GLEN ALLEN, Va., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: CIGX) announced today that the results of a successful animal study supporting the potential thyroid benefit of nutritional supplementation with Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals' anatabine supplement, Anatabloc®, were presented on Tuesday, June 26, in Houston, Texas, at ENDO 2012, the annual international meeting of the Endocrine Society.
The independently funded research team at Johns Hopkins conducted and completed a study of anatabine nutritional supplementation in a mouse model of autoimmune thyroiditis, entitled "Anatabine, a Tobacco Alkaloid, Reduces Disease Incidence and Severity in a Mouse Model of Autoimmune Thyroiditis."
Studies performed in the immunopathology laboratory of Dr. Patrizio Caturegli utilized female mice, placing half of them on dietary supplementation (drinking water) with anatabine, and the other half on plain water. All mice were injected with mouse thyroglobulin in Freund's adjuvant, a procedure that reliably induces autoimmune thyroiditis with histopathological features and thyroid gland dysfunction similar to Hashimoto's thyroiditis in humans.Anatabine dietary supplementation significantly reduced the incidence and severity of experimental autoimmune thyroiditis. Thirty-one of thirty-two control mice developed thyroiditis (97%), as compared with twenty-one of twenty-nine (72%) anatabine treated mice (P<0.007). More importantly, the anatabine treated mice that did develop thyroiditis had lower histopathological severity of inflammation, lower anti-thyroid antibody levels early in their disease, and lesser declines in serum thyroxine. The results of the full study, which was preliminarily reported in a poster presentation last fall at the Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association, led Dr. Paul W. Ladenson, Director of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins, to comment, "Our finding that anatabine reduces the incidence and severity of autoimmune thyroiditis in this mouse model justifies human studies of whether this nutritional supplement may be effective in preserving thyroid health in people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Consequently, a human trial to test this hypothesis (the ASAP Thyroid Study) was designed and is now being carried out." Dr. Curtis Wright, Senior Vice President and Medical/Clinical Director of Star Scientific's wholly owned subsidiary Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Inc., stated, "We started our research with the simple goal of developing a useful nutritional supplement. The possibility, now supported by external research findings that one of our products could help maintain thyroid health, is very exciting to us, and is ample reward for the efforts of Rock Creek's research team in designing and conducting the ASAP Thyroid Study with the oversight assistance of an independent scientific committee. The current impressive results achieved by the Johns Hopkins team strongly support the first look at the thyroid data in man, which we anticipate will be available in the third quarter." Rock Creek is pursuing additional clinical studies of anatabine for nutritional supplementation in disorders associated with unhealthy levels of inflammation in cardiac disease, Alzheimer's disease and joint and muscle health.