GLEN ALLEN, Va., March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: CIGX) announced that the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice of Allowance on February 16, 2012 in Application No. 12/342,192 by Jonnie Williams, entitled "Tobacco Curing Method", formally granting patent claims for a new method of curing tobacco. The written patent will issue from the USPTO within the next several months. The '192 application discloses the minimizing of TSNA (tobacco-specific nitrosamine) formation in tobacco by subjecting it to a controlled environment while a majority of the leaf is in a green, uncured state. The process, therefore, represents an improvement over the method described in the Williams '649 patent; Star Scientific believes it is particularly well-suited for curing tobacco for use in smokeless tobacco products.
"The significance of the decision by the USPTO to grant these novel claims cannot be overstated," said Paul L Perito, Esq, Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Star Scientific. "The new tobacco curing technology developed by Mr. Williams now makes it possible to reduce the levels of a class of known carcinogenic toxins in cured tobacco to nearly undetectable levels. We believe that the 2009 Tobacco Control Act requirement that tobacco companies list the harmful constituents in their products, when implemented, may encourage those companies to reduce toxins where the technology for those reductions is available."
The Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA, as mandated by the 2009 Tobacco Act, is required to publish a list of harmful and potentially harmful compounds, and the levels of each compound by tobacco product brand offerings. The stated purpose of this initiative is to inform and educate the public about the range and scope of harmful and potentially harmful elements in tobacco products. The FDA in December 2011 published a request for comments on a study it is conducting to identify the most effective means of communicating this information to the public. Therefore, that list has not been finalized; however, TSNAs were unanimously identified by the Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Subcommittee for inclusion in the list at the beginning of this process. The company believes that when the list becomes public, it should allow adult tobacco users to identify differences in the toxin levels, including TSNAs, contained in various tobacco products. TSNAs were first identified approximately fifty years ago as one of the most lethal and abundant groups of toxins in tobacco leaf and smoke.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, 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, 2010. 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 ScientificStar Scientific is a technology-oriented company with a mission to reduce the harm associated with tobacco at every level. It is engaged in the development of dissolvable smokeless tobacco products that deliver fewer carcinogenic toxins, principally through the utilization of the innovative StarCured® tobacco curing technology. Its subsidiary, Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is involved in the development of nutraceuticals as well as products to address neurological and mood disorders. Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals has scientific and research offices in Gloucester, MA, and a regulatory office in Washington, D.C. 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: Sara Troy MachirVice President, Communications & Investor Relations(301) 654-8300 SOURCE Star Scientific, Inc.