"We are very pleased with the continuing safety data for MN-166 and look forward to advancing our program, focusing on drug addiction indications as well as progressive multiple sclerosis," said Dr. Yuichi Iwaki, President and CEO of MediciNova. "Congratulations to Drs. Shoptaw and Heinzerling on their unwavering efforts to test pharmacotherapies for this devastating disease."
About Methamphetamine Addiction
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 memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior, heart damage, malnutrition and severe dental problems. All users, but particularly those who inject the drug, risk infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are approximately 439,000 methamphetamine abusers in the U.S. An independent study conducted by the Rand Corporation estimated the economic burden of methamphetamine use in the U.S. at $23.4 billion in 2005. There are no medications currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Herbert D. Kleber M.D., founder and Director of the Division on Substance Abuse, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, and a prior Deputy Director at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy noted that "there truly is an unmet need for pharmacotherapy treatment of methamphetamine dependence and the recognition of such need by the FDA is positive for the field."
About MN-166 Clinical Development in Addiction
Clinical development of MN-166 is ongoing in both methamphetamine addiction and opioid addiction. Potential utility in alcohol dependence is also under consideration. The ongoing or pending clinical trials are conducted by some of the country's leading experts in studying treatments for these drugs of abuse. A Phase 2 outpatient clinical trial of MN-166 in methamphetamine dependence, led by investigators at UCLA, has been funded by NIDA. In opioid addiction, a second NIDA-funded Phase 2a clinical trial of MN-166 in prescription opioid or heroin abusers is currently ongoing with the investigators at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.