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Rigel Pharmaceuticals is Tanking Monday- Why? (RIGL)

3209243360_5317dd8e89_bRigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQL RIGL) is tanking in premarket trading Monday. The company announced that its experimental drug, R343, did not meet its primary endpoints in recently completed Phase 2 trials. R343 was being developed for the treatment of allergic asthma. The primary endpoint, or goal, was a change in a measure of lung function known as pre-bronchodilator FEV1. Simply put, by week 8, patients taking the drug needed to show better respiratory function than those on placebo. That didn’t happen.

Because of the disappointing results, Rigel will not pursue R343 for this indication.

“This was not the result we expected based on the collection of data we had previously seen with R343 in this therapeutic area,” said James M. Gower, chairman and chief executive officer of Rigel.  “Fortunately, we have a robust portfolio of clinical and preclinical research programs to focus on that includes Fostamatinib, R333 for discoid lupus erythematosus and R348 for dry eye.  We will be reviewing our portfolio and will discuss these plans in the near-term,” he added.

Rigel is a $317 million company that trades an average of 992,000 shares daily. The stock is down 45 percent year to date not counting the near 20 percent drop today.

[stock-tools exchange="NASDAQ" symbol="RIGL" image_height="230" image_width="350"]

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the company mentioned.

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