Cocrystal Pharma Reports 2022 Financial Results and Provides Updates on its Antiviral Drug Development Programs
BOTHELL, Wash., March 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: COCP) reports financial results for the 12 months ended December 31, 2022, and provides updates on its antiviral pipeline, upcoming milestones and business activities.
“This is an eventful time for Cocrystal with multiple near-term milestones with our highly promising antiviral programs,” said Sam Lee, Ph.D., President and co-CEO of Cocrystal. “Preparations are ongoing with a UK regulatory filing to begin an influenza A Phase 2a human challenge study with our novel oral PB2 inhibitor CC-42344. Pending regulatory clearance, we expect patient enrollment to begin in the second half of this year.
“We are also preparing to file with the Australian regulatory agency to begin a first-in-human trial in our oral COVID-19 program with our novel, broad-spectrum protease inhibitor CDI-988. This trial is also slated to begin in the first half of 2023, subject to regulatory clearance,” he added. “In our norovirus program, preclinical development activities are ongoing and we plan to select a lead oral candidate by mid-2023.”
“We made significant progress over the past year that put us on pace to initiate two clinical trials during 2023,” said James Martin, CFO and co-CEO. “We expect our cash will be sufficient to fund operating activities for the coming year as we tightly manage our financial resources under our cost-efficient operating model. We also intend to pursue non-dilutive funding to further support development of our promising antiviral programs.”
Antiviral Product Pipeline Overview
We are developing antiviral therapeutics that inhibit the essential viral replication function of RNA viruses that cause acute and chronic viral diseases. Our drug discovery process focuses on the highly conserved regions of the viral enzymes and inhibitor-enzyme interactions at the atomic level. It differs from traditional, empirical medicinal chemistry approaches that often require iterative high-throughput compound screening and lengthy hit-to-lead processes. In designing drug candidates, we seek to anticipate and avert potential viral mutations leading to resistance. By designing and selecting drug candidates that interrupt the viral replication process and have specific binding characteristics, we seek to develop drugs that not only are effective against both the virus and possible mutants of the virus, but also have reduced off-target interactions that may cause undesirable clinical side effects. We will continue developing preclinical and clinical drug candidates using our proprietary drug discovery technology.
Influenza is a severe respiratory illness caused by either the influenza A or B virus that results in disease outbreaks mainly during the winter months. The global seasonal influenza market was valued at $6.5 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach up to $27.95 billion by 2029, according to Data Bridge Market Research.
COVID-19 and Other Coronavirus Programs
By targeting viral replication enzymes and protease, we believe it is possible to develop an effective treatment for all coronavirus diseases including COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Our main SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitors showed potent in vitro pan-viral activity against common human coronaviruses, rhinoviruses and respiratory enteroviruses that cause the common cold, as well as against noroviruses that can cause symptoms of acute gastroenteritis.
Hepatitis C Program
2022 Financial Results
Research and development expenses for 2022 were $12.4 million compared with $8.8 million for 2021, with the increase primarily due to advancing our influenza lead candidate CC-42344 through a Phase 1 trial and preparation for a Phase 2a clinical trial planned for 2023, as well as advancing our lead COVID-19 clinical oral candidate CDI-988 in preparation for a Phase 1 clinical trial planned for 2023. General and administrative expenses for 2022 were $5.7 million compared with $5.4 million for 2021, with the increase primarily due to professional fees and litigation expenses.
The Company’s litigation with an insurer resulted in the insurance company obtaining a summary judgment during the second quarter of 2022 and accounted for a potential $1.6 million adverse award. The Company filed an appeal in July 2022. Pending the outcome of the appeal, the Company paid $1.6 million into the registry of the court, which stayed execution of the judgment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held oral argument on the appeal on March 8, 2023, and the parties are still awaiting a ruling on the appeal.
The net loss for 2022 was $38.8 million, or $4.77 per share, compared with the net loss for 2021 of $14.2 million, or $0.16 per share. This increase was primarily due to a $19.1 million non-cash impairment-loss of goodwill and an increase in R&D expenses as we continue to advance CC-42344, CDI-988 and other product candidates.
Cocrystal reported unrestricted cash of $37.1 million as of December 31, 2022 compared with $58.7 million as of December 31, 2021. Net cash used in operating activities for 2022 was $21.4 million. The Company reported working capital of $39.0 million and 8.1 million common shares outstanding as of December 31, 2022.
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, coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2), hepatitis C viruses 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 our plans for the future development of preclinical and clinical drug candidates, our expectations regarding future characteristics of the product candidates we develop, the expected time of achieving certain value driving milestones in our programs, including, preparation, commencement and advancement of clinical studies for certain product candidates in 2023, the viability and efficacy of potential treatments for coronavirus and other diseases, expectations for the markets for certain therapeutics, our ability to execute our clinical and regulatory goals and deploy regulatory guidance towards future studies, the expected sufficiency of our cash balance to fund our planned operations, our liquidity and planned cost-efficient management of our financial resources, and our continued pursuit of non-dilutive funding. 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, the risks and uncertainties arising from the impact of COVID-19 (including long-term and pervasive effects of the virus), inflation, interest rate increases and the Ukraine war on our Company, our collaboration partners, and on the U.S., U.K., Australia and global economies, including manufacturing and research delays arising from raw materials and labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and other business interruptions including any adverse impacts on our ability to obtain raw materials and test animals as well as similar problems with our vendors and our current Contract Research Organization (CRO) and any future CROs and Contract Manufacturing Organizations, the results of the studies for CC-42344 and CDI-988, the ability of our CROs to recruit volunteers for, and to proceed with, clinical studies, our reliance on Merck for further development in the influenza A/B program under the license and collaboration agreement, our and our collaboration partners’ techology and software performing as expected, financial difficulties experienced by certain partners, the results of future preclinical and clinical trials, general risks arising from clinical trials, receipt of regulatory approvals, regulatory changes, development of effective treatments and/or vaccines by competitors, including as part of the programs financed by the U.S. government, potential mutations in a virus we are targeting which may result in variants that are resistant to a product candidate we develop, and the outcome of our appeal of the summary judgment. 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, 2022. 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.
LHA Investor Relations
Financial Tables to follow
COCRYSTAL PHARMA, INC.
COCRYSTAL PHARMA, INC.
# # #