SAN DIEGO, Oct. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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 that it conducted an End-of-Phase 2 meeting pertaining to the development of MN-221 for the treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier today. About MN-221 (bedoradrine) MN-221 is a novel, highly selective beta(2)-adrenergic receptor agonist in development for the treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma and COPD. An acute asthma or COPD exacerbation is defined as a long-lasting and severe episode that is not responsive to the standard bronchodilator or corticosteroid therapy. Patients with an asthma/COPD exacerbation typically go to the emergency room (ER) for treatment. If treatment in the ER is not successful, the patient may be admitted to the hospital. Current inhaled beta-agonist treatments for asthma and COPD exacerbations are limited by bronchoconstriction or insufficient airflow due to inflammation and airway constriction, reducing the amount of inhaled drug that can get into the lungs. In addition, the amount of inhaled treatments a patient can tolerate is limited due to the potential for cardiovascular side effects, such as increased heart rate. MN-221 is designed to treat acute exacerbations via intravenous infusion, bypassing constricted airways to deliver the drug directly to the lungs. Preclinical studies showed MN-221 to have a high affinity for the beta(2)-adrenergic receptor, found primarily in the lungs, and a much lower affinity for the beta(1)-adrenergic receptor found primarily in cardiac tissue. These studies showed no worrisome increase in heart rate when MN-221 was administered. MN-221's improved delivery to the lungs and its cardiac safety profile may help fill an unmet need for patients with asthma or COPD exacerbations, helping them to breathe easier and avoid a costly hospital stay.