Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) Spikes After Announcing Phase 2 Trial

Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) is conducting phase 2 trials of fostamatinib for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The phase 2 trials are sponsored by NHLBI as RIGL shares are pushing up following this announcement. 

Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RIGL) shares are trading with a soaring momentum since the start of today’s trading session. RIGL was up almost 10.4% in premarket trading on Thursday after the company reported that it has initiated the Phase 2 trials of fostamatinib, its oral spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Rigel shares began trading at $2.76 and peaked at $2.84 so far in today’s trading, as of 9:32 A.M. EDT. After the stock crossed the $4 mark on July 14, trading at year’s highest of $4.13, RIGL has carried a strong momentum since than despite the unprecedented economic circumstances. 

The major reason for Rigel’s shares trading in strong momentum is driven by the development of fostamatinib, which is already approved in the U.S. and Europe as a treatment for adult chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Fostamatinib is marketed as TAVALISSE by the company across the U.S.

The company is conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trials for the evaluation and safety of fostamatinib as a probable therapy solution for COVID-19 patients. These trials are being conducted in collaboration with Inova® Health System, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Phase 2 trials will enroll 60 patients at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Inova Health System’s Northern Virginia hospital and other locations of Inova. The primary objective of these trials is to evaluate the safety of fostamatinib.

The Tavalisse tablets during lab and animal studies reported having the ability to block the production of sticky, web-like substances that the immune system produces to counter outside invaders. These tablets also block neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), that white blood cells release to ensnare and kill pathogens. 

The clinical director of the NHLBI, Dr. Richard Childs stated:

“I am most excited about this drug because I know that as a targeted therapy it inhibits NETs, which we think is a big contributor to mortality.”

The ongoing global pandemic has become a major threat to the survival of human beings both in regard to health and economically. Still, thousands of cases are being reported on a daily basis in the U.S. To fight against this vicious viral disease, proper and effective treatment is needed which is much awaited as so far, no such company has been able to achieve this landmark. 

Rigel Pharmaceuticals is working with the broader community to identify safe and effective therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients, said Richard. The development team of fostamatinib expects that it will potentially help in the fight against this epidemic. 

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