Shares of MediciNova (NASDAQ:MNOV) are set to more than double their value should pre-market moves in the biopharma hold into Wednesday’s market. MNOV stock showed a more-than-110% surge at 7:15 a.m. Eastern.
The huge move follows a big endorsement for the small firm. That came from the government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which will fund proof-of-concept studies by MediciNova under the agency’s Repurposing Drugs in Response to Chemical Threats (ReDIRECT) program. No financial details of the funding were provided in MNOV’s announcement.
Specifically, the company will research the possibilities of repurposing its MN-166 (ibudilast) as a medical countermeasure against chlorine gas-induced lung damage, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury.
MNOV’s MN-166 is the first compound to receive BARDA development support via the ReDIRECT program, launched last year.
BARDA is within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to provide an integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies.
MNOV Stock Moves on Possible Expanded Uses
As those who follow MNOV stock know, MN-166 is a small molecule compound currently in late-stage clinical development for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and progressive MS (multiple sclerosis). In addition, MN-166 is being evaluated in patients with Covid-19 that are at risk for developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
That is where the BARDA research with the compound comes in, opening up the possibility for repurposing or label expansion. MN-166’s potential to mitigate lung damage in patients exposed to chemical agents such as chlorine could add a new dimension to MediciNova’s development.
“Considering that pulmonary edema is a hallmark feature of exposure to chlorine, MN-166 has the potential to improve health outcomes and save lives,” said Kazuko Matsuda, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., chief medical officer of MediciNova.
On the date of publication, Robert Lakin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin is a veteran financial writer and editor, following fintech, agtech and property tech startups.