MediciNova has entered an agreement to partner with the University Health Network to take part in a clinical trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) and other therapies to treat long Covid.

Named Recovering from Covid-19 Lingering Symptoms Adaptive Integrative Medicine Trial (RECLAIM), the multicentre, randomised, grant-funded trial will analyse MN-166.

Canada-based academic health sciences centre University Health Network has the largest hospital-based research programme in the country. 

The Canadian government is providing funds for the trial through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  

The trial will commence following regulatory review and finalisation of the protocol.

A small molecule compound, MN-166 (ibudilast) hinders phosphodiesterase type-4 and inflammatory cytokines such as macrophage migration inhibitory factor.

It is currently being analysed in late-stage clinical trials to treat neurodegenerative ailments including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, progressive multiple sclerosis, and degenerative cervical myelopathy, as well as glioblastoma, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and substance use disorder. 

The compound is also being assessed in people who are at risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome.  

MediciNova chief medical officer Kazuko Matsuda said: “We are excited to collaborate with Dr Cheung and the University Health Network on this large, grant-funded study to explore the potential of MN-166 in long Covid. 

“There is a large unmet medical need for patients with this disorder, which can have serious ramifications on quality of life, health care utilisation, and ability to return to work.”

A clinical-stage biopharma firm, MediciNova focuses on the development of wide-ranging, late-stage pipeline, new small molecule treatments for inflammatory, fibrotic, and neurodegenerative ailments. 

The company currently has 11 programmes in clinics, which are based on MN-166 and MN-001 (tipelukast).

In July this year, MediciNova began a Phase II trial of MN-001 for treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients with type 2 diabetes, mellitus, and hypertriglyceridemia.