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Nutrition 21 Sues GNC for Patent Infringement

PURCHASE, N.Y., July 7, 2005 -- Nutrition 21, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXXI) announced today that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against GNC Corporation, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (collectively “GNC”) for infringement of Nutrition 21’s chromium picolinate patents. The lawsuit was filed on June 23, 2005 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The lawsuit charges GNC with infringement of United State Patent Nos. 5,087,623 (“the ‘623 patent”); 5,087,624 (“the ‘624 patent”) and 5,175,156 (“the ‘156 patent”). Nutrition 21 holds exclusive rights under these patents for the administration of chromium picolinate for, among other things, reducing hyperglycemia and stabilizing the level of serum glucose; for increasing lean body mass; for treating undesirable high levels of blood serum lipids; for increasing blood serum levels of HDL cholesterol; and for lowering blood serum LDL cholesterol levels. The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the ‘623 and ‘624 patents on February 11, 1992 and the ‘156 patent on December 29, 1992.

Nutrition 21 seeks an award of actual damages in the form of lost profits as well as a trebling of damages for GNC’s continued willful infringement of the patents-in-suit. Nutrition 21 further requests that the Court permanently enjoin GNC from marketing, promoting, advertising, offering for sale and/or selling chromium picolinate in any GNC product that is not purchased from Nutrition 21, and which is offered by GNC for the uses recited under the patents-in-suit. Nutrition 21 is represented in the lawsuit by the law firm of Blank Rome LLP.

About Nutrition 21, Inc.
Nutrition 21 is a nutritional bioscience company and the maker of chromium-based supplements with health benefits substantiated by clinical research. The company markets Chromax® chromium picolinate, which is the most-studied form of the essential mineral chromium. Nutrition 21 also developed Diachrome®, which is available through diabetes educators or at Nutrition 21 holds 36 patents for nutrition products, 27 of which are for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at

Jura Zibas, Esq,

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