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Safety and Efficacy of Squaric Acid Dibutyl Ester for the Treatment of Herpes Labialis (Squarex)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01971385
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 29, 2013
Results First Posted : October 2, 2017
Last Update Posted : October 2, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Alexandra Kimball, Massachusetts General Hospital

Brief Summary:
Subjects with a history of recurrent herpes labialis will be sensitized with either 2% SADBE or placebo. Following this, subjects sensitized with 2% SADBE will received.2% sqauric acid or.5% squaric acid on their cold sore within 72 hours of a recurrence. Subjects sensitized with placebo solution will receive placebo solution on their cold sore within 72 hours of a recurrence. Subjects will be followed for up to 6 mos after application of study medication.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Herpes Labialis Drug: Squaric Acid solution Drug: Placebo solution Phase 1

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 54 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Clinical Trial to Test the Safety and Efficacy of Squaric Acid Dibutyl Ester for the Treatment of Herpes Labialis
Study Start Date : October 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: 2% Squaric Acid Sensitization
2% Squaric Acid solution will be applied for sensitization to the inner arm.
Drug: Squaric Acid solution
Other Names:
  • Squaric Acid Dibutyl Ester solution

Placebo Comparator: Placebo Solution
Patients in placebo group will be given dimethyl sulfoxide.
Drug: Placebo solution

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Subjects With at Least One Form of Contact With Study Staff With no Herpes Labialis Outbreaks Within 119 Days of Sensitization [ Time Frame: 8 months ]
    Percent of subjects with no reported herpes labialis outbreak within 119 days of sensitization over total number of subjects after one form of contact with study staff

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of Adverse Events Reported [ Time Frame: 8 months ]
    To assess the safety and tolerability of squaric acid solution the number of adverse events in each treatment arm will be collected and compared.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age >18
  • With clinical diagnosis of herpes labialis.
  • who self report having six or more episodes of herpes labialis in the previous 12 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant or lactating females.
  • Current or recurrent infection or any underlying condition that may predispose to infection or anyone who has been admitted to the hospital due to bacteremia, pneumonia or any other serious infection.
  • Therapy with glucocorticoid or immunosuppressant at time of recruitment or within past 4 weeks, except for inhaled corticosteroids for asthma.
  • History of malignancy (except patients with surgically cured basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers who will be eligible)
  • History of organ transplantation
  • Negative HIV-positive status determined by history at screening or known history of any other immuno-suppressing disease.
  • Severe comorbidities (diabetes mellitus requiring insulin, CHF (EF<50% at baseline will be exclusionary) of any severity, MI, CVA or TIA within 3 months of screening visit, unstable angina pectoris, oxygen-dependent severe pulmonary disease
  • Subject is currently enrolled in another investigational device or drug trial(s), or subject has received other investigational agent(s) within 28 days of baseline visit.
  • Subjects who have known hypersensitivity to Squaric acid or any of its components.
  • History of recent alcohol or substance abuse (< 1 year)
  • Any condition judged by the investigator to cause this clinical trial to be detrimental to the patient.
  • History of psychiatric disease that would interfere with the patient's ability to comply with the study protocol
  • History of non-compliance with other therapies.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01971385

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United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
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Principal Investigator: Alexandra B Kimball, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
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Responsible Party: Alexandra Kimball, Director, Clinical Unit for Research Trials in Skin, Massachusetts General Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01971385    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2013P001028
First Posted: October 29, 2013    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: October 2, 2017
Last Update Posted: October 2, 2017
Last Verified: May 2017
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Herpes Simplex
Herpes Labialis
Herpesviridae Infections
DNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Skin Diseases, Viral
Skin Diseases, Infectious
Skin Diseases
Lip Diseases
Mouth Diseases
Stomatognathic Diseases
Pharmaceutical Solutions
Squaric acid dibutyl ester
Adjuvants, Immunologic
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs