Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has signed a license and share purchase agreement with Cocrystal Discovery, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel antiviral therapeutics for the treatment of serious and chronic viral diseases.

Cocrystal Discovery will utilise the investment from Teva to continue its development programme of novel antiviral drugs that target viral replication enzymes.

According to the agreement, Teva will initially invest $7.5m in Cocrystal Discovery, and the company will develop an antiviral drug targeting the polymerase enzyme of the hepatitis C virus for Teva.

Following completion of the initial development plan, Teva will have the right to exclusively license the drug for further development and commercialisation under agreed-upon commercial terms.

Cocrystal Discovery chief scientist Roger Kornberg said that through this agreement it is ideally placed to accelerate the development of a novel platform that combines high resolution X-ray crystallography with unique and advanced computational methods.

”It is our hope we can yield new and better drugs for the treatment and prevention of many viral diseases,” Kornberg added.

Teva will further invest in Cocrystal Discovery for the development of two additional antiviral or antibacterial drugs, for which it will receive up to 23% holdings in the company.