Lidak Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday that it receivednotices of allowances on two U.S. patents for the use of its leaddrug, Lidakol, as a systemic treatment for arthritis and otherinflammatory diseases.

The new patents cover the use of Lidakol, an n-docosanol-based product, by injection or via transmucus or transdermalpenetration.

The La Jolla, Calif., company said it plans to develop Lidakol asa systemic treatment of viral and inflammatory diseases,including cytomegalovirus, influenza and HIV.

"We believe a systemic drug will broaden the scope of theproduct for viral diseases which can't be treated topically," saidMichael Lorber, the company's vice president and chieffinancial officer.

Phase II trials of Lidakol as a topical treatment for oral andgenital herpes is scheduled to begin this month under aninvestigational new drug (IND) application

Lorber told BioWorld that the company (NASDAQ:LDAKA)believes Lidakol's anti-inflammatory properties could beeffective, and so far it's shown to be non-toxic in preclinicalstudies. Lorber would not predict when Lidakol may enterclinicals for use as a systemic drug.

-- Michelle Slade Associate Editor

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