MediciNova Seals Aspire Capital Deal

MediciNova, a biopharmaceutical company that is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Market and the Jasdaq Market of the Osaka Securities Exchange has entered into a common stock purchase agreement with Aspire Capital Fund. Aspire Capital has committed to purchase up to $20 million of MediciNova’s common stock over the next two years.

PRESS RELEASE

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), today announced that it has entered into
a common stock purchase agreement with Aspire Capital Fund, LLC, an
Illinois limited liability company. Aspire Capital has committed to
purchase up to $20 million of MediciNova’s common stock over the next
two years at prices based on the market price at the time of each sale.
On execution of the agreement, Aspire Capital made an initial purchase
of 606,060 shares of common stock for $1 million, which was equal to
the closing price of $1.65 on August 2, 2012, the date upon which the
business terms were agreed to between MediciNova and Aspire Capital.

“We have followed MediciNova and its MN-221 and MN-166 programs very
closely over the past year,” commented Steven G. Martin, Managing
Member of Aspire Capital. “We believe MediciNova has a promising
pipeline, valuable strategic alliances and an experienced management
team and we are very excited about this investment opportunity.”

“With strong progress in our product pipeline this year, our agreement
with Aspire Capital will help provide us with timely access to cash to
further advance our very promising development programs. This
investment will help provide us with the flexibility to obtain capital
that is complementary with other financial sources available to us.
Aspire Capital has an established history of becoming a meaningful and
long-term investor and supporting successful growth companies and we
very much look forward to working with them,” commented Yuichi Iwaki
M.D., Ph.D, President and Chief Executive Officer of MediciNova.

Key aspects of the stock purchase agreement include the following:

— MediciNova will control the timing and amount of any sales of common
stock to Aspire Capital and will determine the sales price before
directing Aspire Capital to purchase shares.
— Aspire Capital has no right to require any sales by MediciNova, but is
obligated to make purchases as MediciNova directs, in accordance with
the terms of the purchase agreement.
— There are no limitations on use of proceeds, financial covenants,
restrictions on future financings, rights of first refusal,
participation rights, penalties or liquidated damages in the purchase
agreement.
— The purchase agreement may be terminated by MediciNova at any time, at
its discretion, without any additional cost or penalty.
— MediciNova has issued to Aspire Capital additional common shares as
consideration for entering into the purchase agreement.

MediciNova will use the net proceeds from any sales of its stock to
advance MediciNova’s development activities for its lead programs,
MN-221 (bedoradrine sulfate) in development for the treatment of acute
asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and MN-166
(ibudilast) in development for the treatment of progressive MS, drug
addiction and chronic pain. MediciNova is finalizing plans for an
October 22, 2012 End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA on MN-221 and
expects to be able to outline specific development plans later this
year. MediciNova also expects to finalize plans for advancing Phase 2
development of MN-166 later this year.

The common stock issued or to be issued under the purchase agreement
was or will be issued pursuant to MediciNova’s shelf registration
statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-163116). MediciNova will file a
prospectus supplement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) in connection with the transaction. A more complete and detailed
description of the transaction will be set forth in a current report on
Form 8-K that that MediciNova will file with the SEC in connection with
the transaction.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the
solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be
any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such an
offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or
qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

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. Through strategic alliances primarily with Japanese
pharmaceutical companies, MediciNova holds rights to a diversified
portfolio of clinical and preclinical product candidates, each of which
MediciNova believes has a well-characterized and differentiated
therapeutic profile, attractive commercial potential, and patent
coverage of commercially adequate scope. MediciNova’s pipeline includes
six clinical-stage compounds for the treatment of acute exacerbations
of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations,
multiple sclerosis and other neurologic conditions, asthma,
interstitial cystitis, solid tumor cancers, generalized anxiety
disorder, preterm labor and urinary incontinence and two
preclinical-stage compounds for the treatment of thrombotic disorders.
MediciNova’s current strategy is to focus on its two prioritized
product candidates, MN-221, for the treatment of acute exacerbations of
asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations, and
ibudilast (MN-166) for neurological disorders. MN-221 is involved in
clinical trials under U.S. INDs. MN-166 is being developed in Phase
1b/2 trials for pain and drug addiction, largely through Investigator
INDs and outside funding. Proof-of-concept Phase 2b trial(s) in
Progressive MS are pending. MediciNova is engaged in strategic
partnering and consortium funding discussions to support further
development of both the MN-221 and ibudilast/MN-166 programs.
Additionally, MediciNova will seek to monetize opportunistically its
other pipeline candidates. 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

About Aspire Capital Fund, LLC

Aspire Capital Fund, LLC is an institutional investor based in Chicago,
Illinois, with a fundamental investment approach. Aspire Capital
invests in a wide range of companies and industries emphasizing life
sciences, energy and technology.

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 expectations on the ability to advance MN-221
through a Phase 3 trial, expectations about our end of Phase 2 meeting
with the FDA, expectations about the trial design for a Phase 3 trial
and our implied expectation that we will be able to obtain additional
financing to fund a Phase 3 clinical trial, progress 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 or 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 and
uncertainties inherent in clinical trials including 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 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, cost and design of future
clinical trials and research activities, the timing of expected filings
with the regulatory authorities, risks relating to the operations of
the joint venture in China, MediciNova’s collaborations with third
parties, the availability of funds to complete product development
plans and MediciNova’s ability to raise sufficient capital when needed,
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.