MediciNova, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that acquires and develops novel, small-molecule therapeutics for diseases with unmet medical needs, recently announced that data from the ongoing clinical trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) will be presented at the 6th Annual California ALS Pac10 and Research Network Meeting in January 2016.
MN-166 (ibudilast) is an orally bioavailable small molecule phosphodiesterase (PDE) -4 and -10 inhibitor and a macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) inhibitor with anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective properties. It is designed to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines and attenuate activated glia cells, with potential therapeutic effects in neurodegenerative diseases like ALS. The drug has been marketed in Japan and Korea since 1989 for the treatment of post-stroke complications and bronchial asthma, and has been licensed by MediciNova for its potential use in relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
The ALS trial, which is being conducted by MediciNova in partnership with Dr. Benjamin Rix Brooks, director, Carolinas Healthcare System’s Neuromuscular/ALS-MDA Center, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessing MN-166 in patients with both early and advanced stages of ALS. The clinical trial plans to enroll 60 ALS patients with NIV (Non-Invasive Ventilator) and 60 ALS patients without NIV for a six-month treatment period followed by a six-month open-label extension. The study’s efficacy endpoints include parameters such as muscle strength, respiratory function, and functional activity (ALSFRS-R).
The presentation by Dr. Yuichi Iwaki, MediciNova’s president and CEO, is titled “Ibudilast (MN-166), Neuro Protective and Anti-Neuroinflammatory Compound, for ALS” and is scheduled for Jan. 8. The network meeting will be held at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
A new multidisciplinary clinic, the Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center, has announced it will open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 8, 2016. The clinic will be part of the Frances and Joseph Weinberg Unit for ALS Research, leading to a more comprehensive clinical- and research-integrated center for the care, understanding and treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.