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Rigel's R788 Shows Preclinical Activity in Type 1 Diabetes Model
Date:4/8/2008

Research To Be Presented at American Association of Immunologists Meeting

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) today announced that its oral Syk kinase inhibitor, R788, may be a useful treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus, according to research being presented at the American Association of Immunologists meeting in San Diego, California on April 8, 2008. Using Rigel's R788, researchers from the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center have shown that blocking Syk kinase in a well-established murine model of type 1 diabetes, delayed the onset of diabetes and prolonged survival. A reduction in the production of insulin-specific autoantibodies, an early event in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis, was also observed.

"Inhibition of the Syk kinase has the potential to reduce both autoantibody production and disarm its pathogenic consequences," said Raphael Clynes M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in Medicine and Microbiology at Columbia University's College of Physician's and Surgeons. "In diabetes, autoantibodies against islet cells appear before the actual onset of disease providing the opportunity to intervene and disable these early events prior to immune destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The protection we see in these mouse models suggests that pharmacologic blockade of Syk with R788 may provide a good therapeutic strategy to treat and potentially prevent the onset or advancement of type 1 diabetes," he added.

Type 1 Diabetes and R788

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, occurs when the body's immune syst
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SOURCE Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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