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Cocrystal Pharma has signed an agreement with Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) for rights to preclinical compounds to treat coronavirus infection.

As part of the deal, the company also acquired exclusive, royalty-bearing right and licence to broad-spectrum antiviral compounds for norovirus treatment.

Cocrystal plans to progress the licensed compounds through research and development, including preclinical and clinical testing.

Cocrystal Pharma president Dr Sam Lee said: “This license agreement opens several development opportunities for us to expand the broad utility of our platform to address significant viruses for which there are unmet medical needs, particularly the Covid-19 coronavirus and norovirus.

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“There is an urgent demand to address the public health threat that the coronavirus continues to present, and we believe that our proprietary drug discovery platform has the capability to do just that.”

The company’s technology is designed to produce a 3D structure of inhibitor complexes. This will help find new binding sites.

Cocrystal said that the technology was used to develop compounds that can selectively act on enzymes required for viral replication.