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NIH Funds UCLA Phase 2 Study Of MediciNova's MN-166 In Treating Drug Addiction

For more information on the MN-166 Phase 2 clinical trial, please visit http://clinicaltrials.gov .

About Methamphetamine and Addiction

Source NIDA

Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine. It is long lasting and toxic to dopamine nerve terminals in the central nervous system. It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder taken orally or by snorting or injecting, or a rock "crystal" that is heated and smoked.

Methamphetamine increases wakefulness and physical activity, produces rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. Long-term use can lead to mood disturbances, violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and severe dental problems. All users, but particularly those who inject the drug, risk infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

About MN-166 (ibudilast)

MN-166 has been marketed in Japan and Korea since 1989 to treat cerebrovascular disorders, such as stroke, and bronchial asthma. MediciNova licensed MN-166 (ibudilast), from Kyorin Pharmaceutical in October 2004 for potential utility in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. MediciNova scientists and collaborators independently established evidence of ibudilast utility in opioid and methamphetamine addiction.

MN-166 is a first-in-class, orally bioavailable small molecule and an attenuator of glial cell activation – a physiological alteration that has been linked to certain drug dependence situations. Indeed, activation of human brain glial cells has been documented in imaging studies of methamphetamine addicts ("Methamphetamine Causes Microglial Activation in the Brains of Human Abusers" Journal of Neuroscience, May 28, 2008, v.28 (22), pp.5756-5761)

MN-166 is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) -4 and -10 inhibitor and a macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) inhibitor that suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1ß, TNF-a, and IL-6, and may upregulate the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and neurotrophic factors. It has additionally been shown to be a toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) functional antagonist that may contribute to its therapeutic action.

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