Dr. John L. Faessel
ON THE MARKET
Commentary and Insights
A Transcendent Cause
Creating a Therapy for the Scourge of Alzheimer's &
Quelling the Urge to Smoke
Star Scientific Inc. (CIGX) $1.97 Nasdaq
Market-cap $235 million
Yesterday the eminent research institution Roskamp Institute said that it will soon begin human clinical trials of a compound found in tobacco for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The compound was developed, patented and provided to Roskamp by a 100% owned subsidiary of Star Scientific. In addition to the new human trials, Roskamp is working with researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for other medical applications of the compound.
Roskamp Institute Director, Dr. Michael Mullan*, stated in the press release, "It's ironic that a compound with the potential medical benefits of RCP-006 [the (CIGX) compound] was hidden in tobacco."
Before I go on, some crucial backdrop:
In 2007, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that after analyzing 11 separate studies, smokers were 73% less likely to suffer from Parkinson's than those who didn’t smoke. Dr. Honglei Chen, the study's lead researcher said, “the information could guide the development of studies on various tobacco components ... to help understand the relationship between smoking and Parkinson's disease." The story went on to say the obvious that: “further research could determine which chemicals are responsible for bolstering the brain against the illness.” Importantly, the study also found that more years of smoking were associated with less risk.
ENTER (CIGX) and a simple concept in the differentiation in how these compounds were discovered and what makes it vital in the understanding of the important to the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Generally speaking, compounds, and eventually drugs, are discovered through myriads of studies in basic research where their eventual use (if any) is totally unknown at the onset. The difference with the (CIGX) compound RCP-006 is that it "flowed" from scrutiny of readily observable benefits and results; as in the Harvard School of Public Health study that found that smokers were 73% less likely to suffer from Parkinson's than those who didn’t smoke. In other words, “it works” in the brain, already― now ― why does it work. As opposed to trying some concocted compound on numerous possible conditions. The research at Star Scientific discovered that entity and patented it. It's a world of difference.
Star has filed patent applications with the US Patent & Trademark Office relating to the formulation of the RCP-006 compound and its multiple uses.
In fact, it's know known that Star Scientific's over-the-counter CigRx™ product for use in quelling the urge to smoke is now being rolled out in test city, Richmond, Virginia and is, so-to-speak, "a fruit from the same tree" as the compound (RCP-006). I believe that it won't take long for the general public, especially early Alzheimer sufferers and their loved ones to avail themselves of this information regardless of the timetable that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] mandates. One does not have to be a genius to understand that those "fruits from the same tree" are likely the same or nearly the same; See bullets below. Of course dosages are another question.
· RCP-006 is found in the Solanaceae plant family that includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, but RCP-006 is very prevalent in tobacco.
· Ck the CigRx™ website under Science then Get Started Today for detail re the content of the CigRx™ ingredients. That includes Anatabine (that is found in the Solanaceae plant family) as in peppers, eggplant and green tomatoes as well as in tobacco. http://cigrx.com/science.php See below for more cool Anatabine science***.
Let me weave in one more interesting sidelight into this tapestry. Dr. Fiona Crawford associate director of the Roskamp Institute mentioned in a television show (and a video that's been captured**) that Roskamp, "after years of researching various compounds wants to set up clinical trials with several large pharmaceutical companies." Think about this for a minute; a Harvard University study, Johns Hopkins, renowned Roskamp, an Alzheimer's treatment in a mind-boggling market for that terrible illness. Big names! One can imagine pharmaceutical companies becoming very interested in obtaining participation licenses.
The Alzheimer's market is gigantic and any new treatment, especially if it's successful would be met with incredible acceptance. Current drugs are only mildly effective in the early stages of the disease.
* Dr. Mullen is the biomedical researcher who more than a decade ago along with Dr. Fiona Crawford was a key member of a pioneering team of scientists who made a momentous finding: that the genetic cause of Alzheimer’s disease and its onset was directly related to the accumulation of a protein called ß-amyloid which makes up the telltale plaque that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
From a 4/7/2010 press release: “Preliminary tests performed by the Roskamp Institute show that when the compound developed by Rock Creek (the Star subsidiary) is applied to cells, B-amyloid is reduced. Also, the compound appears to encourage new neuronal cell growth.” As central to the disease process, B-amyloid accumulates in all cases of Alzheimer's disease and, as it does so, neurons are damaged leading to their malfunction, which is reflected as memory loss and other cognitive changes. The process, once begun, is naturally relentless, but much evidence suggests that if B-amyloid could be prevented from accumulating the disease would be halted.
In addition the release stated that; “Preliminary testing of the compound has produced promising results when applied to cells.”
An important "tell" that is driving much of the (CIGX) story is that Robert Roskamp in an individual capacity bought 769,000 shares in the rights/warrants to buy another million shares for a $1.50. Now let’s look at the insider buying; The CEO recently bought 2.3 million shares for $2.7 million. One of the large institutions that already owns the stock also bought another 1.7 million shares at a $1.14. The fund, Tradewinds Master Fund now owns over 17% of the stock and because of SEC statutes can't sell those shares for at least six months.
** Link to the video:
National online availability of CigRx™ and the infomercial that is running in test market Richmond Virginia can be linked at the product website: www.cigrx.com
It should be noted that CigRx™ is a Tic-Tac type lozenge that temporarily reduces the urge to smoke; it is a non-prescription, over-the-counter, and a non-nicotine nutraceutical.
***More key back up from the CigRx™ site re ANATABINE:
The minor alkaloids found in tobacco leaf are nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine. They are present in low percentages compared to the major alkaloid, nicotine. Anatabine is a constituent of the particulate matter found in mainstream cigarettes smoke. Anatabine is found in tobacco as well as in peppers, eggplant and green tomatoes. Fresh Nicotiana tabacum, the plant variety most commonly used for the production of cigarette tobacco, contains 3.9% anatabine. (Source: Merck Index).
Nicotine has a “half life”, or effectiveness of approximately one hour, while anatabine has a half life of up to 8 hours. (Source: Stratton K., Shetty P., Wallance R., et al. “Exposure and Biomarker Assessment in Humans”, Clearing the Smoke, Institute of Medicine, 2001). However, animal studies have shown that anatabine is not strongly addictive the way nicotine is. We believe that CigRx, with anatabine levels comparable to what you’d get from one cigarette – but without exposing yourself to nicotine – can really help you temporarily reduce the urge to smoke.
Link at: http://cigrx.com/science.php
Other aspects of the (CIGX) story that are soon to loom large:
· Their mega lawsuit against tobacco giant RJ Reynolds that may be the largest patent infringement lawsuit “ever” and that’s shortly going to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the final arbiter on the matter where “importantly” Star Scientific has already won.
· Updates on the CigRx™ national roll-out orchestrated by major drug / health product distributor InVentiv Health. Ponder again; why would InVentiv undertake this “partnership” with (CIGX) without knowing that this product works?
I own shares of (CIGX)
If you missed any of my previous (CIGX) reports or for the complete list of my UPDATED Best Ideas for 2010 send an e-mail request to: Dr.Faessel@onthemar.com
To view the (CIGX) website: http://www.starscientific.com
Disclosure: Long CIGX