GRI Bio Expands Intellectual Property Protection for Proprietary Natural Killer T (NKT) Cell Modulators with Issuance of Korea Patent

Ongoing efforts to build a robust global patent estate for a growing pipeline targeting high-value indications in need of innovation

Continued advancement of an innovative pipeline of NKT cell modulators for the treatment of inflammatory, fibrotic and autoimmune diseases

LA JOLLA, CA, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GRI Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRI) (“GRI Bio” or the “Company”), a biotechnology company advancing an innovative pipeline of Natural Killer T (NKT) cell modulators for the treatment of inflammatory, fibrotic and autoimmune diseases, today announced that the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has issued a Notice of Patent Grant for Patent Application No. 10-2017-7018579 titled, "Prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory Conditions."

The issued patent covers claims including compositions and methods for modulating type 2 and/or type 1 invariant NKT (iNKT) cells in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory conditions of the liver. More specifically, when issued the patent will cover the prevention and treatment of inflammatory and fibrotic conditions through the administration of a Retinoic Acid Receptor (RAR) agonist that inhibits iNKT cells and the administration of an RAR agonist that inhibits the activity of iNKT cells in a subject.

“We are pleased to add this Korea patent to our intellectual property portfolio covering our innovative pipeline of NKT cell modulators. Each granted patent provides further validation and bolsters our confidence of our differentiated approach to the prevention and treatment of inflammatory, fibrotic and autoimmune diseases. As we continue to advance our development programs forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expand our IP globally and position the Company to address the global unmet need amongst patients for much needed treatment options,” Marc Hertz, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GRI Bio.

GRI Bio is currently advancing its lead program GRI-0621, a small molecule RAR-βɣ dual agonist candidate that inhibits the activity of human iNKT cells, in a Phase 2a, randomized, double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled, parallel-design, 2-arm study for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a rare chronic progressive pulmonary disease with abnormal scarring of the lung blocking the movement of oxygen into the bloodstream. Interim data from the Phase 2a biomarker study is expected in the first half of 2024 and topline results are expected in the second half of 2024.

For more information about the Company’s innovative pipeline of NKT cell regulators for the treatment of inflammatory, fibrotic and autoimmune diseases, visit

About GRI Bio, Inc.

GRI Bio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on fundamentally changing the way inflammatory, fibrotic and autoimmune diseases are treated. GRI Bio’s therapies are designed to target the activity of NKT cells, which are key regulators earlier in the inflammatory cascade, to interrupt disease progression and restore the immune system to homeostasis. NKT cells are innate-like T cells that share properties of both NK and T cells and are a functional link between the innate and adaptive immune responses. iNKT cells play a critical role in propagating the injury, inflammatory response, and fibrosis observed in inflammatory and fibrotic indications. GRI Bio’s lead program, GRI-0621, is an inhibitor of iNKT cell activity and is being developed as a novel oral therapeutic for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a serious disease with significant unmet need. The Company is also developing a pipeline of novel type 2 NKT agonists for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus. Additionally, with a library of over 500 proprietary compounds, GRI Bio has the ability to fuel a growing pipeline.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “seek,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “aim,” “should,” “will,” “would,” or the negative of these words or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current beliefs and expectations. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the Company’s expectations with respect to development and commercialization of the Company’s product candidates, the timing of initiation or completion of clinical trials and availability of resulting data, the potential benefits and impact of the Company’s clinical trials and product candidates and any implication that the data or results observed in preclinical trials or earlier studies or trials will be indicative of results of later studies or clinical trials, the Company’s beliefs and expectations regarding potential stakeholder value and future financial performance, the Company’s beliefs about the timing and outcome of regulatory approvals and potential regulatory approval pathways, the Company’s expected milestones for 2024, and the Company’s beliefs and expectations regarding the sufficiency of its existing cash and cash equivalents to fund its operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements. Actual results may differ from the forward-looking statements expressed by the Company in this press release and consequently, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. These forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including, without limitation: (1) the inability to maintain the listing of the Company’s common stock on Nasdaq and to comply with applicable listing requirements; (2) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (3) the inability of the Company to raise financing in the future; (4) the success, cost and timing of the Company’s product development activities; (5) the inability of the Company to obtain and maintain regulatory clearance or approval for its respective products, and any related restrictions and limitations of any cleared or approved product; (6) the inability of the Company to identify, in-license or acquire additional technology; (7) the inability of the Company to compete with other companies currently marketing or engaged in the development of products and services that the Company is currently developing; (8) the size and growth potential of the markets for the Company’s products and services, and their respective ability to serve those markets, either alone or in partnership with others; (9) the failure to achieve any milestones or receive any milestone payments under any agreements; (10) inaccuracy in the Company’s estimates regarding expenses, future revenue, capital requirements and needs for and the ability to obtain additional financing; (11) the Company’s ability to protect and enforce its intellectual property portfolio, including any newly issued patents; and (12) other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 28, 2024 and subsequently filed reports. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and the Company undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.

Investor Contact:
Jenene Thomas
(833) 475-8247