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Rigel narrows 4th-qtr loss as research costs fall

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 7:17am
The Associated Press

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) — Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss as it scaled back research and development spending on a rheumatoid arthritis drug candidate.

The development stage company took a loss of $25.1 million, or 48 cents per share, compared with a loss of $33.4 million, or 91 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Rigel posted $750,000 in revenue from a cancer drug partnership with Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo. It did not have any revenue in the 2008 quarter.

Analysts expected Rigel to post a loss of 45 cents per share on $330,000 in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

After completing two mid-stage trials of a rheumatoid arthritis drug candidate called R788, Rigel said its research and development spending fell to $20.2 million from $28.4 million. The company also said its stock-based compensation costs decreased. Total operating expenses fell to $25.9 million from $34 million.

For the year, Rigel posted a loss of $111.5 million, or $2.73 per share, compared with a loss of $132.3 million, or $3.67 per share, in 2008.

The company's shares rose 7 cents to $7.90 in morning trading.

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