EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Compensation and
Nominations Committee of the Board of Directors of Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq:
BNVI) announced today that despite significant corporate and scientific
accomplishments and progress during the year, given current market conditions
and the status of the financial markets, they will be recommending to the
Board of Directors that no executive bonuses be paid for 2008, and that there
be no increase in salaries. In addition, the Company announced that it had
taken other cost control actions, aimed at maximizing cash life, while not
delaying key program activities.
The actions taken by the Company included:
-- No executive management bonuses for 2008.
-- No executive management pay rate increases for 2009.
-- An approximately 15% reduction in staff.
-- Deferring work on preclinical drug candidates, to allow focus on
clinical drug candidates.
-- Increased effort on project partnership and strategic investors as an
additional source of capital.
"While there has been excellent performance by the company - and by the
executive management - we can not ignore the current economic conditions and
the need to conserve cash, while still moving key programs ahead in our
current regulatory environment," said David Naveh, the Chairman of the
Compensation and Nominations Committee of Bionovo, Inc.'s Board of Directors
"The Board and management have had a number of in-depth conversations
about general financial conditions, company performance, and the need to move
forward on key programs. As part of that, the Company has already taken many
internal steps to reduce expenses, including targeted headcount cuts.
Management and the Board will continue to examine all appropriate methods of
extending cash while continuing with developmental progress," said Isaac
Cohen, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.
Dr. Cohen continued, "While the stock market and our stock price have been
on a downward slope, the company's business and scientific activities have
most definitely been on an upward slope. We have accomplished so much, but
there is a disconnect between stock price and value creation. In our most
clinically advanced program, Menerba for menopausal hot flashes, Bionovo has a
drug candidate addressing a multibillion dollar market opportunity that has
shown both efficacy and safety in trials to date, has widespread scientific
support, and is forging a novel regulatory approach in partnership with the
FDA. Furthermore, we have enough cash to weather the current market
uncertainty. Without any further cuts to key programs, we have enough funds
available for about a year, plenty to start the Menerba trials around midyear.
We will, of course, have to seek equity and/or partner funding to complete
those trials, but we do not have to accept the desperate terms of today's
market. We have every confidence that Bionovo will prevail despite the
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's clinical
pipeline of drug candidates includes Menerba (MF101) for the treatment of
menopausal hot flashes and BZL101 for the treatment of advanced breast cancer.
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.
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.
SOURCE Bionovo, Inc.
/CONTACT: Claire Fong or Tom Chesterman, +1-510-601-2000,
email@example.com, both of Bionovo, Inc./
CO: Bionovo, Inc.
IN: MTC BIO HEA
SU: RCN WOM
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0773 01/15/2009 08:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com