Cocrystal Pharma Selects Lead Compound for Further Development Against Coronaviruses

CDI-45205 holds potential as a therapeutic and as a prophylactic to protect against coronavirus transmission, including SARS-CoV-2

BOTHELL, Wash., Dec. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: COCP), (“Cocrystal” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics, announces the selection of CDI-45205 as the lead compound for further development against coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

CDI-45205 was one of the broad spectrum protease inhibitors that were obtained by an exclusive license from Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) under an agreement announced in April 2020. That agreement provides Cocrystal with an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to develop and commercialize therapeutic, diagnostic and prophylactic products against coronaviruses, caliciviruses and picornaviruses based on antivirals discovered by KSURF. The Company believes these protease inhibitors have the ability to convert the inactive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase replication enzymes into an active form.

“Following preclinical studies by Cocrystal, we have selected CDI-45205 as having promising attributes in combatting a range of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2,” said Sam Lee, Ph.D., President of Cocrystal. “We see significant potential for delivering this compound either by injection or inhalation and for potential use as both a therapeutic and prophylactic, thereby providing protection to uninfected individuals who may become exposed. With this selection now made, we will initiate API synthesis and IND-enabling studies toward clinical development. In addition to identifying CDI-45205, we have also applied our proprietary platform technology for developing additional novel coronavirus inhibitors suitable for oral administration.”

“We are particularly excited about the approach of using a protease inhibitor as the basis for a coronavirus antiviral,” said Gary Wilcox, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cocrystal. “CDI-45205 was selected from the broad spectrum protease inhibitors discovered by KSURF that demonstrated in vitro and in vivo activity in animal models against the viral pathogens MERS and SARS. Preclinical animal studies of these coronavirus compounds published in the prestigious medical journal, Science Translational Medicine (August 19, 2020), showed in vivo efficacy and an acceptable safety profile in the MERS-CoV mouse model. Our further testing allowed us to identify a promising candidate molecule among these compounds for our lead development program.

“We view our novel approach to developing antiviral therapeutics as highly complementary to new SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and as important weapons in the ongoing fight against coronaviruses,” added Dr. Wilcox. “We plan to continue evaluating proprietary coronavirus antiviral compounds discovered through our technology platform, including those with potential for oral delivery.”

Cocrystal’s technology generates a 3-D structure of inhibitor complexes at near-atomic resolution, which provides the Company with the ability to identify novel binding sites and for the rapid turnaround of structural information through highly automated x-ray data processing and refinement. By utilizing this technology, Cocrystal is able to develop compounds that specifically target enzymes that are essential for viral replication. The Company is currently leveraging its unique structure-based technologies to develop antiviral drugs for seasonal and pandemic influenza, hepatitis C, coronaviruses and noroviruses.

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 www.cocrystalpharma.com.

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 regarding the ability of CDI-45205 to combat coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and the expected delivery methods, our beliefs regarding the initiation of API synthesis and IND-enabling studies, and the expected potential of CDI-45205 in light of recent development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The words "believe," "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, risks arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our ability to proceed with our programs, on third parties upon whom we rely, and on the national and global economy, the further development of effective treatments and/or vaccines by competitors, our ability to find and enter into agreements with suitable collaboration partners the results of preclinical and clinical studies, and receipt of regulatory approvals. Further information on our risk factors is contained in our filings with the SEC, including our Prospectus Supplement dated August 26, 2020 and 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. 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.

Investor Contact:
LHA Investor Relations
Jody Cain
310-691-7100
jcain@lhai.com

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