Star Scientific Announces Patent Claims for Synthesis of Anatabine Granted by US PTO

May 16, 2012, 09:35 ET from Star Scientific, Inc.

GLEN ALLEN, Va., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: CIGX) announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") issued a Notice of Allowance on May 11, 2012 to Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, in Application No. 12/729,346, covering an improved method for the synthetic preparation of anatabine. A Notice of Allowance, issued by the PTO, is a notification that an applicant is entitled to a patent.  A written patent on this application will issue in the next few months. 

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Dr. Curtis Wright, Senior Vice President and Medical Director of Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals commented, "I have been working with the problems of natural extracts and plant products for over 20 years, and I cannot overemphasize the value of having properly secured intellectual property for the synthesis and purification of compounds of interest to our company. I continue to be impressed by work done by our staff and that of our research partners in adding to the value of this company."

The allowed '346 application discloses an improved process for synthesizing anatabine that facilitates larger scale, commercial production.  The method, therefore, represents an improvement over the prior art, which allowed for smaller scale production at lower yields, and in a manner that limited the ability to scale-up the process. The company, through Rock Creek, is also pursuing several additional patent applications covering anatabine salts, dietary formulations containing anatabine, and methods of administering anatabine for the nutritional management of disorders associated with unhealthy levels of inflammation.

Paul L. Perito, Rock Creek's Chairman and CEO stated: "We cannot overstate the significance of these US PTO approved patent claims since the anatabine in our dietary supplement, Anatabloc®, is made utilizing the process covered by these claims.  Further, all of our ongoing clinical trials utilize anatabine that has been manufactured utilizing this protected process.  Given our focus on this unique alkaloid over the last several years, and the role that we believe it can play in assisting in maintaining healthy levels of inflammation, having an available source of anatabine that is protected by a patent is an important step forward for Star Scientific and its shareholders.  In a parallel fashion, we continue to pursue a number of related patent applications for anatabine, anatabine citrate, and its isomers and salts that we believe will strengthen and expand our intellectual property rights.  Our existing and expanding patent portfolio constitutes the crown jewels of our company.  Those treasured assets, merit our continuing commitment to establish, maintain, and defend our intellectual property and existing patents from potential infringers."

Certain statements contained in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to statements identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "intends," "plans," "targets," "projects" and similar expressions. The statements in this release are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Numerous factors could cause or contribute to such differences, including, but not limited to, results of clinical trials, the challenges inherent in new product development initiatives, including the continued development and market acceptance of our nutraceutical and low-TSNA tobacco products, our ability to license and protect our intellectual property, our ability to raise additional capital in the future that is necessary to maintain our business, changes in government policy and/or regulation, including with respect to our nutraceutical and low-TSNA tobacco products, as well as other risks discussed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011. We undertake no duty to update any forward-looking statement or any information contained in this press release or in other public disclosures at any time.

About Star Scientific Star Scientific, Inc. is a technology-oriented company with a mission to promote maintenance of a healthy metabolism, as well as to reduce the harm associated with the use of tobacco at every level. Over the last several years, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Star Scientific has been engaged in the manufacturing, sale, and marketing of two nutraceutical dietary supplements, and the development of other nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. The company also has continued to pursue the development, implementation, and licensing of the technology behind its proprietary StarCured® tobacco curing process, which substantially prevents the formation of carcinogenic toxins present in tobacco and tobacco smoke, primarily the tobacco-specific nitrosamines, or TSNAs and related low-TSNA dissolvable tobacco products.  Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals has scientific and research offices in Gloucester, MA, and a regulatory office in Washington, DC.  Star Scientific has a Corporate and Sales Office in Glen Allen, VA, an Executive, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs office in Bethesda, MD, and a manufacturing facility in Chase City, VA.

Contact: Talhia T. Tuck Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations Star Scientific, Inc. (301) 654-8300

SOURCE Star Scientific, Inc.