Yale researchers will begin a clinical trial at Yale-New Haven Hospital to test the effectiveness of a drug called ibudilast (MN-166) for treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a life-threatening lung condition developed by some of the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The researchers are part of Yale’s Advanced Therapies Group, which was formed in response to the pandemic and is identifying and advancing possible treatments for the disease.
The drug—which has been approved for years in Japan and Korea for the treatment of asthma—has shown promising results for reducing inflammation associated with ARDS in mouse models. The researchers have partnered with the California company MediciNova to launch the trial. MediciNova had been developing ibudilast as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and neuroinflammation before shifting its attention to COVID-19.