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Welcome to the Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda.  This show is a window into the latest innovations in applying generative AI, novel therapeutics and vaccines, and the changing dynamics in the medical and healthcare environment. One focus is on how providers, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are empowering patients.  In addition, conversations are often about how providers, care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are being empowered by technology to improve patient outcomes and reduce friction across the healthcare landscape.

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  • Virtual and digital health
  • Use of AI, ML, and LLM in healthcare and drug discovery, development, trials
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  • Next-generation immuno, cell, and gene therapies
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  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health
  • Treating chronic conditions like obesity and pain
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The audience includes life science leaders, researchers, medical professionals, patient advocates, digital health entrepreneurs, patients, caregivers, healthcare solution providers, students, journalists, and investors. 


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Empowered Patient Solutions

Dec 18, 2023

Dr. Sam Lee, Co-CEO of Cocrystal Pharma, discusses novel antiviral therapeutics to treat norovirus. This highly contagious virus causes acute gastroenteritis, and there is no known treatment or vaccine.  Cocrystal is developing a compound that targets the essential enzymes of the virus, showing promising results in inhibiting norovirus replication and showing possible use in treating human rhinovirus and enterovirus. The goal is to develop a protease inhibitor therapeutic for norovirus that can alleviate symptoms and potentially prevent infection spread in high-risk environments.

Sam explains, "Let me step back and tell you how we approach the noro antiviral drug development. So, we're focusing on what we call direct-acting antiviral therapeutics. We're targeting viral essential enzymes, and we initiated this noro program looking at the essential genes such as RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. We have really exciting hits, but we also look at the protease. Norovirus has this essential protease, which is absolutely required for viral replication."  

"During the COVID time, we focused on coronavirus protease and developed the coronavirus protease inhibitors for COVID. But at the same time, we have this drug discovery platform technology that looks at various viral proteases, including norovirus, human rhinovirus, and enterovirus. The list goes on, and we recognize that computational analysis now is the people who use artificial intelligence."

"But we had a pretty good prediction that norovirus would be actually a good target, that our coronavirus inhibitors should innovate the norovirus protease. That's how we started. Then, from there, we quickly applied our platform approach and demonstrated that, in fact, our coronavirus protease inhibitors for COVID treatment actually work well against the norovirus. I just want to point out that we also evaluated the approved drugs such as Pfizer, coronavirus protease inhibitors, and Shionogi protease inhibitors. Those compounds do not have any activity against norovirus. This is where we could differentiate compounds from existing protease inhibitors. So we're very excited about this."

#CocrystalPharma #Norovirus #RNAVirus #SuperVirus #Coronavirus  #HumanRhinovirus

Download the transcript here