Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIGL) has suffered a setback with one of its late-stage drugs. The company’s drug for treating a bleeding disorder failed to obtain statistical significance, in a second late-stage trial. As such, investors have been abandoning the stock, which continues to decline in the stock market. The main setback in the trial was when one of the patients in the placebo group, demonstrated a stable platelet response, which had not been evident in early-stage trials.
RIGL had been developing the drug as a treatment option for chronic immune thrombocytopenia, a condition where the immune system starts attacking the blood platelets of the body itself. The company noted that when the data from the two late-stage studies was combined, it hinted at a possible surge in platelet count, within weeks of treatment.
The trials did not demonstrate any unusual safety issues, but did demonstrate gastrointestinal related events. The CEO of RIGL, Raul Rodriguez, expressed his belief that the two trials combined demonstrate a clear treatment effect and a sustained clinical benefit of the drug. He stated that the company would continue developing the drug, after receiving feedback from the FDA.
In addition to this, the company recently granted rewards under its inducement plan, which had earlier been approved by Rigel’s compensation committee. As per the plan, the new CCO of RIGL, Eldon C. Mayer III was granted 300,000 stock options, whereas the new VP of Business Development and Alliance Management, Joseph Lasaga, was awarded 150,000 stock options. Another 40,000 stock options were awarded to an unnamed new employee. The options entitle the option holders to purchase Rigel’s common stock, at its share price, as of October 7, 2016, a day prior to the award. It should be noted here that Mr. Lasaga and Mr. Mayer would receive 50,000 and 100,000 additional stock options, upon completion of certain milestones.
Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIGL) had a trade volume of 18.25 million and lost 15.22% of its share value, during the October 20 trading session, to close at $2.73 per share.