Candidate: MN-166 (ibudilast)

Type: First-in-class, orally bioavailable, small molecule macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) inhibitor and phosphodiesterase (PDE) -4 and -10 inhibitor

Status: MediciNova said April 8 it will initiate a clinical trial of MN-166 for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by COVID-19. The study will be conducted by Yale’s Advanced Therapies Group. The lead principal investigator for the trial is Geoffrey Chupp, MD, professor of medicine (Pulmonology), director of the Yale Center for Asthma and Airway Disease and director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Earlier human studies have shown significant reductions of serum MIF level after treatment with MN-166. It also attenuates activated glial cells, which play a major role in certain neurological conditions, MediciNova said. The company reasons that MN-166 could reduce the mortality of COVID-19 by limiting the hyperinflammation and ARDS associated with severe cases.

COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >200 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.

TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.

GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types:


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