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NEW ANTI-VIRAL COMPOUND REPORTED BY LIDAK PHARMACEUTICALS

 NEW ANTI-VIRAL COMPOUND REPORTED BY LIDAK PHARMACEUTICALS
 LA JOLLA, Calif., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In an article published in the current issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at LIDAK Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LDAKU,LDAKA) reported a new chemical inhibitor that is active against the virus which causes herpes, and which may also have properties that allow it to be inhibitory for other viruses as well.
 The viral inhibitory chemical, which is a long-chain saturated alcohol known as 1-docosanol, has been shown by LIDAK scientists to inhibit multiplication of both types 1 and 2 herpesviruses, which are responsible for causing oral and genital herpes infections. This inhibition of the herpesvirus was shown in susceptible target cells grown in tissue culture. In contrast to currently available anti- viral drugs, which block very specific events required for multiplication of viruses within their primary target cells, 1-docosanol appears to act differently. Although the precise mechanism of its action is still being studied, the published report presents evidence suggesting that the compound prevents viruses from entering their target cells, such entry being a necessary prerequisite for the virus' ability to multiply and survive.
 "Most of our available data suggests that the chemical structure of 1-docosanol allows the compound to react with components of target cell membranes to make them less susceptible to the process of viral entry," said Dr. David Katz, LIDAK's chairman and chief executive who also served as the senior scientist leading the research project. "If our working hypothesis proves true, then 1-docosanol could become a significant new anti-viral drug with a potentially broad spectrum for several different types of viruses, especially those that contain fat in their outer envelopes." In fact, support for potential broad spectrum activity is provided by data reported in the current paper. Such data demonstrates inhibitory effects of 1-docosanol on an unrelated fat-containing virus known as respiratory syncytial virus in addition to the two different types of herpesviruses. In contrast, the compound failed to exert inhibitory activity on the non fat-containing polio virus.
 The chemical substance which is the subject of the just published paper, 1-docosanol, is the active ingredient in LIDAK's proprietary compound known as LIDAKOL, which the company is currently developing as a topical treatment for oral and genital herpes infections. Several months ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved LIDAK's Investigational New Drug application for studying the clinical efficacy of topical LIDAKOL in patients suffering from herpes infections. Phase I human clinical trials in the United States have recently been completed, and the company recently announced the execution of a licensing agreement with Brocades Pharma of The Netherlands for marketing rights to LIDAKOL in Europe. LIDAK anticipates that Phase II clinical trials in Europe will be initiated by Brocades during the first quarter of 1992.
 LIDAK Pharmaceuticals is developing and commercializing innovative pharmaceutical and other products for the health care field. In addition to developing LIDAKOL as a treatment for herpes and other indications, LIDAK is developing new therapeutic approaches for cancer, AIDS and autoimmune diseases based on technologies acquired from Medical Biology Institute through an exclusive 20-year technology license agreement.
 -0- 12/3/91 R
 /CONTACT: Dr. David H. Katz, chairman and CEO, 619-450-1538 or Michael H. Lorber, VP and CFO , 619-558-0364, both of LIDAK Pharmaceuticals; or Elizabeth Gard or Roger Pondel of Rifkind, Pondel & Parsons, 310-207-9300, for LIDAK Pharmaceuticals/
 (LDAKU LDAKA) CO: Lidak Pharmaceuticals ST: California IN: MTC SU:


KD-EH -- LA004 -- 8680 12/03/91 10:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1991
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