) announced that it has commenced a phase III program (n=150) on
its pipeline candidate fostamatinib for treating patients suffering
from immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune
deficiency of the blood. Rigel Pharma intends to evaluate the
efficacy of fostamatinib in increasing platelet count in chronic
ITP patients through this program.
The program includes two identical multi-center, double-blind,
placebo-controlled, 24-week studies involving ITP patients with
blood platelet counts consistently below 30,000 per microliter of
blood. Rigel Pharma expects results from the program to be
available at the end of next year
Rigel Pharma said that 67% of the patient population will be
treated with fostamatinib orally (100 mg twice a day). The
remaining patients will be treated with placebo (100 mg twice
daily). The dosage strength in both the arms will be increased to
150 mg (twice a day) for patients who successfully achieved a
certain platelet count and tolerability threshold at week 4 of
therapy. The primary endpoint of the program is a stable platelet
response by week 24. Platelet counts should be at or above
50,000/microliter of blood for at least 4 of the last 6 qualifying
blood draws. We expect investor focus to remain on updates
regarding the phase III program on fostamatinib going forward.
We remind investors that Rigel Pharma had partnered with
) as per a deal inked in 2010. In 2013, the rights to the candidate
were returned by AstraZeneca to Rigel Pharma.
Rigel Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks
in the health care sector include
The Medicines Company
), each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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