Lidak Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday announced preliminaryresults of a Phase II pilot study of its herpes drug Lidakol.

The study, conducted in Europe by the company's partner,Brocades Pharma b.v., investigated 68 patients with herpeslabialis, also known as fever blisters or cold sores.

Preliminary results in the double-blind, placebo-controlled trialshowed that early application of Lidakol cut the duration of theepisodes nearly in half. The treated group's average outbreakperiod was 3.4 days, while the placebo group had outbreaksaveraging 6.6 days.

The anti-viral cream also is being tested on patients withrecurrent oral or genital herpes in U.S. trials managed by Lidak.

Brocades Pharma, part of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.,is based in the Netherlands and has collaborated on Europeandevelopment and commercialization of Lidakol since 1991.

A full report on the European study will be prepared forpresentation at a scientific meeting and for publication in ascientific journal. Besides the study of 68 individuals duringone outbreak, half the group also participated in a double-blinded, placebo controlled crossover study in which theresearch subjects randomly received the same type of creaminitially used by another subject, said David Katz, Lidak'spresident and chief executive officer.

This design is meant to minimize the effect of patient-to-patient variability.

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