LA JOLLA, Calif., Aug. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MediciNova, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company traded on the NASDAQ Global Market (Nasdaq:MNOV) and the JASDAQ Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Code Number: 4875), today announced positive results from a second preclinical study that examined the potential clinical efficacy of MN-001 for the treatment of advanced NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with fibrosis).
This study used mice in more advanced stages of NASH as compared to the first study of MN-001 in a NASH mouse model. MN-001 administered orally once daily (10, 30, and 100 mg/kg) for 4 weeks, was evaluated in the STAM™ (NASH-HCC) mouse model of advanced NASH, as measured by histopathology, NAFLD activity score (NAS) and percent of fibrosis.
MN-001 showed anti-NASH and anti-fibrotic effects in the advanced NASH mouse model. NAFLD activity score was significantly reduced in the MN-001 treated group compared to the non-treated group (p<0.001). The reduction was observed consistently in all NAS components including hepatocyte ballooning score (p<0.001), lobular inflammation score (p<0.01), and steatosis score (p<0.05). Percent fibrosis area was also reduced in the MN-001 treated group (p<0.01). In addition, alpha-SMA-positive staining area was significantly reduced in the MN-001 treated group (p<0.001).
Based on these results in addition to the results of the first NASH mouse model study reported on January 14, 2014, MediciNova requested a meeting with FDA to finalize the trial design for a clinical study of MN-001 in NASH patients.
About NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis)
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a condition in which there is fat in the liver along with inflammation and damage to liver cells. NASH is a common liver disease that resembles alcoholic liver disease but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol. According to the U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), NASH prevalence in the U.S. is 2-5%, and an additional 10-20% of Americans have "fatty liver." The underlying cause of NASH is unclear, but it most often occurs in persons who are middle-aged and overweight or obese. Many patients with NASH have elevated serum lipids, diabetes or pre-diabetes. Progression of NASH can lead to liver cirrhosis. Liver transplantation is the only treatment for advanced cirrhosis with liver failure. At this time, there is no treatment for NASH.
MN-001 is a novel, orally bioavailable small molecule compound thought to exert its effects through several mechanisms to produce its anti-inflammatory activity in preclinical models, including leukotriene (LT) receptor antagonism, inhibition of phosphodiesterases (PDE) 3 and 4, and inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO). It is postulated that inhibition of the 5-LO pathway exerts anti-inflammatory actions, which has implications in various inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and allergy. Recently, 5-LO has been postulated as a pathogenic factor in fibrotic changes. MN-001's inhibitory effect on 5-LO and the 5-LO/LT pathway is considered to be a novel approach to treat fibrosis.
Previously, MediciNova evaluated MN-001 for its potential clinical efficacy in asthma and had positive Phase 2 results. MN-001 has been exposed to more than 600 subjects and is considered generally safe and well-tolerated.
MediciNova, Inc. is a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company founded upon acquiring and developing novel, small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with unmet medical needs with a commercial focus on the U.S. market. MediciNova's current strategy is to focus on MN-166 (ibudilast) for neurological disorders, MN-221 for the treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma, and MN-001 for NASH and IPF. MN-166 is being developed in multiple indications, largely through investigator-sponsored trials and outside funding. MediciNova is engaged in strategic partnering discussions to support further development of its programs. For more information on MediciNova, Inc., please visit www.medicinova.com.
Statements in this press release that are not historical in nature constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the future development and efficacy of MN-001. These forward-looking statements may be preceded by, followed by or otherwise include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "can," "could," "may," "will," "would," "considering," "planning" or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, risks of obtaining future partner or grant funding for development of MN-001 and risks of raising sufficient capital when needed to fund MediciNova's operations and contribution to clinical development, risks and uncertainties inherent in clinical trials, including the potential cost, expected timing and risks associated with clinical trials designed to meet FDA guidance and the viability of further development considering these factors, product development and commercialization risks, the uncertainty of whether the results of clinical trials will be predictive of results in later stages of product development, the risk of delays or failure to obtain or maintain regulatory approval, risks associated with the reliance on third parties to sponsor and fund clinical trials, risks regarding intellectual property rights in product candidates and the ability to defend and enforce such intellectual property rights, the risk of failure of the third parties upon whom MediciNova relies to conduct its clinical trials and manufacture its product candidates to perform as expected, the risk of increased cost and delays due to delays in the commencement, enrollment, completion or analysis of clinical trials or significant issues regarding the adequacy of clinical trial designs or the execution of clinical trials, and the timing of expected filings with the regulatory authorities, MediciNova's collaborations with third parties, the availability of funds to complete product development plans and MediciNova's ability to obtain third party funding for programs and raise sufficient capital when needed, and the other risks and uncertainties described in MediciNova's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and its subsequent periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. MediciNova disclaims any intent or obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements. CONTACT: INVESTOR CONTACT: Geoff O'Brien Vice President MediciNova, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
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