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MediciNova, Inc. recently announced the presentation of preliminary data from a phase Ib study of MN-166 for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. The data was presented at the 75th annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD).

The preliminary data from the phase Ib study revealed that MN-166 does not affect the cardiovascular functioning significantly in the presence of relevant doses of methamphetamine in methamphetamine addiction patients. A National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded phase II trial evaluating MN-166 for methamphetamine addiction is planned to be initiated later this summer.

We note that is being evaluated for several indications including methamphetamine and opioid addiction, multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. Currently, a second NIDA funded phase IIa study on MN-166 for the opioid addiction indication is underway. The drug is also being considered for alcohol dependence.

We note that MN-166 is marketed in Japan and Korea for cerebrovascular disorders including post-stroke complications and bronchial asthma since 1989. In Oct 2004, MediciNova licensed rights to MN-166 for relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis from Kyorin Pharmaceutical.

MN-166 for addiction treatment is protected in the US till 2030 by a method-of-use patent. MediciNova has a supply agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA - Analyst Report) for MN-166.

MediciNova carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies that currently look attractive include Santarus, Inc. and Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP - Analyst Report), both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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