Star Scientific's Made-Up, Misleading Relationship With Johns Hopkins
Data from this rigorously conducted, placebo-controlled, double blind trial show that anatabine-treated subjects had progressive decreases in circulating thyroglobulin antibody levels, which became significant by the end of the trial. Current treatment for autoimmune thyroiditis is limited to end-stage disease when irreversible gland damage necessitates lifelong thyroid hormone replacement. The prospect of a novel nutritional or pharmaceutical intervention that could preserve thyroid health represents an encouraging advance. Further clinical studies are now warranted.
Asked to comment on whether Johns Hopkins, as Ladenson's employer, approved his anatabine statement, Desmon responded:
"We do have guidelines about such things and he
Johns Hopkins would not make Ladenson available to comment. Star Scientific did not respond to an email requesting comment.
Dr. Patrizio Caturegli, also a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School and a paid consultant to Star Scientific, co-authored a paper last year with Ladenson in which mice were treated with anatabine. Star Scientific publicizes the findings of Caturegli's paper without disclosing the company's financial relationship with the authors.
As it stands, there is no science backing Star's claims that anatabine reduces inflammation, relieves pain or treats Alzheimer's, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury or other auto-immune diseases
Anatabine is not FDA approved for anything, but thanks to lax rules and generous loopholes, Star is able to sell the nutritional supplement over the Internet and at GNC retail outlets. What Star hasn't been able to do is convince people to buy anatabine. Sales are minimal, totaling just $1.7 million in the last reported quarter.
Which is where the Johns Hopkins connection comes into play. Star wants investors and the general public to believe anatabine is a drug capable of curing all sorts of diseases. The marketing message is simple: If Johns Hopkins believes in anatabine, you should too.