Bionovo Publishes Discoveries in Predictable Tissue Selectivity for Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators Platform

Saturday, January 3, 2009 General News
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EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 2 Bionovo, Inc.(Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today results describing predictable estrogenregulatory elements that can be used to identify estrogenic drugs that aresafer. The data, published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, showedthat the new regulatory elements can distinguish the estrogenicpharmacological activity exerted by different compounds and allow for moreaccurate prediction of specific tissue effect.

"Selective estrogen modulators (SERMs) are an exciting class of drugs thatare used to prevent breast cancer and osteoporosis and differ from estrogensin how they regulate gene transcription," said Dr. Dale Leitman, from theDepartment of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at theUniversity of California, San Francisco. "This study identified gene elementsthat are activated by SERMs but not by estrogens used in hormone therapy. Theidentification of these elements, coupled with the understanding of thedifferential regulation in various tissues by each estrogen receptor subtype,provides a new platform for the discovery of safer estrogenic drugs withSERM-like profiles to prevent and treat a variety of clinical conditionsassociated with menopause."

The study was conducted by investigators at The Center for ReproductiveSciences in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciencesat the University of California, San Francisco in collaboration withscientists at Bionovo.

"The discovery of these selective estrogen regulatory elements strengthensour SERM discovery engine," said Isaac Cohen, Bionovo's Chairman and ChiefExecutive Officer. "The advantage of the new array, of specific regulatoryelements, is manifest in the pharmacological and toxicological insightsgained. We can now acquire higher predictive value and greater specificityfrom a complex biological system such as the regulation of the estrogenreceptor pathways. I believe this puts Bionovo at the forefront of future SERMproducts which are far more specific and a more favorable safety profile. Thisis a breakthrough for all future drugs that regulate the vast diverse effectsof conditions affected by nuclear receptors. Bionovo is positioned to exploreand exploit these pathways for many serious diseases with its expandedscientific collaborations. We are proud to continue pursuing our innovativeapproaches to drug discovery and development in these challenging times."

Bionovo, Inc.

Bionovo is a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery anddevelopment 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 todesign new drugs derived from botanical sources which have novel mechanisms ofaction. Based on the results of early and mid-stage clinical trials, Bionovobelieves they have discovered new classes of drug candidates within their richpipeline with the potential to be leaders in their markets. Bionovo isheadquartered in Emeryville, California and is traded on the NASDAQ CapitalMarket under the symbol, "BNVI". For more information about Bionovo and itsprograms, visit:

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to thebusiness of Bionovo, Inc. that can be identified by the use of forward-lookingterminology such as "believes," "expects," or similar expressions. Suchforward-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 orother 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 bematerially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed,estimated or expected. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are or will bedescribed in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and ExchangeCommission, which are available at Bionovo, Inc. is underno obligation (and expressly disclaims any such obligation) to update or alterits forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, futureevents or otherwise.

SOURCE Bionovo, Inc.

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