Pfizer returns asthma drug development to Rigel

Fri, 05/06/2011 - 8:17am
The Associated Press

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) — Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Friday it will take over development from Pfizer Inc. of a potential allergic asthma treatment that recently completed several early-stage clinical trials.

The South San Francisco, Calif., development-stage company said it had licensed a portfolio that included the potential treatment and other molecules to Pfizer in 2005. Pfizer is now returning rights to the program after deciding to leave research on allergy and respiratory therapies.

The molecule, labeled R343, will become Rigel's most advanced in-house project. It said it will develop a midstage clinical trial for R343 later this year.

Rigel said Tuesday its first-quarter loss narrowed to $20.8 million, or 40 cents per share, on lower costs. That compares with a net loss of $22.3 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company reported no contract revenue during the quarter, compared with $3.3 million a year earlier.

Shares of Rigel climbed 10 cents to $8.19 in late Friday morning trading. Pfizer shares climbed 20 cents to $20.59.


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