According to a press release on Global Newswire, the biopharmaceutical company MediciNova has received a Notice of Allowance for a patent application for MN-166, which could be used to treat glioblastoma. While MediciNova first filed a patent, which was granted in 2019, this most recent application expresses improved therapeutic claims.
Glioblastoma is a rare type of astrocytoma, a cancer in the brain caused by star-shaped astrocyte cells. In this case, glioblastoma stems from astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. This cancer typically begins in the cerebrum but often spreads. In fact, about 20% of brain tumors are considered glioblastomas. One unique factor of glioblastoma tumors is that they create their own blood supply, allowing them to grow. As a result, this type of cancer is very aggressive.
Symptoms include difficulty thinking or speaking, changes in mood and behavior, vomiting, seizures, blurred vision, and headaches. Many of these are caused by pressure on the brain from the growing tumor. After diagnosis, the typical survival time is between 11-15 months, despite use of surgery, radiation, or medication. Learn more about glioblastoma.
MediciNova received a Notice of Allowance for MN-166 (ibudilast). According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a Notice of Allowance is:
a written notification…that a specific mark has survived the opposition period following publication in the Official Gazette, and has consequently been allowed.
Basically, it means that MN-166 is on its way to being registered and trademarked. When MediciNova is issued a patent, it will not expire until after 2039.
MN-166 is a small-molecule MIF and PDE inhibitor that protects against cytokines that cause inflammation and cancer metastasis. It also promotes brain health. Studies on MN-166 have shown that it could be an effective treatment for patients with:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Substance abuse issues
- Progressive multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Various subsets of glioblastoma
Other Therapies for Glioblastoma
MediciNova aims to use MN-166 in conjunction with other drug therapies, such as:
- Temozolomide (TMZ), a chemotherapy drug used to treat brain cancer.
- A prior study of animal models of glioblastoma showed that survival rates were lengthened when MN-166 and temozolomide were used together. As a result, MN-166 was granted Orphan Drug designation as a glioblastoma treatment when combined withtemozolomide.
- Carmustine, an intravenous chemotherapy drug used to treat glioblastoma, brain cancers, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
- Bevacizumab, also known as Avastin. Bevacizumab is an anti-tumor drug that treats cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, glioblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and renal cell carcinoma.
- Procarbazine, a chemotherapy drug used to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma.