NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MedicNova (MNOV) - Get Report shares are climbing 45.87% to $5.12 in trading on Thursday after the company announced that the Food and Drug Administration granted the company's treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with fibrosis, tipelukast, fast track designation today.

Fast track designation is designed to help expedite the review process for drugs being developed to treat potentially fatal or serious diseases that do not have a viable alternative treatment already.

"We are very pleased that MN-001 has received Fast Track designation and believe this validates its potential to address unmet medical needs in this life-threatening disease. We look forward to providing further updates as our development progresses," said CEO Yuichi Iwaki, MD, PhD.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a liver disease that resembles alcohol induced fibrosis but occurs in people who drink little to no alcohol. It affects between 2% and 5% of Americans, according to the U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

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