News that Cocrystal Pharma (NASDAQ:COCP) has made progress on its Covid-19 antiviral drug candidates and plans to expand development has sent the COCP stock price up more than 40% in Tuesday’s pre-market trading.
The Washington state clinical-stage biotech firm said its CDI-45205 showed good bioavailability in mouse and rat pharmacokinetic studies via intraperitoneal injection and no cytotoxicity against various human cell lines.
The company recently demonstrated a strong synergistic effect with the FDA-approved Covid-19 medicine remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).
At the same time, Cocrystal also said it plans to launch a second Covid-19 program with additional antiviral compounds for development. The company is also developing novel SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors that block viral replication and transcription.
COCP Stock Joins Antivirals Pursuit
Investors are stoking COCP stock in part on the promise of progress with its antiviral compounds. But it has some big competition.
Last week Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) CEO Albert Bourla acknowledged that the firm is testing two Covid-19 antivirals, one that is injected intravenously and another that is administered orally, which are expected to be effective against variants of the virus.
Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Swiss drugmaker Roche are also in pursuit of a treatment that would stop the progress of Covid-19 in infected patients. So far, Gilead’s remdesivir is the only antiviral medication shown to help hospitalized patients.
“Public health officials are calling for the urgent development of potent antivirals that inhibit the replication cycle of SARS-CoV-2,” said Gary Wilcox, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Cocrystal. “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.”
On the date of publication, Robert Lakin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin is a veteran financial writer and editor, including previous stints with Bloomberg News, McKinsey & Co. and McDonald & Company Investments.
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