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Bionovo Publishes Discoveries in Predictable Tissue Selectivity for Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators Platform
Date:1/3/2009

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today results describing predictable estrogen regulatory elements that can be used to identify estrogenic drugs that are safer. The data, published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, showed that the new regulatory elements can distinguish the estrogenic pharmacological activity exerted by different compounds and allow for more accurate prediction of specific tissue effect.

"Selective estrogen modulators (SERMs) are an exciting class of drugs that are used to prevent breast cancer and osteoporosis and differ from estrogens in how they regulate gene transcription," said Dr. Dale Leitman, from the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. "This study identified gene elements that are activated by SERMs but not by estrogens used in hormone therapy. The identification of these elements, coupled with the understanding of the differential regulation in various tissues by each estrogen receptor subtype, provides a new platform for the discovery of safer estrogenic drugs with SERM-like profiles to prevent and treat a variety of clinical conditions associated with menopause."

The study was conducted by investigators at The Center for Reproductive Sciences in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco in collaboration with scientists at Bionovo.

"The discovery of these selective estrogen regulatory elements strengthens our SERM discovery engine," said Isaac Cohen, Bionovo's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The advantage of the new array, of specific regulatory elements, is manifest in the pharmacological and toxicological insights gained. We can now acquire higher predictive value and greater specificity from a complex biological system such as the regulation of the estrogen receptor pathways. I believe this puts Bionovo at the forefront of future SERM products which are far more specific and a more favorable safety profile. This is a breakthrough for all future drugs that regulate the vast diverse effects of conditions affected by nuclear receptors. Bionovo is positioned to explore and exploit these pathways for many serious diseases with its expanded scientific collaborations. We are proud to continue pursuing our innovative approaches to drug discovery and development in these challenging times."

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: http://www.bionovo.com.

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 http://www.sec.gov. 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.


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SOURCE Bionovo, Inc.
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