GLEN ALLEN, Va., May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: CIGX), announced today that it has completed its retail distribution of Anatabloc® at GNC, a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products. As of this week, Anatabloc® is now available at all of GNC's corporate stores, which includes approximately 2,922 locations in all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The product is also available at GNC.com and anatabloc.com. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120523/PH12327 ) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110830/PH59627 ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120301/NE62741LOGO ) Anatabloc® was first offered to GNC customers on February 1, 2012, when the retailer began selling the product through GNC.com and on April 1 in select stores. After sales of Anatabloc® showed impressive growth in-store, GNC decided to expand distribution to all of its US-owned retail locations, completing the expansion this week. Thomas Dowd, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer & General Manager of GNC, commented, "Sales of Anatabloc®, both online and in our stores, have surpassed our expectations. In just over three months, Anatabloc® has become one of our fastest growing products, and by making Anatabloc® available in all of our corporate stores, we are taking steps to ensure that our customers have easy access to one of the products most highly in demand." In support of the expansion, GNC on June 1, 2012 will begin using an advertisement poster of professional golfer and Anatabloc® Brand Ambassador, Fred Couples, prominently displayed on the front window of every GNC corporate store. Couples is a 32-year veteran of the PGA Tour, with over 50 professional tournament wins, including the Masters (1992). In addition, he has been twice named the PGA Tour Player of the Year (1991, 1992). The advertising campaign featuring Couples is expected to last two months. David M. Dean, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Star Scientific, Inc., stated, "GNC continues to be a valuable partner for Anatabloc® because of its reputation in the area of nutritional supplementation and its loyal customer base. We are very much looking forward to an ongoing relationship with GNC as we continue to expand the marketing and distribution of Anatabloc®." Paul L. Perito, CEO and Chairman of Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., further commented, "The recent notice of allowance for claims relating to the synthesis of anatabine ensures that we will be able to make available to GNC a product whose main ingredient has the benefit of being produced utilizing a process that will be covered by our patent." Currently, more than half of GNC's 928 franchise stores have Anatabloc® on their shelves for in-store purchasing, and all franchise locations can order Anatabloc® for interested customers.
Star Scientific (Nasdaq:CIGX) is trading at unusually high volume Friday with 3.9 million shares changing hands. It is currently at four times its average daily volume and trading down 21 cents (-7.1%).