After Clinical Trial Setback, San Diego’s MediciNova Sets New Course

1/8/13Follow @bvbigelow

MediciNova (NASDAQ: MNOV) didn’t have much of a fallback strategy last May, when the San Diego biotech reported that a mid-stage trial of bedoradrine sulfate for intravenous treatment of acute asthma attacks “did not statistically meet the primary endpoint.”

Investors responded by voting with their feet, hitting the exit in a sell-off that cut the price of MediciNova’s stock from more than $3 a share to roughly $1.50. It was a heavy blow, and the share price has been moving between $1.60 and $2 ever since.

The company, which I profiled earlier, has been trying to regroup. MediciNova executives met with the FDA in late October to discuss the steps the company must take before they can move bedoradrine forward to late-stage trials. In a statement issued late Thursday, MediciNova laid out its revised drug development strategy for bedoradrine—and said it was expanding its development efforts to include ibudilast, a potential drug for treating different types of drug addiction.

The company has been working hard to publicize its revised course, and I was briefed on the new strategy in a phone call with Michael Coffee, MediciNova’s chief business officer, and Mark Johnson, director of investor relations.

But Wall Street clearly remains skeptical. Medicinova shares closed at $1.73 in regular trading yesterday, gaining just … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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