Cocrystal Pharma Announces the Publication by Collaborators of Positive Data Demonstrating Potent In Vitro Inhibition Against Coronavirus in Science Translational Medicine Journal

– Cocrystal has two exclusive licenses for the coronavirus protease inhibitors described in the publication –

– Cocrystal is currently further conducting preclinical studies of these coronavirus protease inhibitors (3CL) –

BOTHELL, WA, Aug. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: COCP), (“Cocrystal” or the “Company”), a clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics, today announced the publication of preclinical animal studies of coronavirus antiviral compounds in the renowned medical journal, Science Translational Medicine.

The manuscript titled, “The 3C-like protease inhibitors with potent in-vitro inhibition against SARS-CoV-2 and therapeutic efficacy in MERS-CoV infected mice,” was published online in the 3 August 2020 Science Translational Medicine Journal. Authors of the published manuscript were Athri D. Rathnayake, Jian Zheng, Yunjeong Kim, Krishani Dinali Perera, Samantha Mackin, David Meyerholz, Maithri M. Kashipathy, Kevin P. Battaile, Scott Lovell, Stanley Perlman, William C. Groutas, Kyeong-Ok Chang.

Data presented in the publication is included in the Company’s two exclusive license agreements with Kansas State University Research Foundation (“KSURF”) for new coronavirus antiviral compounds with novel mechanism of action.

“Our license agreement with KSURF has continued to exhibit the potential and broad utility of our platform to address the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. To have this compelling data included in the prestigious publication, Science Translational Medicine, is a testament to the potential of these inhibitors to treat COVID-19. The publication supports the quality and importance of the work performed by the group of co-authors,” commented Dr. Gary Wilcox, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cocrystal.

Under the license agreements with KSURF, Cocrystal has been granted an exclusive, royalty-bearing right and license to certain antiviral compounds for humans and small molecule therapeutic inhibitors against coronaviruses, picornaviruses and caliciviruses covered by patent rights controlled by KSURF. Cocrystal intends to continue development of these antiviral compounds for coronavirus. These licenses significantly expand and further advance the Company's COVID-19 program by providing more targeted and potent compounds.

“We are incredibly enthusiastic with the positive preclinical data and the solid foundation we believe these inhibitors provide for advancing development of SARS-CoV-2 treatment,” added Dr. Sam Lee, President of Cocrystal. “The potent activity and the effectiveness of the mechanism of action demonstrated by these coronavirus protease inhibitors is very encouraging. Of utmost interest was the activity seen from a select number of compounds in the study series which were shown to be effective in vitro against SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we continue applying our proprietary platform technology to further optimize properties of lead molecules and are also exploring multiple routes of administration of these COVID-19 antivirals. These findings bolster our belief in the broad-spectrum capabilities and demonstrated proof-of-concept therapeutic efficacy of these inhibitors against human and animal coronaviruses.”

Cocrystal initiated its preclinical studies of COVID-19 inhibitors received from KSURF during Q2 2020. The Company has also recently identified additional inhibitors using its proprietary platform technology and anticipates the selection of its lead preclinical molecule by year end.

About Science Translational Medicine

Science Translational Medicine is a weekly journal devoted to research and issues of strong interest to the translational medicine community. Translational medicine topics suitable for submission include any original research findings, discussions or analyses that move the field closer to the goal of improving human health, or the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Science Translational Medicine publishes original, peer-reviewed, science-based research articles that report successful advances toward the goal of improving patients' lives. The editors and an international advisory group of scientists and clinician-scientists as well as other experts hold Science Translational Medicine articles to the same high-quality standard that is the hallmark of the journal Science.

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Summary updates are available on CDC’s web page: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

About Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.

Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics that target the replication process of influenza viruses, hepatitis C viruses, coronaviruses and noroviruses. Cocrystal employs unique structure-based technologies and Nobel Prize winning expertise to create first- and best-in-class antiviral drugs. For further information about Cocrystal, please visit

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to expected results of our collaboration with Merck, including the potential of the Company’s platform to address the virus responsible for and treat COVID-19, the Company’s continued development of its licensed antiviral compounds ; and the anticipated timing of achieving the value-driving milestones in our COVID-19 program, including the selection of a preclinical lead molecule in Q4 2020. The words "believe," "proceeds," "may," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "should," "plan," "could," "target," "potential," "is likely," "will," "expect" and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events. Some or all of the events anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the risks arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our Company, including (i) supply chain disruptions, (ii) our continued ability to proceed with our programs, and (iii) on the national and global economy, our reliance on certain third parties, and competition from major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies which are advancing product candidates to treat COVID-19 and related vaccines. Further information on our risk factors is contained in our filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. Any forward-looking statement made by us herein speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Additional factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

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Source: Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.