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COCP: Cocrystal Pharma has secured funding to enter three clinical trials and fund planned operations through 2023

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By Thomas Kerr, CFA



Founded in 2006, Cocrystal Pharma (NASDAQ:COCP) is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on novel antiviral treatments in the areas of coronavirus, influenza, hepatitis, and norovirus. The company has a proprietary drug discovery platform technology that provides more rapid and efficient drug discoveries. The company has a seasoned management team and experienced science advisory board that includes two Nobel laureates. Cocrystal has been successful at raising capital throughout its history and runs a cost-efficient operation with a clean capital structure and no debt. The company believes it has sufficient funding for planned operations through 2023.

Founded by Gary Wilcox (d. 2021), Dr. Sam Lee, Roger Kornberg and Philip Frost, the company focuses on therapeutics and treatments for serious or chronic viral diseases. The company has pursued both therapeutic and prophylactic avenues of fighting viral diseases, but not in the vaccine market as that area is currently established and competitive. Preventing viral replication is a key tenet of the company’s research and development.

The company was originally privately funded by entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive Dr. Phillip Frost who was involved with Ivax Corporation and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Cocrystal went public in 2014 through a reverse merger with an existing shell company at the time. In 2015, they merged with RFS Pharma, a privately owned biotech company founded by renowned drug developer, Dr. Raymond Schinazi.

Cocrystal has generally been successful at raising capital through equity financing transactions since going public. More recently, in 2021 the company raised $38.5 million through a normal course secondary offering under a current shelf registration. Additionally, in 2020, they raised $35.8 million through a secondary ATM offering.

The company has developed a proprietary drug discovery platform technology that provides potential for viable drug candidates at reduced costs and with shorter discovery and development timelines. This involves utilizing high throughput x-ray crystallography at near atomic resolution to deliver potent and effective molecules that can evade viral resistance.

Cocrystal currently has seven active programs in its product pipeline of which three of these are devoted to treatments for SARS-CoV-2. Two programs are related to effective antiviral treatments for pandemic and seasonal influenza infections, and one is a legacy approach to shortening treatments for Hepatitis C. The final program deals with Norovirus Gastroenteritis, a highly contagious widespread virus that causes diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain.

The company is expected to commence clinical trials in three of its programs in 2022. Cocrystal believes it has sufficient liquidity and cash on hand for planned operations through 2023.

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