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Bionovo to Present on Novel Female-Specific Drugs for Obesity at the 20th Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society
Date:9/24/2009

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) today announced that Dr. Elise Saunier, a Research Scientist at Bionovo, will present the results of a study on the effects of two plant-derived, tissue-selective estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) modulators (TSERaM) for obesity at the 20th Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in San Diego on Friday, October 2nd.

For most women, the menopausal transition results in a 10-15 pound weight gain and a redistribution of fat to the abdomen. This can increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Though estrogens can reduce total body fat, specifically intra-abdominal and intrapelvic fat, in postmenopausal women, their use is associated with an increased risk of breast and uterine cancer because the estrogens currently used in hormone therapy are not tissue-selective. Dr. Saunier will present studies with a new class of plant-derived estrogens which act as tissue-selective ERa modulators that decrease weight in mice without stimulating the growth of breast and uterine tissue.

In this study, ovariectomized female mice, mimicking menopause, were placed on a high fat diet for one month prior to initiation of treatment. While the untreated mice continued to gain weight, the mice administered with estrogens or the plant-derived TSERaMs lost weight. While estrogens had positive effects on the body fat mass, they significantly increased the size of the mammary gland and uterus. In contrast, the same tissues in the plant-derived TSERaM-treated mice closely resembled those of the untreated mice. These findings suggest that the development of botanically-derived, tissue-selective ERa modulators could result
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