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Press Release


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Bionovo Announces Patent Issuance for Bezielle(R) (BZL101) for Metastatic Breast Cancer

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 20, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a patent covering a method of using Bionovo's proprietary drug candidate Bezielle(R) (BZL101) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The patent issued today is Bionovo's second issued patent, with over 70 other patent applications currently pending.

Bionovo's US Patent No. 7,700,136 covers a method of treating breast cancer using an extract of Scutellaria Barbata. This patent also covers the use of Bionovo's proprietary Bezielle(R) formulation as a monotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer. The patent is expected to provide coverage through at least November 13, 2026.

Bionovo's first issued patent was US Patent No. 7,482,029, issued on January 27, 2009. The patent covers treatment of hot flashes with MF101, which has been demonstrated in clinical trials to safely provide menopausal women with relief from hot flashes. MF101 is the development name for Bionovo's proprietary drug, Menerba(R), an oral formulation for the treatment of hot flashes. The patent is expected to provide coverage through at least August 31, 2026.

"Following two positive Phase 1 trials of Bezielle, this is another critical milestone in Bionovo's efforts to develop Bezielle into a valuable treatment option for an indication that needs new, safe treatment options. Furthermore, intellectual property protection is essential for successfully partnering our drug candidates, and further assuring shareholder value creation," said Isaac Cohen, Bionovo's Chairman and CEO.

Bezielle (BZL101)

Bezielle(R) is an oral drug designed for the treatment of advanced breast cancer with a novel mechanism of action. Bezielle targets diseased 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. Cancer cells depend largely on glycolysis (>85%) for energy production. Bezielle stops the production cycle of energy in cancer cells by inhibiting glycolysis. This leads to DNA damage and cell death in cancer cells while normal cells remain largely unharmed.

There are currently no effective therapeutic cures for advanced breast cancer and treatment is primarily aimed at palliation of symptoms as well as improving overall survival. Over 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Although survival after breast cancer treatment is improving, there are still over 40,000 deaths per year due to the disease in the Unites States alone.

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.