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Scientists 'Gleeful' About Clinical Trial Of MediciNova's Treatment For Methamphetamine Addiction

|Includes:MediciNova, Inc. (MNOV)

Scientists who have evaluated a variety of drug candidates to treat methamphetamine addiction ((all of which failed in efficacy tests)) are "gleeful" about significant positive clinical results of a novel type of drug being development by San Diego biotech company MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV).

Quitting methamphetamine is extremely difficult. Withdrawal triggers toxicity in the brain that lasts from months to more than a year, leaving addicts feeling "foggy," slow and unable to continuously concentrate on many tasks. However, those taking MediciNova's ibudilast in a phase 1b clinical trial performed significantly better than a placebo group in a battery of mental tests that require accuracy and attention.

The researchers conducting the trial at UCLA's Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine have tested every promising candidate drug for methamphetamine addiction, and Steven Shoptaw, a professor at the center, said ibudilast has emerged as the only one with significant positive results. The news is meaningful because there is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug to treat methamphetamine addiction, and ibudilast is MediciNova's lead drug candidate. Ibudilast also is in trials to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).

See why Kirk Johnson, CSO at MediciNova, UCLA researchers and investors are excited about what is likely to be the first approved blockbuster treatment for methamphetamine addiction. MediciNova's ibudilast has shown surprising good results in a phase 1b clinical trial. The larger Phase 2 trial starts in July 2013. (With video).

Disclosure: I am long MNOV.

Stocks: MNOV