Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) Stock: Falling On Failed Study


Rigel Pharmaceuticals RIGL Stock NewsRigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL) is having an overwhelmingly rough start to the trading session this morning, and for good reason. The company announced top-line data from a Phase 2 clinical study that missed the mark. Of course, this led to fear among investors who are pushing the stock downward. Today, we’ll talk about:

  • What RIGL does;
  • the data that was released today;
  • the reaction that we’re seeing in the market;
  • next steps for RIGL; and
  • what we’ll be watching for ahead.

What Does RIGL Do?

Rigel is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. This means that the company is working on developing treatments in the medical space, but does not yet have any approved treatments currently being commercialized. In particular, the company is working on various treatments designed to target cancers, kidney disease, and other life-threatening conditions.

Negative Data Release

Unfortunately, data from one of the clinical trials was released by RIGL this morning, and the news was not good. In a press release issued early this morning, the company announced topline data from a proof-of-concept Phase 2 study. The study was focused on the company’s lead product candidate, fostamatinib. During the study, the treatment was being assessed in patients with IgA nephropathy, an autoimmune disease of the kidneys.

Through the release, RIGL announced that the study was a failure, as it did not achieve statistical significance with regard to mean change in proteinuria when comparing the fostamatinib arm to the placebo arm. However, there was a bit of a silver lining to this otherwise dark cloud. The company also informed investors that, while the primary endpoint was missed, initial data showed positive news in a pre-specified subgroup analysis of patients. These patients had more than 1 gram/day of proteinuria at baseline with initial data from this subgroup showing a greater reduction in proteinuria on the fostamatinib arm than seen on the placebo arm. This is a key area to follow, as patients with more than 1 gram/day of proteinuria have a greater risk of disease progression. In a statement, Raul Rodriguez, President and CEO at RIGL, had the following to offer:

We find the subgroup analysis encouraging because patients and physicians have been challenged to manage this serious disease that has no approved treatment options… This study has provided valuable information on the potential benefit of fostamatinib in IgA nephropathy patients with significant need, those with greater than 1 gram/day of proteinuria. We will continue to evaluate the data to determine the best path forward in this indication.

The Market’s Reaction To The Release

As investors, one of the first lessons that we learn is that the news moves the market. In this case, the news released by Rigel Pharmaceuticals proved to be overwhelmingly negative. So, it’s no surprise that upset investors are offloading shares and the stock is falling as a result. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the declines. At the moment (9:29), RIGL is trading at $3.28 per share after a loss of $0.25 per share (7.08%) thus far today.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on RIGL. In particular, we’re interested in following the story to see what the company does with regard to fostamatinib after this failed trial showed some signs of positive improvements in the subgroup mentioned above. We’re also interested in following the company’s ongoing work with regard to the rest of its pipeline. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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