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Bert W. O'Malley, M.D., Recipient of the 2008 National Medal for Science, Joins Bionovo's Scientific Advisory Board

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bionovo Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today the appointment of Bert O'Malley, M.D., to the company's Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. O'Malley, the recipient of the National Medal for Science in 2008, has extensive experience in academic research as well as with pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

"We are very excited to have Dr. O'Malley on the scientific advisory board as we are advancing our novel hormonal drug candidates," said Isaac Cohen, O.M.D., Bionovo's Chairman and CEO. He added, "Dr. O'Malley, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the 2008 National Medal for Science, is a pioneer in biomedical research. Dr. O'Malley's landmark discoveries revealed the mechanism of hormone action and the critical importance of a previously undiscovered superfamily of mediators, the nuclear receptor coregulators. No doubt these discoveries have transformed the future of health and our ability to select safer, more targeted therapies for many critical indications. We are looking forward to collaborating with him on current and future indications involving nuclear receptors."

Dr. O'Malley states, "I'm delightfully surprised and impressed by the selectivity, safety and clinical effects of Menerba, Bionovo's drug candidate for menopausal hot flashes. To date, it is perhaps the most impressive SERM I've encountered. The utilization of natural compounds with historical clinical utility, and the targeted mechanism of action seems to result in a safer drug with exciting clinical results. I believe this strategy is propitious and will provide new therapies for many indications that currently have unmet or poorly met medical needs. I hope our collaboration will further expand therapeutic choices for a number of significant diseases with unmet needs."

Dr. O'Malley's landmark discoveries revealed the mechanism of steroid hormone action to be at the level of nuclear DNA transcription. Dr. O'Malley went on to demonstrate the critical importance of a previously undiscovered superfamily of mediators for their actions -- namely, the nuclear receptor coregulators. These discoveries provided a coherent foundation for understanding epigenetic promotion of reproductive tissue growth and development by steroid hormones, and provided the foundation for all future regulatory studies of the impact of estrogen and progesterone on implantation of a fertilized egg, pregnancy maintenance, and prenatal embryonic development, and for the hormone mediated embryonic and pubertal growth of breast, uterine, ovarian, prostate, and brain tissues under normal and cancer conditions. In 1992, the O'Malley lab used proteolytic enzyme and antibody epitope mapping to demonstrate specific distinct receptor structures for pure agonists, pure antagonists, and mixed antagonists/agonists of estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR). This early work of the O'Malley lab contributed the first substantiated understanding of the mechanism of action of how agonists and antagonists of female hormones structurally activate or inactivate a receptor's ligand binding domain for eventual transcriptional regulation. His work was furthered when he discovered that intracellular coactivator/corepressor ratios determine the tissue specificities of SERMs.

Among the awards and honors that Dr. O'Malley has received are the Ernst Oppenheimer Award, Gregory Pincus Memorial Medal, Distinguished Achievement in Modern Medicine Award, Axel Munthe Award in Reproductive Biology, British Endocrine Society Medal, Fred Conrad Koch Medal, Pasarow Award in Cancer Research, Endocrine Transatlantic Medal, George W. Beadle Award, Rodbell Award (NIH/NIEHS), and the Feltrinelli International Prize for Biology, as well as election by his peers to membership in the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences of Texas. Dr. O'Malley has also served as president of the Endocrine Society. Dr. O'Malley received honorary degrees from the New York Medical College (D.Sc., in 1979); the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden (M.D., in 1984); the National University of Ireland (D.Sc. in 1985); and the University of Maryland (D.Sc., in 2001).

Dr. O'Malley received his B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1959, his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1963, and completed his Internship and Residency at Duke University Department of Medicine in 1965. He was a Clinical Associate at NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, from 1965 to 1967; and served as Head, Molecular Biology Section, Endocrine Branch, NCI, NIH, from 1967 to 1969. In 1969, he moved to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he was Professor and Occupant of the Lucius Birch Chair and Director of the Reproductive Biology Center. In 1973, Dr. O'Malley moved to his current professional home at Baylor College of Medicine, where he serves as Tomas C. Thompson Professor and Chairman, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Director of the Baylor Center for Reproductive Biology.

Bionovo, Inc.

Bionovo is a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of safe and effective treatments for women's health and cancer, markets with significant unmet needs and billions in potential annual revenue. The company applies its expertise in the biology of menopause and cancer to design new drugs derived from botanical sources which have novel mechanisms of action. Based on the results of early and mid-stage clinical trials, Bionovo believes they have discovered new classes of drug candidates within their rich pipeline with the potential to be leaders in their markets. Bionovo is headquartered in Emeryville, California and is traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol, "BNVI". For more information about Bionovo and its programs, visit:

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to the business of Bionovo, Inc. that can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects," or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including uncertainties relating to product development, efficacy and safety, regulatory actions or delays, the ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection, market acceptance, physician acceptance, third party reimbursement, future capital requirements, competition in general and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are or will be described in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at Bionovo, Inc. is under no obligation (and expressly disclaims any such obligation) to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Bionovo Inc.
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