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Rigel's R788 Slows Progression of Murine Lupus in Preclinical Studies
Date:4/29/2008

Lead drug candidate may help patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

(SLE)

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) announced today that its lead product candidate, R788, has successfully treated lupus prone mice and significantly improved their survival as reported in a recently published study of the drug candidate. R788 (fostamatinib disodium) is an orally bioavailable syk kinase inhibitor, which has shown clinically significant results in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis and immune thrombocytopenic purpura in clinical trials. A third clinical trial of R788 in patients with B-cell lymphoma will be completed later this year. Rigel also expects to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial in lupus in the second half of 2008.

The study, which evaluated the potential of R788's effect on the immune cascade in an in vivo lupus model, has been published in Arthritis and Rheumatism and is titled - "An Orally Bioavailable Spleen Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Delays Disease Progression and Prolongs Survival in Murine Lupus," (May 2008, Volume 58, No. 5, p.1433).

"These results are impressive and consistent with R788's mechanism of action," said Donald G. Payan, M.D., executive vice president and president of discovery and research at Rigel. "Given this mechanism, R788 has the potential to treat a broad range of immune-related disorders, a number of which we are advancing in the clinic."

Summary of results

The study evaluated the effects of three doses of R788 versus a control group and an untreated group of lupus-prone mice. The mice in the R788 groups orally received 10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg or 40 mg/kg twice a day
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SOURCE Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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