LOS ANGELES and SAN DIEGO, Sept. 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of California, Los Angeles' (UCLA's) Department of Family Medicine/Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine, and MediciNova, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company traded on the NASDAQ Global Market (Nasdaq:MNOV) and the Jasdaq Market of the Osaka Securities Exchange (Code Number: 4875), today announced approval and funding by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, of a Phase 2 clinical trial studying the use of MN-166 (ibudilast) for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. Building on an ongoing UCLA MN-166 Phase 1b safety trial, NIDA has now awarded grant funding for a statistically powered Phase 2 outpatient study in methamphetamine addicts. MediciNova will provide drug supply and regulatory support for the Phase 2 trial. "UCLA has long recognized the danger of methamphetamine abuse, and NIDA has actively supported our research on understanding methamphetamine's effects on the brain and behavior in order to develop prevention and treatment strategies, including medications," said Steven Shoptaw, Ph.D., Professor, UCLA Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. "Methamphetamine addiction is a tremendous societal burden and also contributes to healthcare costs from premature conditions such as heart attacks and strokes in relatively young patients to the increased transmission of infectious diseases, including HIV. We are pleased to partner with NIDA and MediciNova to help move forward this important study of MN-166 to test its potential utility in this devastating condition." According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and their National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.2 million Americans aged 12 years and older abused methamphetamine in the year prior to their 2009 survey. An independent study conducted by the Rand Corporation estimated the overall cost impact of methamphetamine use in the U.S. "reached more than an estimated $23.4 billion in 2005."