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Bionovo Announces Enrollment Started in the Menerba (MF101) Phase 1 "Tolerability" Clinical Trial for Menopausal Hot Flushes

EMERYVILLE, Calif., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI), a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of safe and effective treatments for women's health and cancer, today announced that enrollment has started for the Phase 1 clinical trial testing the safety of two doses of Menerba in postmenopausal women for the treatment of menopausal hot flushes (study # MF101-008), also known as "menopausal hot flashes."

This Phase 1, open-label, randomized, clinical trial of Menerba will be conducted at three clinical sites in Northern California. Forty postmenopausal women between the ages of 40 and 65 years will be randomized to one of two doses of Menerba and treated for 28 days. The primary goal of this study is to assess the safety of two doses of MF101 after 4 weeks of treatment. Dr. Wulf Utian will serve as the Principal Investigator for this study.

"We are pleased to announce that we are initiating the Phase 1 tolerability clinical trial. We are confident that the trial will proceed quickly and successfully. We are diligently executing on all our milestones, clinical and non-clinical activities, in 2011," commented Dr. Isaac Cohen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bionovo, Inc.

"This Phase 1 clinical trial is testing two doses of Menerba that are higher than the already proven efficacious dose evaluated in our Phase 2 trial, which showed efficacy equivalent to recently approved low dose menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). We are escalating the dose of Menerba to reach similar efficacy as the high doses of MHT. Our goal is to define a full therapeutic window that matches or improves on currently approved MHT drugs," said Mary Tagliaferri, M.D., Bionovo's President and Chief Medical Officer.

IRB approval has been granted at the two sites below, and enrollment will commence forthwith: 1.
Clinical Trials Research, Lincoln, CA

  • Telephone: 916-434-8230

  • 2.
    Northern California Research, Sacramento, CA

  • Telephone: 916-484-0500

  • IRB approval has been sought and is expected soon at a third site:3.
    Alta Bates, Jordan Research and Education Institute, Berkeley, CA

  • Telephone: 510-849-0417 extension 12
  • About MenerbaMenerba is an oral drug candidate designed for the safe, effective treatment of vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes) associated with menopause, which is manufactured from botanical sources. Menerba is an estrogen receptor beta (ER-b) selective drug, developed as an alternative to the products currently on the market which have been shown to increase the risk for breast and uterine cancers. It has been shown that the increased risk of breast and uterine cancers is associated with activation of estrogen receptor alpha (ER-a) and that activation of estrogen receptor beta (ER-b) blocks the growth promoting effects on breast cancer cells. The active ingredients in Menerba are derived from botanicals with centuries of recorded safe, effective use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Bionovo recognizes the opportunity to commercialize a product that would be as effective as hormone therapy, without the health risks. Menerba has completed a Phase 2 trial with positive results for efficacy and has been evaluated by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board and passed through a standard two-round examination for safety. Menerba also has been shown in animal studies to prevent the proliferation of breast cancer and to have a beneficial effect on osteoporosis, though this has not yet been studied in humans.

    About 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:

    Forward Looking StatementsThis 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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