Bionovo Identifies and Describes ER-beta Selective Compounds for the Treatment of Vaginal Dryness

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) will present seminal information on a new drug candidate for the treatment of vaginal dryness at the 7th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals & American Society of Pharmacognosy 4th Interim Meeting, April 12-16, 2008. Scott Baggett, Ph.D., a member of Bionovo's chemistry team, will present the structural elucidation of active estrogen receptor beta selective compounds from VG101, Bionovo's drug candidate for vaginal atrophy. This structural elucidation is key to the development of the drug candidate's mechanism of action and intellectual property protection.

The poster will describe the isolation and identification of a natural, selective estrogen receptor (ER) beta compound from VG101 and three synthetic derivatives. The presentation will detail the complete analysis of these compounds by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry Detection (LC/MS) analysis.

Dr. Rick Staub, Director of Chemistry at Bionovo stated, "This is an excellent example of our multidisciplinary approach to drug development. We integrate pharmacognosy, synthetic chemistry and cutting edge, physiologically relevant, biological assays to isolate and develop safe and efficacious pharmaceuticals. Here, we have isolated an isoflavonoid from VG101 and synthesized three analogues displaying selective estrogen receptor beta activity, which is the foundation of this drug candidate."

"More than 45% of menopausal women experience vaginal dryness, which, untreated, can last for the rest of their lives," said Isaac Cohen, Bionovo's Chairman and CEO. "It has been recently elucidated in independent studies that pain and physical discomfort are the major reason menopausal women refrain from sexual activity. VG101 may provide a safe and effective treatment of vaginal dryness for these women, and significantly improve their quality of life and reproductive health. We plan to advance this drug into clinical testing later this year."

The conference will be held at The National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) within the School of Pharmacy at The University of Mississippi.

About the American Society of Pharmacognosy

The American Society of Pharmacognosy was founded in 1959 as an outgrowth of the Plant Science Seminar. The Society represents more than 1,000 researchers, scientists and others worldwide who are dedicated to the promotion and development of pharmacognosy and to all aspects of those sciences that involve natural products.

About VG101

VG101 is a topical intravaginal drug designed for the treatment of vaginal atrophy and dryness in menopausal women. VG101 is a novel estrogen receptor beta selective agonist and unlike currently available hormone therapies, does not activate the estrogen receptor alpha, known to be implicated in tumor formation. Phase 1/2 clinical testing of VG101, under the directorship of Dr. Deborah Grady, will commence later this year.

About 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: http://www.bionovo.com.

SOURCE Bionovo, Inc.

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