Premarket on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, development stage biotech company MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) reported interim data from its ongoing trial of MN-166 – its lead amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) candidate. The company lost strength on Tuesday, but could well pick up a market capitalization boost across Wednesday’s session in the US as markets digest the latest update.
Here’s a look at what the data shows, and what it means for MediciNova (and its shareholders) near to medium term.
So, as mentioned, the data relates to MN-166. The drug (and stick with us here) is what’s called a first-in-class, orally bioavailable, small molecule phosphodiesterase (PDE) -4 and -10 inhibitor and a macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) inhibitor. It’s been available for nearly three decades in Asia as a post-stroke therapy, and has shown promise in inflammatory neurological conditions such as MS and – as per MediciNova’s ongoing trial, ALS.
It’s MOA is pretty complicated, but to simplify, the drug reduces the impact of what are called activated glia cells. Glia cells are what protect the neurons in the brain, and their activation is associated with neurodegeneration, and in turn, the symptoms associated with ALS.
So what did the data show? The interim data report was pretty extensive, but it’s suffice to say that the drug demonstrated efficacy across a whole range of measurement points, including a mean decline in an industry standard severity baseline measure called mean decline in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R).
This mean decline was the headline number, and it’s this that the company will hope to be able to replicate come topline.
The trial is double blind, with a six-month initial treatment period and a secondary six month follow up period, so we can expect topline before the close of the year.
Look for a repeat performance (as well as a reasonable safety and tolerability profile) to serve up some strength in MediciNova during the closing quarter of 2016.
DISCLAIMER: There is a substantial risk of loss with any speculative asset, especially small cap stocks. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not constitute recommendations to buy or sell a stock. Do your own research before committing capital.