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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 in a safer alternative for the treatment of menopausal weight gain and the prevention of metabolic syndrome and its associated risks.

"Our findings demonstrate the depth and versatility of Bionovo's pipeline of drugs and Bionovo's commitment to developing new classes of selective estrogen modulators to improve the treatment options and expand the clinical indications for postmenopausal women," said Isaac Cohen, Chairman and CEO of Bionovo. "Metabolic syndrome can affect as many as 30% of postmenopausal women and leads to the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We believe that the TSERaM represents an exciting new class of drugs that have the potential to protect postmenopausal women from the risks associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome without increasing the risks of breast and endometrial cancer like the current estrogens used in hormone therapy."

Bionovo, Inc.

Bionovo, Inc. 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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