Star Scientific's Made-Up, Misleading Relationship With Johns Hopkins
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (TheStreet) -- Manti Te'o isn't alone in concocting imaginary relationships. So, too, is Star Scientific (STSI) , which has misled investors about the involvement of Johns Hopkins University in the clinical testing of the company's retail nutritional supplement anatabine.
Star Scientific and its Internet stock promoters want investors to believe that Johns Hopkins has been actively involved with, and even supportive of, anatabine's clinical development. The benefit to Star Scientific is obvious: Johns Hopkins is well-known and respected, so the school's academic imprimatur lends scientific credibility to anatabine.
Except Johns Hopkins has no official involvement with Star Scientific or anatabine. That includes Star's subsidiary Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, according to a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine spokesperson.
"The Antabloc Supplementation Autoimmune Prevention
Star reported initial interim results from the ASAP study of anatabine as a potential treatment for thyroid disease on Jan. 7. The company claims the study succeeded but failed to disclose any real data. Star's press release included a promotional quote about anatabine from Dr. Paul Ladenson, described as a "senior endocrinological consultant" for the study.
Ladeneson's real job is director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He's a thyroid disease expert. Why did Star Scientific omit Ladenson's academic affiliation from its Jan. 7 press release? Likely because as Desmon made clear, Ladenson's role in Star Scientific's anatabine thyroid disease study had nothing to do with Johns Hopkins.
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Star Scientific paid Ladenson for his consulting work, which apparently includes offering this assessment of the anatabine thyroid study: