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Rigel to Present New Research Programs at AACR Meeting

Focus on Rigel's Extensive Oncology Portfolio

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 16, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the presentation of four research projects aimed at identifying small molecule inhibitors of select kinases as potential therapeutics for certain types of cancers and other disorders. Rigel scientists will give the presentations during poster sessions from April 16th to 18th (see list below) at the upcoming meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles, California.

"We believe that Rigel's participation in this AACR meeting is an acknowledgment of the depth and breadth of our oncology R&D portfolio," said Donald G. Payan, M.D., executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Rigel. "We have established Rigel as a productive company in the discovery of oncology kinase products and believe that Rigel is well-positioned to take the lead in the next generation of oncology targets -- ligases," he added. Additional information regarding Rigel's oncology pipeline and ubiquitin ligase research can be found at http://www.rigel.com.

One of the presentations is entitled, "Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Axl Receptor Tyrosine Kinase as Therapeutics for Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth". Rigel's scientists have found that Axl signaling controls processes vital for both neovascularization and tumorigenesis in endothelial (smooth muscle) cells. Rigel has subsequently screened for and identified compounds that could potentially inhibit Axl expression. Lead compounds from this program have shown positive results in animal models of oncology and other areas. In addition to developing a treatment for certain cancers, Rigel's scientists believe that their therapeutic candidates' ability to suppress angiogenesis may have a role in treating endometriosis, a painful, chronic
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