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Medicinova Jumps on Phase 2 Progress With Alcohol-Abuse Drug

Medicinova's clinical trials found that its ibudilast reduced the odds of heavy drinking over time by 45% relative to a placebo.
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MediciNova  (MNOV)  shares leaped on Monday after the biotech reported progress in its Phase 2 trial of ibudilast, which treats alcohol use disorder.

The study evaluated the effect of 14 days of ibudilast on mood, heavy drinking, and neural-reward signals in individuals with the malady. A total of 52 AUD patients enrolled in the trial.

The testing found that ibudilast reduced the odds of heavy drinking over time by 45% relative to placebo.

The La Jolla, Calif., company's shares recently traded at $4.82, up 28%. They had slid 33% in the six months through Friday.

“Our first clinical trial demonstrated that ibudilast significantly reduced basal, daily alcohol craving in AUD patients,” Kazuko Matsuda, a physician who is chief medical officer of MediciNova, said in a statement. 

The drug "has demonstrated great potential to reduce the increasing problem of alcohol use disorder.” 

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Ibudilast didn’t have a significant effect on negative mood, the company said.

In other medical news, Nanox Imaging  (NNOX)  said Thursday that it applied to the FDA for clearance of a system that produces scans of human body parts.

“The company has submitted a 510(k) premarket notification application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the first version of its multisource Nanox.Arc 3-D digital tomosynthesis system,” Nanox said.

“A 510(k) is a premarket submission made to FDA to demonstrate that the device to be marketed is as safe and effective, that is, substantially equivalent, to a legally marketed device,” the FDA says on its website.

“Submitters must compare their device to one or more similar legally marketed devices and make and support their substantial equivalence claims.”

On Wednesday, Altimmune  (ALT)  reported progress from its Phase 1 trial of ALT-801, a drug for obesity and liver disease. The study was conducted with healthy overweight and obese subjects in Australia.

Also Wednesday, MannKind  (MNKD)  received priority review status from the FDA for a lung-disease medicine being developed by its partner, United Therapeutics UTHR.