The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

On March 11, 2020 the WHO characterized the novel coronavirus, termed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a pandemic. This announcement followed the rapid worldwide rise of infected individuals after the initial identification of pneumonia associated with an unknown virus in China in December 2019, later determined to be caused by infection with COVID-19.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that historically have been associated with illness ranging from mild symptoms similar to the common cold to more severe respiratory disease. Infection with the novel COVID-19 has been associated with a wide range of responses, from no symptoms to more severe disease that includes pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death. The incubation period for COVID-19 is believed to be within 14 days after exposure, with most illness occurring within about 5 days after exposure. The ability of someone with no symptoms to transmit infection to another person has heightened the public health challenge of COVID-19.

We are aggressively pursuing the development of novel antiviral compounds for the treatment of coronavirus infections using our established proprietary drug discovery platform. By targeting the viral replication enzymes and protease, we believe it is possible to develop an effective treatment for all coronaviruses causing COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

To learn more about coronavirus, please visit the information page at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coronavirus Replication and Protease Inhibitor

Program Discovery Preclinical Phase 1 Phase 2a Phase 3
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Replication and Protease Inhibitor
Discovery Phase complete
Preclinical Phase in progress
Phase 1 Phase not started
Phase 2a Phase not started
Phase 3 Phase not started

On February 24, 2020 we announced our entry into a license agreement with Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) to further develop certain proprietary broad-spectrum antiviral compounds for the treatment of Norovirus and Coronavirus infections. On April 22, 2020 we announced the expansion of our previously announced license agreement with KSURF to include rights to additional preclinical leads and further develop certain proprietary broad-spectrum antiviral compounds for the treatment of COVID-19.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cocrystal has been granted an exclusive, royalty-bearing right and license to certain small molecule therapeutic inhibitors against coronaviruses, picornaviruses and caliciviruses covered by patent rights controlled by KSURF. We intend to pursue research and development of these antiviral compounds for coronavirus, including preclinical and clinical development. This license significantly expands and further advances our COVID-19 program by providing more targeted, potent compounds for further development.

The additional compounds licensed from KSURF have demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo activity in animal models against the viral pathogens MERS and SARS, which are coronaviruses that are structurally similar to SARS-CoV-2.

We initiated preclinical studies of COVID-19 inhibitors during the second quarter of 2020, and we plan to identify additional COVID-19 inhibitors utilizing our proprietary platform technology. During the fourth quarter of 2020, we announced the selection of a lead preclinical molecule.