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MediciNova's MN-166 Program Recognized As One Of Windhover's Top 10 Neuroscience Projects To Watch

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MediciNova Inc, a biopharmaceutical company publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Market (Nasdaq:MNOV) and the Jasdaq Market of the Osaka Securities Exchange (Code Number:4875), announced today that its novel macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF inhibitor) MN-166 program has been selected for inclusion on Windhover's list of the "Top 10 Most Interesting Neuroscience Projects to Watch."

Along with inclusion in the "Top 10 to Watch" list, MediciNova has been selected to present at Windhover's Therapeutic Area Partnerships meeting, on Wednesday afternoon, November 3rd, 2010, at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA. More information on the meeting can be found at www.tapartnerships.com .

MN-166 and certain analogues may represent a novel mechanism for the treatment of neurological diseases - they are potent MIF inhibitors and, secondarily, inhibitors of PDE 4 & 10. This combined action may afford CNS anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions.  MN-166 is being studied for potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic pain, and drug addiction.

"We are delighted that these respected industry experts have selected our MN-166 program as among the most promising candidates in the CNS field," said Yuichi Iwaki, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MediciNova, Inc. Moreover, David Cassak, Vice President of Windhover, noted, "Selected companies have been screened using a strict set of judging criteria for the Top 10 award and represent what our committees considered the most attractive neuroscience opportunities the industry has to offer." He added: "Winners have met rigorous criteria, including: unmet medical need, market potential, diversity of indications, strong science, multi-level partnering opportunities (biotech and pharma), potential for new opportunities beyond initial indications and corporate stability."  

About MN-166

MediciNova's lead drug candidate for neurological conditions is ibudilast (MN-166/AV411). Ibudilast is marketed in Japan and South Korea for the treatment of asthma and cerebrovascular disorders for which MediciNova discovered its potential as a candidate for certain CNS disorders.  MN-166's target action is believed related to MIF inhibition and, secondarily, PDE-4 & -10 inhibition. MN-166 is an oral, once- or twice-daily formulation that is under U.S. IND, and has been used in more than 400 subjects in MediciNova Phase I and Phase II clinical trials at doses we believe relevant to continued development.  In these trials there were no clinically significant adverse events attributed to MN-166. The Phase II MS trial utilized a high dose which may have been suboptimal and which has been successfully exceeded.  Moreover, encouraging trends in a phase 1b/2a neuropathic pain trial have been observed.  MediciNova has exclusivity for ibudilast in the U.S. and elsewhere.   Multiple Sclerosis and Neuropathic Pain are the lead clinical development paths although we also have support (i.e. funding and investigator network) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for certain drug addiction indications.  The MN-166 program is enriched by a late-preclinical-staged follow-on oral, small molecule compound with recently-issued composition of matter IP.

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