In collaboration with Dr. Lara Ray, Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) has presented results from Phase 2 Trial of MN‑166 (ibudilast). The clinical trial was evaluating the effects of first-in-class, orally bioavailable inhibitor n Alcohol Use Disorder. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was funded by the Center for Opioid Receptors and Drugs of Abuse (CSORDA).
From the highlights of the online presentation done at the American Psychological Association 2020 Annual Convention, Dr. Ray outlined significant observations. The number of heavy drinking days had reduced greatly compared to the placebo (p=0.03). Also, there was a significant effect of MN‑166 on alcoholic beverage images (ALC) compared to non-alcoholic beverage images (BEV).
MN-166 (ibudilast) has Previously Been Marketed to Treat Other Illnesses
MediciNova is a big advocate in developing novel therapeutics for neurology, respiratory, and liver diseases. It hit the Japanese and the Korean markets in 1989 and was marketed as a treatment for post-stroke complications and bronchial asthma. It is a first-in-class macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) inhibitor responsible for suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines. It also promotes neurotrophic factors.
However, with the latest data, the potential treatment has been identified for an additional role: reducing the increasing problem of alcohol use disorder. Coincidentally, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have occasioned excessive drinking, according to the American Heart Association. In March, when the pandemic first hit the CEO of MediciNova, Yuichi Iwaki says a 54% increase of alcohol says in stores. By late April, online says were close to 500% with increased demand for larger pack sizes of wine and spirits.
Nonetheless, Dr. Ray adds that the presence of MN‑166 is timely. He noted, “We are very excited to report the positive data from our Phase 2 clinical trial in AUD. Our first clinical trial demonstrated that ibudilast significantly reduced basal, daily alcohol craving in AUD patients…’’
In other news, MediciNova, Inc has entered into a joint venture with BioComo and Mie University Japan in the development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. They will use BC-PIV, a highly efficient and innovative non-transmissible viral vector.