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Welcome to the Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda.  This show is a window into the latest innovations in digital health and the changing dynamic between doctors and patients.

Topics on the show include

  • the emergence of precision medicine and breakthroughs in genomics
  • advances in biopharmaceuticals
  • age-related diseases and aging in place
  • using big data from wearables and sensors
  • transparency in the medical marketplace
  • challenges for connected health entrepreneurs

The audience includes researchers, medical professionals, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, patients, caregivers, solution providers, students, journalists, and investors.

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

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