LA JOLLA, Calif. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MediciNova, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company traded on the NASDAQ Global Market (NASDAQ:MNOV) and the JASDAQ Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Code Number: 4875), today announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the Japan Patent Office for a pending patent application which covers MN-001 (tipelukast) and MN-002 (a major metabolite of MN-001) for the treatment of advanced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Once issued, the patent maturing from this allowed patent application is expected to expire no earlier than May 2035. The allowed claims cover MN-001 and MN-002 for use in the treatment of a patient with advanced NASH. The allowed claims also cover advanced NASH patients that exhibit hepatic fibrosis, spider angiomata, ascites, splenomegaly, hard liver border, palmar erythema, asterixis, portal hypertension, hepatic scarring, cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In addition, the allowed claims cover MN-001 and MN-002 for use in reducing hepatic fibrosis and for use in reducing hepatic scarring in a patient with advanced NASH. The allowed claims cover oral administration, including tablets and capsules, as well as liquid dosage forms.
Yuichi Iwaki, MD, PhD, President and CEO of MediciNova, Inc. commented, "We are very pleased to receive notice that this new patent will be granted as we believe it could substantially increase the potential value of MN-001. We previously reported positive results from a Phase 2 clinical trial of MN-001 that enrolled NAFLD and NASH patients with hypertriglyceridemia. The U.S. FDA has granted Fast Track designation for MN-001 for the treatment of NASH with fibrosis and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office previously granted a patent which covers MN-001 and MN-002 for advanced NASH with fibrosis.”
MN-001 (tipelukast) is a novel, orally bioavailable small molecule compound thought to exert its effects through several mechanisms to produce its anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activity in preclinical models, including leukotriene (LT) receptor antagonism, inhibition of phosphodiesterases (PDE) (mainly 3 and 4), and inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO). The 5-LO/LT pathway has been postulated as a pathogenic factor in fibrosis development, and MN-001's inhibitory effect on 5-LO and the 5-LO/LT pathway is considered to be a novel approach to treat fibrosis. MN-001 has been shown to down-regulate expression of genes that promote fibrosis including LOXL2, Collagen Type 1 and TIMP-1. MN-001 has also been shown to down-regulate expression of genes that promote inflammation including CCR2 and MCP-1. In addition, histopathological data shows that MN-001 reduces fibrosis in multiple animal models.
Statements in this press release that are not historical in nature constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the future development and efficacy of MN-166, MN-221, MN-001, and MN-029. These forward-looking statements may be preceded by, followed by or otherwise include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "can," "could," "may," "will," "would," “considering,” “planning” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, risks of obtaining future partner or grant funding for development of MN-166, MN-221, MN-001, and MN-029 and risks of raising sufficient capital when needed to fund MediciNova's operations and contribution to clinical development, risks and uncertainties inherent in clinical trials, including the potential cost, expected timing and risks associated with clinical trials designed to meet FDA guidance and the viability of further development considering these factors, product development and commercialization risks, the uncertainty of whether the results of clinical trials will be predictive of results in later stages of product development, the risk of delays or failure to obtain or maintain regulatory approval, risks associated with the reliance on third parties to sponsor and fund clinical trials, risks regarding intellectual property rights in product candidates and the ability to defend and enforce such intellectual property rights, the risk of failure of the third parties upon whom MediciNova relies to conduct its clinical trials and manufacture its product candidates to perform as expected, the risk of increased cost and delays due to delays in the commencement, enrollment, completion or analysis of clinical trials or significant issues regarding the adequacy of clinical trial designs or the execution of clinical trials, and the timing of expected filings with the regulatory authorities, MediciNova's collaborations with third parties, the availability of funds to complete product development plans and MediciNova's ability to obtain third party funding for programs and raise sufficient capital when needed, and the other risks and uncertainties described in MediciNova's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and its subsequent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. MediciNova disclaims any intent or obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements.