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Rigel Provides Clinical Update of R788 Phase 2 Trials in ITP,,Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lymphoma

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 11, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today provided a clinical update on R788, which is currently in ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials in immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lymphoma patients. R788 is a novel, oral syk kinase inhibitor that blocks the activation of mast cells, macrophages and B-cells that promote swelling, inflammatory responses and tissue damage.

Rigel commenced an exploratory Phase 2 clinical trial of R788 in January 2007 to evaluate its safety and efficacy in chronic ITP patients. In this clinical trial, R788 was orally administered in doses ranging from 75mg BID to 125mg BID for 30 or more days. We have observed encouraging preliminary drug activity in raising platelet counts in a number of the patients studied to date. Based on these initial results, we have submitted an amended protocol to the FDA to expand this trial to allow for a greater range of dose regimens and to continue to treat those patients that are responding beyond 90 days. We expect to receive final results from the study by the end of 2007.

"We are enthusiastic about these preliminary observations in raising platelet counts in most of the patients studied to date, without discernible issues of safety and tolerability" said James B. Bussel, M.D., Director of the Platelet Disorder Center, Children's Cancer and Blood Foundation Division at the New-York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York.

In September 2006, Rigel commenced a Phase 2, multi-center, ascending dose, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose ranging clinical trial to evaluate up to three doses of R788 in RA patients, on methotrexate, for 90 days. Rigel has completed the first dose group (50mg BID) in the clinical trial and is currently enrolling patients in the second dose group (100mg BID). To date, R788 appears to be
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