Bert W. O’Malley, M.D., Recipient of the 2008 National Medal for Science, Joins Bionovo’s Scientific Advisory Board

February 17, 2009

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Bionovo Inc.
(Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today the appointment of Bert O’Malley, M.D., to the
company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. O’Malley, the recipient of the
National Medal for Science in 2008, has extensive experience in academic
research as well as with pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

“We are very excited to have Dr. O’Malley on the scientific advisory board
as we are advancing our novel hormonal drug candidates,” said Isaac Cohen,
O.M.D., Bionovo’s Chairman and CEO. He added, “Dr. O’Malley, a member of the
National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the 2008 National Medal for
Science, is a pioneer in biomedical research. Dr. O’Malley’s landmark
discoveries revealed the mechanism of hormone action and the critical
importance of a previously undiscovered superfamily of mediators, the nuclear
receptor coregulators. No doubt these discoveries have transformed the future
of health and our ability to select safer, more targeted therapies for many
critical indications. We are looking forward to collaborating with him on
current and future indications involving nuclear receptors.”

Dr. O’Malley states, “I’m delightfully surprised and impressed by the
selectivity, safety and clinical effects of Menerba, Bionovo’s drug candidate
for menopausal hot flashes. To date, it is perhaps the most impressive SERM
I’ve encountered. The utilization of natural compounds with historical
clinical utility, and the targeted mechanism of action seems to result in a
safer drug with exciting clinical results. I believe this strategy is
propitious and will provide new therapies for many indications that currently
have unmet or poorly met medical needs. I hope our collaboration will further
expand therapeutic choices for a number of significant diseases with unmet

Dr. O’Malley’s landmark discoveries revealed the mechanism of steroid
hormone action to be at the level of nuclear DNA transcription. Dr. O’Malley
went on to demonstrate the critical importance of a previously undiscovered
superfamily of mediators for their actions — namely, the nuclear receptor
coregulators. These discoveries provided a coherent foundation for
understanding epigenetic promotion of reproductive tissue growth and
development by steroid hormones, and provided the foundation for all future
regulatory studies of the impact of estrogen and progesterone on implantation
of a fertilized egg, pregnancy maintenance, and prenatal embryonic
development, and for the hormone mediated embryonic and pubertal growth of
breast, uterine, ovarian, prostate, and brain tissues under normal and cancer
conditions. In 1992, the O’Malley lab used proteolytic enzyme and antibody
epitope mapping to demonstrate specific distinct receptor structures for pure
agonists, pure antagonists, and mixed antagonists/agonists of estrogen
receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR). This early work of the
O’Malley lab contributed the first substantiated understanding of the
mechanism of action of how agonists and antagonists of female hormones
structurally activate or inactivate a receptor’s ligand binding domain for
eventual transcriptional regulation. His work was furthered when he discovered
that intracellular coactivator/corepressor ratios determine the tissue
specificities of SERMs.

Among the awards and honors that Dr. O’Malley has received are the Ernst
Award, Gregory Pincus Memorial Medal, Distinguished Achievement in
Modern Medicine Award, Axel Munthe Award in Reproductive Biology, British
Endocrine Society Medal, Fred Conrad Koch Medal, Pasarow Award in Cancer
Research, Endocrine Transatlantic Medal, George W. Beadle Award, Rodbell Award
(NIH/NIEHS), and the Feltrinelli International Prize for Biology, as well as
election by his peers to membership in the Royal Academy of Medicine of
Ireland, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, American Academy
of Arts and Sciences, and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences of
Texas. Dr. O’Malley has also served as president of the Endocrine Society. Dr.
O’Malley received honorary degrees from the New York Medical College (D.Sc.,
in 1979); the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden (M.D., in 1984); the
National University of Ireland (D.Sc. in 1985); and the University of Maryland
(D.Sc., in 2001).

Dr. O’Malley received his B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in
1959, his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1963,
and completed his Internship and Residency at Duke University Department of
Medicine in 1965. He was a Clinical Associate at NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland,
from 1965 to 1967; and served as Head, Molecular Biology Section, Endocrine
Branch, NCI, NIH, from 1967 to 1969. In 1969, he moved to Vanderbilt
School of Medicine where he was Professor and Occupant of the
Lucius Birch Chair and Director of the Reproductive Biology Center. In 1973,
Dr. O’Malley moved to his current professional home at Baylor College of
, where he serves as Tomas C. Thompson Professor and Chairman,
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Director of the Baylor
Center for Reproductive Biology.

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.

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.

Source: newswire

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