205 as its lead coronavirus development candidate among a group of protease inhibitors obtained through an exclusive license agreement with Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) announced in 2020. And CDI-45205 showed good bioavailability in mouse and rat pharmacokinetic studies via intraperitoneal injection and also no cytotoxicity against a variety of human cell lines.
Cocrystal recently demonstrated a strong synergistic effect with the FDA-approved COVID-19 medicine remdesivir. And a proof-of-concept animal study demonstrated that daily injection of CDI-45205 exhibited favorable in vivo efficacy in MERS-CoV-2 infected mice. Plus Cocrystal has obtained promising preliminary pharmacokinetic results and is continuing to further evaluate CDI-45205.
Novel SARS-CoV-2 replication inhibitors
Cocrystal has utilized its antiviral development expertise by using its proprietary technology and drug discovery platform to launch a second COVID-19 program with additional antiviral compounds developed.
“We are aggressively developing novel coronavirus protease inhibitors for COVID-19 prophylactic and therapeutic use. These drug candidates bind to a highly conserved region of the active site of SARS-CoV-2 protease that is required for SARS-CoV-2 viral replication. Our high-resolution x-ray cocrystal structures further confirmed the specific covalent interaction with this conserved region of the proteases of the coronaviruses SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV viruses.”
“We believe that, due to their novel mechanism of action, our protease inhibitors are likely to be effective against new variants of SARS-CoV-2. This may include the recent variants first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and India, which may be more contagious forms of the virus and may evade immunity produced by vaccines or previous infection.”
“The immediate next steps in the process of advancing this candidate toward clinical development require scale-up synthesis and the subsequent manufacture of several kilograms of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to support Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies and Phase 1 trials. Similar to our influenza CC-42344 program, we are exploring multiple routes of administration of preclinical lead molecules including oral, inhalation and injection. We will also be examining in vitro activities of our compounds against the SARS-CoV-2 variants.”
“While we are highly encouraged by preclinical progress with CDI-45205, we continue developing a new class of SARS-CoV inhibitors. We applied our proprietary drug discovery platform technology and high-throughput protein crystallography approach to design new chemical scaffolds to improve in vitro potency and pharmacokinetic properties. Lead discovery and optimization are ongoing. We anticipate identifying another SARS-CoV-2 preclinical lead for oral administration this year. In addition to these two SARS-CoV-2 protease programs, we are also developing novel SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors that block viral replication and transcription. Our goal is to rapidly advance multiple SARS-CoV-2 lead molecules to the clinical trial stage.”
— Sam Lee, Ph.D., President of Cocrystal
“Public health officials are calling for the urgent development of potent antivirals that inhibit the replication cycle of SARS-CoV-2. Among the significant challenges scientists face is inhibiting viral replication without damaging the inner workings of healthy cells. Cocrystal’s approach to drug discovery could provide a solution for designing antivirals for use against a range of viruses, including coronaviruses, with limited off-target interaction.
“Our established, proprietary drug discovery platform is comprised of computation, medicinal chemistry and x-ray crystallography together with extensive knowledge of viruses and drug targets. This is a far different approach from traditional, empirical, medicinal chemistry approaches that often require iterative high-throughput compound screening and lengthy hit-to-lead processes.”
— Gary Wilcox, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cocrystal
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.