SARASOTA, Fla. — The company the owns the rights to Anatabloc, the “miracle drug” at the center of former governor Bob McDonnell’s federal corruption trial, has halted sales of the supplement.
Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, which is the new name for Star Scientific, reported Monday net sales of $0.7 million compared to $2.5 million for the second quarter in 2013. The company blamed 71 percent of the decline on decreased Anatabloc sales. That drop was attributed to lower marketing costs and the supplement’s “administrative status.”
As a result, Rock Creek wrote in a news release Monday that the company was “voluntarily suspending its sale of CigRx® and Anatabloc® until such time as the company can complete its review of the FDA’s response to the company’s pending New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN)…”
The news comes after Star Scientific received a warning letter from the FDA in December of 2013 ordering the company to stop unlawfully marketing two products.
As a result, the FDA ordered the company change its websites promoting Anatabloc, a dietary supplement, and CigRx, a smoking cessation product. Both products contain anatabine, which is a naturally occurring substance in various plants.
“Although anatabine occurs naturally in certain foods such as cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes, the mere presence of anatabine in such foods, without any evidence that the foods were promoted for their anatabine content, does not constitute “marketing” of anatabine as a food,” the FDA letter reads.
The company said Monday that it has voluntarily submitting preclinical and clinical data for the supplements to the FDA. , it does not the company does not believe those actions will not resolve FDA warning letter issues. “However, the company does anticipate these actions will bring the FDA warning letter matter to a close.”
Former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams testified earlier this month that he believes that the anatabine substance he isolated from tobacco is the most significant medical discovery since antibiotics. He testified he spent hours trying to convince governor McDonnell of this very significance.
The McDonnells are accused of using the governor’s office to obtain payments loans and gifts Williams “and Star Scientific in exchange for Bob McDonnell and the Office of the Governor performing official actions on an as-needed basis, as opportunities arose, to legitimize, promote, and obtain research studies for Star Scientific’s products, including Anatabloc,” according to the indictment.