COCP Stock Price Increases 111.17% Over The Past Week: Why It Happened

By Amit Chowdhry ● Nov 27, 2020
  • The stock price of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: COCP) increased by 111.17% over the past week as it went from $0.90 per share on November 20 to $1.89 per share as of today. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: COCP) increased by 111.17% over the past week as it went from $0.90 per share on November 20 to $1.89 per share as of today. One of the biggest triggers as to why it happened likely had to do with a report that Tipranks published about billionaire Steve Cohen having a large stake in the company through his hedge fund Point72 Asset Management — which has over $17 billion in assets under management. 

Specifically, Point72 has about 2.86 million shares of the company according to a 13F filing. The 13F filing also reveals that Renaissance Technologies has 3.82 million shares in the company. Financial firms Vanguard Group, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America also have smaller stakes in COCP.

Cocrystal is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics. Recently the company also announced its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, and provided program updates.

Cocrystal reported that as of September 30, 2020, the company had about $31,781,000 cash on hand. And revenue recorded for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, was $489,000 and $1,504,000, respectively — which is compared to $492,000 and $6,162,000 for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, respectively. The company pointed out that the revenue difference for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, is because that period included $4,368,000 in initial revenue of intellectual property rights conveyed at the signing of the Merck Collaboration Agreement executed on January 2, 2019 (more on that below).

“We have made significant progress since initiating our COVID-19 program this year by strengthening our patent portfolio around these molecules, conducting a proof of concept animal study, initiating preclinical studies, and identifying additional inhibitors using our proprietary platform. Over the course of the last quarter we continued to make progress on multiple fronts. We are pleased with the promising new data we recently announced for our wholly-owned influenza A development program and continue to work towards finalizing the Phase 1 study protocol in preparation to initiate the Phase 1 study in 2021,” said Dr. Gary Wilcox, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cocrystal. “In addition to advancing our development programs, we closed the quarter with $31.8 million cash, which provides funding for the expansion of our COVID-19 and influenza A programs. Our team remains keenly focused on executing our milestones to drive shareholder value.”

Some of the company’s recent highlights include an announcement about promising in vitro and 7-day toxicity data for its influenza A preclinical lead molecule CC-42344. And the company revealed new in vitro data demonstrating antiviral activity with lead compound CC-42344 against major Xofluza (baloxavir)-resistant H1N1 strain (I38T).

Currently, the company has two programs that are aggressively pursuing the development of novel antiviral compounds for the treatment of coronavirus infections. The first program is with compounds licensed from Kansas State University Research Foundation that have demonstrated in vitro anti-SARS-CoV-2 (responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic) activity and in vivo efficacy in MERS-CoV-infected animal models. And Cocrystal continued preclinical studies of these COVID-19 inhibitors during the third quarter. The company anticipates the selection of a lead preclinical molecule by the end of 2020. And the second program in Covid-19 has identified additional inhibitors using Cocrystal’s proprietary platform technology.

Cocrystal Pharma has exclusive license and collaboration agreements with Merck for discovering and developing proprietary influenza A/B antiviral agents. And Cocrystal’s exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme to discover and develop proprietary influenza A/B antiviral agents is ongoing. Merck funded the collaborative influenza A/B program and could potentially provide up to $156 million in milestone payments through clinical and commercial development along with royalties following commercialization.