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Bionovo Announces Cost Control Measures Taken
Date:1/15/2009

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Compensation and Nominations Committee of the Board of Directors of Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today that despite significant corporate and scientific accomplishments and progress during the year, given current market conditions and the status of the financial markets, they will be recommending to the Board of Directors that no executive bonuses be paid for 2008, and that there be no increase in salaries. In addition, the Company announced that it had taken other cost control actions, aimed at maximizing cash life, while not delaying key program activities.

The actions taken by the Company included:

  • No executive management bonuses for 2008.
  • No executive management pay rate increases for 2009.
  • An approximately 15% reduction in staff.
  • Deferring work on preclinical drug candidates, to allow focus on clinical drug candidates.
  • Increased effort on project partnership and strategic investors as an additional source of capital.

"While there has been excellent performance by the company - and by the executive management - we can not ignore the current economic conditions and the need to conserve cash, while still moving key programs ahead in our current regulatory environment," said David Naveh, the Chairman of the Compensation and Nominations Committee of Bionovo, Inc.'s Board of Directors

"The Board and management have had a number of in-depth conversations about general financial conditions, company performance, and the need to move forward on key programs. As part of that, the Company has already taken many internal steps to reduce expenses, including targeted headcount cuts. Management and the Board will continue to examine all appropriate methods of extending cash while continuing with developmental progress," said Isaac Cohen, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. Cohen continued, "While the stock market and our stock price have been on a downward slope, the company's business and scientific activities have most definitely been on an upward slope. We have accomplished so much, but there is a disconnect between stock price and value creation. In our most clinically advanced program, Menerba for menopausal hot flashes, Bionovo has a drug candidate addressing a multibillion dollar market opportunity that has shown both efficacy and safety in trials to date, has widespread scientific support, and is forging a novel regulatory approach in partnership with the FDA. Furthermore, we have enough cash to weather the current market uncertainty. Without any further cuts to key programs, we have enough funds available for about a year, plenty to start the Menerba trials around midyear. We will, of course, have to seek equity and/or partner funding to complete those trials, but we do not have to accept the desperate terms of today's market. We have every confidence that Bionovo will prevail despite the 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's clinical pipeline of drug candidates includes Menerba (MF101) for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes and BZL101 for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. 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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