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Bionovo Announces Publication of the Paper Detailing the Mechanism of Action of Its Cancer Drug BZL101

BZL101 selectively kills cancer cells but not normal cells

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bionovo Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) today announced the publication of a peer-reviewed article in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy that elucidates the molecular mechanisms underlying selective cytotoxic activity of BZL101, the company's drug for advanced breast cancer.

"BZL101 induces cell death in breast cancer cells but not in normal breast cells," said Emma Shtivelman, Ph.D., Director of Cancer Research at Bionovo. "This selective cell killing is based on strong induction by BZL101 of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in tumor cells. The ROS cause extensive DNA damage in tumor cells but not in normal cells, which then leads to the inhibition of glycolysis selectively in tumor cells. This action is most clearly evident from the decrease in the enzymatic activities within the glycolytic pathway and the inhibition of lactate production. The observed inhibition of glycolysis is a key factor in the energetic collapse and death that occurs selectively in breast cancer cells, 'selectively' because tumor cells rely on glycolysis for energy production."

Separately, Isaac Cohen, O.M.D., Bionovo's Chairman and CEO, stated, "The promising selectivity of BZL101 towards cancer cells is based on metabolic differences between highly glycolytic tumor cells and normal cells. Coupled with promising clinical development, BZL101 has the potential to be an important treatment for women with breast cancer, as well as potentially for other cancers. BZL101 could fill an important unmet medical need in cancer treatment."

About BZL101

BZL101 is an oral drug designed for the treatment of advanced breast cancer and pancreatic cancer with a novel mechanism of action. BZL101 targets cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy and intact. Normal cells depend primarily on the citric acid cycle (>85%) and very little on glycolysis (<7%) for energy production. In contrast, cancer cells depend largely on glycolysis (>85%) for energy production. BZL101 leads to energy collapse in cancer cells by inhibiting glycolysis. This leads to DNA damage and cell death in cancer cells while normal cells remain unharmed.

BZL101 has completed early stage clinical testing conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the Cancer Research Network in Plantation, Florida. Data from the Phase 1 trial of BZL101 indicate that BZL101 has a favorable tolerability profile and demonstrates encouraging clinical activity in a heavily pretreated population. BZL101 is currently undergoing Phase 1/2 clinical testing for late stage metastatic breast cancer. Visit to find out more about BZL101.

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 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 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 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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