MediciNova Provides Development Update

MediciNova Provides Development Update

Company Finalizing Development Plans for MN-221 While Enhancing MN-166 Program

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MediciNova, Inc., a
biopharmaceutical company that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Global Market
(Nasdaq:MNOV) and the Jasdaq Market of the Osaka Securities Exchange (Code
Number: 4875), provides a development update on its two lead programs, MN-221
and MN-166.

  *End-of-phase 2 guidance from the FDA and the newly extended patent
    protection (to expire no earlier than 2030) for use of MN-221 in the
    treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma (AEA) provide a clear
    development path for MN-221.Additional manufacturing and clinical
    development, which will be partner-dependent, will be undertaken prior to
    initiation of a pivotal trial program.
    
  *MediciNova will leverage its MN-166 neurological program with grant-aided
    Phase 2 studies to advance MN-166 towards regulatory approval, initially
    in drug dependence. A phase 2 trial in methamphetamine dependence is
    scheduled to start in first half 2013 and could lead to MN-166 becoming
    the first FDA-approved product for treatment of methamphetamine
    dependence.

"During the past several months MediciNova has been refining the development
strategy for our lead product candidates," Dr. Yuichi Iwaki, President and CEO
of MediciNova commented."With the guidance of the FDA, we are planning
further MN-221 development towards our ultimate goal of obtaining regulatory
approval of MN-221 for the treatment of AEA. With MN-166, we are very
encouraged to now have grant funding supporting Phase 2 clinical trials in
drug dependence scheduled to provide significant data readouts over the next
two years."

MN-221 Development Plan

MediciNova plans to conduct the MN-221 program according to the feedback from
FDA following the end-of-phase 2 meeting in October 2012. The FDA identified
the risk/benefit profile of MN-221 as a focal point for further development
and advised that a clinical outcome, such as a reduction in hospitalizations,
would need to be a pivotal trial primary endpoint.Previously completed Phase
2 studies have evaluated the potential for MN-221 to reduce hospitalizations
due to AEA.

MediciNova believes the appropriate clinical development for MN-221 will
involve conducting dose regimen and AEA trial design optimization studies
prior to commencing pivotal trials. Currently, MediciNova is working with
licensor and API supplier, Kissei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. to address the
manufacturing requirements before further clinical development is commenced.
MediciNova has determined that any additional future MN-221 clinical trial
development will be partner-dependent from a funding perspective.

"We believe the recently-allowed patent for MN-221 for use in the treatment of
AEA can significantly increase the length of marketing exclusivity and hence
the potential value of MN-221," said Dr. Kazuko Matsuda, patent inventor and
Chief Medical Officer of MediciNova. "We look forward to keeping our
shareholders updated on our MN-221 progress."

MN-166 Development Plan

The company has been very successful in facilitating investigator-led,
development funding to advance the diverse MN-166 (ibudilast) program. The
recent grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have
accelerated the development of MN-166 in drug dependence.Currently ongoing
are a Phase 2a clinical trial in opioid dependence led by investigators at
Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute and a Phase
1b clinical trial in methamphetamine dependence that will lead to an
already-funded Phase 2 trial in methamphetamine dependence, led by
investigators at UCLA.The Phase 2 trial is expected to begin in the first
half of 2013.These clinical trials are conducted by some of the country's
leading experts in opioid and methamphetamine addiction. MediciNova's
method-of-use patent for MN-166 in drug addiction expires no earlier than 2030
in the US.

"We are excited about the positive developments of the MN-166 program and the
continuing grant support.Going forward, MediciNova will focus our resources
on accelerating and optimizing MN-166 development in collaboration with the
investigators conducting multiple grant-funded, proof-of-concept clinical
trials," said Dr. Iwaki."In addition to the potential to address a large
unmet medical need in opioid dependence, MN-166 also has the potential to
become the first approved product for the treatment of methamphetamine
dependence."

In addition to drug dependence, MediciNova is pursuing grant funding
opportunities in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). MediciNova's
method-of-use patents for MN-166 for the treatment of progressive MS expire no
earlier than 2029.

In the approved and pending grant-funded MN-166 trials, one of MediciNova's
commitments is to provide delayed-release ibudilast final product.We have
expanded our drug supply collaboration with Taisho Pharmaceutical Industries,
Ltd.* to include both drug supply and the development of higher dosage
strength ibudilast capsules.

* Taisho Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. is owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals.

About MediciNova

MediciNova, Inc. is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company founded upon
acquiring and developing novel, small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment
of diseases with unmet need with a commercial focus on the U.S.
market.MediciNova's current strategy is to focus on its two prioritized
product candidates, MN-166 (ibudilast) for neurological disorders, and MN-221
for the treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma. MN-166 is being
developed in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials for drug dependence and pain,
largely through investigator sponsored trials and outside funding.Proceeding
with proof-of-concept Phase 2b trial(s) in Progressive MS are dependent on
receipt of funding, which we are pursuing.MediciNova is engaged in strategic
partnering and consortium funding discussions to support further development
of both the MN-221 and ibudilast/MN-166 programs.For more information on
MediciNova, Inc., please visit www.medicinova.com.

The MediciNova, Inc. logo is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3135

Statements in this press release that are not historical in nature constitute
forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking
statements include, without limitation, statements regarding our clinical
development strategies, including future development, statements regarding the
progress of clinical trials, statements regarding expectations for the
ibudilast/MN-166 program, including development of ibudilast/MN-166 for
certain indications and expectations on future progress in the development of
our drug candidates, expected timing of clinical trial results and any
implication as to the results of our development, partnering and funding
efforts, theimplication of patent terms and the potential period of product
exclusivity assuming our product candidates obtained marketing approval and
the implication that the company will have the ability to execute on its
priorities. These forward-looking statements may be preceded by, followed by
or otherwise include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates,"
"intends," "estimates," "projects," "can," "could," "may," "will," "would," or
similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve a number of
risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ
materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from
those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, include, but
are not limited to, risks of obtaining future partner or grant funding for
development of MN-221 and MN-166 and risks of raising sufficient capital when
needed to fund MediciNova's operations and contribution to clinical
development, risks and uncertainties inherent in clinical trials, including
the potential cost, expected timing and risks associated with clinical trials
designed to meet FDA guidance and the viability of further development
considering these factors, product development and commercialization risks,
the uncertainty of whether the results of clinical trials will be predictive
of results in later stages of product development, the risk of delays or
failure to obtain or maintain regulatory approval, risks associated with the
reliance on third parties to sponsor and fund clinical trials, risks regarding
intellectual property rights in product candidates and the ability to defend
and enforce such intellectual property rights, the risk of failure of the
third parties upon whom MediciNova relies to conduct its clinical trials and
manufacture its product candidates to perform as expected, the risk of
increased cost and delays due to delays in the commencement, enrollment,
completion or analysis of clinical trials or significant issues regarding the
adequacy of clinical trial designs or the execution of clinical trials, and
the timing of expected filings with the regulatory authorities, and the other
risks and uncertainties described in MediciNova's filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year
ended December 31, 2011 and its subsequent periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and
8-K.Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements,
which speak only as of the date hereof. MediciNova disclaims any intent or
obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: INVESTOR CONTACT:
         Mark Johnson
         Investor Relations
         MediciNova, Inc.
         (858) 373-1300
         johnson@medicinova.com
        
         MEDIA CONTACT:
         Stephanie Ashe
         Continuum Health Communications
         650-245-0425
         sashe@continuumhealthcom.com

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