Shares of Cocrystal Pharma Inc. more than doubled on massive record volume in afternoon trading Tuesday, a day after the biotechnology company said it has made “progress” in developing antiviral drug candidates that target coronaviruses, including those that cause COVID-19. Trading volume skyrocketed to 559.5 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 832,300 shares. Cocrystal launched its COVID-19 program in March 2020. The stock’s previous record for trading volume was 81.1 million shares on Feb. 24, 2020. “We are aggressively developing novel coronavirus protease inhibitors for COVID-19 prophylactic and therapeutic use,” said President Sam Lee, in Monday release. “Our high-resolution x-ray cocrystal structures further confirmed the specific covalent interaction with this conserved region of the proteases of the coronaviruses SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV viruses.” The stock, which was recently up 104.0%, has now run up 86.0% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has slipped 1.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.5%.
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