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Bionovo Announces Publication Describing Potential Estrogen Receptor Modulating Drugs for Treating Menopausal Conditions
Date:10/21/2010

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) today announced the publication of a review of results from studies discussing new classes of estrogen receptor modulating drugs with distinct mechanism for pharmacological effect. The review is published in the most recent edition of Current Opinion in Pharmacology. The article is entitled, "Regulation of Specific Target Genes and Biological Responses by Estrogen Receptor Subtype Agonists" and is available at: http://www.bionovo.com/investors/publications. This review outlines Bionovo's platform of estrogen receptor modulators for conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, menopausal obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Isaac Cohen, O.M.D., Bionovo's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Bionovo's platform for the discovery of unique drugs for women's health and cancer is described in this review. We now know we can selectively regulate estrogen receptors for specific indications that have a better safety profile. This opens the door for new treatments for many afflictions women encounter after menopause. Our drugs are aimed at areas of unmet needs, such as post menopausal obesity, metabolic syndrome and cancer prevention."

"Estrogen receptors are associated with many diseases and disorders that women encounter after menopause. These include breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. When designing drugs for these disorders, selectivity and specificity are critical aspects to ensure safety and efficacy. Estrogen receptors have multiple functions in numerous tissues, and when stimulated non-selectively, as current estrogens used for menopausal symptoms do, the results are mixed with both benefits and risks," said Dr. Dale Leitman, M.D., Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley and Bionovo's Scientific Advisory Board Member. "This review discusses the approach we have taken at Bionovo to identify new estrogens that result in greater tissue specificity, which will produce a more favorable safety profile."

Dr. Leitman continued, "Estrogens have been used extensively to treat various indications in women's health including menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis. Unfortunately, estrogen use also results in a significantly increased risk for breast and uterine cancer, stroke and clotting events. The current estrogens were developed before there was a significant understanding of the molecular mechanisms whereby estrogens produce their clinical effects. The identification of two estrogen receptors that have different biological properties and the greater understanding of how these receptors regulate genes provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to develop more selective and safer estrogens. Our current review discusses three potential new types of estrogens on the horizon that might offer a new, safer therapeutic approach to treat menopausal symptoms. The first type is estrogen receptor subtype agonists, which exert their pharmacological effects by binding selectively to one of the two types of estrogen receptors. The second type of estrogens recruits co-regulatory proteins and chromatin remodeling factors to form functional complexes at one of the two types of estrogen receptors. The third type of estrogens acts as coagonists that alter the action of estrogens in the body. These three classes of estrogenic drugs result in specific and selective activity on gene regulation and tissues, allowing greater pharmacological accuracy and safety."  

About Menerba

Menerba is an oral botanical drug candidate designed for the safe, effective treatment of vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes) associated with menopause. 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. 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.

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 it has discovered new classes of drug candidates within its rich pipeline with the potential to be leaders in their markets. Bionovo is headquartered in Emeryville, California and its stock 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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