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Cocrystal Pharma (COCP) Completes Research Obligations With Merck

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Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (COCP - Free Report) announced that it has completed all research obligations under the Merck (MRK - Free Report) exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement and the latter is now solely responsible for further development of the influenza A/B antiviral compounds. The influenza A/B antiviral compounds were discovered using Cocrystal’s unique structure-based technologies and Nobel Prize-winning expertise.

Shares of the company have skyrocketed 192.8% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 13.8%.

According to the agreement announced in January 2019, Merck had an option for Cocrystal to perform up to 12 months of additional work, if the initial two years of collaboration did not progress as expected. However, the goals were achieved within the timeline by the collaboration and hence, there was no need for Merck to exercise this option.

There is a huge unmet need for influenza antivirals and Merck will continue further development of the antiviral agents in the influenza A/B program.

Cocrystal is a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics. In December 2020, the company selected CDI-45205 as the lead compound for further development against coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The company is currently leveraging its unique structure-based technologies to develop antiviral drugs for seasonal and pandemic influenza, hepatitis C, coronaviruses and noroviruses.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Cocrystal Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (ACOR - Free Report) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN - Free Report) both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Acorda’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from $9.66 to $8.48 for 2020 and from $9.60 to $7.33 for 2021 over the past 60 days.

Alexion’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $12.04 to $12.06 for 2020 and from $12.77 to $12.78 for 2021 over the past 60 days.

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