Lidak Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that it has receivedFood and Drug Administration approval to begin Phase I clinicaltrials of Lidakol as a topical treatment for genital herpes. Thecompany plans to begin the safety trials this month and hopesto complete them within three months, said Dr. David Katz,chairman and chief executive officer.

Lidakol is a long-chain aliphatic alcohol that inserts itselfinto the cell membrane. It appears to work by disturbing viralpenetration into the target cell, with 98 percent or greaterinhibition of cellular replication of virus, Katz said.

La Jolla, Calif.-based Lidak has in vitro evidence that Lidakolmay be active against other viruses that are surrounded byenvelopes, such as respiratory syncytial virus, which causes apulmonary infectious disease affecting young children andinfants, Katz said. Lidak's data has been accepted forpublication in a peer review journal.

Last week Lidak said it expected to receive a U.S. patent forinternal uses of Lidakol and had received a small businessinnovation research grant from the National Institutes ofHealth to investigate the compound's internal effectiveness.

Lidak stock (NASDAQ:LDAKA) closed unchanged Tuesday at$1.06.

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